Goodyear, AZ (EMR) O/B Pool Deliberations - UPDATE - Pool is Filled!

thewolf56

Bronze Supporter
Aug 3, 2015
215
Goodyear, AZ
Pool Size
15900
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
And more good news today, but I am quite nervous.

Out of the blue, a crew showed up today to do the pool clean-up. I thought that was a little strange because I didn't have plaster scheduled, yet. Later on, one of the owners showed up so they could get the handrail anchors installed and mosaics installed. Thought that was pretty quick, but wasn't going to complain about getting it out of the way. I was chatting with him and because of the rain in the East Valley, they came over here to try to get this finished up (it was sprinkling, but only occasional drops here). He also said plaster should be scheduled pretty soon, but his wife should reach out to me sometime today to set the schedule. Shortly after going back inside, I received a text from his wife asking to confirm our finish choices (Stonescapes micro aqua blue with Puerto Rico blend) as they have an opening for tomorrow for the interior!

So, I quickly texted the guy that we had planned on having perform the startup to make sure there are openings on Monday (still waiting for availability), but more importantly, I checked and I haven't tested my water yet!🤦‍♂️

Couple more pics of the progress.

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kimkats

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Jul 10, 2012
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Tallahassee, FL
Then you are going to need this:

Some helpful hints for day of filling

  • Do they have all the proper return nozzles and drain covers (type and color) to place after plaster installed
  • Have you tested your fill water? Are you filling with softened water or regular tap water?
  • Have your hose ready (and clean) as it will be laying in the pool.
  • Tie a sock or cloth around the nozzle so it does not sit on the plaster. Also, consider tying a plastic jug to the nozzle such that it will float up as the water rises.
  • Make sure the hose is put at the lowest part of the pool.
  • Do NOT stop the flow of water once it starts as it stopping it could cause a ring on the plaster.
  • Ensure you take note (or a picture) of your water meter reading before you start to fill
  • Be prepared to take note of your water meter as the pool reaches certain levels, i.e bottom of bottom step, top of bottom step, etc. (it helps in the future to know volume of your pool at certain levels - should you ever have to drain portion of it)
  • Plan to set an alarm every 4 hours (or so) to ensure hose is still in pool, no debris blew into pool, etc.
  • Take a picture of any chemicals they bring on site that they plan to dump in when they start to add water to pool
  • Continue to fill pool to center of water tile or center of skimmer. Take picture of water meter at end of fill
  • Get clear instructions from PB as what to do the day the pool is full - how often to brush, will the pump be turned on, etc.
Define with PB when he will be back out to set up water chemistry

Kim:kim:
 
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thewolf56

Bronze Supporter
Aug 3, 2015
215
Goodyear, AZ
Pool Size
15900
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Then you are going to need this:

Some helpful hints for day of filling
Kim:kim:
Thanks, Kim. All great notes

  • Do they have all the proper return nozzles and drain covers (type and color) to place after plaster installed
    • Double-checked yesterday that they have the correct colors for fittings and umbrella sleeve to match my skimmer and pebble top drain cover
  • Have you tested your fill water? Are you filling with softened water or regular tap water?
    • Just checked this morning (I'll post results soon). I think I will be filling it with a mix.
  • Have your hose ready (and clean) as it will be laying in the pool.
    • I have to buy a new hose to be able to reach from the non-soft water hose bib to fill, but will definitely be cleaning it and the soft water hose.
  • Tie a sock or cloth around the nozzle so it does not sit on the plaster. Also, consider tying a plastic jug to the nozzle such that it will float up as the water rises.
    • Thanks! I have some clean shop rags I will zip tie to the end and will look for a jug
  • Make sure the hose is put at the lowest part of the pool.
  • Do NOT stop the flow of water once it starts as it stopping it could cause a ring on the plaster.
  • Ensure you take note (or a picture) of your water meter reading before you start to fill
  • Be prepared to take note of your water meter as the pool reaches certain levels, i.e bottom of bottom step, top of bottom step, etc. (it helps in the future to know volume of your pool at certain levels - should you ever have to drain portion of it)
  • Plan to set an alarm every 4 hours (or so) to ensure hose is still in pool, no debris blew into pool, etc.
    • I better pull out my skimmer
  • Take a picture of any chemicals they bring on site that they plan to dump in when they start to add water to pool
  • Continue to fill pool to center of water tile or center of skimmer. Take picture of water meter at end of fill
  • Get clear instructions from PB as what to do the day the pool is full - how often to brush, will the pump be turned on, etc.
    • I'm the pool builder, so I will discuss with the plaster crew, but think I will need to be following NPT's startup
Define with PB when he will be back out to set up water chemistry
  • Already heard back from the startup guy I'll be using and he can be out as early as tomorrow (if it is filled), but most likely Monday.
 
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thewolf56

Bronze Supporter
Aug 3, 2015
215
Goodyear, AZ
Pool Size
15900
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Initial Water Test Results using the TF-Pro Salt

Backyard (Soft) Water
CL - 0.0
pH - 8.2
CH - 25 ppm
TA - 140
Salt - 800 ppm

Front Yard (from Water Main)
CL - 0.5
pH - 8.2
CH - 325 ppm
TA - 130
Salt - 800 ppm

I was a little surprised at the hardness from the hose bib right off the water main (I even tested twice). I have tested with the Hach 5b as high as 31 grains (531 ppm), but water sources can change throughout the year. I may not be filling any of the pool with the soft water for initial fill.

Also the salt content really surprised me. I tested the soft water first and expected some salt, but it looks like the water source itself has a decent amount of sodium in it.

It also looks like I am going to need a ton of muriatic acid as the pH is quite high. CSI calculation was also really high.

On another note, the smart stir tool was pretty cool to use. Worked a lot better than the ones I used in chem labs in college (20 years ago). The light option was pretty useful also.

Edit - I need to retest the salt.
 
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thewolf56

Bronze Supporter
Aug 3, 2015
215
Goodyear, AZ
Pool Size
15900
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
No interior finish today :(. We had some pretty big thunderstorms in my area from around 4:00 am to 10:30 this morning, which delayed the plaster crew. I was going to be the 2nd job of the day, so it is looking like I will get my interior installed tomorrow. Crossing my fingers that it works out.
 
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thewolf56

Bronze Supporter
Aug 3, 2015
215
Goodyear, AZ
Pool Size
15900
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
That was a big storm to be here and there at the same time.
Ramon said it was raining all the way in QC that morning as well. It was definitely loud and the lightning was directly overhead. Lightning actually hit someone's house in our community.
 

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thewolf56

Bronze Supporter
Aug 3, 2015
215
Goodyear, AZ
Pool Size
15900
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
So, pebble has been rescheduled for tomorrow at 5 am. Hope I don't get up early on a weekend for no reason o_O.

Checked out Leslie's for chemicals as it was next door to my optometrist today. I didn't get a price for liquid chlorine, but the the price for Muriatic Acid seemed ridiculous. Also tried to sell me some stuff to control my hardness...

I just checked Home Depot online for some chemicals. Muriatic Acid (29%) didn't seem too expensive and neither did the liquid chlorine (10% Sodium Hypochlorite). Does anyone know if the Home Depot stuff is any good? I'm still trying to check other non-Leslie's stores in the west valley, but the acid was significantly cheaper than Leslie's (29% vs 32%).
 

thewolf56

Bronze Supporter
Aug 3, 2015
215
Goodyear, AZ
Pool Size
15900
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
What a whirlwind of a weekend. A few ups and downs, but we are inching to the finish line.

Saturday, the interior crew showed up at 4:45 am! I had been up since 4 am as I had expected them at 5, but I could not sleep that night with the anticipation. I filled up the ice chest with Gatorades and water bottles, and filled up the snack box with our usual snacks (this time, added a ton of rice krispies treats as those seemed to be a favorite with every crew). I also turned on the spot lights as they had started working with headlamps and they seemed to appreciate it. I had to wait for the crew boss to show up to confirm the colors for the fittings and umbrella sleeves and also make sure that they had the correct color, pebbles, and add-ons (Stonescapes Aqua Blue Micro with Puerto Rico Blend).

This was probably the biggest crew with the boss working the mixer and feeding the pump. They worked hard and because it was hot and humid from the storms, this was the first crew to almost completely empty the ice chest (only 3 water bottles left in there and I had asked them to let me know if they needed any refills) and devoured almost everything in the snack box. I didn't mind at all because that was what they were there for, but just thought it was funny because I was worried about what we were going to do with all of the leftover snacks. Also, I can't help but wonder if keeping the crews well hydrated and with access to lots of rice krispie treats (these were the one common denominator across all of the different crews) helped lead to some good fortune later.

They worked hard and after they left, I couldn't see any trowel marks, divots, marks from the boot cleats, etc. I don't recall seeing it mentioned in other posts, but it was interesting to watch them backroll the plaster (like a painter after spraying). The bullnose looked good in shape as well. I was worried that they might have forgotten to use the puerto rico blend (iridescent glass beads), but was hoping it was just covered up and would show up better after the acid wash. There were two fittings missing the eyeballs (the large venturi return was just flush cut pipe and a regular return was missing the eyeball, but my vacuum line had an eyeball in it). There was also quite a bit of overspray on my artificial rocks and some on the travertine as well that worried me quite a bit, so I sent a text to the owner to make sure those items would be addressed at acid wash.

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thewolf56

Bronze Supporter
Aug 3, 2015
215
Goodyear, AZ
Pool Size
15900
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Yesterday, the acid wash guy came a little after 6:30 (I didn't expect him that early, but was glad to see him here early so I could start filling early. It was very interesting to watch him work and I could see the plaster coming off like a dark blue color when it ran down to the area where he had the sump pump for waste. He power washed (without spraying acid) the overspray areas on the artificial rocks and the travertine. After a while, another guy came over and helped him sand down some of the rough areas on the bull nose and wall and point areas of overspray that he missed. It was the first time I had seen the step trim tile clean and it really sparkled in the spotlight. Also, the acid wash alleviated any fears of missing the Puerto Rico blend. I was actually surprised at how much it sparkled as I was a little afraid I had made a bad choice of this over abalone. The sparkles were smaller than abalone I had seen, but the individual sparkles were just as bright as abalone.

As soon as I saw him throw the hose in the pool at full blast, I ran outside and took a picture of my water meter. It's a smart meter, so I could see flow rate along with the gallons used. So, using this website Pool Fill Time Calculator (sorry if I missed a fill calculator here at TFP), I was able to estimate how long it would take to fill.

While he did a good job of cleaning up the overspray and cleaning the aggregate, there were a couple of items that I had to address. Even though I had setup my hoses with clean shop rags and zip-tied on, he had cut the zip ties off and tossed the rag aside so he could use the hose for his power washer. So, I quickly unrolled my new hose to the hose bib in the front yard (apparently the 120 foot hose I bought from Sam's Club was just about the perfect length) and started filling with that hose so I could shut off the other hose and put another rag back on it. Once I did that, I started filling with both hoses (I checked the water softener and I was out of soft water at that point anyway). After that, I took a look around and was pleased with the cleanup job he did. However, I looked at all of the tile and in one section of the trim tile was missing plaster in between the tiles. So I texted the owner again.

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thewolf56

Bronze Supporter
Aug 3, 2015
215
Goodyear, AZ
Pool Size
15900
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
The owner came by and after looking at the interior finish, she told me "The pebble guys made a mistake!". I was worried at this point as I knew that hole in the grout line would need to be addressed, but I didn't see anything else that was problematic. She told me that I was only supposed to receive one bag of puerto rico blend, but the pebble guys used at least 3 bags! (No wonder why I thought it was so sparkly). Needless to say, she said the finish I received would have been significantly more expensive. We also talked about the issue with the tile. Unfortunately, the earliest they would be able to come fix it was Monday morning (today), so I turned off one hose and slowed the other hose to a crawl.

The sparkles do not really come out well in pictures, but I took a picture at night and the light reflecting can be seen better. I had skimmed some debris that was in the water from my backdoor neighbor's desert willows, but when I went out at night, there was a thunderstorm and lightning and didn't feel like holding a giant lightning rod to clean the debris.

Night Sparkles.jpg
 
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thewolf56

Bronze Supporter
Aug 3, 2015
215
Goodyear, AZ
Pool Size
15900
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
The crew came by this morning around 8:15, they quickly set to work to repair the grout line (water had not reached that height yet). They also repaired a small grout issue under the coping by my skimmer and installed my handrail. Now both hoses are at full blast (19.9 GPM according to the water meter) and my start-up guy is now confirmed for tomorrow afternoon.

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thewolf56

Bronze Supporter
Aug 3, 2015
215
Goodyear, AZ
Pool Size
15900
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
And it's filled!

According to the water meter, it is 15,939 gallons. I am going to round that down to 15,900 because I know the showers this morning were 40 gallons based on the additional flow at the smart meter and time in the showers. The girls took baths after swim lessons at grandma's house, and we refrained from washing dishes or doing laundry while it was filling. I had even unplugged my water softener to ensure that a much-needed regeneration didn't occur last night (plugged it in and started a regeneration right away). Other than that, I don't know how much to reduce the pool volume.

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thewolf56

Bronze Supporter
Aug 3, 2015
215
Goodyear, AZ
Pool Size
15900
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Startup happened yesterday. I have some good news, bad news, and other news.

Good news - Startup came and setup my vacuum lock, my skimmer, auto leveler, waterfall, lights, intellivalves, and intellicenter without much issue. I was a little worried about the microbrites being bright enough. Outside of using Red, the pool is plenty bright as placed. The grotto lights out turned out nice I think as well. We discussed the startup chemicals and decided to not use his (I already had mine on hand). I had already used the PoolMath app when I tested my fill, but I signed up for the premium and also added the PoolMath integration to my Home Assistant.

Bad news - My Pentair heat pump started up with the service light on and nothing the startup tech did would get it to turn off. Will have to warranty that... Also, the Wi-Fi signal is pretty weak to my equipment, so I will definitely need to get some ethernet cables run to it.

Other news - When installing the water temp sensor, make sure that the O-ring was present. I watched the startup guy deal with a leak at the temp sensor, and after several attempts, I finally pulled up a picture of a temp sensor on my phone showing that they needed an o-ring. That fixed the leak right away. Also, this morning, I already fished out my first scorpion out of the pool when I was testing and brushing the pool this morning. Looks to be a giant hairy scorpion.

I still need to setup schedules for the pump. I'm currently running it at 2,000 RPM until I no longer need to run it 24 hours a day for the startup.

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