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Thread: Complete remodel of 1976 pool - start up questions [pics!!]

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    Complete remodel of 1976 pool - start up questions [pics!!]

    I have been reading this forum regularly since I happened upon it about 3 weeks ago. Wish it had been sooner! What a wealth of knowledge and support!!

    My story is... We just finished a remodel job on an existing 26,000 gallon pool that included new plumbing, electrical, decking, tile, coping, and mini pebble plaster. The existing Pentair WhisperFlow pump, FNS 48 DE filter, and Hayward heater were in good shape and remained a part of the system. Chlorination was by pucks but will be converting to BBB method soon.

    The pool finished filling Saturday (7/7) afternoon and the pump has been circulating 24/7. The PB added unknown start up chemicals, threw in 2 floaters full of pucks, a gallon of MA, and said brush it twice per day. Then yesterday had me add 1 gallon of MA in the morning and another at night. That's all the instruction at this point. So I need some advice to ensure the plaster cures properly and the color variations fade.

    Using my new TF-100 test kit the results yesterday (7/8) were:
    FC - 0
    CC - 0
    pH - 6.8
    TA - 80
    CH - 120
    CYA - 0

    Results today (7/9) are:
    FC - .5
    CC - 0
    pH - 7.2
    TA - 60
    CH - 150
    CYA - 0

    When I brush there is still alot of dust. I run the system off main drains while brushing and then for an hour afterwards. The color variation is what I would call splotchy especially in the deep end where the wall and floor curve together.

    Questions:
    1) Is the chemistry ok?
    2) What levels should I target?
    2) Aside from brushing what else can I do to help the surface look more uniform?

    I will try to post pics soon. Just focused on making sure it looks good for a long time right now.

    Thank you in advance for your responses and insight... I really appreciate it!
    Attached Images Attached Images
    26,000 gallon IG Free Form
    StoneScapes Mini Pebble plaster (Tropics Blue)
    Pentair 1.25 HP WhisperFlow Pump
    Pentair FNS 48 DE Filter
    Hayward Heater
    Polaris 280 Cleaner & Booster Pump.

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    Isaac-1's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    SW Louisiana
    Posts
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    Re: Complete remodel of 1976 pool - start up questions

    I can't really tell you anything about plaster pool start up, but hopefully someone will be along soon to help

    Ike
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
    I use and endorse TFtestKits TF-100 from http://tftestkits.net
    ~Remember TFP counts on your donations to keep this site ad free~

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    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Central FL
    Posts
    80

    Re: Complete remodel of 1976 pool - start up questions

    Quote Originally Posted by mktee
    I have been reading this forum regularly since I happened upon it about 3 weeks ago. Wish it had been sooner! What a wealth of knowledge and support!!

    My story is... We just finished a remodel job on an existing 26,000 gallon pool that included new plumbing, electrical, decking, tile, coping, and mini pebble plaster. The existing Pentair WhisperFlow pump, FNS 48 DE filter, and Hayward heater were in good shape and remained a part of the system. Chlorination was by pucks but will be converting to BBB method soon.

    The pool finished filling Saturday (7/7) afternoon and the pump has been circulating 24/7. The PB added unknown start up chemicals, threw in 2 floaters full of pucks, a gallon of MA, and said brush it twice per day. Then yesterday had me add 1 gallon of MA in the morning and another at night. That's all the instruction at this point. So I need some advice to ensure the plaster cures properly and the color variations fade.

    Using my new TF-100 test kit the results yesterday (7/8) were:
    FC - 0
    CC - 0
    pH - 6.8
    TA - 80
    CH - 120
    CYA - 0

    Results today (7/9) are:
    FC - .5
    CC - 0
    pH - 7.2
    TA - 60
    CH - 150
    CYA - 0

    When I brush there is still alot of dust. I run the system off main drains while brushing and then for an hour afterwards. The color variation is what I would call splotchy especially in the deep end where the wall and floor curve together.

    Questions:
    1) Is the chemistry ok?
    2) What levels should I target?
    2) Aside from brushing what else can I do to help the surface look more uniform?

    I will try to post pics soon. Just focused on making sure it looks good for a long time right now.

    Thank you in advance for your responses and insight... I really appreciate it!
    Well, I'm a complete novice here, but I'll take a stab at it. I'm not extremely knowledgeable, but I think I can I still give you better advice than your local pool store... First of all, congrats on your remodel! I bet it looks awesome being all shiny and new. I just completed my first 30 days of plaster curing so it's all still fresh in my mind.

    When my PB started up my pool a month ago, they dumped in a bottle of sequestrant, a bunch of muriatic acid, and told me the same thing: to brush twice a day for the first week, then every day for the next 3 weeks after that. Just remember to brush the walls first, then the floor, working from shallow end to deep end so you push everything towards the main drain. You'll want to keep an eye on your filter as well, as all that plaster dust will start clogging things up over time.

    One thing I noticed was that the pucks I had in my automatic chlorinator weren't doing much to add CYA, so I immediately started adding Clorox to keep my FC levels up to 2-4ppm. With no stabilizer, I was constantly needing to add chlorine to keep my levels up. Finally I added 5lbs of stabilizer and got CYA up to 40-50. Now my FC levels hold at 4-5ppm for a few days before having to replenish chlorine. I am no longer using pucks, only bleach.

    As far as all the dust clouding up when brushing, that's normal at first, and will diminish over time. Unfortunately from what I've read, some color variations/mottling are normal especially with darker plasters, and the Diamond Brite I have is notorious for it. I talked to my PB about my mottling issues, and the maintenance guy said he would try to do what he can to even things out a bit once everything cures, I assume by using MA.

    As far as your numbers go, you may definitely want to start getting the FC up to at least 2-3ppm so nothing bad decides to start growing in there. Your pH looks good, but keep an eye on it as it will tend to jump up with the new plaster. I have to add a few cups of MA every day or two to keep mine in check. Your TA looks good, and I would keep it around there. You can be anywhere between 60-80 and be totally fine IMO. CH is definitely low, and there are two schools of thought on this... You want to keep your CH above 250 with a plaster pool, and some people say you shouldn't add any calcium while the plaster is hardening as it will go up on its own. The problem is this... The CH is going up during the cure because calcium is leaving the plaster/grout and getting into the water. From what I understand, this ages the plaster prematurely so it would probably be a good idea to get your CH up a bit to slow that process. I'm sure someone with more experience will be able to chime in on that though. You can add some stabilizer, but keep in mind that if you add the dry stuff it'll take up to a week to show up in the CYA test, so save your reagent. Also, you don't want to backwash your filter after adding CYA so that it has a chance to completely dissolve into the water. Whew, that's all I can think of right now, sorry for the long book. Hope this helps at least a bit!

    Jose
    17x34' 13400gal freeform gunite IG pool, DB Tahoe Blue, cartridge filter, Rainbow 320, ClearO3 ozonator, 1.5HP 2sp Whisperflow, Intellibrite 5G Color LED, pavers, screened enclosure, Liquidator, 6x Fafco SunSavers, SolarTouch

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    elwood58's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sun City West Arizona (2nd Home)
    Posts
    639

    Re: Complete remodel of 1976 pool - start up questions

    You are running the pump 7X24 for now, right?
    19204 Gallon L Shape with a 10X10 2nd Step Baja Ledge. Intellichlor IC-40, IntellipH, Cartridge Filter, Pentair Heater/Chiller (Heat Pump). Tons of Deck with Deck Jets. Construction Complete 6/5/17.

    "If you don't measure it, you can't manage it!"

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    Re: Complete remodel of 1976 pool - start up questions

    Z06Boricua - Thanks for the thorough commentary! I kinda had the same thought that low CH meant it would leech it from the plaster. I just don't know the best level to maintain during the cure process. As you mention, hopefully someone can provide more insight.

    My biggest fear is the finish winds up having more variation than normal and the PB tells me it's normal.

    Aside from that the pump and filter are working like a gem. Start up pressure was 16psi and its gone up to about 17 psi in 3 days.

    elwood58 - Yes, pump has been running 24/7 since start up.
    26,000 gallon IG Free Form
    StoneScapes Mini Pebble plaster (Tropics Blue)
    Pentair 1.25 HP WhisperFlow Pump
    Pentair FNS 48 DE Filter
    Hayward Heater
    Polaris 280 Cleaner & Booster Pump.

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    Re: Complete remodel of 1976 pool - start up questions [pics

    More pics
    Attached Images Attached Images
    26,000 gallon IG Free Form
    StoneScapes Mini Pebble plaster (Tropics Blue)
    Pentair 1.25 HP WhisperFlow Pump
    Pentair FNS 48 DE Filter
    Hayward Heater
    Polaris 280 Cleaner & Booster Pump.

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