Need some startup advice, please.

I need some advice on starting up. I have assembled the pool, filled it about halfway, and assembled the filter. I have not added any chemicals yet, it's filled halfway with city water. I'm getting stuck on the chemical maintenance. I work full time, and need something relatively low maintenance.

I wanted to get an automatic chlorinator, but my CYA is already within an acceptable range, so I don't think I should use one. But I've heard the floating clorinators dispense unevenly and can damage the liner. Need something quick and easy, and safe for small children.

I tested the city water I filled it with and got these levels from the HTH test strips I used:
Chlorine- NONE
PH 7.8
Alkalinity 240
Hardness 400
CYA 40

Pool and equipment information is in my signature.

I have a brush and a vacuum and a solar cover. Just need advice on chemical startup and maintenance. TIA! :)
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
32,523
Laughlin, NV
Welcome to the forum!
City water has 0 CYA in it. The test strips are just wrong.
You need a proper test kit, see Test Kits Compared. I suggest the TF-100 A proper test kit is needed to get the accurate water chemistry results needed to follow the TFP protocols.
Once your pool is full, start 30 ppm of CYA granules dissolving. Add 3 ppm FC worth of liquid chlorine. From then on follow the FC/CYA Chart by adding liquid chlorine every day to the pool based on testing of the FC.
I suggest you read ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry.
 
Welcome to the forum!
City water has 0 CYA in it. The test strips are just wrong.
You need a proper test kit, see Test Kits Compared. I suggest the TF-100 A proper test kit is needed to get the accurate water chemistry results needed to follow the TFP protocols.
Once your pool is full, start 30 ppm of CYA granules dissolving. Add 3 ppm FC worth of liquid chlorine. From then on follow the FC/CYA Chart by adding liquid chlorine every day to the pool based on testing of the FC.
I suggest you read ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry.

Every day all summer?? I really need a system that's more hands off than that.
Also, the store doesn't sell chlorine and CYA in parts per million. How do I know how much to use?
 
Also, I can't afford the test kit. I've already sunk almost 3 grand into what was supposed to be a relatively inexpensive gift for the kids summer. ($600 pool, $200 pump upgrade, $2000 for landscapers to level). I've completely blown the budget I set for this project and I need a maintenance system that's inexpensive, easy to understand, and very "set it and forget it".

Is there a liquid kit that's cheaper than that one, and is there a system where I can add chemicals once or twice a week, at the most? Any kind of automatic system like a chlorinator? I live in West Virginia and see a decent amount of rain, if that helps.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
32,523
Laughlin, NV
The most hands off (but not entirely) is a Salt Water Chlorine Generator. For your pool it would cost $800 to install yourself and double that for some one to install it for you.
Pools are like pets. Even if you do not play with them every day, they still need to be fed.

Use PoolMath to determine amounts. For your pool volume, you need to dissolve 2.5 pounds of CYA granules and add just under a half gallon of day of 10% bleach to start.

None of the Recommended Pool Chemicals - Trouble Free Pool do you need to get at Pool stores. Walmart, Home Depot, Lowes, etc will carry everything you need.

Your pool volume is way too much to treat this as a Temporary pool so the test kit is needed to follow the TFP methods.

Your other option is to go back to the Pool Store. They will sell you several hundred dollars worth of potions and get you back each week to sell you more. Up to you. You cannot mix Pool Store methods and TFPC.
 
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PoolNewb2020

Well-known member
May 7, 2020
297
Lathrop, CA
The test kit may appear to be expensive when compared to test strips, but in the long run it is a very cheap investment to keep your pool in order. You already have proof of that, as tap water has no CYA, yet your strips registered it.

It takes me about 10 minutes each evening to test for free chlorine and then add an appropriate amount of liquid chlorine. Pool Math tells me how much to add, it could not be easier. Then about twice a week I test for PH and AL and add muriatic acid if I need to bring down PH. Pool Math tells me exactly how much to add. This is my pool, your may be a bit different, and that's where the need to have accurate and trustworthy test results come in.
But overall, testing and adding liquid chlorine is not time consuming, but you do need to stay on top of it every day.
The test kit will more than pay for itself when you take charge. Most "hands off" approaches from what I read on here, end up with very expensive lessons and people coming here for guidance. You are already ahead of the game because you found this site before you had any trouble with the water.
 

LoneWolfArcher

Well-known member
May 29, 2019
378
Michigan
Also, I can't afford the test kit. I've already sunk almost 3 grand into what was supposed to be a relatively inexpensive gift for the kids summer. ($600 pool, $200 pump upgrade, $2000 for landscapers to level). I've completely blown the budget I set for this project and I need a maintenance system that's inexpensive, easy to understand, and very "set it and forget it".

Is there a liquid kit that's cheaper than that one, and is there a system where I can add chemicals once or twice a week, at the most? Any kind of automatic system like a chlorinator? I live in West Virginia and see a decent amount of rain, if that helps.
Sunandset, I came here last year very frustrated with my pool. It came with the house we bought in 2018, and 2018, and opening in spring of 2019 was a nightmare. I was a mess of chasing crazy testing strips, adding chemicals recommended by pool stores and pool chemical companies, and I was chasing ghosts. May of 2018 I came here fed up with the cost of my ownership, and ready to just fill the pool in with dirt and be done with it.

But then I realized that with all the money I spent on my pool, that I was buying the wrong things. So I got on board with the advice. You can get the Taylor K2006 kit for ~$60. LC seems expensive, but when you realize all of the additives pucks and powders add to your pool, requiring additional measures to counteract them, you realize in the long run it is much less expensive than chasing water balance that is difficult to achieve with the "hands off" approach.

I got the testkit, started using LC and switched to the methods I found here at TFP. And I went from hating my pool to loving it! I add LC every couple of days. Vacuum when needed. Run my pump 4-6 hours every night. Most days my pool maintenance literally takes 5-10 minutes. On days I vacuum obviously it takes longer. But as someone that was also wanting as hands-off as possible, what I can tell you is that your pool maintenance will become much less listening to the experts here, than the constant battle that the promise of "hands off" maintenance methods cause.
 

JeaniB

Gold Supporter
May 30, 2019
125
Midwest
Welcome to TFP! This is a great place for information for your new pool.
First, breathe,..this really is easy once you get the hang of it. There is no such thing as a completely maintenance free pool, but TFP makes this really easy and inexpensive (after your initial investment).
I have an ABG pool a bit bigger than yours and I use the Intex salt water generator that came as a package with the pool. https://www.amazon.com/Intex-Saltwater-Electrocatalytic-Oxidation-7000-Gallon/dp/B073S4XG46/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2AQL2V74W9MZ8&dchild=1&keywords=intex+saltwater+system+for+above+ground+pools&qid=1591801901&s=lawn-garden&sprefix=intex+salt+w,lawngarden,292&sr=1-1&th=1
After getting my FC level where I want it with liquid chlorine at opening each year my SWG does the rest. Very occasionally I may need to add a cup or two of liquid bleach after a heavy swim load but that is only 2-3 times a season. This SWG is really smaller than I would prefer, but I run it 10 hour during peak season and it does the job!
Read up on pool school and get a good test kit and you will be as close to maintenance free as you can get.
Stop by here often and we will help!
Enjoy your pool.
 
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