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Thread: Break in period for replaster job

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    Break in period for replaster job

    I read about break in period following a replaster job. I've read that you shouldn't swim during the break in period but they don't say the length of the break in period in days.

    Of further research, I've seen posts all over the map from one extreme (I jumped in right after the pool was filled) to the other (don't swim until 28 days because that is how long it takes plaster to cure.

    My situation: I had my pool replastered 2 weeks ago and we are having a party at our house this Sunday (it will be 2 1/2 weeks from the replaster date at that point)

    I have followed each and every instruction on restart. The pool was perfectly balanced at Day 7 and remains in balance. I have brushed 2 or 3 times a day every day. I ran the filter 24hours a week for the first week, cleaning the cartridge filters 3 times to get the dust out.

    So, the pool will be plaster dust free and perfectly balanced for 1 1/2 weeks at the time of the party on Sunday. Question: Do I let the kids swim?
    13,200 IG pebble sheen pool with raised spa and waterfalls, variable speed Pentair pump, oversize Pentair cartridge filter, Legend pool cleaner. TF -100 test kit.

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Break in period for replaster job

    Unless the PB said not to, it will be fine. I'd tell them not to kick off the sides too much but it shouldn't hurt anything at all to swim.
    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
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    Re: Break in period for replaster job

    Quote Originally Posted by Bama Rambler
    Unless the PB said not to, it will be fine. I'd tell them not to kick off the sides too much but it shouldn't hurt anything at all to swim.
    Thanks for the feedback. I'll have the kids take it easy. Believe it or not, they do listen to me
    13,200 IG pebble sheen pool with raised spa and waterfalls, variable speed Pentair pump, oversize Pentair cartridge filter, Legend pool cleaner. TF -100 test kit.

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    mikemass's Avatar
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    Re: Break in period for replaster job

    You are doing a great job with the brushing and keeping water balanced. It is the most important thing you can do for the longevity of your new surface. 2 1/2 weeks is plenty cured for swimming. I wouldn't worry about about feet on the surface. Play it safe and don't run a Robot Cleaner or Polaris for remainder of season. Are you in a cold water climate and will be closing the pool after the summer? If so, I have some suggestions to get through that first winter.
    25 + year pool owner. Current pool (going on 11th year) - 38K gallon in ground Gunite/White Plaster, Spillover Spa, Hayward Cartridge Filter, Hayward 450k BTU NG Heater, Hayward Goldline Aqua Logic control with T-Cell-15 Salt Water Cell, Dolphin Explorer.
    You Need: Bleach, a A Test Kit & a Bookmark to "Pool School". Now what's your question?

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    Re: Break in period for replaster job

    Quote Originally Posted by mikemass
    You are doing a great job with the brushing and keeping water balanced. It is the most important thing you can do for the longevity of your new surface. 2 1/2 weeks is plenty cured for swimming. I wouldn't worry about about feet on the surface. Play it safe and don't run a Robot Cleaner or Polaris for remainder of season. Are you in a cold water climate and will be closing the pool after the summer? If so, I have some suggestions to get through that first winter.
    Thank you for the compliment. I read extensively before replastering so I could learn to do a good job on restart. I even made a check off sheet so I can keep track of when I brush. Its easy to remember to do it three times for a day or two, but to follow that program for several weeks requires some motivation. My PB said he never saw anyone keep track that way. I also test each day and keep track of the results. So far its working well. The pool looks stunning!

    Regarding your question on climate. We live in Contra Costa County in Northern California. Winter temparatures are typically 50-60 in the day and drop to 32-40 at night. One or two days a year it gets below freezing. In the past, I kept the pool open until October or so, and when it got cold, I just ran the pump once in a while. I'm sure this is wrong, but the pool stayed clear because of the low water temperature and I could not see "wasting" electricity. If you have suggestions about how to manage the pool in the winter months, I would love to hear from you. I am committed to doing it myself and doing it right!

    BTW, this is a great forum. I'm very glad I found it.
    13,200 IG pebble sheen pool with raised spa and waterfalls, variable speed Pentair pump, oversize Pentair cartridge filter, Legend pool cleaner. TF -100 test kit.

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    mikemass's Avatar
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    Re: Break in period for replaster job

    So I'm still not clear on what you do in the winter in CA? Do you cover the pool and blow out the lines like I do in Jersey? It does not sound like it. And if that's the case, just continue to check that your water stays in balance and you will be golden. I wouldn't brush too often (if at all) if you turn your pump/filter off for the whole winter. You will have a lot of plaster dust still that won't be able to be filtered out of the water. BUT.... If you buy a robotic cleaner, like a Dolphin, you can run that all winter as long as you don't ice up. This will do 2 things... 1. Filter your pool while the main pump is shut down for the season. So now you can still brush. .... 2. Move around the water for when you add chemicals. (You will need to add acid to keep the pH in check for the first year while plaster curing)

    If you are shutting your pool down with a cover and not opening up an edge every once in a while to check the balance, the first winter after a new plaster can be terrible to keep your water in balance. The biggest issue being that if you have low calcium in your water, the water is going to try and extract it from the plaster walls (which is loaded with Calcium). Your pH will rise that the calcium scale can get so bad it will wind up as little crystal like particles not only stuck to the walls, but also at the bottom of the pool. They can be like glass. Keep that pH in check while plaster curing!! Even during the winter.

    FYI. I saw your other thread you started. (I think it would have been fine to add to this discussion. If mods agree they can move). But as for your heater, go ahead and heat away. It's not going to hurt your new plaster. We are talking about bringing the water up from what? 80 to 87 degrees? As always, would not hurt to check with the company that did your job. But 2 1/2 weeks, that plaster is rock solid already. ENJOY!
    25 + year pool owner. Current pool (going on 11th year) - 38K gallon in ground Gunite/White Plaster, Spillover Spa, Hayward Cartridge Filter, Hayward 450k BTU NG Heater, Hayward Goldline Aqua Logic control with T-Cell-15 Salt Water Cell, Dolphin Explorer.
    You Need: Bleach, a A Test Kit & a Bookmark to "Pool School". Now what's your question?

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    Re: Break in period for replaster job

    Quote Originally Posted by mikemass
    So I'm still not clear on what you do in the winter in CA? Do you cover the pool and blow out the lines like I do in Jersey? It does not sound like it. And if that's the case, just continue to check that your water stays in balance and you will be golden. I wouldn't brush too often (if at all) if you turn your pump/filter off for the whole winter. You will have a lot of plaster dust still that won't be able to be filtered out of the water. BUT.... If you buy a robotic cleaner, like a Dolphin, you can run that all winter as long as you don't ice up. This will do 2 things... 1. Filter your pool while the main pump is shut down for the season. So now you can still brush. .... 2. Move around the water for when you add chemicals. (You will need to add acid to keep the pH in check for the first year while plaster curing)

    If you are shutting your pool down with a cover and not opening up an edge every once in a while to check the balance, the first winter after a new plaster can be terrible to keep your water in balance. The biggest issue being that if you have low calcium in your water, the water is going to try and extract it from the plaster walls (which is loaded with Calcium). Your pH will rise that the calcium scale can get so bad it will wind up as little crystal like particles not only stuck to the walls, but also at the bottom of the pool. They can be like glass. Keep that pH in check while plaster curing!! Even during the winter.

    FYI. I saw your other thread you started. (I think it would have been fine to add to this discussion. If mods agree they can move). But as for your heater, go ahead and heat away. It's not going to hurt your new plaster. We are talking about bringing the water up from what? 80 to 87 degrees? As always, would not hurt to check with the company that did your job. But 2 1/2 weeks, that plaster is rock solid already. ENJOY!

    Thank you for your expert advice. No, I don't cover the pool and blow out the lines. It rarely gets below freezing here. I will get a robotic cleaner instead of running my pump in the winter. I know that keeping the pH right while the plaster is curing takes more attention. So, I will test the pool regularly through the winter to make sure pH is in range along with chrlorine level, TA, and calcium hardness. Questions: I've been sweeping 2-3 times a day. When can I cut back to once a day? In the winter, how often should I sweep if I'm using the Dolphin?

    I will heat the pool for the party. My wife and the kids will be thrilled.

    Thanks again for taking the time to share our knowledge.
    13,200 IG pebble sheen pool with raised spa and waterfalls, variable speed Pentair pump, oversize Pentair cartridge filter, Legend pool cleaner. TF -100 test kit.

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    mikemass's Avatar
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    Re: Break in period for replaster job

    Let's put it this way. If you were to stop brushing right now, you probably have done more already than most of us gunite/plaster pool owners have done. (most of us never brush enough). I certainly feel that you can cut it back by now. If you enjoy doing it and have time, then by all means keep brushing away. And remember, a good brushing is not only for these early stages. It is good to do anytime throughout it's life.

    You are very lucky you don't have to cover your pool. The Dolphins are expensive and the cost of just kicking your filter on in the winter for a few hours after sweeping or adding chemicals would be far less than what it would take to make up for the cost of a dolphin.

    I am not familar with pools that stay open for the winter as I have always lived in the NE, so I don't want to say what the proper run times are to run your pump.

    But I do know about the Dolphin and I really love mine. It's run time is 3 hours for one session. It's moves A LOT of water. and I have close to a 40k gallon pool. If you go that route, I would run it for it's 3 hour session right after you brush and once again the next day. That will be plenty to catch all the plaster dust (if you are still getting dust by then). Cut your brushing down to once a week in the winter. If that. And keep it balanced. You are going to have a GREAT smooth surface for a long time with this much early stage dedication.
    25 + year pool owner. Current pool (going on 11th year) - 38K gallon in ground Gunite/White Plaster, Spillover Spa, Hayward Cartridge Filter, Hayward 450k BTU NG Heater, Hayward Goldline Aqua Logic control with T-Cell-15 Salt Water Cell, Dolphin Explorer.
    You Need: Bleach, a A Test Kit & a Bookmark to "Pool School". Now what's your question?

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    Re: Break in period for replaster job

    Quote Originally Posted by mikemass
    Let's put it this way. If you were to stop brushing right now, you probably have done more already than most of us gunite/plaster pool owners have done. (most of us never brush enough). I certainly feel that you can cut it back by now. If you enjoy doing it and have time, then by all means keep brushing away. And remember, a good brushing is not only for these early stages. It is good to do anytime throughout it's life.

    You are very lucky you don't have to cover your pool. The Dolphins are expensive and the cost of just kicking your filter on in the winter for a few hours after sweeping or adding chemicals would be far less than what it would take to make up for the cost of a dolphin.

    I am not familar with pools that stay open for the winter as I have always lived in the NE, so I don't want to say what the proper run times are to run your pump.

    But I do know about the Dolphin and I really love mine. It's run time is 3 hours for one session. It's moves A LOT of water. and I have close to a 40k gallon pool. If you go that route, I would run it for it's 3 hour session right after you brush and once again the next day. That will be plenty to catch all the plaster dust (if you are still getting dust by then). Cut your brushing down to once a week in the winter. If that. And keep it balanced. You are going to have a GREAT smooth surface for a long time with this much early stage dedication.
    Again, thank you for taking the time for such a detailed response.

    Yes, in my area there is no need to cover the pool or drain it in the winter. We are pretty lucky that way, but on the reverse side, our ground shakes from time to time! When the contractor replastered, he jackhammered most (90+percent) of the old plaster away, exposing the underlying gunite. It was in perfect shape with zero cracks and no leaks. Unfortunately, I can't say the same for the pool deck. I'll deal with that next year!
    13,200 IG pebble sheen pool with raised spa and waterfalls, variable speed Pentair pump, oversize Pentair cartridge filter, Legend pool cleaner. TF -100 test kit.

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