New Pool Fill ... What Should I Have on Hand?

Newdude

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TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
5,556
NY
Your PB holds the warranty and they trust their startup guys (even if they go against TFP methods). I would hate to see you add a bunch of stuff to the pool and then there be an issue and you get blamed and it not covered by warranty.
+1. They are going to balance it and maintain it for a period based on antiquated industry standards. Most have to prove monthly tests at a store to keep the warranty valid and then claim they have the store recommendations at home already. ‘I’ll go right home and add them’ *giggles*. *goes home but does not add them*
 
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Dirk

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TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
8,446
Central California
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
In no particular order.

I believe the sequestrant is for plaster dust, but it may be for metal, not sure.

I like your plan for the water, but you are risking your warranty if you do virtually anything to it. I would want to do what you're suggesting (I did, in fact), but I can't actually advise that (my pebble was from a local source, so PebbleTec was not involved). Unless you can get something in writing from the PB that he is OK with your plan. I think that's important. It's an unfortunate situation, especially for someone as pool-savvy as you, but that's the industry. See if the startup guy will work with you. Get the PB behind that, in writing if possible.

Don't be shy with the pump speed. The faster you suck any particulate (plaster dust) into your filter, the less of it will stick to your brand new finish. That's what the 24/7 pumping and multiple-times-a-day brushing is all about. Maybe not top speed, but near the upper end. Especially the first week. I let mine run for a month!

Personally, I wouldn't use tabs at all. Save them for when you need to add a little CYA next year. Especially with that warning about their use from PebbleTec. This is the only time you're going to know that your CYA is 0 (fill water has no CYA), and so be able to accurately dose with granules. That's assuming you verify your water volume with the meter trick. You can't really trust the PBs number, it's common for PB numbers to be even wildly off. Even with a good number, I would suggest you put in, say 75% of your CYA. Give that several days, and then test. It's not hard to overshoot CYA (the test itself is the biggest factor in deviation). If it tests at 75%, then your volume and testing procedure is likely good, so then go to 90%, wait a few days, test again, then top it off. Sneak up on the number to avoid overshooting, while gaining confidence with the test (it's a bear).

Your pH will not be too low. Even if it somehow is from the fill, don't push it up. The pool will do that in short order, like almost immediately. Stock up on acid, don't run out. pH is critical at this point. Any surplus will last (it doesn't go bad, really), and you'll be using that up anyway in the first year. And then some. (Keep those lemonade-looking jugs away from your kids!!)

I'd wait a week to put anybody in, at least. That's more of a rule for plain plaster, but I think there's something to it even for pebble. And even then I'd want an email from the PB saying it's OK to go in (warranty, warranty, warranty, warranty, warranty... getting the theme here? ;) )

Check on the first allowable use for a vac, too. Different schools of thought on that. And again, more for plaster. Ask your PB to add that to the email! But I'd wait a while anyway, even if he says it's OK.

You already know this: now's the time to spend a little more: money and effort. A little more electricity for the pump. Brush more often than they say. Wait a little longer for "firsts," etc. You won't get a second shot to do this as best as you can...

Did I cover everything? We most differ about the pucks. Do think that through...
 
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Stoopalini

Gold Supporter
Jun 8, 2020
469
Central Texas
Pool Size
14060
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
So I found my PB's procedure in the documentation they provided when I signed.

Start-Up - Occurs within 2 days of the pool being filled with water. They add chemicals and set the pump to run 24/7, and for pebble finishes, they set the cleaner to run for 1-4 hours each day (for non-pebble plaster, they say they don't set the cleaner to run until after 30 days). They require me to brush the pool at least 2x a day for 5-7 days.

FYI: I plan to follow Pebbletec's recommendation and not run the robot cleaner for the 1st 28 days.

Pool School - Occurs 7-10 days after the Start-Up. The tech breaks down the filter and cleans it, balances the chemicals, configures the pump to run a 6-10 hour daily cycle, and they teach me how to operate the equipment.

Maintaining chemistry for warranty purposes - They require the following:
  1. Chlorine = 1 - 3 ppm
  2. pH = 7.2 - 7.8
  3. TA = 80 - 120ppm
  4. CH = 200 - 400ppm
  5. CYA = Less than 100
Their documentation mentions several times that the pool water will need to be drained every 1-2 years due to CYA reaching 100.

So based on that, I think I am good to stick to the plan I outlined above. And will be good to use 100% non-soft water for the fill and have CH of 300ppm.

I'm sure I can get the water to those specs even before the Start-Up appointment occurs, as it seems to me waiting 2 days after filling with water, to add chlorine and turn the pump on, is too long. It seems like a recipe for algae to start from day 1, doesn't it?

I get I am not like most of their customers, so they have these processes to account for the lowest common denominator ... I'll talk to my construction manager and let him know what I plan to do, and I think he'll be fine with it. We've had some really great discussions on water chemistry already, so he knows I'm learning this stuff fairly quickly.
 
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Newdude

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TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
5,556
NY
Their documentation mentions several times that the pool water will need to be drained every 1-2 years due to CYA reaching 100
Listening to pool school and the nice folks here will keep you at 70-80 and there will never be a need to drain from CYA.
as it seems to me waiting 2 days after filling with water, to add chlorine and turn the pump on, is too long. It seems like a recipe for algae to start from day 1, doesn't it?
Many pools take several days to fill either because they are huge or have crummy water pressure. Most don’t add half their chlorine as it’s filling. Unless they landed here first.
 

JJ_Tex

Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Jul 17, 2019
2,200
Prosper, TX (DFW)
Pool Size
13000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
It's your pool, but I would seriously re-consider turning on the equipment yourself. If their guy flips the switch and something is broken, its a clear warranty item. If you flip the switch and something is broken, I worry you will get a "What did you do?!" from the PB. The risk is much higher than the reward of getting your pump running ~1 day earlier.
 
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Stoopalini

Gold Supporter
Jun 8, 2020
469
Central Texas
Pool Size
14060
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Listening to pool school and the nice folks here will keep you at 70-80 and there will never be a need to drain from CYA.

Many pools take several days to fill either because they are huge or have crummy water pressure. Most don’t add half their chlorine as it’s filling. Unless they landed here first.

I definitely don't plan to drain every 1-2 years, LOL. That's been a lot of the conversation with my construction manager ... about using LC or SWCG instead, to avoid the accumulation of CYA and calcium.

My water pressure is a bit over 90PSI :) I plan to drop 2 hoses in, and turn the water off to the house while it's filling ha!

It's your pool, but I would seriously re-consider turning on the equipment yourself. If their guy flips the switch and something is broken, its a clear warranty item. If you flip the switch and something is broken, I worry you will get a "What did you do?!" from the PB. The risk is much higher than the reward of getting your pump running ~1 day earlier.

Ya, good advice. I'll talk to the PB and see what they think. I definitely want transparency with them through this, and feel as long as I can give them a sense of confidence in my knowledge and ability, they'll be fine with it.

FWIW: Here are the actual pages from the book they gave me:

Startup-Instructions.jpg
 

Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
5,556
NY
I didn’t touch mine and within 5 minutes of running, the heat pump exploded and blew some sort of sensor off the compressor. I got to yell at the electrician ‘What did you do?’ Not the other way around. It was a mess of finger pointing between the PB, the electrician and Pentair. You know darn tootin well that all 3 would have blamed me if I touched it.
 

JJ_Tex

Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Jul 17, 2019
2,200
Prosper, TX (DFW)
Pool Size
13000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
The more logical solution is to bug your PB enough to give you then startup guy's cell phone so you can bug him that it is full, complete with pictures :) My startup guy showed up a few hours after mine was full so I would stop bugging him.

Good luck with the fill and startup.
 

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Stoopalini

Gold Supporter
Jun 8, 2020
469
Central Texas
Pool Size
14060
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
So I ran to Walmart today, and they were sold out of anything liquid ... then I ran across to Lowes, and picked up the following:

9 gallons of 10%

1598132624274.png


1 gallon of 31.5% muriatic acid (they only had 1 gallon left).

1598132682082.png


And I grabbed a bad of CYA granules, just to have on hand if I need them.

1598132862106.png


Considering my fill water has 300ppm CH, I think this is all I'm going to need to get started.
 

Stoopalini

Gold Supporter
Jun 8, 2020
469
Central Texas
Pool Size
14060
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Oh, and the "born on" date for the chlorine reads "20 209" for all 3 cases (3 gallons per case).

Assuming this is a Julian date, it would be July 28th.

How long can I expect the chlorine to maintain it's strength when stored? Does it matter if it's stored in climate controlled (ie: in the house) vs. out in the 100*F heat (ie: in my shed)?
 

markayash

Gold Supporter
Mar 21, 2016
2,791
Atlanta Ga
So I ran to Walmart today, and they were sold out of anything liquid ... then I ran across to Lowes, and picked up the following:

9 gallons of 10%

View attachment 159263
Cool, FYI I think that acid is about Twice as much as “pool” acid if you buy more. I know because I paid $10 then found 2 gallons of pool for $12

1 gallon of 31.5% muriatic acid (they only had 1 gallon left).

View attachment 159264


And I grabbed a bad of CYA granules, just to have on hand if I need them.

View attachment 159271


Considering my fill water has 300ppm CH, I think this is all I'm going to need to get started.
 

Stoopalini

Gold Supporter
Jun 8, 2020
469
Central Texas
Pool Size
14060
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Thanks for the heads up. This gallon was actually $7, still more than 2 gallons for $12, but it is 31.5%; so it probably works out to about the same cost per volume/potency as the pool acid stuff.
 
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Stoopalini

Gold Supporter
Jun 8, 2020
469
Central Texas
Pool Size
14060
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Just spoke to the pool builder, and he's fine with me doing the initial startup once the pool is full.

He said they'll do the plaster tomorrow, then let it sit overnight, and come back on Wednesday to acid wash it. Then the filling begins.

I'll need to remove the skimmer plugs, insert the baskets and weir doors, fire the pump up to high speed 24/7, and then balance the water.

The construction manager said to add muriatic acid 1st, to bring the TA down from 160 to 100 before worrying about pH. This seems opposite to what I thought though. i thought I'd balance the pH, and let the TA come down on it's own as I add more MA to combat the natural rise of pH. But he said the TA needs to be 90-100 1st thing, even if it means the pH tanking down to the low 6's.

Either way, we are good to go. I'll use the muriatic acid to control the TA and pH, and LC + CYA to sanitize the water. Then on Friday, the tech will come out to do the official start up, where he will install the valve actuators, fill the chlorinator with pucks, add sequenserant, and check water balance. Then pool school will happen some 7 - 10 days afterward.
 
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Stoopalini

Gold Supporter
Jun 8, 2020
469
Central Texas
Pool Size
14060
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Nice, just remember once you start filling don't stop :) It seems to take forever.
You will have a pretty pool soon :)

Yep, definitely soon!

The kids start back at school on Thursday, and I was hoping they could swim after their 1st day back to school. Having it filled on Wednesday, but not operational until Fri or Sat, would have been torture for them LOL!
 
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Stoopalini

Gold Supporter
Jun 8, 2020
469
Central Texas
Pool Size
14060
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
I would not worry about TA, just keep Ph in check which is the most importan, which will be already low due to the acid wash. The pump does not need to run full speed, 1200rpms is just fine.

Thanks ... that's my plan. Control the pH (which will naturally rise due to plaster curing and running our waterfall) by adding MA, which will bring the TA down.
 
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