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Thread: A few "brand new pool" start up questions

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    A few "brand new pool" start up questions

    Hi everyone,
    Instead of making a pest out of myself with several posts, I'll ask multiple questions here......as my builder has vanished now that I wrote the last check LOL!!! I have some newbie questions:

    1) I have a quartz aggregate finish. I am noticing little white specks popping up here and there. Some are about an 1/8" in diameter. What are these?
    2) I am told I need to brush twice a day for two weeks as this will smooth out the quartz plaster. The builder said don't be alarmed when I see "dust" where I am brushing. They said I will need to back wash more as a results. I don't see any dust at all and after 5 days my filters psi remained unchanged.
    3) My main suction (There are actually 2 separated by a T) on the floor seems to not be pulling any water. I brush debris towards it and you'd think stuff would get sucked into it. It doesn't. I went into the pool and placed my foot on the covers....I feel no suction at all. I tested this wil shutting the skimmers off so only suction from the bottom and nothing.....no suction. I do have water coming out of the returns.

    Those are all of my new start of questions.....sorry if I post again with more. Love this forum!!

    Thanks,
    Doug

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: A few "brand new pool" start up questions

    1) That could be the start of calcium scaling. Make sure your PH is below 8.0 as soon as possible, and please post a complete set of water test results.
    2) Dust is common, but not universal. If you don't have dust that is fine.
    3) That is common. The floor drains don't really have enough suction to vacuum up debris, in fact sending debris into the drain is likely to clog up the drain eventually. Everyone uses anti-suction drain covers as a safety precaution and that keeps the amount of visible suction minimal.
    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: A few "brand new pool" start up questions

    Hi Jason,

    I'm at work right now and left my water results that I just got tested at home, so I'll have to go from memory. My results are:

    PH - 8.5
    Alkalinity - 37
    Calcium Hardness - about 215
    Copper = .3
    Iron - .1
    Chlorine - I am a start up, so there isn't much of any....I have one 3" puck in the one skimmer basket.

    I have been STRUGGLING with PH. It's always high and the test strips I have are inaccurate (tomorrow my Taylor K-2006 should arrive). In fact, I tested today with a strip at noon and it looked like the PH was 7.0. I immediately went to my pool builders retail store and they tested the PH and came up with 8.5. So, I put a 1/4 gallon of muriatic acid in an hour ago. I have been putting in a lot of acid since the pool was first started....here is a history:

    5/5 - Pool plastered and filled
    5/7 - The equipment was turned on and the guy tested for PH and wound up added an entire gallon of muriatic acid
    5/9 - Added a 3/4 of a gallon of muriatic acid
    5/10 - PH tested at store at over 8.6 so I added a gallon
    5/13 - PH test at store at 8.5 so I added a 1/4 gallon and will be adding another 1/4 gallon at 6 tonight.

    If the white specks are calcium scaling, will they go away or will I have them forever??

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    mrcarcrazy's Avatar
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    Re: A few "brand new pool" start up questions

    The high pH is why you don't see any dust (IIRC). You need to lower that pH as it's not good for basically anything for it to remain that high. Have you ordered a quality test kit like the TF Test kit? strips are often worthless.

    You will have to add acid frequently to counteract the pH rise caused by new plaster curing.
    IG gunite/plaster pool/spa Started 1/17/14, Plastered 5/16/14
    Size: 12'-21'x39' free form, depth ranging from 4' to 7, attached 6 person spa with spillover.
    Equipment: Whisperflo 2hp pump, Pentair 30" sand filter, Pentair Mastertemp 400k BTU heater, 1hp Whisperflo for waterfalls, and a blower for spa floor

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: A few "brand new pool" start up questions

    Fresh plaster will raise the PH, TA, and CH levels fairly rapidly for about the first month, and then much more slowly for about the first year. During that initial period it is important to keep up with the PH increases, otherwise you are likely to have calcium scaling, rough white deposits, on the pool.

    Fresh plaster often requires acid additions every day. You should lower the PH down to 7.2 each time, which will help insure the PH doesn't get out of range before the next day's acid addition.
    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: A few "brand new pool" start up questions

    Yeah, the builders instructions have been a 1/4 to 1/2 gallon every other day. The issue is the strips they gave me....they aren't accurate and I think my pH has been high more than I think. I get my Taylor K-2006 tomorrow. In the meantime, I am going to put in 1/4 gallon 3 different times between now and tomorrow.

    If the white specks are calcium scaling, will they go away or will I have them forever??

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    soupy8728's Avatar
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    Re: A few "brand new pool" start up questions

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion View Post
    Fresh plaster will raise the PH, TA, and CH levels fairly rapidly for about the first month, and then much more slowly for about the first year. During that initial period it is important to keep up with the PH increases, otherwise you are likely to have calcium scaling, rough white deposits, on the pool.

    Fresh plaster often requires acid additions every day. You should lower the PH down to 7.2 each time, which will help insure the PH doesn't get out of range before the next day's acid addition.
    Hey Jason, sorry to hi-jack this but does this apply to a plaster pool that has just been acid washed? My PH is hovering around 7.8+ daily and I add acid to bring in down to around 7.5. Just curious. Thanks!
    IG Plaster with raised spill-over Spa, ~26,000 gallons, Built 2001
    Cartridge filter
    Solar heated

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    Re: A few "brand new pool" start up questions

    We had our pool refinished last summer with a similar finish. We were told to follow the instructions on this link from the national plasters council http://www.npconline.org/assets/docu...tartUpCard.pdf so the plaster would cure properly. I followed the guidelines on the card to keep this LSI number in range. I remember adding a lot of acid in the first month. After the first month I used the methods on thTFP to maintain my levels.
    Mark
    IG plaster, 22,000 gallon, Jacuzzi Laser Sand filter

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    Re: A few "brand new pool" start up questions

    I am not happy with my builders retail store testing....after adding more acid today after they showed 8.5, I just came home and out of curiosity used a test strip and it is around 6.2 or lower. I was about to add more acid because my builders test showed 8.5. I decided to borrow a neighbors test kit.....it showed 6.2. So thanks to my builder, I'm low. They are supposed to be protecting my plaster not ruining it! I guess I'll let it sit knowing it will rise due to the new plaster. Can't wait to get my Taylor 2006 tomorrow so I don't have to rely on garbage.

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