New Above Ground 24x54-WHERE DO I EVEN START

Mlindsleye

Active member
Jul 7, 2020
39
Hendersonville tn
Hey guys! We just installed a brand new 24 x 54’ above ground pool. It’s already been a crazy experience. We started to fill the pool up and the seam busted and flooded our yard with 8000 gallons of water. ANYWAYS...They are installing our new liner today and one of the pool guys is here and told me that I need to be careful going to pull school because they will try to sell me on a lot of chemicals that we don’t really need. Now I’m LOST!!!! Can we immediately start swimming in it once the pool has filled up? Since it’s just tapwater? Or do I need to follow the directions the pool company gave me. I found this website searching for information on the Permasalt system they tried to sell me. We did NOT go that route because of this website. My husband tried to convince me but I stood my ground and showed him this. Now I am very confused on what to do for initial start up. If somebody could please direct me and just kind of give me a basic rundown I would appreciate it so much! I am really lost and pull school made my husband even more lost!!! And now the pool guy from the same company even confirms pool school is a scam so be careful! Help please and THANK YOU!!!! Oh and we have an eco Kleer sand filter pump
 
Last edited:

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Relax and welcome to TFP! :wave: Here is a quick list of things to do:
- Once full and water is circulating, add just enough chlorine (or regular bleach) to increase the FC to about 2-3 ppm on Day 1. Use the PoolMath APP to help.
- At the same time, get a sock soaking with granular stabilizer. See below. If this is a non-salt pool, start with a CYA goal of 40 for now.
- Check the pH. It should be in the 7 range, ideally 7.5-7.8, but in the 7s.

Next step - jump in. :swim:

Once the stabilizer is all squeezed-out and gone from the sock, consider the CYA at it's target and keep the FC balanced to that CyA as noted on the FC/CYA Chart to avoid algae. Since you have a vinyl pool, CH is basically irrelevant unless it gets really high (scale), so don't add any. You can post back later today or tomorrow with your updated numbers and we'll be happy to look them over.
**** Very important! If you don't have a TF-100 (link below) or Taylor K-2006C test kit, make that your #1 priority. Avoid the pool store gimmicks, products and free testing. Owner testing is always best when done with one of those kits.

Adding CYA:
To increase CYA via granular stabilizer, place the required amount as calculated by the Poolmath calculator into a white sock and place in the poolside skimmer basket. For those concerned about suction flow to the pump, suspending the sock near a return jet or from a floating device will also suffice. Best never to allow undissolved granules to rest directly against the pool surface. Squeeze the sock periodically to help it dissipate. Once dissolved, consider your CYA adjusted to that programmed (target) level. CYA test readings should show a rise in 24-48 hours, however some pools may experience a longer delay to fully register. Best to confirm final CYA in about 5-7 days before adding any more stabilizer/conditioner.
 

zea3

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2009
12,672
Houston, Texas
Hi, welcome to TFP! We don't own the trademark on the title "Pool School" is it is likely that your pool installer saw one of many different pool school sites that do push chemicals and products you may not need. TFP advocates owners doing their own water testing and adding only what their pool needs. When pool owners do their own water testing, test results tend to be more consistent and you avoid the pool store "free" water test that is used to sell you pool chemicals that you may not need.

The biggest drawback of pool store testing is the interpretation of test results. Pool stores look at each test as an isolated value that has no effect on any other chemical value, and that is just not true. For example, free chlorine (FC) and cyanuric acid (CYA) need to be maintained in the correct ratio. If you keep your FC at 3 but allow the CYA to climb to 150, you will have algae and wonder why the chlorine isn't keeping the pool clear when you are following the pool store recommendations. It is because the ratio between FC and CYA is not being maintained. As CYA levels climb, so must FC levels in order to stay within the proper ratio. It is possible to run a pool with an FC of 15 everyday and not cause harm to swimmers or equipment if the CYA level is high enough to buffer that FC level.

Another example of pool stores ignoring chemical relationships is total alkalinity (TA) and pH. Adjusting TA effects pH and visa versa. Often there is no reason to adjust TA if your pH is in range and stable. It won't hurt a thing if your TA is 200 or 70 if the pH stays within 7.2-7.8 Some pool stores will see a TA level that is out of their recommended range and push a chemical to change it. Often that will also cause the pH to rise or crash out of range, then you have to add something to fix the pH which also cause the TA to change again. You can be chasing a perfect TA and pH levels all summer and spending a lot of money unnecessarily. Bottom line, if the pH is good, leave the TA alone, its not a problem.

When you perform your own tests, you avoid these problems. We will be happy to help you learn how to test your pool and add only what it needs to have a trouble free pool.
 

stringer77

Well-known member
Mar 27, 2020
184
Gateway Pundit, FL
dont listen to any installer or pool store employee.

you need liquid chlorine. you have a leslies pool store up there in glenbrook center, thats where i would look.

get a gallon of muriatic acid.

get 2 boxes of borax 20 mule

get 2 bags of CYA, usually labeled pool stabilizer.

get a tf-100 test kit

get the free poolmath app

once you have these tools you can get it done.
 

zea3

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2009
12,672
Houston, Texas
You don't need borax. It is an option to improve the feel of the water and it is not required to have a clean, sanitary pool. 1 pound of CYA will yield 10ppm in a 10,000 gallon pool. You can use the PoolMath to show how much of each chemical you need based on test results to start the pool. You will need to add enough CYA to reach 30ppm, and enough liquid chlorine to reach 6ppm once the pool is filled. 4 1lb bags of CYA should get you between 30-40 CYA. Put CYA in a sock, tie it off and place it in the skimmer basket with the pump running. Give the sock a few good squeezes to help it dissolve. Once the sock is empty remove it. While the CYA is dissolving add two 96 ounce jugs of plain, unscented liquid bleach or 1 gallon of 10% liquid pool chlorine. Order a recommended test kit and add chemicals as needed.
 

PoolNewb2020

Well-known member
May 7, 2020
302
Lathrop, CA
Welcome to the forum and as far as where to start? Well, you could not have found a better place, so you're off to a great start already;)

However, you have to understand that what you read here and the advice that will be given by the experts will often contradict the "industry standards", so if you try to validate the information you read here with a pool store or your builder, be prepared they will tell you they know best, and most likely try to sell you something while at it.

Stick around, listen to the advice given here and your pool will be great looking, cheap to maintain and you and your family will get the most enjoyment out of it.
 

Fronzizzle

Well-known member
Jun 29, 2017
85
Augusta Township, Michigan
I don't have anything more specific to add to what's already been posted, but wanted to say that my wife and I were in a similar boat when we bought a house with a pool, which neither of us has ever had. It was daunting at first, but after many trips to this site & the numerous (probably too many) posts, we are now "experts" on our pool - we open and close it ourselves and keep it looking clean and clear with minimal chemical additions (pH adjustment and chlorine, basically).

One thing I would recommend that helped me out was reading up and understanding the relationship between stabilizer and chlorine levels/usage.
 

Mlindsleye

Active member
Jul 7, 2020
39
Hendersonville tn
dont listen to any installer or pool store employee.

you need liquid chlorine. you have a leslies pool store up there in glenbrook center, thats where i would look.

get a gallon of muriatic acid.

get 2 boxes of borax 20 mule

get 2 bags of CYA, usually labeled pool stabilizer.

get a tf-100 test kit

get the free poolmath app

once you image.jpg
 

Mlindsleye

Active member
Jul 7, 2020
39
Hendersonville tn
Ok I don’t see any of those here except some chlorine tablets. Are these chemicals something I should not use and just got purchase everything listed above? I just ordered the Taylor test kit. Waiting on pool to fill up. Then I will purchase what you listed above. Just want to double check and make sure I don’t need any of these
 

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Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
I don't know, @zea3, I tried to raise my pH by aeration from 7.2 to 7.5, didn't move an inch.
That could also depend on what the TA was at the time. But yes, aeration can be slow.

@Mlindsleye, keep it simple. Remember what I said before - relax. Lots of replies can become overwhelming. :crazy: Go back to Post #2 for now. Easy stuff. The products they gave you are your typical start-up stuff. The pH Up and Down are overpriced things you will never buy in that format again, but can use later. We'll show you how to use all those items a little later. You still want to go and get some liquid chlorine from somewhere like Home Depot (3-pack) or Walmart (Pool Essentials). Have about 2-3 jugs handy as you get used to dosing. Also geta gallon of muriatic acid (also Home Depot) to lower pH and make sure to store it outside away from anything like other pool chemicals or metal (corrosion). I keep my MA in a Rubbermaid type container outside behind a shed away from pets and kids. The heat will not affect it. The chlorine can stay in the cool/dry laundry room.

Once the pool is full, go back to Post #2. When your test kit arrives, post a full set of results. We'll walk you through each step of the way. Until then, read, read, read those Vital Links in my signature. :)
 
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zea3

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2009
12,672
Houston, Texas
You can use the container marked "stabilizer". That is your CYA. DO NOT use the container marked oxidizer. You do not need it and it will interfere with your chlorine test results. Save the jumbo tabs as they can be used when you need to be away from the pool for a few days.
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Do I take to Leslie’s pool until I get my test kit?
No need to do that. Your kit should arrives soon. For now ......

- Once full and water is circulating, add just enough chlorine (or regular bleach) to increase the FC to about 2-3 ppm. Use the PoolMath APP to help. You need to practice and learn how to use the PoolMath APP. That is very important so that you gain your independence from the pool store or others to know how much of any chemical to add. Don't remember what the levels should be? The APP can help you or you can go to the What Are My Ideal Pool Levels? - Trouble Free Pool page.
- At the same time, get a sock soaking with granular stabilizer. See quote below. Start with a CYA goal of 30 for now. Once the stabilizer is all squeezed-out and gone from the sock, consider the CYA at it's target
Adding CYA:
To increase CYA via granular stabilizer, place the required amount as calculated by the Poolmath calculator into a white sock and place in the poolside skimmer basket. For those concerned about suction flow to the pump, suspending the sock near a return jet or from a floating device will also suffice. Best never to allow undissolved granules to rest directly against the pool surface. Squeeze the sock periodically to help it dissipate. Once dissolved, consider your CYA adjusted to that programmed (target) level. CYA test readings should show a rise in 24-48 hours, however some pools may experience a longer delay to fully register. Best to confirm final CYA in about 5-7 days before adding any more stabilizer/conditioner.
- Until the kit arrives, know from PoolMath that 52 ounces of 10% pool chlorine should increase your FC level by about 3 ppm. So do that today, then again tomorrow morning. But again, leanr to figure out how to get that dosage amount by practicing the PoolMath APP on your own.
- You can check the pH when your kit arrives. It should be in the 7 range, ideally 7.5-7.8, but in the 7s.

Once you get your test kit, you should grab a sample of water and run through all the test and post them back here. We'll help. When you get the kit, remember to keep the FC balanced to that CyA as noted on the FC/CYA Chart to avoid algae. Since you have a vinyl pool, CH is basically irrelevant unless it gets really high (scale), so don't add any.
 
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