Newbie on SWCG - help!

Shane112358

Well-known member
Dec 31, 2012
47
Santa Barbara, CA
Just set up an Intex 12x24 pool over the weekend, adding 200# of salt which should put me at about 2900 ppm and then turned on my Intex SWCG for 5 hours per day. So it's run about 10 hours total so far. Direct full day sunlight. I have not added any Cyanuric acid yet, it's in the mail and should be here on Thursday. I checked the levels today with a 4-in-1 strip and my results are as follows:

Chlorine: 0 ppm or close to it.
pH 6.8
Alkalinity: hard to tell, possibly off-scale low
Calcium hardness: Possibly high, hard to tell but we have comically hard water here.

My questions:

-Should I do a boot cycle on the SWCG? Or manually add chlorine to get up to level, using SWCG to maintain?
-Do I need to increase pH and is this typically a one-time thing or a regular thing that will occur?
-Do I need to pay attention to the alkalinity now or wait until I get my Chlorine and pH stabilized?
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Shane, your FC will be zero (or close to it) until you get CYA in there. The sun simply burns-off the chlorine too fast without that protection. Do your best to manually add chlorine a couple times a day if you can to about 3 ppm. The SWG won't do much for you until you have CYA. As for the pH and TA, you need to increase those right away. Use some Borax, soda ash, or baking soda to increase the pH into the middle 7 and the TA to at least 50, perhaps 70-80 would be best for now. Use the PoolMath APP to help you with the calculations. Don't forget to update your signature with all of your pool and equipment info to include your test kit. Very important. Thanks for posting.
 
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Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
7,745
Central California
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Without CYA, you will find it difficult to maintain chlorine (FC). You will find it near impossible to determine how much of anything is in your water using test strips. We can't give you any worthy advice if you can't give us accurate test results. And, no, pool store results aren't any better. You need one of the two recommended test kits. We also need to know more about your pool and where you are located. Start here, please:
Once you can test accurately, then yes, you use liquid chlorine to bring your FC up to an appropriate level, then adjust the SWCG until it can maintain that level. You do that each day: test, add, adjust, until your SWG can take over.
 

Shane112358

Well-known member
Dec 31, 2012
47
Santa Barbara, CA
I've updated my signature. I will add baking soda to increase pH and TA to at least 7.2 and 50, respectively. There is clearly no chlorine in the pool right now so I'll manually add some I had left over from our Intex EasySet install. Meanwhile, I want to buy a good test kit. I must have missed it - where are the two recommended test kits?
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
7,745
Central California
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Nice job on the siggie! Thanks. There are links in the article I gave you that will lead you to the correct test kit. You weren't skipping paragraphs, now were you? ;)
 

DAB942

Gold Supporter
Nov 13, 2017
511
Space Coast, FL
Throw some bleach (liquid Chlorine) in there to get your FC up. I just went through this sort of thing. With FC:0 and no CYA to protect whatever your SWG is making -- you will be chasing your tail.
 
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Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
7,745
Central California
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Throw some bleach (liquid Chlorine) in there to get your FC up. I just went through this sort of thing. With FC:0 and no CYA to protect whatever your SWG is making -- you will be chasing your tail.
And possibly getting a nasty algae outbreak, too!
 

Shane112358

Well-known member
Dec 31, 2012
47
Santa Barbara, CA
I just added 1G of CYA liquid. But like an idiot and not thinking, a threw a handful of chlorine tabs in the pool that I had left over from an Easy Set floater. I realized 10 minutes later this was dumb and jumped into pull them out to make into a liquid, but by then the damage was done and the liner was stained. I'm so mad at myself for being so absent minded. After all that hard work to set it up, I stain the liner the first week like an idiot.:cry:
 

Shane112358

Well-known member
Dec 31, 2012
47
Santa Barbara, CA
Oh no! :shock: Sorry to hear that Shane. Try to let it go.
That's what my wife said. Ugh. I'm too much of a perfectionist but obviously what's done is done. Oh well. Like the first scratch on a car - now maybe I can relax and not freak out about every little cosmetic thing. Would have been nice to enjoy a month before that, but...whatever.
 

DAB942

Gold Supporter
Nov 13, 2017
511
Space Coast, FL
That's what my wife said. Ugh. I'm too much of a perfectionist but obviously what's done is done. Oh well. Like the first scratch on a car - now maybe I can relax and not freak out about every little cosmetic thing. Would have been nice to enjoy a month before that, but...whatever.
I know the feeling. I have a little blue spot on one of the stairs - it stares at me every time I look down. I dropped one of those Clorox Blue tabs in the pool and it landed on the stair. I didn't realize it until it was too late. It's HAUNTING!
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
7,745
Central California
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
If it makes you feel any better, I have the same stain on my pool (2 day old pebble!!!). Similar liquid CYA incident. I like to say: all pools have birthmarks (some from builder, some from you... they just do). You wouldn't love your kids/wife any less for their birthmarks!

Or... it's your badge of initiation into pool care! We all have 'em. My sleeve is crowded with them!!

Run the pump 24 hours a day, at least for a day or two, that'll mix in the CYA. Test tomorrow or Thursday (when you get your kit, or do you already have it?) to check your FC and CYA levels. Add liquid chlorine according to our FC/CYA chart, then turn on the SWG and check it each day at the same time, adding LC as needed to restore your FC, adjust SWG each day, until the SWG is holding! You'll have this sorted out in a few days. No worries. Post a full suite of test results here for any additional dosing advice.
 
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