How to Setup and Use The Orenda Startup Barrel™

June 1, 2020

The Orenda Startup Barrel™

How to set up and use

Orenda Startup Barrel PDF


This procedure only covers how to set up the Orenda Startup Barrel™. Click here for the step-by-step Orenda Startup™ procedure.

The Orenda Startup Barrel™ is a 55 or 30-gallon plastic barrel that allows water to be pre-treated before filling a freshly-plastered swimming pool or other watershape. The barrel is normally used for pre-dissolving calcium chloride or sodium bicarb (only one or the other, never at the same time), along with SC-1000 and muriatic acid. The practice is to direct a portion of the fill water through the Startup Barrel and allow the pre-treated water in the tank to overflow down a 1.5" vacuum hose into the pool.

Related: How to Implement the Orenda Program

You will need:

Included with the Startup Barrel Kit (basic)

  • 55 or 30 gallon LDPE plastic barrel (and lid) with PVC drain plug and heat-welded threaded bulkheads
  • Brass spigot and hose coupling
  • 90º 1.5" plastic barbed fitting for vacuum hose connection

Also Included with the Complete Startup Barrel Kit (with platform) 

  • Plastic platform with a float-ball shutoff valve
  • T receiver with hose couplings and one (1) plug 
  • Flex hose stem to connect the platform to the barrel
    • Flex hose includes a brass spigot, ball valve and connection unions

Not included:

  • 1.5" pool vacuum hose
  • 2" hose clamp
  • 1" male threaded 90º PVC elbow and 1" PVC pipe to direct water from inlet to the bottom of the barrel
  • Clean garden hose
  • Plastic tarp
  • Chemicals necessary for startup

Preparation of other supplies

  1. You will need to know the tap water chemistry of what will be filling the pool. If the water is going to be trucked in, be prepared to test the truck water prior to them filling the pool, and give yourself enough time to prep the barrel before the truck begins to fill.
  2. Bring the chemicals necessary to the job site (per the Orenda App's dosing instructions).

Setup and Use

  1. Set up the Orenda startup barrel (and platform, if applicable) on a plastic tarp on the edge of the pool, nearest the deep end.
  2. Connect hoses to the tank and/or platform (if applicable). Secure the vacuum hose to the barbed fitting with a 2" hose clamp.
  3. Begin filling the tank with water until it has about 6 inches remaining before it overflows down the vacuum hose into the pool.
    • If only one water hose is available, use a Y splitter with shut-off valves to allow half the water to go directly into the pool for filling, and the other half be fed through the barrel.
  4. Add the necessary calcium chloride or sodium bicarb (per Orenda App dosing instructions) to the barrel of water and stir. Be cautious, dissolving calcium gets hot. If using calcium chloride...
    • Add between 16 fl.oz. and 32 fl.oz. of the SC-1000 purge dose to the barrel after the calcium has been added. This will help dissolve calcium chloride.
    • To offset the high pH of SC-1000 in the barrel, add 12 fl.oz. of muriatic acid per 32 fl.oz. of SC-1000 directly into the barrel. Do all of this prior to overflowing the pre-treated water into the pool.
  5. Tie the vacuum hose to fill hose(s) and wrap them all in a cloth or sock. Tape them together to a closed empty bottle (which serves as a float).
  6. Wait until the water in the barrel has cooled down and is clear enough to see the bottom of the barrel.
  7. When the plasterers are ready for the hose to begin fill up, hand them the tied hoses (from step 5 above).
  8. Add the remainder of the SC-1000 startup dose to the bottom of the pool as soon as the water turns on. If there is no main drain pot, begin filling the pool with water and add the SC-1000 as soon as possible.
  9. Once water begins filling the pool, open up flow into the barrel and adjust the flow rate so that it overflows steadily down the vacuum hose (less than halfway up the height of the hole).

Additional information

This startup device should only be used with SC-1000 already in the pool, as it feeds calcium-rich water early on in the filling process. Without SC-1000, the pool may form scale. Be cautious when mixing calcium. Always add calcium to water, not water to calcium. Do NOT put calcium in the bottom of the tank prior to filling it with water. 




More Questions?



All information provided is intended for educational purposes and is not implied to replace consultation with a qualified pool professional. It is recommended that all information from this or any other source is to be performed assuming individuals performing these functions will consult local state and federal requirements before you act upon it in any way. While this site attempts to provide information that may be relevant to you, no guarantees are made that some relevant information will not be missed. We recommend you consult a local pool professional before acting. 

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