Newbie With Questions On Initial Startup

Bkndsdl

Active member
Jun 24, 2020
26
Irvington, alabama
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I have gotten / seen conflicting advice on which comes first with a brand-new pool; I have been told to start with FC then move to 30 CYA, but I've also seen advice to get to 30 CYA first then work on FC. Can we please have a clear, concise direction as to what comes first in a brand-new pool, not one that is up and has issues? My common sense would tell me to add the chlorine protectant - CYA - prior to the FC, which would tend to disappear without proper protection from the CYA. Seems like a waste of chlorine to me to add it first, especially since my new pool will be in full sun in the south. Am I wrong in this? I've read all the info available on this site, and I've found nothing that does a step-by-step setup for a brand new pool. If I've missed it, please point it out to me. Thank you in advance.
 
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Texas Splash

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Quick answer - the same time. Once water is moving, we immediately use the sock-soaking method to get granular stabilizer soft so we can squeeze it and get in dispersed in the water. At the same time, we add a small amount of chlorine (FC) to the water. On this day 1 application of a new fill, maybe only 2-3 ppm since the stabilizer may not be fully dispersed in the water yet and the chlorine will be quite strong. But on day 2 the stabilizer should all be in the water and fully mixed, then we increase the FC and keep it balanced as noted on the FC/CYA Chart.

Adding CYA:
To increase CYA via granular stabilizer, place the required amount as calculated by the Poolmath calculator into a white sock and place in the poolside skimmer basket. For those concerned about suction flow to the pump, suspending the sock near a return jet or from a floating device will also suffice. Best never to allow undissolved granules to rest directly against the pool surface. Squeeze the sock periodically to help it dissipate. Once dissolved, consider your CYA adjusted to that programmed (target) level. CYA test readings should show a rise in 24-48 hours, however some pools may experience a longer delay to fully register. Best to confirm final CYA in about 5-7 days before adding any more stabilizer/conditioner.
 
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setsailsoon

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As Pat says, you need both. Low CYA will cause FC loss to be higher until you build the right CYA level but you need FC at all times to prevent algae regardless or your pool is not properly disinfected.
 

Richard320

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Chlorine goes in first so that the kids can get in sooner. The CYA will take about a day to completely dissolve and disperse, so delaying it two or three minutes more while you mess with the sock isn't a big deal.

You understand that without CYA, any FC in the fill water is gone or will be in minutes. So as soon as you have circulation, you can add bleach, knowing the current level is virtually zero without bothering to test. Then comes kids. Then CYA, which is also going to start at zero.. By then things will have mixed enough to test pH and TA so you can adjust that. It probably should be done before the kids get in, but since they bathe in the same source water without their skin peeling off, it's safe to swim in it for a few minutes.

Really you're splitting hairs. You only have to wait 15 minutes between bleach and acid. The CYA dissolves so slowly that it can be added whenever is convenient to you. CH is good to know, but low CH is no problem on your above ground pool and you can;t do anything about high CH since a drain and refill would just be more of the same water. So you have a minimum of two things to add, chlorine and CYA, and a maximum of four if pH and TA each need raising. Allowing fifteen minutes' spacing between chemicals, it's not a long wait.
 
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Bkndsdl

Active member
Jun 24, 2020
26
Irvington, alabama
Thank you all! Exactly what I've been looking for!

Richard: as for the kiddos - 15 and 18- getting in the pool immediately is not of much concern. We've been awaiting the pool install for several months now, so a day or two more won't hurt. We all want it right before we start enjoying it. That being said, thank you for quantifying why people are saying to add chlorine first. This clears up some confusion.

So - If I'm looking at Pool Math correctly, once I get the pool filled and circulating, I need to add the 3lbs 8 oz of CYA (per PM for 30ppm) into a sock to begin softening, and then begin to add around a quart of liquid chlorine to get things started (around 1-2 ppm as Texas Splash suggested). Then on day 2, when the CYA should be completely dissolved and at 30 ppm (test to confirm of course), begin to add chlorine to get to 4 ppm, and then test and correct PH and TA if need be, correct?

I have a small test kit for chlorine and PH, so I tested my source water Sunday and I know my PH is at 6.8. I plan on aerating the water as it's going in to try and raise it some. I'll have some Borax on hand as well as some muriatic acid should I need to adjust. Chlorine is minimal and if I'm thinking right should be mostly gone by the time the pool is filled.

Am I on the right track?
 

Texas Splash

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You have the right idea. :goodjob: Until the stabilizer is fully dissolved, just keep an eye on the FC on day #1 so that it doesn't fall to zero and you should be fine. Then as you noted, continue to balance according to the FC/CYA Chart. Once you get the pH up to at least 7.2 you should be fine. Later you can post a full set of results if you like and we'll compare everything together.
 

Richard320

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Jan 6, 2010
23,866
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
Thank you all! Exactly what I've been looking for!

Richard: as for the kiddos - 15 and 18- getting in the pool immediately is not of much concern. We've been awaiting the pool install for several months now, so a day or two more won't hurt. We all want it right before we start enjoying it. That being said, thank you for quantifying why people are saying to add chlorine first. This clears up some confusion.

So - If I'm looking at Pool Math correctly, once I get the pool filled and circulating, I need to add the 3lbs 8 oz of CYA (per PM for 30ppm) into a sock to begin softening, and then begin to add around a quart of liquid chlorine to get things started (around 1-2 ppm as Texas Splash suggested). Then on day 2, when the CYA should be completely dissolved and at 30 ppm (test to confirm of course), begin to add chlorine to get to 4 ppm, and then test and correct PH and TA if need be, correct?

I have a small test kit for chlorine and PH, so I tested my source water Sunday and I know my PH is at 6.8. I plan on aerating the water as it's going in to try and raise it some. I'll have some Borax on hand as well as some muriatic acid should I need to adjust. Chlorine is minimal and if I'm thinking right should be mostly gone by the time the pool is filled.

Am I on the right track?
Aeration works better at higher TA. Without knowing TA, there's no way to guess if aeration alone will get the pH up or if it'll need some borax, or if it will need to have baking soda first. As with all things here, test results tell us what we need to do.
 

duraleigh

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Apr 1, 2007
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Sebring, Florida
During your wait, Please read "The "ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry" up in Pool School. It is our bible and everything of importance is in there.
 

Bkndsdl

Active member
Jun 24, 2020
26
Irvington, alabama
Ok guys, took approximately 22 hours to fill. Two hoses going overnight. Pool's been circulating. I added 3 lbs of CYA using the sock method, hanging over the pool in front of the jet. CYA is dissolving, and I've squeezed it several times to disperse. almost completelyl dissolved, pump's been running for an hour. I also added enough lc to get me to FC 2. Initial tests for PH and TA:

PH - 6.8
TA - 30

PM says add 4 lbs 2 oz of borax to raise my PH to 7.6. What's my next step, brothers and sisters??