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Thread: New Plaster Pool Help

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    New Plaster Pool Help

    Hello Everyone~

    I am so very thankful for this forum! I have been scanning it for the past 7 months as my pool was under construction. Today is Saturday. ColorScapes Quartz Plaster was done on Thursday ( 2 days ago). As of yesterday morning (Friday), the pool is filled and I am ready for take-off ...but not sure how to "fly."

    BTW: No Acid washing was done on the plaster. Plaster was smoothed on...started the water...and off they went.

    Since it is a holiday weekend, I feel that I am on my own. Yesterday afternoon, the local pool guy stopped by to start the equipment. Pool was cloudy, so he gave me calcium powder to sprinkle in the pool. It's a little less cloudy today.

    We are brushing. Alkalinity is very low and pH is very high.

    I took measurements this morning (I have the TF-100 Test Kit)...and this is what I have...
    Chlorine = .5-1 range (pretty much non existent...almost clear)
    pH = 8.2 or higher (The color was really hot pink, so it probably is higher, but the reading only goes up to 8.2)
    Alkalinity = 40 (It turned pink, not red, so is that correct? I just stopped when it changed pinkish/reddish.)


    I do have a SWG, but won't be running it for another couple of weeks. I don't have ANY chemicals at this point, so I am ready to run out and get some. Pool guy told me to get a bucket of TriChlor Tabs and put them in the skimmers until we get the SWG up and running. Do I do add these pucks every day until SWG gets started?

    I've read some posts about about adding acid. Are they speaking about Cyanuric or Muriatic?

    I really need to get my pH down. Should I be adding Muriatic Acid (or Cyanaric) and TriChlor only at this time? If so, how much?

    Should I add a sequestrant? Pool guy mentioned nothing about it, but I read on here that it is important.

    Are there any danger signs I should watch out for with this new plaster, so I can catch it before it gets bad?

    I really don't want to screw things up...and I want to get in and swim asap. I was told by plaster people that we can swim anytime...just no sharp objects for 2 weeks. I just want to get pool chemistry right first.

    I know I will have SO many more questions as the weeks/months go by. Looking forward to hanging with my new pool "family."

    Thanks gang!
    30k gallon ~ 48' x 20' Roman Style Gunite
    ColorScapes Quartz Plaster
    SWG (SmartPure Sanitizer II)
    AquaCal Heatwave HQ155
    1.50 HP Hayward SmartMax Pump
    450 Sq./Ft. Hayward SwimClear Cartridge Filter

  2. Back To Top    #2
    maxepr1's Avatar
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    Re: New Plaster Pool Help

    Welcome! I would only start out with MA acid. Follow the POOL CALCULATOR on the amount. And I would do it in stages, like half and then a couple of hours latter the other half. Also brush brush brush! I'm sure they told you your finished look is all dependent on you and your BRUSHING!! Also watch your filter carefully! You are going to be backwashing allot! Leave the SWG off, I would ask the PB the warranty as far as chemicals. Maybe a puck or 2 in the skimmer. I would follow the POOL CALCULATOR and start to amass my chemicals now so when it's time to start you have them ready. Bleach, CYA, MA and Borax if you going to use. Also no Polaris during the first few weeks.
    40'x19' IG Diamond Brite 29K 4' Waterfall/Dive Rock FNS60 DE Inteliflo VS 2hp Whisperflo pumps Aqualogic(P4) SWG TF100 Tester


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  3. Back To Top    #3
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: New Plaster Pool Help

    Adding a startup dose of sequestrant with fresh plaster is a good idea. Probably nothing will happen to require it, but it is good insurance just in case.

    If we say acid without other words around it, we usually mean muriatic acid, a relatively inexpensive way to lower PH. Cyanuric acid should always be written out, or abbreviated as CYA, if that is what someone means.

    The National Plasters Council has some great new plaster startup instructions. The big things are to keep the PH under control, use trichlor tablets for the first few weeks, and don't adjust your levels, other than lowering PH and using trichlor tablets, for a few weeks.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Re: New Plaster Pool Help

    Great info. Exactly what I needed . Off to the store to get my chemicals.

    Thanks!
    30k gallon ~ 48' x 20' Roman Style Gunite
    ColorScapes Quartz Plaster
    SWG (SmartPure Sanitizer II)
    AquaCal Heatwave HQ155
    1.50 HP Hayward SmartMax Pump
    450 Sq./Ft. Hayward SwimClear Cartridge Filter

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    Re: New Plaster Pool Help

    Yesterday, I added a Trichlor puck to each skimmer. They are still there today.

    Here are my numbers from this morning...
    FC - .5
    CC - .5
    TC - .1
    pH - 8.0
    T/A - 50
    CH - 70

    I bought liquid Muriatic Acid from Lowes and Metal Free from Leslie's, however, I did not add them, yet. I only added a trichlor to each skimmer last night and they are still there.

    How would I add the acid & Metal free. Do I pour over the returns? Same time?
    Should I pour in bleach, since my chlorine pucks aren't doing much?

    I have paralysis analysis and I'm not sure what I am doing and I am afraid of doing something wrong.

    Thanks for any advise!
    30k gallon ~ 48' x 20' Roman Style Gunite
    ColorScapes Quartz Plaster
    SWG (SmartPure Sanitizer II)
    AquaCal Heatwave HQ155
    1.50 HP Hayward SmartMax Pump
    450 Sq./Ft. Hayward SwimClear Cartridge Filter

  6. Back To Top    #6
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: New Plaster Pool Help

    You are fine. You want the FC level to come up very gently with fresh plaster. Trichlor tablets are supposed to last two or three days, especially if the water isn't fully warmed up yet. Remember to keep the pump running 24/7.

    You can simply pour the Metal Free in slowly in front of a return jet, the same thing with the muriatic acid, just not at the exact same moment. I sugest starting with two cups of muriatic acid for today. The amount of acid required will probably go up day by day.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    guamguy's Avatar
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    Re: New Plaster Pool Help

    If you're using trichlor in the skimmers, make sure to run the pump 24/7. If the pump is shut off, a slug of high chlorine/low pH water will go through the plumbing once the pump is started again.
    12,800 gallon IG plaster kidney-shaped pool, waterslide, 800 gallon spa.
    1HP 2 speed Sta-Rite pool pump, 1.5 HP Sta-Rite spa jet pump. 2 skimmers, 1 main drain
    Purex-Triton TR-60 325 lb.sand filter. 2" Plumbing, Intex SWCG, TF-100 test kit.
    Link to pics of my pool! http://www.troublefreepool.com/my-oasis-t26558.html

  8. Back To Top    #8

    Re: New Plaster Pool Help

    Thanks. The trichlor tabs that I put in each skimmer 2 days ago are still there. I have been running pump 24/7, since Friday...today is Monday. I plan to keep running it, since we need to filter out the plaster dust from all the brushing.

    My biggest concern is the pH level. It has been 8.2 and 8.0 at the LOWEST. I added 2 cups of Muriatic Acid last night. Two cups around 10am this morning, and 2 cups again around 3pm.

    The pH has not budged.

    T/A has been around 40-50

    Any suggestions?

    I am getting worried about my new plaster.
    Thanks!
    30k gallon ~ 48' x 20' Roman Style Gunite
    ColorScapes Quartz Plaster
    SWG (SmartPure Sanitizer II)
    AquaCal Heatwave HQ155
    1.50 HP Hayward SmartMax Pump
    450 Sq./Ft. Hayward SwimClear Cartridge Filter

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: New Plaster Pool Help

    Use more acid at a time. You want to keep the PH below 8.0 at all times and you can lower it as low as 7.2 each time. During the first couple of weeks the acid demand can be dramatic, so stay on top of it.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Re: New Plaster Pool Help

    Thank you, Jason!

    How often can I add acid...and how long after I add it should I check it.

    If it is not at the level I want, should I continue this routine hour after hour (every 2 hours/3 hours, 4 hours?) , until it hits the right level?

    Does the acid evaporate from the pool or will it always be in there?

    Thanks. As you can tell, I am a definite Newbie and I really appreciate your insight!
    30k gallon ~ 48' x 20' Roman Style Gunite
    ColorScapes Quartz Plaster
    SWG (SmartPure Sanitizer II)
    AquaCal Heatwave HQ155
    1.50 HP Hayward SmartMax Pump
    450 Sq./Ft. Hayward SwimClear Cartridge Filter

  11. Back To Top    #11
    susa's Avatar
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    Re: New Plaster Pool Help

    easiest way with a brand new plaster pool is to use a floater (small white/blue plastic surface container) and load it up to the top with 5-6 tri-chlor tabs *and* dump in liquid chlorine (2-5 gallons based on size of pool). that will take care of the chlorine for the first few weeks and slowly bring up CYA. Tested pH before I installed the Simpool several times daily and adjusted each day as needed.

    I kept my pH at 7.2 to 7.4 first month and didn't start SWCG for two months to allow the plaster to cure.

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    Re: New Plaster Pool Help

    If it is not at the level I want, should I continue this routine hour after hour (every 2 hours/3 hours, 4 hours?)
    It varies from pool to pool but you should see the full effect of your dosages within an hour. I would recheck once daily at first and then you can be reassured to let it go longer (between tests AND dosages) as your pH will likely rise more slowly than that.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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  13. Back To Top    #13
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: New Plaster Pool Help

    The is a fresh plaster startup in the first week. You do not want to be dumping chlorine in the pool. It is important to raise both the FC and CYA levels very slowly and gradually, as recommenced by the National Plasterers Council. The pump needs to be running 24/7 anyway so trichlor in the skimmer is just fine.

    Muriatic acid breaks down into a little salt, which is completely harmless. You can add acid as often as hourly, but once you get the quantities figured out you should only need to add acid once or twice a day.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  14. Back To Top    #14

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    Re: New Plaster Pool Help

    Not completely related, but can you post a picture of your pool finish? We are still trying to decide what to refinish our pool with, and what I was able to find online was sort of limited, but enough to pique our interest.
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
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    Re: New Plaster Pool Help

    I would post a pic, but the plaster is so new and covered in white film. It would not give true color for a few weeks.
    30k gallon ~ 48' x 20' Roman Style Gunite
    ColorScapes Quartz Plaster
    SWG (SmartPure Sanitizer II)
    AquaCal Heatwave HQ155
    1.50 HP Hayward SmartMax Pump
    450 Sq./Ft. Hayward SwimClear Cartridge Filter

  16. Back To Top    #16

    Re: New Plaster Pool Help

    OMG, I just found this, and you sound just like I am right now! But this was over a month ago, so I need you to tell me how it's worked out! I'm so impressed that here you were already knowing how to test in your first week. My pool was plastered a week ago and they were doing stuff to it for the first few days, now it's a holiday weekend, I haven't really been shown anything, but happened to look online, EVERYwhere saying you have to test EVERY day, and add stuff, and I'm wondering why they haven't told me to do anything and worrying about my new plaster, kicking my *** brushing brushing every day hoping that's enough He did show me when he tested on Friday, I watched him, and pH was very high, but he said that's common with new plaster, and chlorine was almost nonexistent with tablets in each of my two skimmers. I barely understand any of it, the more I read, the more confused I seem to get Maybe I should run down to leslie's and have them test it and tell me what to do, except he made it sound like those places tell you whatever to get you to buy chemicals. The pool "looks" great, but there certainly doesn't seem to be the vigilance on the part of my PB real world as I read online like it's do or die with testing and balancing, and you can find 100 different suggestions on how to do it all. Anyway, since your state of mind so exactly matches mine with neurotically trying to care for and give your plaster it's best start for long life, I'd love to know how your curing has gone and whether your worry was well spent -?! thanks for any help or peace of mind ! Julie

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    Re: New Plaster Pool Help

    Hey Julie!

    Your post is funny, since I was in the exact place as you...with the holiday weekend and all. Our plaster was done on the Wednesday right before Memorial weekend...pool guy came Friday before Memorial weekend and turned on pump...but not much else. I felt abandoned.

    He did say that the pool was very cloudy. I said it was due to BRUSHING OF PLASTER DUST!...but he said you need this to be "shocked" and he threw in a bag of chlorine shock. I could not believe he did that, since chlorine was to go in slow with a plaster start-up. I was worried, but no harm done.

    He just came back this past week to start the SWG and show me how to clean out filter. That was about the 5 week mark.

    I have to say that my pool has been sparkling clean since the water went in. A few storms did make it cloudy, but it did clear up in a few hours with no extra chemicals.

    In the first 4 weeks that I was left on my own and prior to that, this forum was a great help. All I did was keep a 3" tri-chlor puck in each skimmer at all times. Once they were almost dissolved (every 2-3 days) I added a new one. I did add liquid Muriatic Acid that my husband got from Lowes. Be careful...I did breath fumes....hold your breath.

    I poured it into pool at my 2 returns. I kept adding 2-4 cups of acid/day until the level went down. I didn't measure...just poured. Now I only need to add acid every few days.

    I did add one bottle of sequestrant to bind up the floating metals, so they didn't stick to the plaster.

    That was it.

    The SWG has been on since this past Wednesday. (5 weeks, since plaster) We added salt 2 days leading up to that.

    I really feel like I still have a lot to learn, but the pool guy told me that he didn't need to go over stuff with me, since I knew so much. He said some people don't even know what kind of pool they have...(plaster vs vinyl). I told him he was crazy. He said I'd be surprised how little most people know.

    I think I intimidated him with how much I did know. When I brought up the chlorine shock that he put in...he knew I knew more than I should...and he said shocking was fine and not to worry. I said.."on 2 days old plaster...Isn't chlorine supposed to rise slowly or you can damage the plaster??" Maybe he's the one who doesn't know plaster vs vinyl...lol!!!

    I could tell that he was not happy that I already purchased my own Taylor test kit and put my pool cleaner together. All I did was put the Phantom together. I didn't hook it up or anything. Good thing I did get it together before he was out here 4 weeks ago, since it was missing parts. I was able to get the parts and have them here for this week when he came back.

    I know I wrote more than you asked, but I hope I answered your questions. ...Sequestrant, tri-clor pucks and muriatic acid...that is all I did in the 4 weeks prior to SWG...and pool looks great.

    BTW: It did take about 1+ week of the tri-chlor tabs in my skimmers, before I did get a chlorine reading. I also cleaned out the skimmers every day. Three frogs and 1 mouse. Frogs were dizzy...but alive. Make sure you get them out BEFORE taking out the skimmer basket! We almost had a live frog go through the skimmer exit hole leading to the filter.

    Good luck with yours!
    30k gallon ~ 48' x 20' Roman Style Gunite
    ColorScapes Quartz Plaster
    SWG (SmartPure Sanitizer II)
    AquaCal Heatwave HQ155
    1.50 HP Hayward SmartMax Pump
    450 Sq./Ft. Hayward SwimClear Cartridge Filter

  18. Back To Top    #18

    Re: New Plaster Pool Help

    Wow, fabulous info - thanks so much! I don't think new pool owners can talk too much about their pools, right?! we're trying so hard to learn, I think we appreciate all the details and empathetic support/sharing we can get. All I can say for myself is this has been a lifelong dream of mine, at 42 and three kids it has not gone away, and in my best midlife crisis moment and the best tax refund I'll probably ever see, I "took the plunge" LOL Therefore, I am going to have a very beautiful and intimate relationship with "her", I have waited so long for her - and frankly, she cost way too much for me to let the plaster get ruined, so I'm gonna be hypervigilant - she's my new baby , and a raging beauty, by the way LOLOL but I digress... ! thanks again, I guess what I thought I'd hear from someone like you, or perhaps my PB maybe one day next week, if I'm lucky, that probably all I'm reading are just ideals and that perhaps *real world* I'll find all these many tasks and long chemistries/lists that I don't understand, haven't been trained on and haven't been done probably won't ruin my pool, but that they are "recommended" -? I just need someone to get me down to about a 1, 2, 3 list, a brushing, robot vac (on order!), and get this simplified. (I probably need to stop googling too LOL) I have an email out to him to at least try to find out how many gallons I have so I will know how much to put in, but I did try testing today, had leslie's check me to see if I did it right, and I did, and they say I at least need the muriatic acid, so wish me luck. If I get into calcium hardness, pulling calcium from my plaster, blah, blah, I think I'll go crazy, and it's so hot already...LOL If it doesn't start spitting cracked pieces off at top speed, I guess I'll think it'll be okay! ultimately, there's no way for me to know who's right, who's too complicated, or whether any of it will mean my plaster would last five years longer...

    tired and sore from brushing,

    Julie

  19. Back To Top    #19

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    Re: New Plaster Pool Help

    should a brand new pool with new plaster be washed down with acid to prevent the pool from becoming cloudy?

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