TFP method compared to Orenda method, and process to transition from Orenda-startup to TFP


Gold Supporter
Sep 27, 2020
Pool Size
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Turbo Cell (T-CELL-5)
My newly built pool is set to be plastered tomorrow, and polished/filled the day after. The PB is hiring a 3rd party startup company to start the pool up for us, and they utilize the Orenda method for startup and cover the first 5 days of startup. Because of this, I wanted to educate myself about the "Orenda Method" not just for startup, but for ongoing pool care so that I could speak somewhat intelligently with the startup company and make sure I feel comfortable with my TFP-based game plan as I take over the pool after the startup company is done.

As I understand, the Orenda method of pool care focuses on LSI/Calcium management, Enzymes for organic waste management, Phosphate Removal, and maintaining low CYA. It sounds like these values don't necessarily all conflict with TFP, more so that:

LSI/Calcium management
PoolMath uses CSI. It seems like Orenda probably over-emphasizes LSI/CSI management, but TFP does factor CSI into pool care routine and the PoolMath app will make recommendations for level adjustment.

Question 1: Is there a notable difference in the LSI levels that Orenda recommends, and the corresponding CSI/Calcium levels that TFP recommends?
Orenda prescribes an LSI level between -0.30 and +0.30 year round.
TFP prescribes a calcium level of 350-550.
Are these ranges comparable?

Question 2: Since Orenda's startup process maintains a higher calcium level, will my values "be out of whack" according to TFP when I take over the pool? Also, we're coming into winter in Dallas, which I know cold water can cause CSI levels to be crazy as well - what do I need to expect / prepare for?

Organic Waste Management (no TFP wiki on enzymes to link to)
Orenda wants to supplement Chlorine with enzymes or secondary oxidation systems. This pillar seems to conflict the most with TFP values, mainly because they are additional expenses that aren't required (trust me, we don't need to get into commentary on secondary oxidation systems in this thread!). Essentially, chlorine is cheaper than adding enzymes, chlorine is needed regardless if you add enzymes or not, so K.I.S.S. There's no harm it appears to adding enzymes, just is typically a needless expense if TFP-recommended chlorine levels are maintained.

I'm going to plan on ignoring this advice.

Phosphate Removal

It doesn't look like TFP really tracks phosphates, and obviously Orenda wants to sell their products, and recommends low phosphate levels. Both Orenda and TFP agree phosphate removal is a proactive action. It seems TFP's advices is to only introduce phosphate removers if you have trouble maintaining FC/CYA ratio. Since the Orenda Startup includes all phosphate-free chemicals (or so I've been told), as well as phosphate removers, I'm assuming I won't have to really worry about phosphates when I take over.

I'm going to plan on ignoring this section, unless I run into challenges maintaining FC/CYA ratio down the line.

Minimal CYA
I think that both Orenda and TFP do a good job educating owners on the effect of high CYA and chlorine over stabilization. Both Orenda and TFP recommend non-stabilized chlorine. However, TFP's recommended levels of CYA, especially for salt water pools, are much higher than Orenda's recommended levels. Orenda wants <30ppm CYA regardless if your pool is salt or not.

My current plan of attack: Keep CYA levels relatively low (around 30ppm?) until the 30 day mark (when SWG can take over) and plan on ramping up CYA closer to then. Or should I immediately try to get CYA up to 40-50 range after Orenda Startup is complete?

Overall, how do my thoughts / plan sound? I plan on using PoolMath and as much as possible adding chemicals that target one value at a time (so instead of using pucks I'll probably use liquid chlorine/bleach and stabilizer). Are there any products (besides bleach) I should go ahead and start buying, or wait until I see where my levels are closer to fill completion?


Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
Northern NJ
Pool Size
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Here is a thread on the Orenda startup program...