WHAT TO EXPECT?

wardsntx

Well-known member
Jun 18, 2007
223
Spring, Texas
Ok, so we are a couple of weeks away (hopefully) to filling the pool. I have been lurking around reading about BBB etc... and how the PH will be real high as the Pebble/Plaster cures. I grew up with a pool, but I only remember putting chloring tablets in the skimmers, dipping the test kit in the water and putting in drops....everything else my dad did...except the brushing, vaccuming and skimmer cleaning...that was me too.

I really want to make sure that I know the chemistry for our pool and what I need to do in ordered to make it pleasurable.

What should I expect the first few weeks before the SWG goes online? I have a waterfall/slide as well as a spill over from the spa. I could only expect that this will really affect the water chemistry.

Sorry if I sound like a complete idiot, but I just want to understand what the most iportant things for me to do immediately after fill so when the SWG does come online, there won't be a ton of extra work to fix the water.

Does any of this make sense?
 

waste

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 29, 2007
4,160
Coastalish 'down easter'
Jay, you don't sound like 'a complete idiot'! - you sound like a person who just dropped a wad of $$ and wants to protect his investment :super: and I congratulate you both on the new pool and the willingness to come here to learn how to care for it!! :-D

#1 - bleach, bleach bleach bleach... BLEACH!! Keep the pool sanitary! You'll have to add a LOT of bleach at first so get a few cases of unscented bleach from Walmart, K-Mart, grocery store, etc. That first week you will have ~ no cya in the water (see #2) and the summer sun will eat up your chlorine. You may want to pick up a small bucket of trichlor tabs and a floating dispenser to use during the first couple of weeks (the tabs will add chlorine, cya and help keep the pH a little lower)

#2 - cya (cyanuric acid aka stabilizer or conditioner) I would usually tell someone to shoot for ~ 30 ppm but since you are getting a SWCG, shoot for 50 ppm as a starting point (most want 60 - 80 ppm, but if you use the pucks and floater like I said in #1, you'll probably be close to 60 ppm by the time you turn on the unit) This product will protect your chlorine from UV degredation, during the first week you'll go through gallons of bleach because the sun will burn most of it out of the pool until your cya level is 25+, then you'll see that you won't need to add as much bleach every night to maintain a good level.

#3 (maybe this should have been #1) get a GOOD test kit, one that makes people think you're doing science experiments poolside - the one available here from Dave is a great! kit and quite a bargain! Keeping the water in check is a priority and the only way to know how your water is doing is by testing it regularly with a good kit !!!!!! If you have a good kit and can post the #s, we can help you do any other 'tweeking' that the pool needs.

You will need to know the calcium level and alkalinity, but the test kit will tell you them, and you can tell us and it'll all work out. You seem to realize that the pH will keep trying to climb on you, so you probably want to get a gallon of Muriatic acid to keep that in check (please be safe when adding the acid, if you need advice it's here) - it's considered a bad idea to use the dry acid (sodium sulfate) as it MAY harm the SWCG. I'm not sure of the reason, but you should wait a month before adding the salt, so bleach will be your best friend for 4 weeks :wink:

I hope this answers your question but, if you need a little more, just ask-- congrats on the impending pool and I hope it remains "TROUBLE FREE" :lol:
 

wardsntx

Well-known member
Jun 18, 2007
223
Spring, Texas
Waste,

Thanks for your reply. I know there are a lot of good people in here that are willing to help. I appreciate your info and I will be planning that trip to Sam's to get that bleach!

Thanks again and happy pooling!
 

ktdave

LifeTime Supporter
May 8, 2007
888
Katy, TX
Jay,
What waste said is right on the money, except in my case, I've already used a gallon-and-a half of muriatic acid and it's only been five days. The start-up guys put in some pucks (I think 4 trichlor, could have been cal hypo, don't know, 2 in each skimmer) that kept the FC up for a couple of days, otherwise I've been on my on. I mean no mention from anyone on ANYTHING related to pool chemistry. I feel that if I was not a regular on this forum, my pool would be a disaster right now! I have been adding acid like crazy, been putting in bleach every day, added some CYA (up to 40 ppm for now). I bought some calcium increaser to raise the CH, but I decided that it is rising pretty good on its own, will wait on that one. All this with no pool school or nothing, and I feel confident as a veteran (maybe prematurely). So yes, Dave's test kit and JasonLion's calculator, and the advice here will make this a breeze (except for the brush, brush, brushing that waterbear said I had to do).
 

wardsntx

Well-known member
Jun 18, 2007
223
Spring, Texas
Thanks Dave...

you would think that our PB would want to educate us as new buyers...sounds like I should not expect much from them once we start up.
 

waste

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 29, 2007
4,160
Coastalish 'down easter'
wardsntx said:
Thanks Dave...

you would think that our PB would want to educate us as new buyers...sounds like I should not expect much from them once we start up.
Jay, there are many different PBs out there, some are great and will tell you all the stuff you need to know, others will build the pool, add water and leave you on your own for a week or so - as I said, you are doing the best! thing by being here to learn this stuff (there's always the chance that your PB is going to tell you the right way to care for the pool, but it's a 'coin toss' as to whether he will). A lot of people on the 'pool sites' 'slam' the PBs, however there are hundreds of decent and consiencious PBs out there that ACTUALLY CARE about the product they've sold who will do as best they can to make your purchase worthwhile for you. As said before, you've done the BEST thing you could have in coming here to learn about and how to care for your new pool!!
 

wardsntx

Well-known member
Jun 18, 2007
223
Spring, Texas
Thanks Waste...

KTDave and myself are using the same builder, hence the reason for my comments about our builder. Either way, I definitely want to learn all that I can about keeping my pool "trouble free!" Thanks again for all the support.
 

Andiejj

Well-known member
Jul 19, 2007
188
Katy, TX
Yeah, PB/project manager/pool school did not tell us anything. After all was said and done we were left with a tube of test strips, box of MA, a bag of DE and a small bottle of some metal solution. Hubby nor I were told what we were suppose to do with any of it. I was under the impression we used the strips once a week.....a couple months later I was in trouble as my chem. was so outta whack. It took the Pentair guy (he came out to fix a problem with my wireless remote) to tell me I was running my pump too high. In fact the first thing he said was " Your elec. bill must be sky high". Told him it was and he pointed out that I paid a lot of $$$$ for my pump to save money on my elect. bill yet I was running it all wrong. He actually reprogrammed my system and explained a bunch of stuff to me. He fixed and checked all my equipment b/c he also stated that the way they had it programmed, my pump was going to burn out prematurly. UNBELIEVABLE. Thank goodness for this sight as it has taught me sooo much. Wish I had found this place before my pool was filled.

BTW - saw Joe's pool yesterday and it is very nice.
 

wardsntx

Well-known member
Jun 18, 2007
223
Spring, Texas
Yeah, I was going to go out yesterday to see it, but went riding motorcycle instead!!!

May try to get ou there this coming weekend to see it. Want to see his pebble too.

Can't believe that PB doesn't give better instruction. I have probably become PB and Supervisor's worst nightmare. I e-mail both and call Supervisor reminding him of what they need to do, what they have forgotten...almost like I am the General Contractor. I learned after building our house,you have to speak up immediately whenyou feel something is not right.

At first, Supervisor was very helpful etc...now, I have to call him for updates. All and all, the pool is looking great, but there is a small part of me that wonders if I would have had a better experience and quicker build by selecting another builder.

I know in the end, our family is going to have a very nice pool that we will enjoy for many years. It may just mean a little more self education to get there!
 

ktdave

LifeTime Supporter
May 8, 2007
888
Katy, TX
Keep on em Jay! You're right, they will provide you with an excellent product in the end that you will enjoy and forget about the next few weeks until its done.

Jason's been pestering me for the final check since last Tuesday. I called Adam on wednesday and told him that I didn't feel like I should give up the last check until the work was done (still need to seal the coping and fix my light). Adam said he didn't have a problem with that. Thay finally finished the coping and light today so I am officially done!

Lesson learned: I wish I would have been more in contact with Adam the entire time. It seems that you are doing that, if not, do so.

But, like I said, the pool they built for us is an excellent product. We've already spent more quality family time in our backyard in the last weekend than the five years we have lived in this house.

Good Luck moving forward Jay!