New Start Up


Bronze Supporter
May 18, 2020
Atlanta, GA
Hi, all! We have finally completed our build and are getting use to testing and balancing things. The pool tech came by two days after we filled with tap water (no softener) to start everything up. He brushed the pool and gave us our brush and test kit they use. He added some muriatic acid and shock and said he’d be back in a week to check on things. Told us to brush every other day. And he‘ll startup the SWG in a month.

So. We took what we’ve learned on here and a dose of common sense and began doing none of what he suggested. We brush religiously every day. Some days twice or more. I started testing the following day and had:
FC = 0
ph = 8.2
TA = 90
CH = 175
CYA = 0

I added the recommended levels of liquid chlorine, acid and CYA.
The next day, got
FC = 1.5
pH = 8.2
TA = 100
CH = 175
CYA = 30

Added liquid chlorine, acid and 45lbs of calcium chloride. Brushed it really well until dissolved.
Started getting better the next day.
FC = 1.5
ph = 7.8
TA = 80
CH = 450
CYA = 30

Next few days were about the same. I’d test, add the recommended products and retest the next day.
FC = 4.0
pH = 7.7
TA = 80
CH = 425
CYA = 50

Definitely, getting the hang of testing. Should I be checking sooner than the next day after i make additions? Should I try to always test the same time everyday? With this being the startup, should I be shooting for different levels with my pebble finish? The pool tech comes once per week. I feel like my water would’ve been nasty if it remained with a FC of zero for a week. He added some acid and ?phosphate remover last week. I didn’t get a chance to ask him before he put stuff in, so I texted him later and he said he added the phosphate remover “to help eliminate any unwanted contaminant that might be in the water.“ Any idea what that was and what he could’ve tested to see if I even needed that? Any other pointers???


Active member
May 18, 2020
Queensland, Australia
It sounds like you are all over it. I also would have been concerned with leaving the water at FC=0 for a week.

Once you have the hang of things, there will generally be no need to test after adding chemicals, but it can be useful if you aren't sure of your volume, or if there may be algae in the water eating up chlorine when doing a slam. You could also do it for a chlorine addition if you suspect the age and are worried it might be weaker than the label says. More frequent testing early on helps you get a feel for your pool and what effect chemical additions have. Once you get more comfortable, you can reduce your frequency of testing. Also, FC and pH are the parameters that change most often, followed by TA. CH and CYA change more slowly, so you don't need to test these as frequently.
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Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Any idea what that was and what he could’ve tested to see if I even needed that? Any other pointers???
Cheap clarifier. Will not really do anything. Will clog up your filter a bit quicker. He did not test anything. A phophate test is pretty expensive (a good one) and pool service people just dump stuff in with little testing.


Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
Northern NJ
Pool Size
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
I’ve read every article in pool school, but this is my first time setting such a detailed explanation of startup. I definitely have my CH higher than recommended. 😳

425 is ok.

What is the CH of your fill water?

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