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Thread: Need help with starting chlorine after drain/refill

  1. #1
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    Default Need help with starting chlorine after drain/refill

    Hi all - so I am about to drain and refill my pool - water is scheduled to be delivered tomorrow afternoon. Have talked to our original installer at length and am aware of the precautions to take in the process. I have looked at a lot of places on the website and in the forum for specifics of how to start adding chemicals to the pool ( chlorine specifically) and have bits and pieces of it in my head. Was wondering if someone could write it all out stepwise - along with things to avoid - so I can start right away when water is in and already have on hand the chemicals I will need. I have a 10 thousand gallon above ground vinyl oval pool.

    Chemicals I already have on hand include
    1. Buckman's liquid shock 12.5% sodium hypochlorite ( I know you all recommend regular bleach but wanted to know if it was OK to use this up first since I recently bought it)

    2. Conditioner and chlorine stabilier - 100% isocyanuric acid
    3. 3 inch 7day jumbo tabs - trichlorisocyanuric acid
    3. pH plus - Na carbonate
    4. pH minu - Na Bisulphate
    5. alk plus - Na Hydrogen carbonate
    6. algaecide 50 ( which I have read here not to use)

    I am happy to buy different things just wanted your guidelines of what and how to proceed. Thanks! aciam

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    Default Re: Need help with starting chlorine after drain/refill

    It is fine to use the 12.5% chlorine. It is the same as bleach, only stronger. (Bleach is 6% sodium hypochlorite.) After you get a few feet of water in the pool, go ahead and start drizzling a little chlorine in there and stir it around with a clean broom or something. Continue to do so after another couple of feet. Be careful not to splash any on yourself or the liner.)

    After the pool is full and you start the pump, you can make any adjustments to pH that you need. (Test your fill water tomorrow and post results.)

    You'll have to decide if you want to just add stabilizer separately to get to about 40ppm or add some separately to get to a lower level and then use some of the pucks to get the rest of the way to your target level. Most people like 40-50ppm of CYA.

    Post test results tomorrow and also decide how you want to add the CYA and somebody here can take you from there.

    EDIT --- Also, we need to know what type of pool this is, and its volume. Also, what type of filter and size of pump you have.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Need help with starting chlorine after drain/refill

    So, the type of pool and size is listed in my first post - 10 thousand gallon above ground vinyl pool 15ft x 26ft
    Sand filter with 1.5 HP pump

    What are the pros and cons of adding stabilizer separately vs adding some to get a lower level and then using the pucks over the long term? Can people maintain their FC levels better using liquid or powder bleach vs the tablets? I have read about how higher CYA levels need higher chlorine levels and problems can arise over time if it gets too high. How do I avoid that if at all possible?

    What level of chlorine am I shooting for in the freshy filled running pool? shock level or just 2-4 ppm swimming level?

    FYI - we are changing the sand today too. Thanks. aciam

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    Default Re: Need help with starting chlorine after drain/refill

    OOPS. I missed your pool info in your first post.

    I'm not sure that there are real pros and cons regarding the ways to add CYA. Probably more of a preference than anything. Or, if somebody already has trichlor pucks that they want to use up, then that may influence their decision.

    You can maintain FC levels with any form of chlorine. Just have to test and add appropriate amounts. If you maintain levels appropriately and don't have a need to shock, using pucks is fine, but you can't shock a pool with pucks.

    In a freshly filled pool with no cya yet, a cl level of 1-3 is sufficient for sanitation purposes. However, with no cya, you lose it all really fast, so I would say take the cl up to 6 after your swimmers get out and that gives you some wiggle room when you lose it. You'll have to add it a couple times a day for the first week or so until you get some stabilizer in there.

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    Default Re: Need help with starting chlorine after drain/refill

    OK. so I will drizzle the bleach in when the new water goes in. How much should I try to get in? it is cloudy and cold today so no swimming today - maybe I should shoot for 5-6 and add 1/2 gal of the 12.5 % bleach?

    I think I will start out by adding CYA to get to about 20 at first - rather undershoot than overshoot. Can I mix the powder up in water and add it to the pool shortly after the bleach?

    And then do I put a puck in the skimmer?

    How would you do it if it were your pool starting fresh? I really like the BBB method and have printed off the reference sheets for me to use as a guide. So I am happy to scrap all the chemical I have in my closet and start fresh with what you all recommend. Thanks. aciam

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    Default Re: Need help with starting chlorine after drain/refill

    If you add 1/2 gallon of 12/5% to a filled 10K pool, it will add a little more than 6ppm of cl. If you drizzle in the same amount to a partially filled pool, it will be higher than that depending on how much water is in the pool.

    CYA is slow dissolving. You won't be able to mix it in a bucket of water and have it dissolved so it would just sit on the pool floor. You don't want that. Just wait until the pool is filled to get the CYA in there.

    If I were doing a fresh fill, I would just add the CYA separately. But, there is not right or wrong way of the ways we discussed in this thread. If you want to add about 20ppm of CYA outright, and then use some of the trichlor pucks for a bit, that is just fine. If you decide to do it that way, please make sure the pucks are just trichlor and don't also have other things in them as well like copper for example. You can put pucks in the skimmer but you must make sure to run the pump 24/7 the whole time if you do so because they are so acidic.

    I just thought of one drawback to adding some CYA and then going with pucks. It will require you to test your CYA more often throughout the summer. That isn't a big deal really, but the kits only have a certain amount of the CYA reagent. If you just add it outright, you won't have to test but maybe 2 or 3 times and then once the level is set, you can forget about it for the summer. Like I said, not a biggie.

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    Default Re: Need help with starting chlorine after drain/refill

    thanks watermom - I have an unrelated question right now - at the end of last season we had a bad bloom of pink algae - we were using baquacil at the time and it was very hard to treat. I tried to bleach my ladder as best I could. I just pulled it out of storage to put it in the pool this morning and in my inspection I noticed that there looks like there might be a lot of dried pink algae stuck inside the bottom step. impossible to clean - and I'm sure the other step have some inside too. The ladder has hollow metal candy cane shaped sides with plastic steps screwed in for the above ground pool - the whole thing then screws into the metal deck attached to the long side of the pool.

    I decided not to put it in the pool this morning becasue I was worried that the algae would "reactivate" in some way. I had looked into getting a new ladder last year but found it wouldnt be that easy. Do I need to look harder? or am I ok to put it in? I just picked up some polyquat that Ben had recommended for the pool and was planning on putting some in this morning ( although I admit I'm not sure of the dose - he didnt tell me that) Would that help? Thanks. aciam

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    Default Re: Need help with starting chlorine after drain/refill

    My thought is to spray bleach on the ladder and then hose it off a half hour later or so, but I am not sure. I'll ask Ben about this. He is pretty busy this weekend and it may be a bit before he gets an answer back to us.

    Regarding Polyquat, it should tell on the label what the dosage is per volume. Be aware that it will cause your FC to drop drastically, so you'll need to add more chlorine after a few hours to bring it back up. Having said that, I have a question for you. Did Ben suggest that you add Polyquat when you were battling your water problems before you drained and refilled? If that is the case, you don't have to add Polyquat to a fresh fill but you can if you want. It actually isn't necessary to use algaecides if water chemistry is maintained properly. I never do. But, it is ok to do so if you want.

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    Default Re: Need help with starting chlorine after drain/refill

    I did bleach it last year but then put it back in the pool to use for the remainder of the summer once we cleared the pink algae. I am in no rush to put the ladder in - would rather wait and be sure than create another problem.

    So, I did not use polyquat on my troubled water but spoke with Ben last night because my new fresh water ( after I added the bleach we talked about) tested a CC of 5 - which had me in tears. We discussed a plan to move forward which included polyquat because the man who brought the water suggested I test for metals before adding chlorine because he had seen some pools that he had filled go green after adding the bleach. Ben suggested polyquat to prevent that from happening since he figured the water man must know his water.

    I haven't added it yet because I only have a FC this morning of 0.5. ( my cc is still 5.5) I added 3 lbs of CYA by the skimmer, and also put a puck in this morning - but I am assuming this will only bring the FC up a little bit. So, what should I do now? I had asked Ben if I should try to get the FC levels up by pouring in bleach but he said not to lest I turn it green. I think he wanted to bindup the metals with the poly first. But my sense was he just wanted me to run it at the low swimming doses for now and see what happened. So, should I add a little bleach first then a little polyquat? add polyquat then bleach? My pool is not green at all - should I scrap the polyquat? Can i add bleach with the puck in the skimmer? ( I know that is a basic question - sorry - I have no idea how to manage a chlorine pool)

    The bottle of poly offers 2 doses - one for freshly filled pools ( 8-11 oz) and one for maintenance ( 2-4 oz) I could always just dose low to start, protect the pool from oxidizing metals and different colors and then I am free to raise the chlorine levels if I need to.

    Sorry for all the questions and confusion. My ph is fine btw 7.6 and 7.8. alk 70. so not doing a lot on those ends. I went to Ben about my CC because it is just too complicated to post here. He had me check my reagents and we plan to watch the numbers for a bit. Apparently we are in unchartered territory - again. aciam.

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