New Pool - When to start salt system?

boomer4ou

Member
Oct 26, 2007
5
Dallas
Hello All,

Have been lurking for some time - great site. 1st post:

Completed build and filled water 15 days ago. Builder said to do start up activities for at least 14 days before starting salt system. Wondering if now (day before 2 days of rain forecast) is ok or is there anything I need to do before?

1) test results:
TH - 200
FC - 1
PH - 7.5
TA - 120
CYA - 30-50

2) The gallonage of your pool
15,188

3) The finish of your pool
plaster

4) Whether you use any metal or '"mineral" sanitizers
no

5) What the water looks like (clear, cloudy, green, off color, etc)
fairly clear

6) The kind of filter you have (sand, cartridge, DE)
4-cartridge Pentair

thanks in advance for any suggestions,
BOOMER in D/FW
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
37,879
Silver Spring, MD
Welcome to TFP!

Many plaster people say to wait a month before adding salt and starting up a SWG with new plaster. However, I don't really know the reason behind that so I can't say how important it is. The builder said it was alright, so your warranty should cover any issues (if there are any, which I doubt).

The two most important steps before starting up a SWG are getting the CYA into the right range and getting the salt level into the right range. CYA should be between 60 and 80, so yours is a little low. If you have been using trichlor tablets for startup the CYA level will come up if you delay the switch to the SWG a little while (since trichlor contains CYA). The ideal salt level varies between different SWG manufacturers, check you manual for the level yours prefers.

Your FC level is a little low. I would try to keep it at 3 or above. Your TA is also a little high, I would aim for 60 to 80 once you switch to the SWG. There is no hurry on the TA, it will be fine where it is for now. Once the SWG is running the slightly high TA may push the PH up a little more quickly than it would otherwise rise, but the TA will drift down over time so again not a big deal.
 

saraiks

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 23, 2007
74
Fremont, CA
In addition to Jason's recommendations above I would suggest you watch your water temperature too. Most SWCG's don't work below 50F.

my 2 c...
:wink:
 

boomer4ou

Member
Oct 26, 2007
5
Dallas
Salt System Start Up

Hey - thanks for the tips. Delayed Salt System start and have kept up the plaster brushing for another week or so. PB docs say to get CYA into the 80 range and PH to 7.6 before dumping salt in and starting system.

My recent (late Wed night) analysis was:

15,188 gal
FC: 0
PH: 7.8
TA: 80
TH: 190
CYA: 40

and the pool store testers said my Phosphates level was very high - 1000. Pool is clear (some small white floaty things but not much).

From this test, I added appx 32oz granular stabilizer, but haven't done anything else.

So, I've been trying to use the calculator to tell me how to get my PH & CYA into the proper range to start the salt, however, every time I get close, it rains or I have to go out of town for business and upon return, the totals are off.

Questions: Any suggestions on how to quickly get the CYA up and PH slightly down to be "salt-ready"? Am I too concerned about being exact before dumping the salt in? Do I need to do anything about the phosphates (didn't buy the suggested remedy the pool store testers suggested)?

Thanks in advance - am resisting hiring a co to get this started cuz y'all are so helpful. I know it will be easier when we get through the "new" stage.

btw - am expecting you'll suggest that I get a good test kit... it's on the list. have seen several links to them on this site - any that are available at Home Depot / WalMart / Sams / etc?
 

duraleigh

Admin
Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Apr 1, 2007
32,863
Sebring, Florida
Re: Salt System Start Up

boomer4ou said:
Hey - thanks for the tips. Delayed Salt System start and have kept up the plaster brushing for another week or so. PB docs say to get CYA into the 80 range and PH to 7.6 before dumping salt in and starting system.

My recent (late Wed night) analysis was:

15,188 gal
FC: 0
PH: 7.8
TA: 80
TH: 190
CYA: 40

and the pool store testers said my Phosphates level was very high - 1000. Pool is clear (some small white floaty things but not much).

From this test, I added appx 32oz granular stabilizer, but haven't done anything else.

So, I've been trying to use the calculator to tell me how to get my PH & CYA into the proper range to start the salt, however, every time I get close, it rains or I have to go out of town for business and upon return, the totals are off.

Questions: Any suggestions on how to quickly get the CYA up and PH slightly down to be "salt-ready"? Am I too concerned about being exact before dumping the salt in? Do I need to do anything about the phosphates (didn't buy the suggested remedy the pool store testers suggested)?

Thanks in advance - am resisting hiring a co to get this started cuz y'all are so helpful. I know it will be easier when we get through the "new" stage.

btw - am expecting you'll suggest that I get a good test kit... it's on the list. have seen several links to them on this site - any that are available at Home Depot / WalMart / Sams / etc?
Boomer,

I'd be pretty exacting about the pH but the CYA is not critical....let it come up in time.

Muriatic acid will lower your pH in an hour. I would suggest 7.2 as a starting point. The SWG is gonna' cause it to slowly rise anyway.

CYA is tough to get in there much quicker. you simply have to wait it out. Predisolving in a bucket is supposedly helpful but it's always seemed a PITA to me....I put it in the skimmer and wait....up to possibly a week!!

Disregard pool stores phosphate advice.....irrelevant. (not completely and always irrelevant but it is for now)

Almost impossible to find a good kit in Wal-Mart, etc. or, for that matter, most pool stores. Doing your own accurate, drops based testing is a primary factor in understanding your pool and being able to manage your water quality. It's been said many times on here over and over it's the single best money you'll spend on your pool.

Test strips and cheap kits are short cuts that cost you money in unecessary chemicals in the end. Naturally, I have a dog in that fight but, as you read the threads and posts here on the forum, I hope you'll come to the same conclusion. The pool store testing is obviously cheap, but it's not your own testing and the results are frequently very inconsistent. They test to sell you something......you test to confirm you don't need anything. (hopefully)

You'll have no need to hire anyone to help you start your pool. You are gaining a good grasp of the chemistry and it qwill soon become second nature to you
 

iggy

Well-known member
Jan 24, 2008
175
The Cool Part of Arizona
Hi boomer4ou

Just wanted you to know that I started up my new pool about 2 months ago.
You seem to have everything close. Don't rush the salt as I waited over a month before I started it up.
I also had high chlorine level from the builder dumping liquid choline in so even after the salt was added I didn't turn on my SWG until my FC dropped to about 1 then started the SWS at a low level and started moving it up.
Presently my pool is has FC at 3 and I'm only running my pump 4 hours a day. Water temp is 70+ degrees.
All I have added is muriatic and a few oz of water clarifier. Right now everything is crystal clear and well balanced.

As I have told others don't get all excited over a few minor points or two. It should take at least a good month to get your water balanced and you familiar with testing.

Have fun.
Iggy in the cool part of the Arizona Desert