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Thread: Rebuilding the pool. Need help with start-up.

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    Rebuilding the pool. Need help with start-up.

    Hi There,

    My pool is going to be rebuilt in the next week or two and I need help starting it up. I went through the Start-up New Plaster page in the pool school and have some questions.

    First of all the builder will not do the first seven steps, so I am on my own for that. Among other things, the pool will be re-plastered with gray plaster.

    I am going to use the first method, so, here are the steps for which I have some questions:

    3. Check all equipment and make sure it's functional. Turn off the heater and leave off for at least 3 weeks after filling. - I do not have the heater, but I have the Barracuda vacuum cleaner attached to the inflow.

    4. Circulate the water, add sequestrant. Run pump 24 hours a day for first week. Watch filter pressure and clean filter as soon as it rises 8-10 psi. The plaster dust might clog the filter quickly so keep an eye on it and clean the filter as needed. - Do I circulate the water with Barracuda connected or not? What is sequestrant and where to I buy it?

    5. Test and balance the water. First adjust TA to 80-100 ppm, then CH to 200-400 ppm, and finally pH to 7.6. pH will probably have to be lowered but do not add more than 1 pt of muriatic acid per 10,000 gallons at any one time to avoid sudden pH shifts. DO NOT ADD CHLORINE OR CYA YET. - What is "pt" in 1 pt, is it pint? 1 pint = 16 oz. So if my pool is about 16K gallons I would need to add 24oz of muriatic acid? If the pH does not decreases to 7.6 do I leave it or try to decrease more?

    6. After the first 48 hours vacuum daily before brushing using a vacuum head with brushes (such as used in vinyl pools) instead of wheels to prevent marring the plaster. Clean filter after vacuuming. - Base on the answer in 4 above, is it OK to vacuum with Barracuda?

    7. After 72 hours add the CYA and then the chlorine SLOWLY to gradually bring it to the desired level. - When says "add the CYA and then the chlorine SLOWLY to gradually bring it to the desired level", does it mean over several hours, days, etc? What is the optimal CYA level? Once I achieve that level, do I bring the Target FC to that level?

    I will try to post construction photos.

    Thanks for the help.

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    Re: Rebuilding the pool. Need help with start-up.

    Hi, Astro,

    Sequestrant is used in a pool that has dissolved metals in the water. It prevents them from precipitating out onto the pool surfaces and causing the surfaces to stain. You may not need it at all.

    I would suggest you do a complete test of your fill water so you'll know what to adjust (if anything) beforehand.

    If your water source is city water you will have to do very little adjustment and will likely have no metal issues.

    If you are filling from a well, test for iron in the water. If you have less than .2ppm, you do not need to worry about sequestrant.

    Complete your tests by testing for
    ph
    TA
    CH

    Chlorine will be at zero so you'll have to add those but post back those test results for now and we'll all help you get started.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Rebuilding the pool. Need help with start-up.

    I would not recommend using the barracuda while the new plaster is curing...it may be ok after the first few weeks-30 days? Those with more experience will advise but I wouldn't the first week.

    "slowly" means adding the chlorine about 2ppm at a time - you have to use the pool calc to determine how much that is. So say you add 2ppm chlorine in the morning, test again in the evening and if it's 0, add another 2ppm, retest in the morning, add more if necessary, until the FC is starting to hold.

    You want the CYA level at a min of 30 ppm - is this a swg pool? If so the recommended levels are higher - see the article in Pool School about Recommended Levels.

    The PH - not too much acid at one time. So say add the acid, circulate and wait several hours and then test again. If it hasn't come down you can add a little more, wait, retest, etc.

    You can test the PH and the chlorine at the same time, just don't add acid and chlorine at the same time, wait at least an hour in between chem additions.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
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    Re: Rebuilding the pool. Need help with start-up.

    Depending on the PH and temperature, there may be a great deal of plaster dust or very little. This dust can potentially clog the pool cleaner, and if it is bad enough cause some damage to the cleaner. Don't even think of putting the pool cleaner into the pool in the first 72 hours. After that you can use the pool cleaner as long as there isn't too much plaster dust. As long as there is lots of plaster dust it is best to vacuum by hand.

    "pt" is pint, as in 16 oz. The amount of acid you will need to add will vary, don't automatically assume it will be 16 oz for each 10,000 gallons. Test the water, especially the PH and TA levels and plug those numbers into The Pool Calculator, see the link in my signature, to find out how much acid to add.

    It is extremely important to keep the PH in range during the first several weeks. The PH will tend to rise, possibly very rapidly, and you want to make sure it doesn't get too high. After you have a few days of experience with the pool, you may be able to add more acid at once than that guide line suggests. The important thing is to not add too much. "Too much" means not accidentally causing the PH go below 7.0.

    I would not raise either TA or CH at all in the first three weeks. They will go up on their own as the plaster cures.

    Right at first all of your chlorine will vanish each day. Add 2 ppm of chlorine in the evening starting the second or third day, until 24 hours after adding CYA, then switch to the target level for your CYA level. As the CYA level comes up it becomes possible to maintain an FC level through the day. Initially (ie after 72 hours) you should aim for a CYA level of around 30, wait a week, then adjust further from there (to 80 with a SWG, or 50 without a SWG).
    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: Rebuilding the pool. Need help with start-up.

    No Suction Side Cleaner for 4 weeks, 6 if its a cold water cure (sub 60 degrees). It can cause delamination. No pressure side cleaners or you will get tire grooves in the plaster.

    Keep the pH lower than 7.5, I prefer to see heaterless pools cure at about a 7.2 level. You're going to need some Muriatic acid. Get the sequesterant. It won't hurt and it if the MA comes from Home Depot, it may have some iron in it. I have seen several reports with this being the case. Lowes' doesn't seem to have this issue with their supplier.

    Since your pool is 16K gallons, 24 oz per 4 hour period. until the pH is in range. Hold off using the Alk increaser for a few weeks. The pH will rise anyway and the Alk will just make it harder to lower.

    After the 1st week, you can start introducing chlorine in 1 ppm increment increases per week. Use polyquat algaecide only after 3 weeks.

    Filter On 24/7 for the 1st month. Back wash or clean filter cartridges after a 10 PSI increase.

    Fill the pool as fast as you can.

    Brush twice daily for the 1st week. Then once daily till you cease getting dust.

    Test water daily for the 1st 2 weeks. Then every couple days for the next two weeks or so.

    You will notice, at first, the pH will climb daily. It will slow it rise rate as the cure completes but not stop until about 6-8 months, sometimes more.

    After 28-45 days, temperature dependent, balance and enjoy!

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

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    Re: Rebuilding the pool. Need help with start-up.

    Thanks for all the replies. After reading all of it I am not sure if I can do it. Due to my work schedule I am not sure if I can keep track of everything the way it should be, let alone brush and vacuum in the morning. Coincidentally, can any one recommend a reliable pool person who can start the new pool for me in Los Angeles, San Fernando area. I will provide the chemicals. How much something like that would cost? Before the remodel I was using the BBB method. I'd like to continue to use BBB method.

    Here are some photos of the remodeling:







    Demolition is done.


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    Re: Rebuilding the pool. Need help with start-up.

    WRT to who to call, I cannot. the 3K+ miles is a bit far. heheh

    The pic is helpfull though. Before anything, find and protect the bond wire. Make sure it wasn't broken!

    I didn't see any reinforcing grid in the broken up concrete. Very surprising. Wondering about what goes in to replace what came out and your local construction codes.codes.

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

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    Re: Rebuilding the pool. Need help with start-up.

    Apparently the old concrete was done without the reinforcement. The new one will be. What is the bone wire?

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    Re: Rebuilding the pool. Need help with start-up.

    It ensures all metal in and around the pool is tied to ground and helps eliminate any potential stray currents from forming and stray voltages from appearing and causing corrosion or shocks.

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

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    Re: Rebuilding the pool. Need help with start-up.

    REMODEL UPDATE

    The copping and the tile have been replaced.
    Reinforcement mesh almost done.



    Also, I measured the tap water with witch I will fill the pool:

    Ch 1.5
    pH 7.5
    TA 120
    Calcium Hardness 110

    I get the MA from Leslie's Pools store here in Los Angeles, I do not know if it has me metal or not. Where can I get sequesterant, when and how much do I add to 16K gallon pool?

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Rebuilding the pool. Need help with start-up.

    Your tap water numbers are fairly good. Long term you will need to keep an eye on the CH level, which may tend to drift up, but it shouldn't cause any short term problems.
    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: Rebuilding the pool. Need help with start-up.

    Once I fill the pool with water, when do I need to adjust TA to 80-100 ppm, then CH to 200-400 ppm, and finally pH to 7.6? Is it right a way or after running the pump for a week?

    Will I need to use something like this for brushing:

    http://www.lesliespool.com/browse/Home/ ... 20/I/20881
    http://www.lesliespool.com/browse/Home/ ... 00/I/20129

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Rebuilding the pool. Need help with start-up.

    When starting up with fresh plaster you do not want to adjust the TA or CH levels during the first three or four weeks. PH, TA, and CH will all go up on their own. You primarily job will be to keep an eye on PH, and lower it each time it goes up.

    {EDIT}Both of the tools you linked to are fine!{/EDIT}
    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: Rebuilding the pool. Need help with start-up.

    ...Your first link is to a vacuum head for a vinyl pool. You will want a vacuum head for a plaster pool, ...
    I thought that during start-up/replaster one was to avoid the "wheeled" style vacuum? Or was that only for the pump-powered and/or robotic models?

    I'm asking for clarification as I am in the 1st stage of getting my first plaster-finish pool and don't want to purchase the wrong stuff (or fail to purchase the right stuff).
    Geometric 16X36', 16K gal, shotcrete, exposed aggregate plaster, acrylic coated concrete deck/cantilever coping;
    Pentair equipment suite (EasyTouch w/wireless, 2 Intellibrites, Intelliflo VS-3050, C&C 200 Filter, IC-40 SWG);
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Rebuilding the pool. Need help with start-up.

    I'm sorry, you are right, and I am wrong. Apologies.
    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: Rebuilding the pool. Need help with start-up.

    Apology not required (but the correction was welcomed), I'm just a newbie trying to get a whole bunch of stuff straight in my head.

    You are a lion (sorry, pun intended) in the forum knowledge arena, so when you say something I listen (well, read, but...)
    Geometric 16X36', 16K gal, shotcrete, exposed aggregate plaster, acrylic coated concrete deck/cantilever coping;
    Pentair equipment suite (EasyTouch w/wireless, 2 Intellibrites, Intelliflo VS-3050, C&C 200 Filter, IC-40 SWG);
    Heliocol solar panels, Rocky's Roller, Blue Diamond robot

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    Re: Rebuilding the pool. Need help with start-up.

    Please, please, please. No vacuuming for at least 2-3 weeks. The suction can cause delamination. The use of a soft edged scoop net may be used to remove larger debris. These nets have a soft vinyl edging around the mouth as opposed to the hard plastic edges that can gouge softer, uncured finishes.

    The use of brushed vac heads, such as the one linked to, will not slide easily along the bottom. I only use these heads on liner pools.

    After several weeks, the use of wheels vac heads if OK. The suction no longer presents the risk of delaminating the finish or leaving wheel marks or grooves.

    I do tend to be very cautious here.

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

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    Re: Rebuilding the pool. Need help with start-up.

    Please, please, please. No vacuuming for at least 2-3 weeks. ...
    The use of brushed vac heads, such as the one linked to, will not slide easily along the bottom. I only use these heads on liner pools.
    ...
    After several weeks, the use of wheels vac heads if OK. ...
    So our forum leader was right - don't buy the vinyl vac - do buy the plaster vac, but don't use it for ~3 weeks? Again, trying to make sure I got it straight in my head (not always an easy thing to do).
    Geometric 16X36', 16K gal, shotcrete, exposed aggregate plaster, acrylic coated concrete deck/cantilever coping;
    Pentair equipment suite (EasyTouch w/wireless, 2 Intellibrites, Intelliflo VS-3050, C&C 200 Filter, IC-40 SWG);
    Heliocol solar panels, Rocky's Roller, Blue Diamond robot

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Rebuilding the pool. Need help with start-up.

    I would order the sequesterant online - when I was researching for someone else last year I found the best prices that way.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    Re: Rebuilding the pool. Need help with start-up.

    Thanks for all the replies.

    To end this madness can someone who has done it before provide steps of how to do it. Even though Pool School has the steps, they seem to be too vague and I see a lot of contradictions in this post. Some say add sequestrant, other say it is not necessary. Some say vacuum with the brush head, some say with the wheel attachment and others say not to vacuum at all. I would appreciate detailed steps that describe when, what needs to be done and maybe a link with pictures what brushes need to be used.

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