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Thread: Chemical Question, Was Plaster Brushing

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    Chemical Question, Was Plaster Brushing

    My wife just called and told me they had finished the plaster and the pool was slowly filling. MY PB will be out on friday to do the "Pool Startup" My question is how soon should I begin brushing my plaster? Is it okay to wait until the PB comes out on friday and starts up the equipment or should I start as soon as the pool is full?

    Also, I ordered one of the TF 100 Test Kits and it should be here by friday, how soon after the PB adds the first dose of chemicals should I test the water?

    Thanks.

    Bryan
    18K Gallon In Ground Gunite Pool, Quartz/Plaster Finish, 8' Spa with Spillover, 1 Grotto/Waterfall, Hayward/Goldline PS8 controller, 1.5 HP Two Speed Pump, 1HP Booster Pump for Grotto/Waterfall, Cartridge Filter,400K BTU Nat Gas Heater, Ozonator,3 Multi-Color LED Lights (Spa, Grotto, Pool).

    Ozonator is not functioing, evaluating my options, either fix it or get a new one or drop it completely.

  2. Back To Top    #2

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    Re: Plaster Brushing

    Hi, Brian,

    "Thank you" for ordering the test kit.

    I would suggest you test the water before anybody adds anything. If you need 200 of "X" and your fill water already contains 100 of "X", then you know to add only 100 more.

    Secondly, I would ask him very specifically what chemistry and quantities he plans to put in your pool. Frequently, it's stuff you don't need and, if you do need it, you need to know how much he put in for the same reason as above.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Re: Plaster Brushing

    Thanks for that advice, I will defiantely check the water first. I'll have to stop by a pool store and see what kid of cheap test kit they have I can get to use until the TF100 comes in. Shouldn't be too long a wait though. Based on what my wife said a couple hours ago it could be finished filling tonight and I can take my first reading.

    Thanks,

    Bryan
    18K Gallon In Ground Gunite Pool, Quartz/Plaster Finish, 8' Spa with Spillover, 1 Grotto/Waterfall, Hayward/Goldline PS8 controller, 1.5 HP Two Speed Pump, 1HP Booster Pump for Grotto/Waterfall, Cartridge Filter,400K BTU Nat Gas Heater, Ozonator,3 Multi-Color LED Lights (Spa, Grotto, Pool).

    Ozonator is not functioing, evaluating my options, either fix it or get a new one or drop it completely.

  4. Back To Top    #4
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Plaster Brushing

    Keep in mind that fresh plaster will raise the PH, TA, and CH levels fairly rapidly for the first three or four weeks. You will need to keep the PH below 8.0 by adding acid fairly frequently. You also don't usually want to raise the TA or CH levels until you see where they end up at the end of the first month.

    Your builder may do an acid start (very low PH) or an alkaline start (high TA), in which case the corresponding test result will be out of the normal range for several days to a week.

    One important consideration is to not do anything that will void your warranty. Builders sometimes have curious requirements, but if you don't follow them they can sometimes void your warranty. Depending on what your builder intends and how open minded they are you might want to follow their advice instead of ours to keep the warranty in place.
    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

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Re: Plaster Brushing

    Well, its not quite half full after 10 Hours of filling. Might be full in the morning. Here's a picture.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    18K Gallon In Ground Gunite Pool, Quartz/Plaster Finish, 8' Spa with Spillover, 1 Grotto/Waterfall, Hayward/Goldline PS8 controller, 1.5 HP Two Speed Pump, 1HP Booster Pump for Grotto/Waterfall, Cartridge Filter,400K BTU Nat Gas Heater, Ozonator,3 Multi-Color LED Lights (Spa, Grotto, Pool).

    Ozonator is not functioing, evaluating my options, either fix it or get a new one or drop it completely.

  6. Back To Top    #6

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    Re: Plaster Brushing

    New plaster start-up is one of the most critical times for plaster. It is important that it be done correctly. The builder should be out as soon as the pool is full. The builder should be advising you on the things you should, and should not, be doing. If anything goes wrong you don't want the PB to be able to claim that you did anything wrong. Consult them frequently. Get their approval for everything that you do. Keep good written notes of all instructions. The builder should include service for at least the first two weeks to make sure that the initial process is done properly. They should include thorough training and instructions.

    Daily testing of chlorine, pH, alkalinity and calcium is very important. You should keep a log of all readings and of all chemical additions. The PB should advise you at what levels you need to maintain. Your log will help you prove that you maintained the proper levels if it ever becomes an issue. It will also help you see how and why the levels change over time. After you begin to see that your alkalinity and calcium are staying stable you can begin testing them less frequently, but not less than once a week. While it is important to test your own chemicals, it is also important to have the builder test them periodically for warranty purposes. Keep their written reports on the water test results.

    I think that it is important to run the filter 24/7 at least for the first few months, and brush with a nylon bristle brush as needed. Do not use a stainless steel bristle brush. The plaster is still curing for several weeks after being installed and must be treated carefully. Brush at least twice per day to prevent the plaster dust from scaling on surfaces.

    I think that you should get your saturation index as close to 0.0 as possible, without going over, after the first 30 days. For the first few months, the pH, alkalinity and calcium will be raised by the fresh plaster and that could cause the SI to go over 0.0, if you're not careful.

    ***Note by SeanB*** - let's not over complicate things int he Getting Started forum. The chemical equation only complicates things, does nothing to actually aid the OP and is certain to derail this thread off to the deep end! Be sure to take into account the amount of expected rise before adding anything. You can expect continuous pH rise due to plaster dust which is caused by calcium hydroxide combining with bicarbonates to form calcium carbonate and hydroxide. Calcium hydroxide + bicarbonate <--> Calcium Carbonate + water + hydroxide.
    Ca(OH)2 + HCO3- <--> CaCO3 + H2O + OH-
    Avoid going positive on the SI to avoid scaling. It is better to stay slightly negative for the first 90 days to avoid scaling.

    Balancing the SI, after the first 30, days will reduce the pH rise by reducing the water's ability to pull calcium carbonate and calcium hydroxide out of the plaster. Your chemical logs and the Pool Builder will help you determine the expected rise. Add chemicals in small doses to avoid adding too much of anything. It is also important not to go positive on the SI during the first 90 days to avoid scaling. Balancing the SI needs to take into account the expected calcium levels in the next 90 days. During the initial start-up procedure your pH, alkalinity and calcium should be kept low to avoid problems.

    As soon as possible can you post a full set of chemical readings for your pool and for your fill water? It is important that you test for iron and other metals and manage them properly to avoid staining. The ozonator can cause iron to precipitate out if the iron has not been properly managed. Do not use it for at least the first 15 days.

    Do not broadcast any chemical. All chemicals should be fully dissolved before addition. Chemicals should not be added through the skimmer due to the heater. It has a copper or copper/nickel heat exchanger that can be damaged. Do not shock the pool; add chlorine slowly.

    Notes:
    1) Do not add any cyanuric for the first 10 days.
    2) Do not add more than 20 ppm of cyanuric for day 10 through 30
    3) Do not vacuum with a wheeled vacuum for at least 20 days. Only use a vacuum that has brushes on the bottom. You may want to vacuum to waste to avoid having the plaster dust go into your filter, and usually through your filter right back into the pool.
    4) Do not run the heater for the first 20 days.
    5) Do not shock. Add chlorine slowly and carefully.
    6) Do not use calcium hypochlorite.
    7) Do not add salt for the first 30 days.
    8) Use a sequestering agent to help prevent stains and to prevent plaster dust from bonding to your fresh plaster.
    9) Do not use sodium bisulphate.

    Good luck; and keep us posted.

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Re: Plaster Brushing

    Okay, here are my first set of test results The pool finished filling at about 5:00 am, and the PB won't be out until tommorrow sometime with the chemicals and instructions and to start the pumps/filter.

    I don't have my TF 100 yet, so I bought an HTH Kit at walmart, I tested the pool water (after being in the sun all day) and my fill water

    Fill water is:

    PH > 8.2
    Total ALK 450 ppm (yes, its really that high)
    Calcium Hardness 80 PPM (seems low, but I tested twice)
    Chlorine 4 ppm

    The pool water is exactly the same except no Chlorine.

    Is the High PH and Alkalinity going to cause any immediate concerns with my Plaster Curing? I can't really put anything in the pool anyways until the PB gets here and starts the pumps, etc. But those high readings really bother me.
    18K Gallon In Ground Gunite Pool, Quartz/Plaster Finish, 8' Spa with Spillover, 1 Grotto/Waterfall, Hayward/Goldline PS8 controller, 1.5 HP Two Speed Pump, 1HP Booster Pump for Grotto/Waterfall, Cartridge Filter,400K BTU Nat Gas Heater, Ozonator,3 Multi-Color LED Lights (Spa, Grotto, Pool).

    Ozonator is not functioing, evaluating my options, either fix it or get a new one or drop it completely.

  8. Back To Top    #8
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Plaster Brushing

    It is up to the pool builder how they want to handle the high TA levels. You are in effect doing a high TA start, which is fine if they want to go that way. If they want to do an acid start it is going to take quite a bit of acid. The first phase is really up to the pool builder.

    Make sure you are clear with your builder what is their responsibility and what is your responsibility. You don't want to be trying to do one thing while they are trying to do another, or have both of you assuming the other will take care of things and have no one taking care of things. I think everything will be fine as long as your builder actually shows up and finishes the initial startup.

    Long term your high TA fill water is going to require lowering the TA level after every time you add water. I suggest to do some reading about lowering TA levels and stocking up on muriatic acid.
    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

  9. Back To Top    #9

    Re: Plaster Brushing

    Well it's in the PB's hands now. He's supposed to send someone out tommorrow and I let my constructtion coordinator know this morning the pool was full, and she was unconcerned about it sitting full for a day but said they'd try and get someone out today (which didn't happen) but she was nice enough to call me back at 3:30 and let me know no-one was going to make it so I wouldn't be sitting around waiting.

    If I understand everything I've read correctly on the high TA (depending on how high he PH really is since all I know is its > 8.2) I basically add an appropriate amount of muriatic acid to drop the PH to 7.2 which will also drop the TA, then I aerate the water to raise the PH back up, and then repeat until the TA and PH are where I want them. Also I know I need to follow my PB's instuctions to keep my warranty up, but am I correct in saying that I don't want to drop my PH that low until the plaster is done curing?

    Also will running the water feature on the grotto provide enough aeration to raise the PH or should I follow the tip of pointing a get or two into the air?

    And one last question. Not understanding how they work very well, but I have a water softener for the house, would the softened water have a lower TA and therefore make better fill water? I guess I should just test the softened water, but that would require me to get it back on-line, its been bypassed for about a year now.

    Thanks

    Bryan
    18K Gallon In Ground Gunite Pool, Quartz/Plaster Finish, 8' Spa with Spillover, 1 Grotto/Waterfall, Hayward/Goldline PS8 controller, 1.5 HP Two Speed Pump, 1HP Booster Pump for Grotto/Waterfall, Cartridge Filter,400K BTU Nat Gas Heater, Ozonator,3 Multi-Color LED Lights (Spa, Grotto, Pool).

    Ozonator is not functioing, evaluating my options, either fix it or get a new one or drop it completely.

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Re: Chemical Question, Was Plaster Brushing

    Okay, so the pool is "started" I'll have to read all the instructions when I get home. He put in 1 and 1/2 or 2 gallons of Muratic Acid, and 1 and 1/2 pints of Jacks Magic and said that should last us until tuesday, but I thin I'm gonna go pick up some chemicals today anyhow.

    I'll test the water when I get home and maybe take a smple with me to the pool store for testing.

    Thanks,

    Bryan
    18K Gallon In Ground Gunite Pool, Quartz/Plaster Finish, 8' Spa with Spillover, 1 Grotto/Waterfall, Hayward/Goldline PS8 controller, 1.5 HP Two Speed Pump, 1HP Booster Pump for Grotto/Waterfall, Cartridge Filter,400K BTU Nat Gas Heater, Ozonator,3 Multi-Color LED Lights (Spa, Grotto, Pool).

    Ozonator is not functioing, evaluating my options, either fix it or get a new one or drop it completely.

  11. Back To Top    #11
    Guest

    Re: Chemical Question, Was Plaster Brushing

    You might want to read this and then ask your builder what kind of startup he is doing.
    category/pool-school/pool_plaster_start-up

  12. Back To Top    #12
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    Re: Plaster Brushing

    Quote Originally Posted by PoolOwnerNumber9
    New plaster start-up is one of the most critical times for plaster. It is important that it be done correctly. The builder should be out as soon as the pool is full. The builder should be advising you on the things you should, and should not, be doing. If anything goes wrong you don't want the PB to be able to claim that you did anything wrong. Consult them frequently. Get their approval for everything that you do. Keep good written notes of all instructions. The builder should include service for at least the first two weeks to make sure that the initial process is done properly. They should include thorough training and instructions.
    In a perfect world, maybe. In reality all too often the builder fills the pool and turns it over to the customer or subcontracts out to someone who really doesn't take the time to teach the customer what to do..

  13. Back To Top    #13

    Re: Chemical Question, Was Plaster Brushing

    Th start-up guy came out today. He will be back in two weeks for "pool school", until them I'm to follow the instructions he left and get my water tested weekly at a pool store for the first two months (to maintain my warranty). He added 1 and 1/2 gallons of Muriatic Acid at about 12:00 and put two "pucks" in the skimmer basket, and a sequestaraunt (sp.). I did a quick Chlorine test, still showed zero and added about 2/3 a gallon of 6% bleach to the water. I took a water sample to the pool store at 6:00, here are the results of that test(I filled my watersample bottle before adding the bleach):

    Saturation Index: -0.6
    TDS: 700
    Total Cholorine: 0.5
    Free Chlorine: 0
    PH 8.7
    Total Alkaliity: 253
    Total Hardness: 0 (I'm not sure he tested this)

    He didn't do a CYA test, and no stabalizer has been added yet, but should get there soon using the pucks.

    I tested again at 9:00 Chlorine showed 1.5 ppm, PH still showed 8.2 (the highest on my scale)

    Using the pool calculator I added 1 gallon of muratic acid. I also added another 1/2 gallon of bleach just to be safe.

    The drop in Total Alkalinity without a drop in PH makes me wonder if my original test was acuurate (I had done it twice and got the 450 result twice) or does the muratic acid take longer than that to work?

    The pool store said not to worry about the Hardness that my Pool and the Plaster were establihing a balance, but if I don't get the hardness up won't the pool leach calcium from the plaster?

    My PB left these instructions . . .for the 1st 4 weeks maintain total PH between 7.0 and 7.4, Total Alkalinity at 80-100, and Calcium Hardness between 200 and 300, and add A Stabilizer to help the chlorine last longer.

    I'll take another test i the morning, but how long does it take for the muratic acid to work? Should I be worried if I don't see a PH drop in the morning? And should I add something to bring the calcium hardness up.

    I guess the only good thing is the saturation index is really low, which I understand is good for my plaster curing.

    Thanks,

    Bryan
    18K Gallon In Ground Gunite Pool, Quartz/Plaster Finish, 8' Spa with Spillover, 1 Grotto/Waterfall, Hayward/Goldline PS8 controller, 1.5 HP Two Speed Pump, 1HP Booster Pump for Grotto/Waterfall, Cartridge Filter,400K BTU Nat Gas Heater, Ozonator,3 Multi-Color LED Lights (Spa, Grotto, Pool).

    Ozonator is not functioing, evaluating my options, either fix it or get a new one or drop it completely.

  14. Back To Top    #14
    Guest

    Re: Chemical Question, Was Plaster Brushing

    With your TA as high as it is it can take quite a bit of acid to lower the pH. With good circualtion you should test the pH about 30 minutes or so after adding the acid. If it's still high you need to add more. An acid demand test (ask the pool store to do it) can tell you how much acid you need to reach the desired pH.

  15. Back To Top    #15

    Re: Chemical Question, Was Plaster Brushing

    Thanks. I'll check the PH in a little bit and then add more acid if needed. The pool has really good circulation, 8 returns, 2 main drains, 1 skimmer and 2 drains on the wall below the skimmer, plus Two Drains in the SPA. Today we're going to do all the landscaping around the pool so I can pick up some more acid while I'm out getting the supplies for that.

    Bryan
    18K Gallon In Ground Gunite Pool, Quartz/Plaster Finish, 8' Spa with Spillover, 1 Grotto/Waterfall, Hayward/Goldline PS8 controller, 1.5 HP Two Speed Pump, 1HP Booster Pump for Grotto/Waterfall, Cartridge Filter,400K BTU Nat Gas Heater, Ozonator,3 Multi-Color LED Lights (Spa, Grotto, Pool).

    Ozonator is not functioing, evaluating my options, either fix it or get a new one or drop it completely.

  16. Back To Top    #16

    Re: Chemical Question, Was Plaster Brushing

    The test kit the builder left is just slightly better than my HTH kit, still waiting on my TF 100, Tracking number is on my Laptop, but I'm thinking it'll be here monday.

    Did a Chlorine check and a Ph check and an acid demand test.

    Chlorine was at 2.5PPM
    PH was 7.8
    Acid Deman test said to add a gallon of Acid, so thats what I did. I'll be running to pick up our landscaping supplies around 9:00 and will run a water sample over to the Pool Store then.

    Pool Looking good, but still really cloudy from the Plaster Curing and brushing. omeone previously said I could vaccum to waste if I wanted to get it out of my water sooner. Any recomendations on a good pool vacuum?

    The PB gave me a HAYWARD POOL VAC ULTRA, ut it hasn't been hooked up yet, and with the wheels I know I should keep it off the plaster for the first few eeks anyway. I'm not sure I can vaccum to waste with this thing anyway.

    Bryan
    18K Gallon In Ground Gunite Pool, Quartz/Plaster Finish, 8' Spa with Spillover, 1 Grotto/Waterfall, Hayward/Goldline PS8 controller, 1.5 HP Two Speed Pump, 1HP Booster Pump for Grotto/Waterfall, Cartridge Filter,400K BTU Nat Gas Heater, Ozonator,3 Multi-Color LED Lights (Spa, Grotto, Pool).

    Ozonator is not functioing, evaluating my options, either fix it or get a new one or drop it completely.

  17. Back To Top    #17

    Re: Chemical Question, Was Plaster Brushing

    Didn't make it to the pool store yet. But tested my water again,Chlorine is still at 2.5, PH is at 7.2, Alkalinity is either really low, or I can't get the test to work right. I'll be taking a sample in to be tested tommorrow and see what the pool store says and hopefully my TF 100 is here on monday.
    18K Gallon In Ground Gunite Pool, Quartz/Plaster Finish, 8' Spa with Spillover, 1 Grotto/Waterfall, Hayward/Goldline PS8 controller, 1.5 HP Two Speed Pump, 1HP Booster Pump for Grotto/Waterfall, Cartridge Filter,400K BTU Nat Gas Heater, Ozonator,3 Multi-Color LED Lights (Spa, Grotto, Pool).

    Ozonator is not functioing, evaluating my options, either fix it or get a new one or drop it completely.

  18. Back To Top    #18

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    duraleigh's Avatar
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    Re: Chemical Question, Was Plaster Brushing

    Bryan,

    Your kit was ordered Wednesday AM and Shipped to your address in TX on Wednesday afternoon.

    The tracking number you received via email indicates the kit will be delivered on Tuesday, Sept 2.

    DHL normally delivers in 3 working days to TX from NC....my assumption is they are closed for labor day on Monday, Sept 1st hence your Tuesday delivery.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  19. Back To Top    #19

    Re: Chemical Question, Was Plaster Brushing

    Thanks for the update, I've just been too busy to dig out my laptop and look up the order. I look forward to getting it.
    18K Gallon In Ground Gunite Pool, Quartz/Plaster Finish, 8' Spa with Spillover, 1 Grotto/Waterfall, Hayward/Goldline PS8 controller, 1.5 HP Two Speed Pump, 1HP Booster Pump for Grotto/Waterfall, Cartridge Filter,400K BTU Nat Gas Heater, Ozonator,3 Multi-Color LED Lights (Spa, Grotto, Pool).

    Ozonator is not functioing, evaluating my options, either fix it or get a new one or drop it completely.

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