Read Pool School, but where do I even start!?

trophft

Well-known member
Jul 16, 2014
125
Port Neches, TX
Our pebble pool (Wet Edge Satin Matrix) is finally full of tap water (on Sunday).
PB came and poured the following in on Tuesday (48 hrs after fill):
1 Quart of "the Magenta Stuff" by Jack's magic
1 gallon of Bleach
1 gallon of Muriatic Acid 31.45% (20 buame)

And then he just left!
So where do i start? Balance PH? Or balance TA?

My TF-100 readings are:
PH 8.2
TA 60
CH 125

Can't find the proper "order" to start adding/balancing!
Any help is greatly appreciated!
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Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
You might also care to review the link below. I suspect your builder told you the SWG won't be used for the first 30-days, so make sure to balance the FC to the CYA as a non-salt pool for the first month as noted on the FC/CYA Chart. Congrats on the new pool. :swim:

 

trophft

Well-known member
Jul 16, 2014
125
Port Neches, TX
TA 60 is ok.

Lower the pH into the 7s.

pH and chlorine are the most important chemicals to check daily. TA is the least important as long as it is 50 or above.

What startup guide were you given to follow?


What is the pH and TA of your fill water?
AJW, wasn't given any startup instructions, just using TFP forum as a guide...
Added 2 cups of Muriatic last night per Pool Calc.
Fill Water results were:
PH 8.3
TA 40
 

trophft

Well-known member
Jul 16, 2014
125
Port Neches, TX
You might also care to review the link below. I suspect your builder told you the SWG won't be used for the first 30-days, so make sure to balance the FC to the CYA as a non-salt pool for the first month as noted on the FC/CYA Chart. Congrats on the new pool. :swim:

Texas Splash, Yes starting it up w/ in-line tab feeder for first 30 days (although I found 40# pool salt last night at Walmart on clearance for $1 each so I loaded up garage!)
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Also, unless you know if the installer dumped any stabilizer/conditioner, you might also test the CYA again in about a week just to confirm where you're at with CYA so that you know where your FC should be according to the FC/CYA Chart. In about a month or two our waters may get chilly, so the SWGs won't operate (below 60 degrees) and we'll go manual chlorine. In our summers we keep the CYA at 70 minimum, but you might not need to go that high, so play that by ear. Also keep in mind that while pucks add free chlorine (FC) and stabilizer (CYA), they are acidic in nature and also tend to lower TA and pH. As Allen noted above, you'll watch the pH closely since new plaster tends to rise pH fast during the curing process. Just don't let the TA crash below 50. Stick close to the PoolMath APP and let us know if you have any questions.
 
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trophft

Well-known member
Jul 16, 2014
125
Port Neches, TX
Also, unless you know if the installer dumped any stabilizer/conditioner, you might also test the CYA again in about a week just to confirm where you're at with CYA so that you know where your FC should be according to the FC/CYA Chart. In about a month or two our waters may get chilly, so the SWGs won't operate (below 60 degrees) and we'll go manual chlorine. In our summers we keep the CYA at 70 minimum, but you might not need to go that high, so play that by ear. Also keep in mind that while pucks add free chlorine (FC) and stabilizer (CYA), they are acidic in nature and also tend to lower TA and pH. As Allen noted above, you'll watch the pH closely since new plaster tends to rise pH fast during the curing process. Just don't let the TA crash below 50. Stick close to the PoolMath APP and let us know if you have any questions.
Yes I picked up a bucket of Walmart's pool essentials 3" tablets to throw in the feeder hoping that will start to bring down my PH and add FC and CYA. Should I be concerned about my low CH (125) during this 28 day curing process?
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Should I be concerned about my low CH (125) during this 28 day curing process?
Yes. Speak to your builder though (start-up process and warranty). I would think a minimum of about 250 might be better, but check with them first. Just in case the pH climbs quickly to 8.0 or above, the acidic tabs may not be enough. So keep some muriatic acid handy which is the ideal weapon to lower pH. Keep it stored outside in a separate container (i.e. plastic trash can or Rubbermaid) away from anything else - corrosion. Pour slowly at the return jets on high and watch for splashing and wind direction (fumes and eyes). It works great though.
 
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Stoopalini

Gold Supporter
Jun 8, 2020
378
Central Texas
Haha! 360lbs of salt in one cart :)

As for the trichlor tabs, that's what I've been using while waiting for my plaster to cure. I put 20ppm of CYA granules in to start, and have been letting the 3" tabs bring it up from there. In 2 weeks, I've gone from 20ppm to 50ppm already. Granted, the 1st week was 101*F+, and we were swimming a lot; so the FC demand was pretty high. This week though, the cold front moved in. Which means my FC demand will go down (less swimmer load and less UV), which will in turn lower the CYA ramp since I turned down the feeder (the tabs will be dissolving slower now).

But, don't underestimate how quickly the tabs will raise up your CYA; so keep a close eye on it while using the trichlor.
 

Stoopalini

Gold Supporter
Jun 8, 2020
378
Central Texas
Ugh, I dont want to burst your bubble, but many of us have had bad experiences with Clorax pool salt. It seems like it is not pure. You might want to do some reading on that before you dump it in your pool.
Wow, you're not kidding! A quick search resulted in several threads complaining of stains after using it :(

 
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trophft

Well-known member
Jul 16, 2014
125
Port Neches, TX
Ugh, I dont want to burst your bubble, but many of us have had bad experiences with Clorax pool salt. It seems like it is not pure. You might want to do some reading on that before you dump it in your pool.
Katodude are you saying I just wasted $9 bucks? I kept my receipt but I'm not hauling 360lbs back to Walmart Customer Service! HAHAHAH
 
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Katodude

Silver Supporter
Aug 22, 2017
1,065
West Palm Beach/Florida
Katodude are you saying I just wasted $9 bucks? I kept my receipt but I'm not hauling 360lbs back to Walmart Customer Service! HAHAHAH
Welcome to pool ownership. Consider this your first lesson, and you got away very cheap. $9 wasted damage to pool adverted. I cant tell you how much time, money, and most importantly bad results I have wasted before following advice here.

You can find water softener salt at homedepot and lowes for about $5 a bag. Just make sure it is a 100% pure salt. There are some threads on it here.
 
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trophft

Well-known member
Jul 16, 2014
125
Port Neches, TX
Welcome to pool ownership. Consider this your first lesson, and you got away very cheap. $9 wasted damage to pool adverted. I cant tell you how much time, money, and most importantly bad results I have wasted before following advice here.

You can find water softener salt at homedepot and lowes for about $5 a bag. Just make sure it is a 100% pure salt. There are some threads on it here.
Thank you! Love TFP, but man it is a LOT of info to digest...I use the search bar, and then sift through mountains of info! (y)
 

jark87

Silver Supporter
Jun 5, 2011
214
Flower Mound, TX
Thank you! Love TFP, but man it is a LOT of info to digest...I use the search bar, and then sift through mountains of info! (y)
It’s not nearly as hard as it may seem, especially with a SWCG. I’ve found that I really only have to manage my pH by adding acid once a week. I test total and free chlorine, pH, and total alkalinity several times per week. Even though my salt cell has a sensor to tell me the salt content, I use the Taylor kit to test salt roughly once per month. My sensor usually shows a reading about 10% less than the Taylor test. I test CYA and calcium hardness about every other month, as they don’t change very quickly.

I was still working and traveling often during my first decade of pool ownership and tested weekly at best. My pool still managed to survive with virtually no trouble. Give it a good brushing from time to time and keep debris out of the water. Then follow the guidelines of this site and you’ll spend more time enjoying the pool than taking care of it, and you’ll also save a ton of money by managing it yourself!
 
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