Question about day one with my first SWG

tinkerhell

Member
Jun 8, 2010
15
I'm setting up an Intex 10'x30" pool & opting to do it with a SWG, I've read all through the pool school info and I think I've got a handle on the way everything works. At least enough of a clue to go ahead and "jump in" so to say (since this is my first pool).

If I am reading things right once I get the pool in place & filled up I'll need to take a bunch of readings with my new test kit (TF100 - shows that I already trust you guys cause otherwise I would NEVER have spent $80 on a testing kit....). Dump in the appropriate amount of salt, and I'm going to start off with Liquid CYA so I don't have to wait a week for the solid version to dissolve & do it's thing. I'll turn on the filter & pump but NOT the SWG for about 24 hours. I'm also going to go with using Borax so at the same time I'll put in the appropriate amount of that and corresponding Muriatic Acid. Then once that concoction has been brewed for a day I'll crank up the SWG and let that run 24x7 until I get FC up to where it should be. At that point I'll cut back to about 8-10 hours of SWG & pump/filter time a day.

Does all the above sound about right?

I've got the amounts of everything down, and I understand what the various things do individually and in conjunction with each other (I think anyway). The thing I am not sure about is just starting up. Do I dump everything in & let er rip? Should I use bleach to start with to make sure I've got enough FC out of the gate (I assume I DON'T want to do this but the thought crossed my mind).

Comments welcome and appreciated!
 

257WbyMag

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Feb 23, 2008
5,061
Denton, TX
Well, basically you can fill it up and add your CYA and bleach to get the FC up to start. I would then run some tests. Correct the pH at that time if needed. Then, go ahead and add your salt. Once you add the salt, I would wait a day and then fire up the SWCG. Test things again and make adjustments from there.

I wouldn't add borates unless you really think you need them. You can do this later if you want.
 

JasonLion

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May 7, 2007
37,880
Silver Spring, MD
You are doing very well, but I do have some minor corrections/suggestions.

There really isn't any reason to spend extra on liquid CYA/conditioner. The solid works just as well. Even though it takes longer to dissolve, you are waiting 24 hours to turn on the SWG anyway, at which point enough of the CYA will have dissolved that you can treat things as if it all had.

You need to get the FC level up to something appropriate by manually adding chlorine before you turn on the SWG. In particular, on the first evening add 2 ppm of chlorine. Then, when it has been 24 hours since you added CYA, start aiming for an appropriate FC level based on your target CYA level. Or, to put that another way, the FC level should already be appropriate before you turn on the SWG.
 

sonflower

Well-known member
Jun 2, 2010
157
Fort Worth, TX
First off congrats on your new pool! :cheers:

I didn't see where TF-100 had a salt test. Do yourself a favor and purchase this salt test kit. Trust me on this. No one told me this and I would have avoided much wasted time & chemicals if I had known to do this. No matter what the installer says, don't rely 100% on the panel reading of the SWG. The danger is that if it is a low reading, you think "oh, I better add salt." Then if the reading is incorrect & your salt level is actually fine, and you add salt, you have to drain the pool to fix that issue (excess salt). If you independently test the salt with a salt test kit, you avoid that drama, which is, believe me, drama. Also note that my SWG shuts down if >4000 ppm - this is important to know. Ask the installers at what ppm will the SWG shut down and note that for reference.
 

tinkerhell

Member
Jun 8, 2010
15
Thanks for the comments folks.

@Jason - I'll go the bleach route on day one to get the FC to the right point out of the gate. I'll decide on the liquid vs solid CYA when I see the price difference. :)

@sonflower - I'll take your advice on the testing for salt. But for now I think I'll give the salt strips a shot. My wife already doesn't understand why I spent $80 for a test kit on a $40 pool. :rant:

:lol:
 

sonflower

Well-known member
Jun 2, 2010
157
Fort Worth, TX
tinkerhell said:
@sonflower - I'll take your advice on the testing for salt. But for now I think I'll give the salt strips a shot. My wife already doesn't understand why I spent $80 for a test kit on a $40 pool. :rant:

:lol:
I only tell my hubby the prices of the pool supplies if I have to...really, $10 for a flimsy little o-ring? (for the DE filter)
 

dmanb2b

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 4, 2009
3,734
NY
tinkerhell said:
@sonflower - I'll take your advice on the testing for salt. But for now I think I'll give the salt strips a shot. My wife already doesn't understand why I spent $80 for a test kit on a $40 pool. :rant:

:lol:

Just wanted to say welcome to TFP....on the cost of the kit "Honey, it's to keep the priceless swimmers safe" :goodjob:
 

tinkerhell

Member
Jun 8, 2010
15
ok, a little follow up & another request for advice.

We got everything set up & the pool itself looks great. The 1000g/h Intex pump works fine & the SWCG seems like it's going to be no trouble at all (though it's not turned on yet - still waiting out that first 24 hours for the salt to dissolve :grrrr: )

Here is my current set up:

1018 gallon pool located in central Georgia.
first thing this morning (7am) after we got the pool filled I added the following:
@ 29lbs of salt
26oz of liquid stabilizer
48oz of borax
23oz of muriatic acid (31.45%)
4oz of 6% bleach

About an hour later the water is a lovely yellowish green. :|

Test readings are as follows:
FC: 3
CC:.5
pH: 7.2
CH: 100
TA: 170 (6 hours previously it was 200)
CYA: 0 (or else I can't figure out that test. I keep looking at the black circle in the bottom of the test tube & it gets a bit smaller but doesn't get close to becoming obscured by the water refraction or whatever is going on...)

Now am I just being impatient and need to let the whole pot just simmer for a day or so & wait till I get the SWCG cranked up or did I over or under do one of my chemicals?

The TA is high for sure, but it also seems to be coming down by itself. Should I go ahead & add more acid? My pH is on the low side of acceptable already so that would make that worse...

I used liquid CYA, I had assumed it would go ahead & be present without waiting as you are supposed to with solid form. Am I incorrect on that and I won't see it for several days or do I need to add more?

Everything else (except the color) seems to be right on target. I'd not worry at all except for the color of the water. :evil:
 

JasonLion

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May 7, 2007
37,880
Silver Spring, MD
When did the water turn color? Nothing you added should have affected the appearance of the water significantly.

When you can still see the black dot even when the view tube is full, the CYA level is zero, or close enough to call it zero. The CYA level should have been well over zero by now, so something is wrong, though I am not sure what.

Your TA level is fairly high, but it shouldn't pose any serious problems. Keep the PH between 7.2 and 7.5 until the TA comes down to where you want it. If you find that you need to add acid too frequently, you can use a more aggressive approach to lowering TA.
 

tinkerhell

Member
Jun 8, 2010
15
Turned yellow within a couple of hours of adding all the chemicals.

Am I right in thinking the liquid CYA should have immediately registered? No waiting serious wait time with the liquid correct? Think I should go ahead & add more & see what comes of it?
 

tinkerhell

Member
Jun 8, 2010
15
The only thing I can think of that might contribute, if it's not something I did with the chems, is that we put a tarp over the pool (we are still waiting on the proper cover to come in the mail...) last night. No chems were in the pool but maybe the tarp left something from sitting on top of the water? Tarp's never been used for anything but misc yard work. The water was crystal clear this morning after I took the tarp off, before I added the chems.
 

JasonLion

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May 7, 2007
37,880
Silver Spring, MD
The tarp shouldn't have caused any problems.

The liquid CYA should have been mixed in and register on the test within about 30 minutes to an hour.

A pool can turn a clear transparent yellow when you add chlorine if there is iron in the water. Adding a startup dose of sequestrant will clear up the water if that is what is happening here.
 

tinkerhell

Member
Jun 8, 2010
15
Ahhh. That might be the issue with the color then. I'll have to take a dose of water to the store & have them test that for me. I've never had my water checked for minerals. It's well water so that is entirely possible. Hopefully likely!

Still no clue on the CYA though. I'll give it a bit more time & if nothing then I'll re-dose.

Jason, thanks so very much for the help(and on Father's day Sunday too!!!)

FTP FTW
 

tinkerhell

Member
Jun 8, 2010
15
Jason, Wahoo!
Looks like I'm getting there. Wifey took a small sample of water in & had it checked and I believe it registered .25 for iron. Unfortunately they sold her MetalFree... She came home gave it the recommended dose. Nothing after an hour. Dosed again. Nothing. Dosed again. Nothing. Dosed a final time (I told her not to do it more than 4 times) and still nothing after an hour. I just got home and it's been about 3 hours since the last dose & low & behold the water is clearing up nicely. :cheers:
There are little piles of brown particulate along the bottom of the pool (guess I gotta find a vacuum that will work with the intex pool right quick!)


Here are my current stats:
FC,CC,TC: 0
TA: 145
CYA: 0
Salt: 3400

So I'm basically at ground zero I think except my salt is all dissolved & looking good.

Now the next question - what's next?

1) Should I go ahead & turn the SWCG on and if so should I plan to go ahead & set it for TFP's recommended 8 hours (which is way more than the manufacturer recommends for my size pool btw. They suggest like 1-2 hours a day) or should I do it for an hour or two & then bump that up over the next week so the yellow doesn't come back.
2) Should I go ahead & re-dose the CYA to try & bring it up from zero to 75?

Thanks for the continuing help!
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
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May 7, 2007
37,880
Silver Spring, MD
Try raising the CYA level again. The SWG won't be able to keep up with the chlorine demand until you get CYA up to a reasonable level.

Until the SWG is on and working, you should be adding some bleach each evening to keep the FC level up.

It takes some experimentation to find the ideal SWG run time. The ideal run time varies with the CYA level (longer when CYA is low), water temperature (longer when the water is hotter), and pool usage (longer when used more).
 

tinkerhell

Member
Jun 8, 2010
15
well I feel stupid. I just went to dose with cya again. I re-read the bottle again to be sure I didn't miss anything. THIS time I catch the "shake very well" part. This time the CYA looks like milk instead of egg white. For some reason I think it will work this go round. I'll check it again in 30 minutes & if good set the SWG to running tomorrow morning.

Thanks Jason.
 

tinkerhell

Member
Jun 8, 2010
15
Finally got into the pool for the first time tonight. Excellent. Still got some iron in it as it was starting to yellow up again after dosing with a bit of bleach & after a couple hours of the SWG being on but I think we will get that cleared up again pretty quickly. Now just to spend some days fiddling with the right amount of time running the SWG each day.

Like so many others have said so often - thank goodness for TFP and the staff. I'm not a lifetimer yet but I will be very shortly.

~Tink
 

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