DIY Hot Tub, 750 gallons, Questions and Build Updates

A.O.

Well-known member
Apr 12, 2016
498
Kershaw, South Carolina
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Yes , very nice, sorry bout the ridge cap thing! What are your plans for around the outside of it? Decks or steps or what?
 

Dirrby

Gold Supporter
Oct 26, 2020
57
Poway, CA
Pool Size
800
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Thanks! I plan just one or two steps in the front 16 inches high total which is the same height as the bench on the inside. To get in you would use the step to sit on the ledge and swivel your legs around to drop in on the bench seat on the inside. Basically, you get in the same way you get out. I've been using a step stool for this and it works great.
 
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Dirrby

Gold Supporter
Oct 26, 2020
57
Poway, CA
Pool Size
800
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
I knocked out the plumbing yesterday. Let me know if anything doesn't look right. I couldn't find sweeping elbows at lowes or HD so i used 45s and doubled up on the supply line from heater the heater to the jet manifold. The weird upside down pic is the plumbing for the topside air controll valve. I ordered jet inserts a few months ago and just realized after checking my emails that the order was cancelled and they never shipped. Hopefully i can pick some up at lesslies but i think its a long shot. Working on electrical next.
 

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cowboycasey

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 3, 2013
8,647
Southern OK
Pool Size
15000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool SJ-40
Looks good with 2 questions..

1. do you have enough room to get the top of the filter off?
2. why 2 pipes going to the same pipe? Those ball valves only last a couple years then the ears break off and need to be replaced...

1628441917797.png
 

Dirrby

Gold Supporter
Oct 26, 2020
57
Poway, CA
Pool Size
800
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Couple of questions..

I didn't install waterline tile (which may have been a mistake) so when i initially fill the tub should i overfill to the very top to allow the plaster to harden what will be above the waterline? The mfg of the plaster states it requires 14 days to fully cure at which point i would drop the level to normal.

Any recommendations where i can order a custom fit spa cover?
 

Dirrby

Gold Supporter
Oct 26, 2020
57
Poway, CA
Pool Size
800
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Looks good with 2 questions..

1. do you have enough room to get the top of the filter off?
2. why 2 pipes going to the same pipe? Those ball valves only last a couple years then the ears break off and need to be replaced...

View attachment 362616
Thanks for quick feedback! Yeah the filter is out far enough to get off with no issues. The two lines are my attempt to reduce pressure loss... really no other purpose. Yeah i read that about those valves. In a year or two i'll redo it with the correct valve and sweeps and eliminate one of those lines.
 

cowboycasey

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 3, 2013
8,647
Southern OK
Pool Size
15000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool SJ-40
ahh, custom fit, Ohh yes and these guys are great :)

Get this one with all the fixens, the more the better..

 

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Plettschner

Gold Supporter
Jun 4, 2019
267
Connecticut
Pool Size
17000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
@Dirrby, I've enjoyed following along with this build. Real nice job you did! Looking forward to bubbly water photos next.
 
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Dirrby

Gold Supporter
Oct 26, 2020
57
Poway, CA
Pool Size
800
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Not a lot to post about this week. We are heading to Catalina on thursday for a camping trip so I spent a fair amount of time prepping for that, but I did make some progress on the trench for the power line. I think i may take the opportunity to drop in a rubber barrier to help contain the bamboo while I'm at it.
 

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Dirrby

Gold Supporter
Oct 26, 2020
57
Poway, CA
Pool Size
800
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
I filled the hot tub yesterday and today i need to deal with water chemistry. I am a dummy for not doing more research and practicing with the TF100 kit, so i think i meed some help getting started. The startup procedure for the plaster requires ph of 7.4 to 7.6 and alkalinity from 80 to 120. Here's what i have based on my testing this morning.
Ph 8.5 (estimate because its above the scale)
FC 0.5 to 1
TA 200
CYA 0? (The solution never went cloudy and obscured the black dot)

So thoughts and next steps? Are there other tests needed immediately to determine what to do next? I'm heading to the pool store when they open and will be reading up as much as possible between now and then. I assume i need to bring the ph down with acid as a first step?
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
43,982
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
I'm heading to the pool store when they open
Stop. No need to do that.
Walmart, Home Depot, Lowes, Ace Hardware should have what you need.
You need stabilizer (CYA), acid (31.45% or 14.5% muriatic acid, and liquid chlorine).

Are you following a plaster start up process?
 

Dirrby

Gold Supporter
Oct 26, 2020
57
Poway, CA
Pool Size
800
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Stop. No need to do that.
Walmart, Home Depot, Lowes, Ace Hardware should have what you need.
You need stabilizer (CYA), acid (31.45% or 14.5% muriatic acid, and liquid chlorine).

Are you following a plaster start up process?
Thanks for the quick replay! I'll pick some up from wallmart. I think they have it there. The plaster is not traditional, its a roll on by sider-crete. No chlorine for first 3 days and no brushing or salt additions for 14 days, no calcium chloride for 5 days. Run filter pump constant for first 5 days.
 

Dirrby

Gold Supporter
Oct 26, 2020
57
Poway, CA
Pool Size
800
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
So far I've used a little over a half gallon of 14.5 % MA and the pH is still high (TA down to 60). I plan to keep adding acid until the pH comes down, but is that the right move?

I'm not able to brush the plaster for the first 14 days so there's a lot of dust settled out on the bottom which are the lighter colored areas in the photo. Should I rig up a vacuum and suck it out or just leave it and deal with it when I'm able to brush?

I also still need to install the jet inserts. When the time comes I think I'll drain about half of the volume into a kiddie pool and then pump it back when I'm done.

On Saturday I didn't complete the electrical work until around 9:30 pm and when I flipped the breakers the topside controller was acting funny, and I could only get the pump to run at high speed :scratch:. Well in the morning I noticed I screwed right through the the ribbon when I screwed on the spa controller cover. Fortunately the screw pierced between two wires and didn't sever them completely so I was able to repair it and get everything working. I must say I'm really happy with how quite the pump is on low speed! You really can't even hear it unless you're right up next to it.
 

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cowboycasey

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 3, 2013
8,647
Southern OK
Pool Size
15000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool SJ-40
If you can not brush I would vacuum it out... Your PH is up there... where do your drop your PH to and how long does it take to get that high again?

A screw will do that every time :)
 

shwn2405

Well-known member
Jun 7, 2021
52
Terre Haute, IN.
Pool Size
17200
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-9)
So far I've used a little over a half gallon of 14.5 % MA and the pH is still high (TA down to 60). I plan to keep adding acid until the pH comes down, but is that the right move?
Yes, Keep lowering PH to 7.4-7.6. After adding MA, let it circulate for 30 mins then recheck.
 
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