Step by step for salt pool refill

Feb 13, 2018
raleigh, nc
Hey guys, First post...

I am having to drain and refill my above ground pool for various reasons (water is full of iron, want to relevel sand bottom, want to paint the rails)...anyway, I'm looking for very detailed step by step instructions for refilling and basically building the water from scratch. Things I add the salt after pH and alkalinity are right? Thanks!!


TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 5, 2016
Sydney, NSW, Australia
Welcome to TFP! Good to have you here :)

Day 1
For me, it's pH first
Then a small amount of chlorine to stop anything from starting to grow, say 2 ppm
Then CYA to protect the chlorine, 30-50 ppm

Day 2
Assume CYA level is at your target, and add the right amount of chlorine per [FC/CYA][/FC/CYA]
Adjust pH if need be

Day 3
Check TA & CH, but don't do anything about either
Adjust pH
Top up chlorine
Add salt
Report all your numbers here to let us know. If anything's untoward, we'll let you know

Day 4
Adjust pH
Top up chlorine
Turn salt cell on at your best guess level

Then test pH and FC every day for a few days to see if the SWG is keeping up; adjust it as needed

Within the first week or so, do an overnight chlorine loss test to rule out any algae carrying over from before the fill
Then raise your CYA to 70-80 ppm (correct level for a salt water pool)

When you can, set up a signature - see Pool School - Getting Started - which will help you get the best possible advice.

Also, read these (they're all short) and it will all start to come together.
TFPC for Beginners

Pool School - PoolMath

Pool School - Recommended Pool Chemicals
Pool School - Water Balance for SWGs