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Thread: Contractor not starting up pool

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    Contractor not starting up pool

    Hi, Everyone. We have just had a new in-ground pool constructed, but are frustrated because our builder/contractor does not seem to be starting the pool correctly. We have pebble (plaster) finish -- when installed we were told to hose down the pool sides every few hours and keep it wet. We did that (sort of) but pool took 26 hrs to fill completely so we didn't do anything to it overnight. It has been 10 days now since filling: they added 3 gals muriatic acid (to a 30,000 gal pool) and 3 chlorine tabs five days ago. We did not get a brush for four days and have been brushing plaster dust for 10 days 2x a day. pH is above 8.5, no free chlorine, no total chlorine, salt water generator is not even wired yet so it is not on-line. Lights are not wired; spa is not finished or wired. Pump and cartridge filter are working so we clean the filter daily to get the plaster dust out of it. Should we just go ahead and do a complete acid start-up on our own (praying that they finish the electrical) or should we keep waiting for the contractor to step up? We don't want to void the warranty (or is it already gone?) with inactivity or activity that they do not recommend. HELP!!!!
    LabBenchGoddess
    Newberry, Florida

    28,700 gallons/IG/Pebble(plaster)/SWG/Cartridge/VS Pump

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Contractor not starting up pool

    Welcome to TFP!

    You need to be clear with your builder who is responsible for what. Most builders tend to assume that you will take over maintaining the pool after the first few days and often forget to mention that fact. On the other hand, if they are maintaining the pool, you don't want to do things that will mess up what they are trying to do, which I can only guess at.

    As a general rule, in the first few weeks with fresh plaster you need to add acid daily to keep the PH below 8.0, run the pump 24/7, have one trichlor tablet for each 10,000 gallons in either a skimmer or a tablet feeder, and brush at least daily and better twice a day. This is the super short version, there are more details you should ask about if the builder is not taking care of things.

    Leaving the pool alone with very very high PH for more than a few days generally leads to significant problems.
    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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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Contractor not starting up pool

    J beat me so I'll just say welcome to TFP.

    It's not unusual to have to wait 30 days before adding salt and running the swg so the fact that it's not wired isn't a big deal.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: Contractor not starting up pool

    Wow -- you guys must bring good luck because the contractor sent the chemical guys out yetserday: they added muriatic acid and chlorine tabs, talked to us about the procedure, and left some chemicals with us to add if we need them before they return next week. We feel much better about the process. However, they want us to keep the pH below 7 for a few weeks. New plaster? Is this a good idea?
    LabBenchGoddess
    Newberry, Florida

    28,700 gallons/IG/Pebble(plaster)/SWG/Cartridge/VS Pump

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    duraleigh's Avatar
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    Re: Contractor not starting up pool

    I would not second guess your PB. He still has some responsibility for getting you up and running and, unless your communication with him has broken down, I would stay with his guidelines.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Contractor not starting up pool

    Keeping the PH very low for the first week is quite common, for several weeks is unusual.

    I wonder if they were simply saying to keep the PH below 8.0 in a different/more forceful way? Lowering the PH to just below 7.0 once a day, is not at all the same thing as keeping the PH below 7.0 at all times (which would be nearly impossible). The PH will go up rapidly for the first several weeks, and you need to keep it from getting too high. I would say lower to 7.2 each day, but lowering to a little below 7.0 each day isn't that much different.

    If you really think they meant you to keep the PH always below 7.0, I would make really really sure you understood them correctly and question if that was a good idea. If they meant for you to lower the PH to below 7.0 once a day, then no big deal.
    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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