New pool and first summer season

Cmelser

Well-known member
Jan 18, 2020
60
Bradenton, Florida
I have been reading through this site almost daily trying to learn our new pool. This site is great and already have learned a lot. I just have some questions I am unsure of the true answer to as the pool stores are both giving me different answers and I just want to handle it myself. Learned quickly that I do not trust the pool stores. So here are my questions:
(I know it’s not the recommended kit but I plan on buying the TFP kit soon)

current results of testing by me:
TA- 110
PH- 7.6
Salt-3200
FC-5.5
CC-0
Store results for these:
Stabilzer-50 at one and 105 at another
Phosphates- 1000pbm
CH-450 they were panicking

my csi per your app was good.

My questions. Do phosphates matter in a salt pool?
Is my CH really that high, I see no signs of issues
Test my TA once a week and it’s usually 120 or 130 and PH is usually 7.8 per my tests, should I test more and try to keep it closer to 7.4? Since taking over after building I have pretty much added 1-2 cups per week and it’s always about the above. Since it’s warming up I feel it’s climbing more. Store had me starting to feel nervous and I added more acid this am bringing down Ph but my TA seemed to have gone up from 110 to 120.
i feel like I had it under control but now it’s getting warm and I feel like I am over thinking and having to adjust more. Water is and always has been crystal clear and my chlorine is at 5.5 when pump goes off at 7 and is still 5.5 in am.
So am I doing Ok or do I need to test more times a week since we are swimming more? I am borderline OCD with taking care of this pool and I enjoy testing it myself but I also don’t want to wake up to a swamp or scale or stains. I have heard your warnings of ignore pool stores and test yourself. So I am planning to buy the TFP kit possibly the bundle since I like the speed stir idea.
sorry this is long and probably a repeat of what you hear 10 times a day I just want to start off right and there is so many “opinions” on the internet of how to care for a salt pool and what levels should be and what I should eliminate from the water. It’s making me a little nervous as we head full steam into summer heat and soon Florida rains. Thanks for the help and for providing such an awesome site. If I missed anything feel free to let me know and sorry it’s long.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
16,297
Northern NJ
I have been reading through this site almost daily trying to learn our new pool. This site is great and already have learned a lot. I just have some questions I am unsure of the true answer to as the pool stores are both giving me different answers and I just want to handle it myself. Learned quickly that I do not trust the pool stores. So here are my questions:
(I know it’s not the recommended kit but I plan on buying the TFP kit soon)

current results of testing by me:
TA- 110
PH- 7.6
Salt-3200
FC-5.5
CC-0
Store results for these:
Stabilzer-50 at one and 105 at another
Phosphates- 1000pbm
CH-450 they were panicking

my csi per your app was good.
We recommend you not make any water chemistry adjustments other then maintain your FC according to the FC/CYA Chart and keep your pH in the 7's until you get your TF-100 Test Kit. Pool store testing is too unrelaible and will send you down the wrong paths.

My questions. Do phosphates matter in a salt pool?
No. Not if you maintain your FC/CYA ratio following FC/CYA Chart

Is my CH really that high, I see no signs of issues
No. Pool store testing is often wrong on CH. Wait until you test it. And even if you test it at 500 it is managebale.

Test my TA once a week and it’s usually 120 or 130 and PH is usually 7.8 per my tests, should I test more and try to keep it closer to 7.4? Since taking over after building I have pretty much added 1-2 cups per week and it’s always about the above. Since it’s warming up I feel it’s climbing more. Store had me starting to feel nervous and I added more acid this am bringing down Ph but my TA seemed to have gone up from 110 to 120.
Just manage your pH for now until you do your own testing. Your TA is ok for now.

i feel like I had it under control but now it’s getting warm and I feel like I am over thinking and having to adjust more. Water is and always has been crystal clear and my chlorine is at 5.5 when pump goes off at 7 and is still 5.5 in am.
You are doing fine. Just test your FC daily and increase your SWG % if you need a bit more as the days get longer.

So am I doing Ok or do I need to test more times a week since we are swimming more? I am borderline OCD with taking care of this pool and I enjoy testing it myself but I also don’t want to wake up to a swamp or scale or stains. I have heard your warnings of ignore pool stores and test yourself.

So I am planning to buy the TFP kit possibly the bundle since I like the speed stir idea.
Do it!

sorry this is long and probably a repeat of what you hear 10 times a day I just want to start off right and there is so many “opinions” on the internet of how to care for a salt pool and what levels should be and what I should eliminate from the water. It’s making me a little nervous as we head full steam into summer heat and soon Florida rains. Thanks for the help and for providing such an awesome site. If I missed anything feel free to let me know and sorry it’s long.
You have to decide whose methods you will follow. Mixing different methods will just get you confused and lead you down the wrong paths.
 
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Cmelser

Well-known member
Jan 18, 2020
60
Bradenton, Florida
Thanks for the responses so far! I depend on my results for everything but what I don’t have the ability to test yet. Since I take my time and make sure my vials are rinsed and all. What drives me crazy is getting such different results from different places on the items I can’t test. Then they try to get in your head about their results, then I start doubting my stuff. I have pretty well decided to follow this site and all the advice it gives as it all seems to make sense and is simple. I decided yesterday that testing everything on my own was going to be the route to go as someone on here stated once no one cares more about your pool and tests than you. I see the tests aren’t always 100% but seem to be more accurate than the store. Most of all my concerns are should I push for a lower than 110 TA and push my Ph lower than 7.6? I have two deck jets we only every so often just when we want to drown out the neighborhood noise. So my TA and PH appear to be mostly driven by the newness of the pool and the SWG maybe. Test kit is in my future
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Most of all my concerns are should I push for a lower than 110 TA and push my Ph lower than 7.6?
At some point - perhaps. Once you test your own water to confirm the CH and other levels, you may decide that it is best to lower the TA a little to around 70-90. But nothing to try and do right now. Continue reviewing our links (see those in my signature), and wait for your kit to arrive. Then you can really get dialed in. You're on the right track to take control.
 

jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
2,177
Morris Cnty NJ
Order a test kit and just do it yourself. You honestly cant maintain a pool without one. Once you get comfy testing and learn your pools traits it's easy to maintain. All pools have a personality sort of speak
 

Cmelser

Well-known member
Jan 18, 2020
60
Bradenton, Florida
I have the basic kit and do well with testing what I can. I take the time and keep the kit clean. I will by the TFP kit so I can do it all. Like above my biggest concern was I had been just lowering my TA and PH by ounces of acid per app but then was told that I am not lowering enough however after following app my TA was below 120 or close and PH around 7.6. At every weekly test I usually find TA at 120 or 130, lately it’s been in the 130 range (rise in temps?) but pH is just about 7.8 every time. Pool may be still curing but I would think I am beyond that. I do run my pump 10 hours a day at around 2400 and 25% swg to keep my FC at 5.5-6. The temp change caught me a little off guard on how fast chlorine would change. I learned do not change a setting then leave a few days. Chlorine was at 2 when I returned. My pool school from builder was basic so I have been studying this site pretty close. But wanted to the above to be sure I am headed into swim season in the right direction. We have been using pool every day now and my kids would be disappointed if I turned the thing into a swamp lol. Since taking over like I said I basically kept the TA in the 80-120 range usually the 100-120 range probably and the acid between 7.6-7.8. Builder said my ph and TA would usually be on the higher end and with most builds he sees the average need to add a cup or 2 of acid weekly. A friend also had the same builder and that’s exactly what he averages. Maybe I am just getting in my head. I have for sure decided pool stores will no longer give me advice only parts and acid.
Thanks again for the wise advice. The more I read the more I like were this site is leading me. I felt it should be simple, it’s just new and I don’t like breaking new expensive items by being dumb!
 

Cmelser

Well-known member
Jan 18, 2020
60
Bradenton, Florida
I will test fill water today. I can’t test CH yet. I do not have a auto fill and haven’t had to add much water to pool yet, it hasn’t lost much since taking over. We have a screen enclosure and the pool is basically just starting to get more full sun, rain has also been lacking but Florida storms will be coming soon.
 

jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
2,177
Morris Cnty NJ
You will find that most pools with SWG have a ph with a higher average lik 7.7 to 7.8. I dont fight them unless higher it just goes right back. With an enclosure if u have shade you will run your swg less. Only meed to run pump enough to clean your pool. Theres nothing wrong with 3 hrs and 75% on the swg it's the same chlorine production. Screened pools need less care overall
 

Cmelser

Well-known member
Jan 18, 2020
60
Bradenton, Florida
I have been reading about the pump run times and all, wondering if I really need to run 8-10 hours. It really hasn’t messed with my electric bill so that’s not really a factor and I don’t mind the water movement. The builder said run at least 8 but have explored turning down RPMs or less time. I run 10 hours at 2400. Chlorine seems to be holding at 5.5 for the last few days since I adjusted to 25%. What I don’t know is what my true CYA level is since once store said in the 100 area now the other 50. Either way should be enough. I made the mistake by lowering my SWG and went from 7 to 2.5 in like 3 days, felt the loss was about right for the temps. But being new I didn’t want to be in trouble. So I adjusted pump to come on earlier in the day and run till the sun was down some. Figured lower setting on swg and pump may help some with longevity. I may experiment some with pump times and all this season. Just want to make our first season with the pool great and not be fighting a swamp or constantly fidgeting with chemicals and the pump timers
 

Shirker

Well-known member
Jul 2, 2014
519
Athens, GA - USA
explored turning down RPMs or less time. I run 10 hours at 2400.
Typically it is more efficient to run longer at lower rpm. Just needs to be high enough to satisfy the flow meter on your SWCG and your skimming needs. I run 24/7 at 800 rpm which is about 50 Watts. I bump it up every now and then when the skimmer needs a little help.
 

carnivalday

Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Oct 25, 2017
431
Ocala, FL
Why are you running your pump at 2400? Im new to my pool too, and had a pretty steep learning curve with my SWG, but I figured out I could run my pump at around 1600 and the SWG worked just fine. I run my pump now at 2200 because I have a solar heater and I need it that high to run both the solar heater and SWG. Im thinking you can probably lower your pump speed and still get your SWG output that you need. Also, what are the dimentions on your pool?
 

jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
2,177
Morris Cnty NJ
definitely lower the speed, usually 1200 on average is enough to satisfy the flow switch and have the SWG producing. If you have a pretty good baseline you can start by doubling your percentage and cutting the run time in half. forget what the builder told you. at 2400 your pool is probably clean in an hour the skimmer(s) should be working great. If you are gonna run longer turn the speed down unless you dont care about the electric and/or noise
 

Cmelser

Well-known member
Jan 18, 2020
60
Bradenton, Florida
Why are you running your pump at 2400? Im new to my pool too, and had a pretty steep learning curve with my SWG, but I figured out I could run my pump at around 1600 and the SWG worked just fine. I run my pump now at 2200 because I have a solar heater and I need it that high to run both the solar heater and SWG. Im thinking you can probably lower your pump speed and still get your SWG output that you need. Also, what are the dimentions on your pool?
Builder originally set system to run initially at 2550, I think reason was due to us having two deck jets. However during pool school the guy lowered to 2450 and we may be able to go lower when not running deck jets. I pretty much left it as is since pool looks great very little surface debris other than pollen and stuff my dog drags into enclosure. I did lower to 2000 for a few days but felt there was more stuff floating around at the end of the day and when my salt generator kicked on it was producing decent bubbles out of one of the returns. Being in hazmat and fire field of work the larger bubbles of gas had me thinking a little, so I went back to 2400. It was nice and quiet even at 2000, I imagine 1500 it would be silent. Noise doesn’t really bother me and you can’t hear it past my fence. Pool is 6,240 gallons and roughly 15 by 20, typical small Florida lots squeezed into a subdivision with crazy set backs so small I am sure compared to most on here. Maybe I will try to lower some but the gas produced just had me a little concerned and kind of wanted the pump to push the chlorine out for dilution if we are in the pool when it kicks on, didn’t want my kids to be right in front of a jet pushing out the chlorine less diluted if that makes sense.