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Thread: So why no swimming during plaster break-in period?

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    So why no swimming during plaster break-in period?

    I read everywhere that no swimming should be allowed during break-in...but no reason why given. Can anyone clarify?
    Owner built 32,000g Diamond Brite IGP with 1,300g spa, Jandy 2.0hp ePump, DEV60 filter, LXi 400k btu NG heater, PS-8 control, QT 1.5hp blower, WaterColors, Liquidator, PoolBlaster, Blue Diamond

    Lehigh Custom Pools

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    Guest

    Re: So why no swimming during plaster break-in period?

    For one the plaster is easily damaged during this period and for seconds the pH will be very low if you are doing an acid startup, very high for a bicarbonate startup, and fluctuating wildly for a normal startup.

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    Re: So why no swimming during plaster break-in period?

    So for us careful toe dippers, it's more to keep your skin on your bones rather than messing up chemistry, etc...
    Owner built 32,000g Diamond Brite IGP with 1,300g spa, Jandy 2.0hp ePump, DEV60 filter, LXi 400k btu NG heater, PS-8 control, QT 1.5hp blower, WaterColors, Liquidator, PoolBlaster, Blue Diamond

    Lehigh Custom Pools

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Rocklin, Ca
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    Re: So why no swimming during plaster break-in period?

    I jumped in mine right after it was filled but was only in for a couple minutes and did not touch the plaster. I just couldn't resist.
    11000 Gals, Intelliflo, Sta-Rite Cartridge, Polaris 360

    Pool I built in my old house: my-new-pool-build-t4534.html

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    Guest

    Re: So why no swimming during plaster break-in period?

    Quote Originally Posted by deanrinehart
    So for us careful toe dippers, it's more to keep your skin on your bones rather than messing up chemistry, etc...
    IF YOU ARE DOING AN ACID OR BICARBONATE START UP THE pH WILL BEE TOO LOW OR TOO HIGH FOR COMFORT AND COULD BE IRRITATING TO SAY THE LEAST!
    If you are doing a normal startup then the pH is more likely to be out of the comfort range than in it!
    In other words, the chemistry IS messed up as far as swimmable water goes. THAT is why they say no swimming!

    also,the danger of damaging the fresh plaster is very real. If you don't care about having to replaster the next week because you just could not wait them by all means jump in!

  6. Back To Top    #6

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    Re: So why no swimming during plaster break-in period?

    Gee Waterbear, I'd have thought you might get worked up on this topic :P

    As patient as Waterbear has been, allow me to STRESS that you need to follow the 'No Swimming" instructions (look at it this way - it's your first experience with POP - Pool Owner Patience ) Do you really want to risk your health or $1000's just because you couldn't wait a little while longer?

    As the bard, Jerry Garcia, used to sing "all good things in all good time"
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

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    Guest

    Re: So why no swimming during plaster break-in period?

    Quote Originally Posted by waste
    Gee Waterbear, I'd have thought you might get worked up on this topic :P
    Me get worked up? Never happen!

  8. Back To Top    #8

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    Re: So why no swimming during plaster break-in period?

    Just so no one gets the wrong idea. I jumped in right after filling but before the acid was dumped in so the water was just as safe as bath water. I did NOT touch the plaster for the reasons listed above.
    11000 Gals, Intelliflo, Sta-Rite Cartridge, Polaris 360

    Pool I built in my old house: my-new-pool-build-t4534.html

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    Re: So why no swimming during plaster break-in period?

    Quote Originally Posted by cobra46
    Just so no one gets the wrong idea. I jumped in right after filling but before the acid was dumped in so the water was just as safe as bath water. I did NOT touch the plaster for the reasons listed above.
    On new plaster right after filling your pH was most likely very high and NOT like 'bath water'. There is a reason why there is not swimming during break in.
    but you can lead a horse to water...

    BTW, how did you exit the pool without touching the plaster?

  10. Back To Top    #10

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    Re: So why no swimming during plaster break-in period?

    How high do you think my Ph was right after filling? After putting 25k gallons of fresh tap water (mine is 7.8 ) over a 24 period I can't imagine it went up that much before I jumped in.

    I can't imagine that a couple of minutes even at a Ph of 8.2 or 8.4 would be harmful but then again I'm an engineer not a doctor.

    Getting out of a pool without touching the plaster is easy. One just has to frog kick their legs, push on the coping and lean forward. Not the most graceful move, it least when I do it, but it works.
    11000 Gals, Intelliflo, Sta-Rite Cartridge, Polaris 360

    Pool I built in my old house: my-new-pool-build-t4534.html

  11. Back To Top    #11
    Guest

    Re: So why no swimming during plaster break-in period?

    Quote Originally Posted by cobra46
    How high do you think my Ph was right after filling? After putting 25k gallons of fresh tap water (mine is 7.8 ) over a 24 period I can't imagine it went up that much before I jumped in.
    Curing plaster causes the pH of the water to rise quickly for several weeks as calcium hydroxide (calcium equivalent of lye) is leached from the surface.
    I can't imagine that a couple of minutes even at a Ph of 8.2 or 8.4 would be harmful but then again I'm an engineer not a doctor.
    There is a good chance the pH is much higher than that on a fresh fill with no acid added. Consider yourself lucky.
    Getting out of a pool without touching the plaster is easy. One just has to frog kick their legs, push on the coping and lean forward. Not the most graceful move, it least when I do it, but it works.
    And one small slip and you might have been replastering. Not really a chance I would want to take,

    Bottom line, in your pool you can do anything you want, even dive head first into the shallow end, but do not imply that there are no negative consequences and have someone else follow that "advice" and suffer damage to their pool or themselves. That would be a disservice to the members coming here for sound advice, don't you agree?

  12. Back To Top    #12

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    Re: So why no swimming during plaster break-in period?

    You make it sound like 24 hour old plaster is soft like play dough. It not. The plaster guys were walking on the plaster (using their special booties) fairly soon after it was applied. 24 hours later it's actually quite hard already.
    11000 Gals, Intelliflo, Sta-Rite Cartridge, Polaris 360

    Pool I built in my old house: my-new-pool-build-t4534.html

  13. Back To Top    #13
    Guest

    Re: So why no swimming during plaster break-in period?

    Quote Originally Posted by cobra46
    You make it sound like 24 hour old plaster is soft like play dough. It not. The plaster guys were walking on the plaster (using their special booties) fairly soon after it was applied. 24 hours later it's actually quite hard already.
    It is soft enough to be easily gouged by a pool vacuum, brush, foot, etc. Why do you think brush vacuum heads and only nylon brushes are used on new plaster. In fact, plaster is soft enough for the first year to be damaged by combo and stainless steel brushes!

    You don't get it, do you? Your advice is just plain bad. (And I am speaking as a Forum Mod here). You might have been lucky but someone else that tries it based on your experience might not be. You are doing a disservice to any other new pool owners if they think that ignoring the rule about no swimming during break in is OK because of your posts.
    Like I said, in your pool you can do whatever you want (and this is one of the reasons we have Darwin Awards) but it is NOT sound advice for the forum.

  14. Back To Top    #14

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    Re: So why no swimming during plaster break-in period?

    Please don't misunderstand me here.

    The OP had been given the warning to not swim on fresh plaster just as I was. I was NOT offering advice but just a fact of what I did and that was I was only in the water for a couple minutes and was careful to not touch the plaster.

    I will only offer advice if I am sure I have knowledge in the area questioned.
    11000 Gals, Intelliflo, Sta-Rite Cartridge, Polaris 360

    Pool I built in my old house: my-new-pool-build-t4534.html

  15. Back To Top    #15

    Re: So why no swimming during plaster break-in period?

    So when is the plaster (Diamond Brite in this case) cured well enough for light traffic...and when is it ok to let the kids bring toys in?
    Owner built 32,000g Diamond Brite IGP with 1,300g spa, Jandy 2.0hp ePump, DEV60 filter, LXi 400k btu NG heater, PS-8 control, QT 1.5hp blower, WaterColors, Liquidator, PoolBlaster, Blue Diamond

    Lehigh Custom Pools

  16. Back To Top    #16
    Guest

    Re: So why no swimming during plaster break-in period?

    Quote Originally Posted by deanrinehart
    So when is the plaster (Diamond Brite in this case) cured well enough for light traffic...and when is it ok to let the kids bring toys in?
    What kind of startup are you doing and what did the plasterer say (which is important for any warranty you might have!)

  17. Back To Top    #17

    Re: So why no swimming during plaster break-in period?

    Normal startup...we're at the 72 hour mark now.

    I don't have the plasterer's instructions in front of me, so not sure if they had any remarks on when you could go in. I don't remember any specific given.
    Owner built 32,000g Diamond Brite IGP with 1,300g spa, Jandy 2.0hp ePump, DEV60 filter, LXi 400k btu NG heater, PS-8 control, QT 1.5hp blower, WaterColors, Liquidator, PoolBlaster, Blue Diamond

    Lehigh Custom Pools

  18. Back To Top    #18
    Guest

    Re: So why no swimming during plaster break-in period?

    Quote Originally Posted by deanrinehart
    Normal startup...we're at the 72 hour mark now.
    This means you are ready to add the CYA and chlorine!
    I don't have the plasterer's instructions in front of me, so not sure if they had any remarks on when you could go in. I don't remember any specific given.
    It's three days AFTER no more plaster dust is coming off when you brush twice daily, usually a week or two after filling, but YMMV.
    However, realize that it is still possible to damage the plaster for the next few months so take extra care when vacuuming (using a brush vacuum for vinyl pools for the first 4 months or so is not a bad idea.)

  19. Back To Top    #19

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    Re: So why no swimming during plaster break-in period?

    Our pool builder (Cody Pools in Austin, TX) told us we could start swimming as soon as the water is filling up. Our interior is Pebble Sheen (by Pebble Tec). Does this kind of plaster make an exception for the no swimming rule??
    Mike
    25k IG w/ Pebble Sheen
    + 8' diameter spa w/spillway
    Hayward ProLogic + T-CELL-15 SWCG
    Cartridge Filter

  20. Back To Top    #20
    Guest

    Re: So why no swimming during plaster break-in period?

    No. Then again, builders are notorious for bad pool advice. They build pools and once you make that final payment, good luck!

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