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Thread: Starting from scratch after resurfacing

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    Starting from scratch after resurfacing

    This will be my third summer with a pool but first (hopefully) without fighting high CYA. The previous owner used trichlor tabs and I continued that the first summer, since I didn't know any better. Last summer I switched to bleach.

    Anyway, I want to make sure I get this right from the start. Do these startup instructions from the plaster company sound reasonable? Scale Tec really necessary?

    Hoses should be put in pool for the water to starting filling once plaster crew or exposure crew is finished with the surface. DO NOT turn the water off until the level has reached the middle of the pool tile line. Once the pool is full we will add one gallon of muriatic acid per 2,000 gallons of pool water by walking the perimeter of the pool and pouring into water. Some powdered chlorine should be added daily as there so no stabilizer in the water at this time. Also scale prevention should be added at this time. We usually use an entire jug of Scale Tec in the new water then recommend approximately 7 oz. each month there after be poured into the water.

    Brush the entire pool surface. Be sure to get every area including where the steps and walls and benches and walls meet. Many people do not get every area and overtime the plaster dust that has settled in these areas will turn yellowish-brown. This is not a defect of the plaster but is due to ineffective brushing on the part of the customer. Allow the acid to work for a minimum of 72 hours before neutralizing. Continue to brush the entire pool daily until all plaster dust is gone. The acid and brushing will remove the ‘cream’ of the plaster and expose the aggregate. If you have a heater DO NOT turn on the pool equipment until the water is neutralized as well as DO NOT swim until the water is neutralized.

    Once the aggregate is exposed to your satisfaction neutralize the water and start balancing your chemicals. We usually put in ten pounds of Sodium Bicarbonate by broadcasting throughout the pool to bring up the alkalinity. Consult your pool professional for the exact amount of soda bicarbonate your pool needs. The actual amount varies based on the gallons of water and the pool surface material. This will neutralize the water then you will be able to balance the water chemistry. The next day you can check your chemical levels and begin balancing the water. Alkalinity needs to be balanced first to get a true pH reading. During the first 30 – 60 days of a freshly plastered pool the pH will tend to rise quickly. Monitor the pH reading twice a week to stay on top of the balance. Colored pools should maintain a pH of 7.2 -7.4. Alkalinity should be maintained at 90 – 120 ppm. A pH that is too low will ‘eat away’ at the plaster and pH too high will cause scaling. Continue to use a scale prevention product monthly.

    You will also need to put in a stabilizer. DO NOT throw stabilizer into the water it will stain the surface. Apply stabilizer to the water through the skimmer. We do not recommend floating chlorine devices as they tend to stay in one place and will bleach out the surface. Also watch the calcium hardness levels to prevent calcium buildup on the plaster surface. How well you maintain the water chemistry will determine the life of the pool surface as well as the look of the surface.
    I currently have several gallons of Walmart bleach, two boxes of borax, and a 13 pound bag of baking soda. Recommended stabilizer? Or should I use a chlorine that has some for the startup? Thanks.
    20k gallon, plaster, DE

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    Re: Starting from scratch after resurfacing

    Your plaster company apparently skipped school when they learned about paragraphs.

    Is your pool already replastered? When?

    Do you have current test results for your water?

    We'll all help you.....we just need some more info.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Starting from scratch after resurfacing

    ScaleTec is good insurance. Even though it is rarely needed, when it is needed it saves you from some very expensive repairs.

    The general rule for startups is to do everything the builder tells you to do, to make sure you don't invalidate your warranty.

    With fresh plaster the PH, TA, and CH levels will go up fairly quickly for roughly a month and more slowly after that for up to a year. The main thing you need to do in the first few weeks is brush and keep an eye on the PH. Maintaining the PH will probably require daily acid additions after the builder turns the pool over to you.

    I recommend using trichlor for the first month, as that adds chlorine and CYA slowly and helps keep the PH under control. Fresh plaster doesn't like FC or CYA going up suddenly just at first.
    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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    Re: Starting from scratch after resurfacing

    In general, you need to do whatever they say in order to keep the warranty in effect. So, yeah, add the Scale Tec. For my re-plaster they used StartUp Tec and I forced them to buy a second bottle per the directions. I added it carefully as the pool was starting to fill, via a length of PVC into the small puddle in the deep end, then the second bottle when the pool was about half full, mixed in water and added all around the pool. I think it is pretty similar stuff, by the same company.

    Do you have a good test of your fill water?

    Next, do you have your own test kit? I suggest the TF-100, most of the forum members use that or the other most recommended test kit, see Pool School, Test Kits Compared. The TF-100 is the better value and is sold by a beloved forum member who provides great service and fast shipping. Since most of us are familiar with the test kit, almost anyone can help you with questions about that.

    As for the chemical questions.... Any plain bleach is fine as long as it has no fragrance or thickeners or such. I used to use Clorox by the 3 pack from Sam's Club and then moved to the 10% Liquid Shock sold by Leslie's (was Warehouse Pool Supply). As for stabilizer, I found the HTH brand from Walmart was really fast dissolving and the unknown brand we got from an unknown pool store (in Galveston for a friend) was much harder grained and very slow to dissolve. But, I had some by Regal Stabilizer in my pool shed that was from a pool store and I don't recall it being hard to dissolve when I used it after my re-plaster last spring. Personally, I'd get the 4 lb can from Walmart to bring the pool up to 20 ppm CYA, then switch to using tablets to get that final CYA. Being in Dallas you will want probably 40 ppm CYA pretty soon, and maybe 50 ppm eventually. I'd tie that CYA in a Knee-Hi and toss it into the skimmer basket, keeping it attached to something so it could not get pulled through the basket when empty, maybe a large rock in the sock or something.

    I note that they say "Powdered chlorine" so they may be expecting dichlor which will have some stabilizer in it. This is fine, just write down exactly what you add so you can keep track of the stabilizer that was added so you know the total added. Stabilizer usually takes a week or more to show up on test and since you don't want to over do that, you want to keep track from the start. Personally, I think it is easier to use separate chemicals and add exactly what you want of each as needed.

    But, Jason has said to use trichlor and go slowly so that is going to be better advice!
    Last edited by anonapersona; 04-27-2014 at 06:19 PM. Reason: Better advice from Jason
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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    Re: Starting from scratch after resurfacing

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh View Post
    Your plaster company apparently skipped school when they learned about paragraphs.

    Is your pool already replastered? When?

    Do you have current test results for your water?

    We'll all help you.....we just need some more info.
    Paragraphs added. The pool has been drained but not replastered yet. Should happen later this week pending weather.

    I haven't tested the tap water. Should I?
    20k gallon, plaster, DE

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    Re: Starting from scratch after resurfacing

    Before...
    jWkHPGal.jpg

    View from opposite end, draining nearly complete...
    1hYYfKql.jpg

    After removing/filling the (nonfunctioning) floor cleaning jets, converting the unused hot tub to a tanning ledge, and removing tile...
    Owg9ytjl.jpg
    20k gallon, plaster, DE

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    Re: Starting from scratch after resurfacing

    Testing your fill water is always a great idea because it gives you the starting point. The PB's instructions seem pretty thorough so I would suggest following them pretty carefully.

    BTW, that's a great looking pool.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Starting from scratch after resurfacing

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion View Post
    ScaleTec is good insurance. Even though it is rarely needed, when it is needed it saves you from some very expensive repairs.

    The general rule for startups is to do everything the builder tells you to do, to make sure you don't invalidate your warranty.

    With fresh plaster the PH, TA, and CH levels will go up fairly quickly for roughly a month and more slowly after that for up to a year. The main thing you need to do in the first few weeks is brush and keep an eye on the PH. Maintaining the PH will probably require daily acid additions after the builder turns the pool over to you.

    I recommend using trichlor for the first month, as that adds chlorine and CYA slowly and helps keep the PH under control. Fresh plaster doesn't like FC or CYA going up suddenly just at first.
    Trichlor tabs in the skimmer basket? The PB warned against the floating dispensers. Is the HTH trichlor they sell at Walmart ok?
    20k gallon, plaster, DE

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    Re: Starting from scratch after resurfacing

    Trichlor tabs in the skimmer basket? The PB warned against the floating dispensers.
    Put the floater on a stick and let it suspend into the pool where it won't touch the sides or floor.....not the skimmer.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Starting from scratch after resurfacing

    For a fresh plaster startup the pump should be running 24/7. As long as that is true, putting trichlor in the skimmer is just fine.
    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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    Re: Starting from scratch after resurfacing

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion View Post
    For a fresh plaster startup the pump should be running 24/7. As long as that is true, putting trichlor in the skimmer is just fine.
    Woah, 24/7? That's good to know. For how many days?
    20k gallon, plaster, DE

  12. Back To Top    #12
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    Re: Starting from scratch after resurfacing

    Run the pump 24/7 for at least a week after fresh plaster is applied.
    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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    Re: Starting from scratch after resurfacing

    The pool was filled Saturday. They came back yesterday to add the muriatic acid and an unknown amount of dichlor (maybe 4 pounds). I need to add the Scale Tec after work today. Possibly some trichlor too?

    I was told to give it 72 hours before neutralizing and to also not run the pump during this time. Does that sound right?
    20k gallon, plaster, DE

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    Re: Starting from scratch after resurfacing

    And here's what it looks like now. Almost overflowed, since we were out of town when the hoses were put in.

    20k gallon, plaster, DE

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    Re: Starting from scratch after resurfacing

    So far, so good. Loving the "fresh" pool right now.

    This weekend I got the Alkalinity up to 90 and the pH up to 7.5. CYA is at or very near 0, but I don't think it's a problem to bring that up slowly as long as I keep an eye on the chlorine. Currently keeping a chlorine tab or two in the skimmer at all times. Brushing and checking chlorine/pH daily.

    I'm looking forward to getting the Kreepy Krauly back in there though. Do I need to wait three weeks after new plaster is applied? I thought I read that somewhere.

    20k gallon, plaster, DE

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    Re: Starting from scratch after resurfacing

    Very nice looking!
    IG Plaster with raised spill-over Spa, ~26,000 gallons, Built 2001
    Cartridge filter
    Solar heated

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