Pool Builder's Official "Start-Up" is Today

Stoopalini

Gold Supporter
Jun 8, 2020
492
Central Texas
Pool Size
14060
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
We filled our pool last Thursday night, and I started up the equipment and began balancing the chemistry ASAP, following TFP guidelines as much as possible, while remaining within the PB's requirements for warranty as well.

Initial tests after the fill completed were:
  • FC: 1.5 (yes, my fill water had 1.5ppm chlorine!)
  • CC: 1.5
  • pH: 8.2
  • TA: 160
  • CH: 175
  • CYA: 0
And over the past 4 days, I've been working on balancing the levels. Using 10% bleach/LC, added 20ppm CYA, added 8lbs of calcium chloride, and when pH reaches ~8.0, I add MA to lower it to 7.2 (to also lower TA), then run the waterfall to raise pH back to ~8 and add more MA (repeating) ...

I've gone through 1 gallon of 31.45% MA and just about 3 gallons of 10% LC. I'm also using Trichlor pucks in the Rainbow chlorinator, to help keep FC up and reduce the amount of 10% required, but also to add CYA until I hit 60ppm.

My current water chem this AM is:
  • FC: 4.5
  • CC: 0
  • pH: 7.5
  • TA: 100
  • CH: 225
  • CYA: 20
I have no idea what time the PB tech is scheduled to arrive, but the voicemail they left yesterday said "You don't need to be there for this appointment. We will start the equipment up, and add chemicals to your pool" ..... ! No thanks Mr. PB! Please just drop off my manual vacuum and pool brush, so we can clean it :)

Luckily I work from home (since 2010 actually), but just in case I miss him pulling up, I added this to my panel ... think it'll stop him from doing something before I can catch him??

1598967181014.png

I do have a 100+lb dog with a deep bark ... Maybe I should just leave her out so the tech stays outside my fence until I bring her in ... it's like an old-school property monitoring system :ROFLMAO:
 
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HermanTX

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
1,360
Katy TX
Pool Size
14600
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
We filled our pool last Thursday night, and I started up the equipment and began balancing the chemistry ASAP, following TFP guidelines as much as possible, while remaining within the PB's requirements for warranty as well.

Initial tests after the fill completed were:
  • FC: 1.5 (yes, my fill water had 1.5ppm chlorine!)
  • CC: 1.5
  • pH: 8.2
  • TA: 160
  • CH: 175
  • CYA: 0
And over the past 4 days, I've been working on balancing the levels. Using 10% bleach/LC, added 20ppm CYA, added 8lbs of calcium chloride, and when pH reaches ~8.0, I add MA to lower it to 7.2 (to also lower TA), then run the waterfall to raise pH back to ~8 and add more MA (repeating) ...

I've gone through 1 gallon of 31.45% MA and just about 3 gallons of 10% LC. I'm also using Trichlor pucks in the Rainbow chlorinator, to help keep FC up and reduce the amount of 10% required, but also to add CYA until I hit 60ppm.

My current water chem this AM is:
  • FC: 4.5
  • CC: 0
  • pH: 7.5
  • TA: 100
  • CH: 225
  • CYA: 20
I have no idea what time the PB tech is scheduled to arrive, but the voicemail they left yesterday said "You don't need to be there for this appointment. We will start the equipment up, and add chemicals to your pool" ..... ! No thanks Mr. PB! Please just drop off my manual vacuum and pool brush, so we can clean it :)

Luckily I work from home (since 2010 actually), but just in case I miss him pulling up, I added this to my panel ... think it'll stop him from doing something before I can catch him??

View attachment 160597

I do have a 100+lb dog with a deep bark ... Maybe I should just leave her out so the tech stays outside my fence until I bring her in ... it's like an old-school property monitoring system :ROFLMAO:
Like your sign and your dedication. Just curious - since this is a new pool build. I noticed you mentioned using the puck chlorinator but only to increase CYA slowly. You indicate having a SWG. Is your rainbow chlorinator a back up to your SWG? Also, will your PB help you set up the SWG to function to properly sanitize your pool?
 

red-beard

Gold Supporter
May 27, 2019
777
Houston, TX
Like your sign and your dedication. Just curious - since this is a new pool build. I noticed you mentioned using the puck chlorinator but only to increase CYA slowly. You indicate having a SWG. Is your rainbow chlorinator a back up to your SWG? Also, will your PB help you set up the SWG to function to properly sanitize your pool?
At least there is no Pool Frog. What he really needs is some Sod!

To the OP: Looks like a great build!
 

Stoopalini

Gold Supporter
Jun 8, 2020
492
Central Texas
Pool Size
14060
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Like your sign and your dedication. Just curious - since this is a new pool build. I noticed you mentioned using the puck chlorinator but only to increase CYA slowly. You indicate having a SWG. Is your rainbow chlorinator a back up to your SWG? Also, will your PB help you set up the SWG to function to properly sanitize your pool?

Thanks! When we signed with the PB, there was no SWCG in the design; just the Rainbow inline chlorinator. After educating myself (with significant help from TFP!), I realized I want to go SWCG after the break in period is over. So I asked my construction manager what the cost difference would be to change the part number of the EasyTouch package to one which includes the IC40 cell. It was $1200, so I went for it.

So, yea, I do have an IC40 cell which will be installed after the initial 28-30 days is up ... but, no, it wasn't part of my contract with the PB. If I had added the SWCG system to the contract with the salesman, it would have added ~$3k to the price.

I plan to use PoolMath to calculate the estimated % based on my filter run time, and then go from there. The electrican sub did wire it all up, and I had purchased the Pentair dummy cell for the plumbers to install. So when it comes time to start it up, I'm pretty confident I can manage.

Now that said ... the tech just left from his visit, and he said they could come back and do the salt setup for me if I wanted. He was very good, and completely understood (and supports) my TFP approach. When I showed him my current numbers in PoolMath, he perked up and said "what app is that?" I said "It's Trouble Free Pool's 'PoolMath' app" ... and then proceeded to tell him about TFP's CYA to FC approach, and also gave him a TFP business card which was included in my TF-100 test kit :)

He seemed genuinely interested ...

At least there is no Pool Frog. What he really needs is some Sod!

To the OP: Looks like a great build!

Haha, sod would be great! Although we calculated it out, and spending another ~$10k right now on sod, isn't something I really want to do after building the pool. But seeing as we're headed into fall/winter, these are my weapons of choice for the dirt/mud.

1598976196866.png

Contractor's mix grass seed, Lawn Starter fertilizer, and annual rye grass seed. When spring rolls around, we'll have a more comprehensive plan for landscaping the area; especially around the warterfall and boulder coping.
 
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Stoopalini

Gold Supporter
Jun 8, 2020
492
Central Texas
Pool Size
14060
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
I used to put rye down on my St. Augustine so I had "winter grass". But I found it more trouble than it was worth.

Ya, understood ... I used to live in an area where St. Augustine was the norm. But now we live out in the country (farm country), and you'd be hard pressed to find any around here. About 10 years ago, I spread some Rye mix after another construction project, just to root the dirt down ... and funny enough, it comes back every winter, and has spread quite a bit.
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
8,624
Central California
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
I think this is clear to the OP, but maybe not another poster and/or your startup guy: no salt for at least a month (plaster needs to cure for a while). No SWG for a few days after you add the salt (salt needs to be well mixed in).

Love your first post, your MO, and the sign! Well done!

And that you're attempting to indoctrinate the start up guy. We do what we can, one pool "professional" at a time!! ;)
 
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Stoopalini

Gold Supporter
Jun 8, 2020
492
Central Texas
Pool Size
14060
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
I think this is clear to the OP, but maybe not another poster and/or your startup guy: no salt for at least a month (plaster needs to cure for a while). No SWG for a few days after you add the salt (salt needs to be well mixed in).

Exactly. I told the start-up guy I am going to abide by PebbleTec's recommendation, to not add salt or use the robot until 28-30 days in. Then after adding salt, I'll wait 2 or 3 days before engaging the IC40 cell.

He said he would talk to my construction manager about coming back in 30 days, to add the salt and install the IC40 into the plumbing. If they do that, I just wouldn't power it up until 2-3 days after. Right now, the IC cell is sitting in its box, on the equipment pad ... but it is wired into the ET.

Love your first post, your MO, and the sign! Well done!

And that you're attempting to indoctrinate the start up guy. We do what we can, one pool "professional" at a time!! ;)

Thanks Dirk! I'm learning little by little! Within the 1st 5 mins of being here, the PB's start-up tech asked "So you've had a pool before then?", to which I said "No, this is my 1st one" ... and he replied "Oh, hmm ... so you've learned all this by educating yourself ?!?" ... I said "yep, with help from Trouble Free Pool though" :D That's when I showed him the app ...
 
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Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
8,624
Central California
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
I just noticed how many posts you've made before you even put in the water!! That's the way to go.
 

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Stoopalini

Gold Supporter
Jun 8, 2020
492
Central Texas
Pool Size
14060
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
I just noticed how many posts you've made before you even put in the water!! That's the way to go.

Haha, ya, I wanted to be sure I was doing it right! Plus, my build thread accounts for quite a few of those posts. I do tend to over research stuff, and like to be over educated when it comes to things like this. I suppose I just don't like having to rely on service folks to take care of my stuff. Last year was HVAC, this year it's the pool :)
 
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BenB

Gold Supporter
Jul 24, 2020
70
San Jose, CA
I suppose I just don't like having to rely on service folks to take care of my stuff. Last year was HVAC, this year it's the pool :)

I'm exactly the same and loved seeing someone else put it into words. Combine that with a general frugal attitude, I want to know I'm not spending money on tasks that, with a bit of education, literally anybody can do.

We just bought our first home this last month. A few weeks of reading these forums and asking questions and I think I've got a fairly good grasp on how to maintain a pool (actual plumbing aside). This month is insulation and ductwork in the attic. Then once that's done I'll be running network cable throughout the house. I LOVE these kinds of projects - improving the house and saving money while learning how to be a Jack of All Trades!

Enjoy your pool!!
 
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Stoopalini

Gold Supporter
Jun 8, 2020
492
Central Texas
Pool Size
14060
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
I'm exactly the same and loved seeing someone else put it into words. Combine that with a general frugal attitude, I want to know I'm not spending money on tasks that, with a bit of education, literally anybody can do.

We just bought our first home this last month. A few weeks of reading these forums and asking questions and I think I've got a fairly good grasp on how to maintain a pool (actual plumbing aside). This month is insulation and ductwork in the attic. Then once that's done I'll be running network cable throughout the house. I LOVE these kinds of projects - improving the house and saving money while learning how to be a Jack of All Trades!

Enjoy your pool!!

Congrats on your new home! For insulation and duct work, I HIGHLY recommend reading Nate Adams book, "The Home Comfort Book". It is well worth the $25 cost. You can even download a couple of chapters for free to start, to get a sense on the value it'll give you. Understanding the home's complex system is really critical for what you are tackling (ie: Insulation vs. air sealing ... and duct work design -- meaning a Manual D calculation).

Check it out here: Nate the House Whisperer
 
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