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How to Start Up a New Swimming Pool

The following is a description on how to start up a new pool that has just been installed along with some hints for continuous pool care and maintenance. If you have any questions, please call us or stop into our store. We have pools on display and can demonstrate these procedures.

HOW TO START UP A NEW POOL

New pool startup - Helpful Hints:

Pool Model: _________________________ Pool Size/Gallons: ____________________

Filter Model:________________________ Sand Lbs.:________ Earth Lbs.:_________

Water Level:

The water level should be maintained at the top of the weir door on the pool skimmer. If the water level is too low, the filter will take air into the system; (air in the system can cause the pump seal to burn out) and too high a level results in the water surface not being skimmed properly.

Priming the Pump:

Before you may operate the filter system, the pump needs to be primed. With the water at the proper level in the pool as outlined above, twist and open the clear cover on the pump slightly. This will allow the air to escape; and allow water in. Do not remove the cover completely, because as the water begins to flow out, you will not be able to get the cover in place again without getting very wet unless you have a water shut off valve on the front of the pump.

Sand Filter:

With filter off, put valve in backwash position. Turn the filter on and run until water comes out clear in the sight glass (30 to 60 seconds) NOTE: some sand will expel from the filter the first time it is turned on. This is normal.

Turn the filter off, and put valve into the rinse mode. (If filter has this mode). Turn on filter and run for 15 to 30 seconds until the water in the sight glass is clear.

Turn the filter off, put valve into filter mode for normal operation.

Earth Filter:

After the pool water is at the proper level, go to the chart below and determine the amount of earth to use in the filter.

EC 30              3 lbs.        3 - DE Scoops

EC 40              4 lbs.        4 - DE Scoops

EC50               5 lbs.         5 - DE Scoops

In a bucket, mix the earth with water until it is moist. Turn on the filter, and pour the earth/water mix into the skimmer slowly. The earth will work its way into the filter system by itself.    

Water Chemistry:

These chemicals should be put into the pool right away, once the water level is proper and the filter is operating. Select dosage from the chart and go to Application of Chemicals section.

Start up Chemical Dosage:

Gallons               5000  10000  15000  20000  25000  30000

Gran. Chlorine (oz.)  Daily Dose       2         4           6         8         10         12

Conc. Algaecide (oz.) Weekly Dose  0.75     1.5     2.25      3    3.75           4.5

Stabilizer (Lbs.) (One Time Dose)     1.5      3      4.5     6      7.5         9

Clarifier (oz.)  Weekly - Sand Filters     1     2 3     4       5 6        

        Application of Chemicals - Startup:

REMEMBER BEFORE HANDLING ALL POOL CHEMICALS, READ ALL SAFETY PRECAUTIONS ON THE LABEL OF ALL PRODUCTS

 

Granular Chlorine:

Granular chlorine is poured into the pool skimmer with the filter running. This allows the chlorine to dissolve and distribute throughout the pool. Note: Never broadcast chlorine into the pool as it may blow back into your face, and will damage the pool liner by bleaching it out if it sits on it for an extended time.

Chlorine Tablets - 3" Slow Dissolve:

The recommended way to use slow dissolve tablets is in an automatic chlorinator system; as opposed to putting in a skimmer or floating style chlorine feeder.

Automatic Chlorinator - turn off filter, turn off automatic chlorinator, open chlorinator and fill with tablets. Close chlorinator and adjust control valve per manufacturers recommendations.

If using tablets in skimmer, deposit tablets into skimmer basket (make sure basket is in the skimmer; do not put tablets in the strainer basket of the pump!). Please note/Caution: putting tablets in the skimmer may cause bleaching of the pool liner in front of the skimmer; and also allows children access to the tablets in the skimmer basket !

Quick Tablets:

Rapid or Quick Tabs - put into skimmer with filter running to  dissolve chlorine. NEVER PUT QUICK TABS INTO AN AUTOMATIC CHLORINATOR OR INTO STRAINER BASKET!

Algaecide:

The algaecide may be poured into the pool directly in front of the return fitting with the filter running. This allows the algaecide to be distributed throughout the pool.

Clarifier:

The Clarifier may be poured into the pool directly in front of the return fitting with the filter running. This allows the clarifier to be distributed throughout the pool.

Stabilizer:

The stabilizer should be dissolved in a bucket of warm water, so it is moist and pasty, and poured into the skimmer slowly with the filter running. This dissolves it completely and distributes it through the water. NOTE: DO NOT BACKWASH FOR 3 DAYS AFTER ADDING STABILIZER!

Daily Check:

You should check your skimmer baskets and strainer baskets for debris on a daily basis. Debris will reduce water flow through the filter system.

 

Application of Chemicals - During Season:

ALL CHEMICALS SHOULD BE ADDED AT NIGHT (Sundown)

Granular Chlorine:

Granular chlorine is poured into the pool skimmer with the filter running. This allows the chlorine to dissolve and distribute throughout the pool. Note: Never broadcast chlorine into the pool as it may blow back into your face, and will damage the pool liner by bleaching it out.

Chlorine Tablets - 3" Slow Dissolve:

The recommended way to use slow dissolve tablets is in an automatic chlorinator system; as opposed to putting in a skimmer or floating style chlorine feeder.

Automatic Chlorinator - turn off filter, turn off automatic chlorinator, open chlorinator and fill with tablets. Close chlorinator and adjust control valve per manufacturers recommendations.

If using tablets in skimmer, deposit tablets into skimmer basket (make sure basket is in the skimmer; do not put tablets in the strainer basket !). Please note/Caution: putting tablets in the skimmer may cause bleaching of the pool liner in front of skimmer; and also allows children access to the tablets in the skimmer basket !

Quick Tabs:

Rapid or Quick Tabs - put into skimmer with filter running to  dissolve chlorine. NEVER PUT QUICK TABS INTO AN AUTOMATIC CHLORINATOR OR STRAINER BASKET!

Liquid Chlorine:

Pour liquid chlorine around the perimeter of swimming pool directly into pool water. Caution: Liquid chlorine has a tendency to splash back. You should be very cautious with liquid chlorine and wear old clothes as any splash back will cause bleaching of your clothes.

Algaecide:

The algaecide may be poured into the pool directly in front of the return fitting with the filter running. This allows the algaecide to be distributed throughout the pool.

Clarifier:

The Clarifier may be poured into the pool directly in front of the return fitting with the filter running. This allows the clarifier to be distributed throughout the pool.

Stabilizer:

The stabilizer should be dissolved in a bucket of warm water, so it is moist and pasty, and poured into the skimmer slowly with the filter running. This dissolves it completely and distributes it through the water. NOTE: DO NOT BACKWASH THE FILTER FOR 3 DAYS AFTER ADDING STABILIZER!

pH +, pH -, Alkalinity Increaser:

Broadcast onto water surface. Product will settle, but will not harm liner. Never broadcast these products when it is windy out as it may blow back into your face.

Effects of Improper Water Balance

High pH - cloudy water

Low pH - acid water - causes burning eyes, corrosion to filter/heater

Low stabilizer- sun burns off chlorine to fast

High stabilizer- can prevent chlorine from killing bacteria, and algae due to not allowing the chlorine to release properly.

 * REMINDER - AS WATER TEMPERATURES INCREASE SO DOES CHLORINE CONSUMPTION *

 

 * REMEMBER BEFORE HANDLING ALL POOL CHEMICALS TO READ ALL SAFETY PRECAUTIONS ON LABEL OF ALL PRODUCTS *

Testing Water:           Test water every other day.

Strip Type:

Dip entire strip in to water for 1 second, pull out of water, hold flat for 30 seconds. Compare chlorine or bromine, pH, and alkalinity test pads to chart on bottle.

Drop Type:

Fill both sides of vile to line add 4 equal drops in both sides, shake and compare to film for results. When putting drops into vile, hold Oto/Phenol bottle vertical so drops will be the same size. Holding the bottle at an angle will result in improper test results. Test chemicals should be stored in a cool, dry place and replaced each year.

 * WE RECOMMEND YOU BRING US A SAMPLE OF WATER ONCE A MONTH TO HAVE ANALYZED BY OUR STAFF FOR PROPER CHEMICAL LEVELS*

Filter Run Time:

Depending on the size of your pool and your filter, you may need to run your filter anywhere from 8 to 12 hours per day. The best time to run your filter is in the evening hours after the sun is off of your pool.

 * REMEMBER AS WATER TEMPERATURES INCREASE AND BATHER LOAD INCREASE SO MUST FILTER RUN TIME, ALWAYS RUN FILTER AT NIGHT AFTER CHEMICALS HAVE BEEN ADDED *

Vacuuming Pool:

Connect vacuum head to telescopic vac pole; connect vac hose to vac head (If vac hose has swivel connector, place swivel connector on vac head.)

Submerge vac head into the water with hose attached and filter running - place vac hose in front of return fitting to blow water into hose and air out of the hose. Attach other end of hose to vac plate then, turn filter off, and place vac plate over basket in skimmer. Turn the filter on and you are ready to vacuum. Note: If you have poor suction through the vacuum, you probably have air in the vacuum line and/or filter system. 

It's a good idea to backwash your sand filter after each vacuuming or to BUMP DOWN your earth filter after each vacuuming. When you are done vacuuming rinse out vacuum hose with fresh water.

Automatic Pool Cleaner:

Submerge automatic vacuum into the water with the hose attached and the filter running - place hose in front of return fitting to blow water into hose and air out of the hose. Turn off filter. Remove hair and lint basket. Insert rubber cone into the hole in bottom of skimmer, and then attach the end of hose to the rubber cone. Turn the filter on and you are ready to have your pool vacuumed. Note: If you have poor suction through the automatic cleaner you probably have air in the vacuum line and/or filter system. 

Solar Cover:

Solar cover is installed on top of pool water with bubbles facing down. With bigger covers you may want to cut cover in half this will make it easier to remover and install on your pool. When you remove your cover from the pool fold cover neatly and place in the shade. The heat will burst bubbles in cover (This is not covered by cover warranties) the heat from the cover can also burn your lawn.

CAUTION: NEVER ALLOW ANYONE TO GET ON TOP OF, OR UNDERNEATH SOLAR COVER IN THE POOL AS DEATH MAY RESULT. CONSULT INSTRUCTIONS WHICH COME WITH SOLAR COVER FOR PROPER USAGE !

HELPFUL HINTS FROM POOLS UNLIMITED

Electrical:

Your electrical hookup should be run by a qualified electrician. A qualified electrician will know all of the local electrical codes for the town which you live in. Newer codes require that the pool is "bonded". Be sure to check local codes for proper bonding procedures.

Do not run the filter motor/pump on an extension cord as the current drops over the length of the cord and thus overheats the motor and shortens it's life. This is not covered under the pumps warranty!

You should have a ground fault circuit interrupter on the line to reduce the likely hood of an electric shock.

A switched outlet near the filter makes it easier to turn the filter on and off when backwashing, etc. In general, electrical codes do not allow an electrical outlet within 5’ of the swimming pool. This prevents people from plugging radios, tv’s, etc... in near the pool and prevents the risk of electrical shock.

Decks:

Decks should be built level with the pool top rail. If built higher than the top rail, you may need to purchase a new ladder to accommodate the additional height. If built over the top rail, winter freezing and thawing, may cause the deck to shift and damage the pool. Decks built to close to the top rail make it difficult to install the winter cover.

When installing the filter, avoid putting it under the deck as it becomes cumbersome to work on, backwash, etc...

The skimmer of the pool should not be located under the deck. The deck will shift in the winter, and can push down on the skimmer and either - break the skimmer, rip the skimmer out of the wall, or collapse the pool wall.

Final Landscaping:

Putting washed stones around the pool improves the appearance and also allows for better drainage. Be cautious when putting stones in, DO NOT throw them against wall as it will damage the wall by chipping paint, or scratching vinyl and resulting in a reduced life expectancy of structure.

Be cautious with plants,(they look great) but attract unwanted bees to the pool area and most plants can't handle the chlorine in the water.

Avoid close proximity to trees as trees will drop leaves and other debris into water; as well as shading the pool and reducing the average water temperatures.

Automatic Chlorinator Routine:

If you chose to add an automatic chlorinator system to your pool, you have taken an important step in reducing the maintenance of your pool.

The automatic chlorinator should be filled with chlorine tablets. Over time these will dissolve, and the canister will require refilling. How frequently the canister needs refilling will be based on pool size, dial setting, bather load, weather conditions etc... You will need to experiment to determine the correct setting for your pool size. The manual will list approximate settings.

Center Drain Operation:

The center drain allows you to improve the water circulation in your swimming pool.

The valve has basically three settings - full skimmer, full bottom drain, and half bottom drain and half skimmer.

To operate the filter by drawing water completely from the skimmer, point the arrow on the handle to the 2:00 position. This will allow the filter to draw water in completely from the skimmer. This position is good if you have alot of debris floating on the surface of the pool.

To operate the filter by drawing water completely from the bottom drain, point the arrow on the handle to the 8:00 position. This will allow the filter to draw water in completely from the bottom drain. This is good if you have dirt and debris on the bottom of the pool.

To draw water into the filter from both the bottom drain and the skimmer, position the arrow at either 12:00 or at 6:00.  This is the position you should use most of the time. This position provides the best water circulation. 

 

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