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Thread: Acid start or chlorine start after re plaster?

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    Acid start or chlorine start after re plaster?

    As some of you know I am getting ready to replaster a pool in a house I am purchasing. I'm probably been overthinking this, but I am trying to be as prepared as possible. I have read where acid start style up eliminates much of the brushing, is this true? What is the best way to ensure I get the best finished job. Thanks


    ~14K gallon - AquaRite AQR15 SWG - pool Newly plastered on April 9 2016
    TF100 kit - STA-RITE SYSTEM3 Modular Media Filtration - Model S8M150
    Pool water supply from on site water well = CH of ~350 and TA of ~350
    Doheny's Discovery Automatic Robotic Cleaner/Pentair Model 011018 VS Pump
    Sundance Altamar Hot tub separate from pool / central Oklahoma

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    Mod Squad Jimrahbe's Avatar
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    Re: Acid start or chlorine start after re plaster?

    Lykly,

    Are you going to re-plaster the pool yourself? If not, the company that does the re-plaster will either perform the initial restart, or will have instructions that they would like followed. They may, or may not, warranty their work if their methods are not followed. I'd ask them first and see what they recommend.

    Jim R.
    Finished in 2015 - 17K Gal, IG, 20' x 25' Almost Rectangular Pool, Pebble finish, three rockport water falls. Pentair Equipment: EasyTouch 4, IC40 SWG, 3 HP VS Pump, CCP520 Cartridge Filter.
    TF100 with SpeedStir and SampleSizer, ColorQ Pro 7, Dolphin Premier Robot Cleaner, added Screen Logic 2, added small 3 person Calder Spa.

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: Acid start or chlorine start after re plaster?

    +1 to what Jim said!

    The Bicarbonate Startup Process as described by TFP Plaster Expert onBalance produces the highest quality plaster finish. Sadly, few plasterers follow this procedure and too many do the Acid-Startup process which produces the poorest quality plaster finish. The acid start process is used widely because it's cheap and easy to perform and allows the pool owner to jump right in whereas the bicarbonate startup requires a 30-day waiting period.

    Yes, you will brush less with an acid start process but only because the calcium plaster dust is dissolved into the pool water (raising your CH) instead of being filtered out like in the bicarbonate process.

    You can see if your plaster contractor will be willing to do a bicarbonate startup but I highly doubt it nor will they likely warranty their work if you require it.


    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Acid start or chlorine start after re plaster?

    I am in to watch and learn on this one.

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Acid start or chlorine start after re plaster?

    Thank you for the replies, I am hiring it done by a guy who has been doing it in this area for 30 years. I guess I did not realize it was up to the plasterer if it was a chlorine or acid decision. I was under the impression it would be up to me how I wanted to do it after he did the job and I filled the pool. I thought I could either choose chlorine or acid at that point. I really appreciate the replies and advice. It sounds like if those are the only two likely choices I should go with the chlorine, providing I have a choice? After reading the replies, I will discuss further with the person doing the job.


    ~14K gallon - AquaRite AQR15 SWG - pool Newly plastered on April 9 2016
    TF100 kit - STA-RITE SYSTEM3 Modular Media Filtration - Model S8M150
    Pool water supply from on site water well = CH of ~350 and TA of ~350
    Doheny's Discovery Automatic Robotic Cleaner/Pentair Model 011018 VS Pump
    Sundance Altamar Hot tub separate from pool / central Oklahoma

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    Re: Acid start or chlorine start after re plaster?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lykly View Post
    Thank you for the replies, I am hiring it done by a guy who has been doing it in this area for 30 years. I guess I did not realize it was up to the plasterer if it was a chlorine or acid decision. I was under the impression it would be up to me how I wanted to do it after he did the job and I filled the pool. I thought I could either choose chlorine or acid at that point. I really appreciate the replies and advice. It sounds like if those are the only two likely choices I should go with the chlorine, providing I have a choice? After reading the replies, I will discuss further with the person doing the job.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    I'm not sure what you mean by a "chlorine start"? There is no chlorine-start process. Please see this Pool School - Start-Up New Plaster article for details on the three plaster startup processes.

    All new plaster starts will have chlorine added to the water at some point, usually after 72 hours or so. You must chlorinate water to disinfect it. The only limitation in the chlorination methods is that, for new plaster and a salt-water chlorine generator (SWG), you MUST wait 30 days before adding salt to the water. This wait period before salt is very important because it allows the plaster time to cure and form a dense calcium carbonate / calcium silicate surface layer. Salt interferes with the proper formation of calcium carbonate and can lead to a weaker carbonate layer. While waiting for the plaster to cure, SWG pools can be manually chlorinate with bleach or higher strength liquid chlorine sources. Trichlor pucks are also not recommended during start-up as trichlor is very acidic and can lead to etching of a fresh plaster surface.

    Talk to your plasterer but I suspect you will have to follow his start-up process in order to obtain a full warranty. Also check with details about the warranty. Some people have tried to get warranty work done on their plaster only to have the plaster company tell them they need to furnish proof of chemical balance in order to show that it was not the pool owners fault for letting the water get too aggressive. Many times they require a record of test results and will often only accept test results that come form a pool store. So ask your plasterer what the details are for his warranty.
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Acid start or chlorine start after re plaster?

    I have a friend who sent onbalance's bi-carb set-up (linked above) to his pool builder. The pool builder was open-minded to learn new things and tried it with great success.

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    Re: Acid start or chlorine start after re plaster?

    Sorry, I meant traditional start up not chlorine start up. I'll talk to my plasterer about these options. Also this will be filled from a well water source, so I'm thinking the total hardness is between 200 and 300, maybe I will have good water depending on the alkalinity for a bicarbonate start up.


    ~14K gallon - AquaRite AQR15 SWG - pool Newly plastered on April 9 2016
    TF100 kit - STA-RITE SYSTEM3 Modular Media Filtration - Model S8M150
    Pool water supply from on site water well = CH of ~350 and TA of ~350
    Doheny's Discovery Automatic Robotic Cleaner/Pentair Model 011018 VS Pump
    Sundance Altamar Hot tub separate from pool / central Oklahoma

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    Re: Acid start or chlorine start after re plaster?

    Have you tested the well for iron? Iron is one of the biggest headaches we see on TFP.

    Many folks think you just get rid of it but you do not......it is very troublesome.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Acid start or chlorine start after re plaster?

    +1 ^^^^^^

    You might to consider trucking in fill water to start your pool with. If the well has iron in it, then there's no point in ruining a new plaster job with iron stains.


    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Acid start or chlorine start after re plaster?

    I will bring the water in to be tested for iron. I just ran samples taking from a Spicket and this is what I got.
    PH 7.3
    TA 325
    CH 250
    Using Taylor k2106 kit

    These numbers look good for a bicarbonate fill if I understand correct? How much iron is too much? I need to take it and be tested. Most of people in the addition don't use a softener so I am hopeful it is within range. What is an acceptable number for iron? Thanks to all of you.


    ~14K gallon - AquaRite AQR15 SWG - pool Newly plastered on April 9 2016
    TF100 kit - STA-RITE SYSTEM3 Modular Media Filtration - Model S8M150
    Pool water supply from on site water well = CH of ~350 and TA of ~350
    Doheny's Discovery Automatic Robotic Cleaner/Pentair Model 011018 VS Pump
    Sundance Altamar Hot tub separate from pool / central Oklahoma

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: Acid start or chlorine start after re plaster?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lykly View Post
    I will bring the water in to be tested for iron. I just ran samples taking from a Spicket and this is what I got.
    PH 7.3
    TA 325
    CH 250
    Using Taylor k2106 kit

    These numbers look good for a bicarbonate fill if I understand correct? How much iron is too much? I need to take it and be tested. Most of people in the addition don't use a softener so I am hopeful it is within range. What is an acceptable number for iron? Thanks to all of you.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Can you please add the details of your pool (volume, equipment, etc) to your signature? It helps us to analyze your situation better.

    Yes, those numbers do look good for a bicarb startup but we'd need to calculate the CSI for the water to see where it is at. I'm surprised the pH is that low with TA as high as it is, but the pH will rise as CO2 outgasses from the water.

    0ppm Fe is optimal, 0.5ppm is livable and anything at or above 2ppm is bad. At 2ppm, Fe can start scaling out when the pH rises and you add chlorine (chlorine oxidizes iron). The water in contact with the new plaster surface will have a higher pH value than the bulk pool water because the plaster emits a small amount of slack lime ( Ca(OH)2 ) into the water as it cures. This will raise the pH and give any iron more of an opportunity to scale and stain fresh plaster. So, depending on what's in your well water, you may need to truck fill water in and then come up with a strategy for your fill water needs. If the well has high Fe content, then you're really going to need to manage your fill water additions from the well or else you'll be battling Fe stains for the foreseeable future. It is also advisable to restrict your fill water use from the well because the high TA (350ppm) will cause you pH problems (ever rising pH) although that is much preferable to iron staining.

    As for water softeners, they typically treat calcium but have minimal impact on iron. If iron from the well water were a significant issue, you'd need a specialized iron filter to remove it.

    You might want to get your water analyzed by an independent lab, i.e., NOT the pool store. There are labs that will test well water for a fee and, in some areas, the local municipal water company can provide a list of testing companies they use. Some municipal water districts will even pay for homeowners to test their wells. Please look into that option because it will be way more reliable than a pool store.
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Acid start or chlorine start after re plaster?

    Thank you for the reply, I have had different opinions on the size of the pool, I think it is around 18,000 gallons best I can tell. This is a home I am buying and do not take possession until next week, that is why I am a bit shy on all the details. I went to the house and got a water sample from the hose Spicket, what should be a pretty good representative sample of the well water. The pool will be replastered as a result of the inspection. I am doing my best to have it done right and trying to be proactive. I will let you know what the iron result comes back up.


    ~14K gallon - AquaRite AQR15 SWG - pool Newly plastered on April 9 2016
    TF100 kit - STA-RITE SYSTEM3 Modular Media Filtration - Model S8M150
    Pool water supply from on site water well = CH of ~350 and TA of ~350
    Doheny's Discovery Automatic Robotic Cleaner/Pentair Model 011018 VS Pump
    Sundance Altamar Hot tub separate from pool / central Oklahoma

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    Acid start or chlorine start after re plaster?

    OK just leaving the pool shop. Here's what they got
    pH 7.4,
    TA 330,
    CH 290
    Total dissolved solids -500
    copper/iron - 0
    Pool size is approximately 18,000
    gallons,
    not heated,
    Chlorine.
    I will convert to salt water generator when appropriate. Filter is a system 3 by Starite. It has elements, not sand. That's about all I know about the pool. Right now I'm trying to be sure I get the plaster job done correctly. I guess I still need to get the iron checked someplace other than here, but the fact that they got zero is encouraging.


    ~14K gallon - AquaRite AQR15 SWG - pool Newly plastered on April 9 2016
    TF100 kit - STA-RITE SYSTEM3 Modular Media Filtration - Model S8M150
    Pool water supply from on site water well = CH of ~350 and TA of ~350
    Doheny's Discovery Automatic Robotic Cleaner/Pentair Model 011018 VS Pump
    Sundance Altamar Hot tub separate from pool / central Oklahoma

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Acid start or chlorine start after re plaster?

    I do have to say that the metal test is one of the test they get right some of the time so.............

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Acid start or chlorine start after re plaster?

    Using your well water accomplishes the same as performing a Bicarb start-up. One correction from above: There is no need to wait 30 days to begin swimming with a Bicarb start-up. And yet, an acid start-up should be neutralized and balanced before jumping into the pool water.

    You are doing the right thing to follow the above advise about being careful regarding iron, and to double check the iron content, especially with well water.

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    Acid start or chlorine start after re plaster?

    So is this fill water from my well OK to use, or is the alkalinity too high? After the wait is over is it going to be difficult to lower the TA to acceptable levels? I'm a bit confused from the replies. If I am reading joyfulnoise post right, I should not use the well water? If possible I would like to use it to simplify things.


    ~14K gallon - AquaRite AQR15 SWG - pool Newly plastered on April 9 2016
    TF100 kit - STA-RITE SYSTEM3 Modular Media Filtration - Model S8M150
    Pool water supply from on site water well = CH of ~350 and TA of ~350
    Doheny's Discovery Automatic Robotic Cleaner/Pentair Model 011018 VS Pump
    Sundance Altamar Hot tub separate from pool / central Oklahoma

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    Re: Acid start or chlorine start after re plaster?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lykly View Post
    So is this fill water from my well OK to use, or is the alkalinity too high? After the wait is over is it going to be difficult to lower the TA to acceptable levels? I'm a bit confused from the replies. If I am reading joyfulnoise post right, I should not use the well water? If possible I would like to use it to simplify things.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    If the well water tests for significant iron content (>1.5ppm), then I would not use the well water to do the initial fill. I do not trust pool store testing.

    If the well water is free of iron (<0.5ppm), then I would use it as it is perfectly suited (as onBalance noted) for a bicarbonate startup (it's high in alkalinity and calcium).

    If you plan to use your well water for any purpose (initial fill and/or topping off during the season), then be advised that the alkalinity is very high and you will have to watch your pH carefully since high alkalinity water leads to aggressive pH rise. This is a future concern, not an immediate concern.

    Does that clear up my position for you?

    Good luck,
    Matt
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Acid start or chlorine start after re plaster?

    Thank you Matt. Yes it does clear it up, my question now is how do I get the alkalinity down where it does not cause me pH problems going forward? Once the time needed passes and I have to get all the chemistry correct, how will I lower the TA while maintaining correct pH? Sorry for all these questions, I am an obvious newbie. Also I think the CSI would be .5 by my numbers? Is that a good number?


    ~14K gallon - AquaRite AQR15 SWG - pool Newly plastered on April 9 2016
    TF100 kit - STA-RITE SYSTEM3 Modular Media Filtration - Model S8M150
    Pool water supply from on site water well = CH of ~350 and TA of ~350
    Doheny's Discovery Automatic Robotic Cleaner/Pentair Model 011018 VS Pump
    Sundance Altamar Hot tub separate from pool / central Oklahoma

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: Acid start or chlorine start after re plaster?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lykly View Post
    Thank you Matt. Yes it does clear it up, my question now is how do I get the alkalinity down where it does not cause me pH problems going forward? Once the time needed passes and I have to get all the chemistry correct, how will I lower the TA while maintaining correct pH? Sorry for all these questions, I am an obvious newbie.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Not a problem, we were all newbies once.

    Follow the process HERE for lowering total alkalinity. Basically its the acid/aeration process. You add acid to your water to lower the pH to 7.0-7.2 (which also lowers TA), then you aerate your water to get the pH up (aeration raises pH without raising TA). You keep repeating the cycle until your TA comes down to a point where you can find a stable pH. It's a very slow process and it uses a lot of acid, so that is why you need to be careful with high TA fill water.
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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