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Thread: New pool, new owner

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    MoebiusStreet's Avatar
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    New pool, new owner

    My new pool should be completed in about two weeks, weather depending. I'd like to be sure I get off on the right foot. I see here plenty of advice for starting an existing pool at the end of the winter. But I haven't seen any advice regarding brand new pools.

    And so this is my question: what's the best course for me (an ignoramus) to take in getting my new pool up and running? I'd like to take a simple BBB approach to maintenance. But maybe while things are still coming into equilibrium it's best to use the expensive pool store, and do what they tell me until everything is in balance?

    Some of the things that may be relevant:
    • Austin, TX
    • about 18,000 gallons (32'x16', 5' deepest)
    • Gunite and plaster construction
    • SWG
    • Variable-speed pump, with an extra to run the cleaner thingy
    • It'll be filled from city water, which is quite hard. I'm told it's about 315 grains
    • The water seems to have a good deal of dissolved minerals, too. Even in the bathtub you can see a bit of an emerald cast to the water


    Thanks for any clues you can give me.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: New pool, new owner

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    The first step ... you already did, you found us
    The next step is to immediately order one of the Recommended Test Kits ... I recommend the TF-100 as the best value. You have to have the right tool for the job.

    If you suspect metals, you are going to want to maintain a good bank of sequestrants in the water to prevent staining: http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...d-metal-stains

    Spend your time reading Pool School to learn the chemistry and ask questions as they come up.

    I would absolutely NOT follow some pool stores advise on starting up the pool. But, note the builder may have some recommendations as far as starting up the pool in order to maintain warranty on your plaster. So, those may conflict a bit with our advice. Post those up on the forum as they come up. Certainly, you should NOT add salt into the water for the SWG for at least a month after it is filled.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: New pool, new owner

    What he said ^^

    Welcome!

    Get a test kit now. Personally, I'd suggest a TF100 with the XL option so you have some backup FAS-DPD reagent on hand. The others are easy to find in a pool store if you get caught short. Also order the speedstir. If you have high Calcium, the test will get quite lengthy and tedious without one. And nobody who has bought one regrets it. Nobody.

    If there are a lot of minerals in the water, don't freak out if the water turns green when you add bleach the first time.

    Do some searching here for speedstir and water turns green after adding bleach, and you'll see what to expect.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: New pool, new owner

    it's best to use the expensive pool store
    Welcome to the forum.

    Honestly, that approach is probably the worst thing a new pool owner can do. It seems a bit ominous at first, but learning how to manage your own pool water is quickly doable if you will learn in Pool School (read "The ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry") and then ask for help on this forum. You'll save money and your pool care will be a breeze.
    Dave S.
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    Butterfly's Avatar
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    Re: New pool, new owner

    Welcome to the forum

    You've gotten great advice!

    You can do a site search for "new plaster" for more links.

    Here's a link to the National Plasters Council Start-Up Card for more reading: http://www.npconline.org/start-up-card
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    MoebiusStreet's Avatar
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    Re: New pool, new owner

    Thanks, all, for your suggestions. It seems like, within the parameters of the pool warranty, I should do it right from the beginning.

    I've got on my shopping list now
    • Several gallons of bleach
    • Several gallons of Muriatic Acid
    • Test kit
    • Magnetic stirrer
    • Metal trap or similar, for our mineral-rich water

    I guess I'm not going to be in need of Baking Soda anytime soon, between the plaster curing and aeration from the waterfall. Slightly longer term, I'll need salt for my SWG and Borax.

    Because I'm going to have timing problems a week from now, I've actually put off the plastering of the pool for a week, so it'll be time to fill with water only when I'm ready for it in the beginning of March. I'm sure I'll be posting back then with loads of questions.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: New pool, new owner

    Just realize that adding borates to the pool is optional and not needed.

    With a SWG eventually, you will not likely need anything to raise the pH. But, you will certainly need acid.

    Be sure to asked the builder for their recommended start-up procedure.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    MoebiusStreet's Avatar
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    Re: New pool, new owner

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    Just realize that adding borates to the pool is optional and not needed.
    If I'm understanding correctly, the borates help to buffer the pH, keeping it more stable. In conjunction with my impression that a SWG pool (and especially a plaster one?) will have a pH that's always trying to climb, it seems like something anchoring the pH would be a good thing. If not necessary, it would be beneficial.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: New pool, new owner

    It "might" be helpful as you described. But depends on your TA and fill water and how fast YOUR pH rises. Maybe it will not be bad and you will not need the borates.

    Also given the new plaster, I might be inclined to give it a year or so for the plaster to "cure" and see if the pH stabilizes.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
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    skylar18's Avatar
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    Re: New pool, new owner

    Quote Originally Posted by MoebiusStreet View Post
    Thanks, all, for your suggestions. It seems like, within the parameters of the pool warranty, I should do it right from the beginning.

    I've got on my shopping list now
    • Several gallons of bleach
    • Several gallons of Muriatic Acid
    • Test kit
    • Magnetic stirrer
    • Metal trap or similar, for our mineral-rich water

    I guess I'm not going to be in need of Baking Soda anytime soon, between the plaster curing and aeration from the waterfall. Slightly longer term, I'll need salt for my SWG and Borax.

    Because I'm going to have timing problems a week from now, I've actually put off the plastering of the pool for a week, so it'll be time to fill with water only when I'm ready for it in the beginning of March. I'm sure I'll be posting back then with loads of questions.
    Started my brand new pool this summer in Austin using City of Austin water. With your new PebbleSheen you are going to need a lot of Acid! First month I added around 32 ozs of acid every day. Even now, 8 months later I am adding 20-24 ozs every 5 days. I have 1 waterfall that is still running over the winter. (I turned off my other one), and my PH still rises a bunch!

    Good Luck!
    43 x 19 Gunite Pool w/ spa and fire pit, 19,000 gallons, Pebble Sheen Aqua Blue finish, Jandy 2 HP VS E-pump, Jandy 580 sq ft Cartridge Filter, Jandy LXI 400k Heater, Jandy Aquapure 1400 SWCG, 4 Jandy LED color lights, Aqualink PDA and Iaqualink, Polaris 280 with Booster Pump. Polaris 9550 Robot Cleaner. 1 HP Silencer Air Blower for Spa http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...NAL-INSPECTION

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    MoebiusStreet's Avatar
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    Re: New pool, new owner

    The plaster got done yesterday afternoon, so the pool got filled last night. With two hoses running, it took 13 hours to fill. So the many times I got up during the night to check were for naught, because it wasn't full until I'd finished my morning shave and shower.

    Anyway, the builder seems rather unhurried by the whole thing. He says he'll be by Saturday to get everything started up and show us how to operate it.

    In the meantime, the water's just sitting there. What I've been reading tells me that with the plaster curing and stuff, we should be doing something to at least get the pH to acceptable levels. So I asked him if I should start adding muriatic acid to balance the pH, and he agrees. However, with the pump not running yet -- and I don't know how to start it -- is it safe to pour in the acid? Maybe if I used a canoe paddle or something to stir around the water a bit?

    And that made me think about the instructions I've seen about frequently brushing the new plaster. The builder said he'd be giving us a brush on Saturday, but is it OK to wait that long? Or does it not really matter yet, since the pump isn't running, so it won't be filtering anything out yet?

    As an aside, I'm rather miffed at the plaster guys. After they were done, they washed out their buckets right on the ground. So now I've got several areas of blue crust over what passes for my lawn. The builder says he'll get them to come back and clean it up.
    11,000 gal In-ground Plaster SWG Cartridge filter Variable-speed pump Newbie

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    Re: New pool, new owner

    You need to get that bad boy brushed ASAP and brush at least 2x a day. Do a search for bicarbonate startup, it may not be too late to reap the benefits.
    TFP Moderator Chris V. ~16K Pool & Spa, 48NSF DE, IG Plaster Circa 2000, Intermatic PE653, Challenger pump with a 2 speed B2984, 20gal stenner chlorine injection, Houston, TX
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