HELP!: Decision on Pool Start-Up

combsone

Member
Mar 24, 2020
20
Long Beach, CA
Hey, everybody. We just had our Stonescapes Micro Pebble put in yesterday and today they're coming back to do the acid. I've read the article on the disadvantages of using the acid, but I guess that's the plasterer's process and I wasn't comfortable questioning them because of my lack of knowledge. At any rate, the pool start-up wasn't in our contract with the pool builder (our fault I guess for not knowing) so our builder asked the plasterer if he would be able to help us out. The plaster guy said he could add the chemicals for us and show us how to use the equipment, but it would cost us $400.

What are your guys' thoughts? My wife and I were first not worried about the cost because of my apprehension on starting the pool up by myself. But the more I think of it, I'm not sure anymore. I've read all of the Pool School articles and already have a test kit with all of the add-ons that is suggested from this site. I'm just real nervous about the start-up. But maybe, I shouldn't be with all the help that's on this site? I don't have much time as they should be here today and at any minute. As a side note, the plasterer did say that I could run the heater up to 85 degrees and just not to turn up the spa because it could leave a ring in it. Is that true? Everything I read here says not to turn it up for 2 weeks......Anyways, thanks for all the help and advice!

COMY
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
48,180
Tallahassee, FL
$400 for some chemical and showing you how to use the equipment??? OUCH! The PB should be the one showing you how to run the equipment!!!

Here ya go:
-Tell the PB to show you how to turn on the pump so you can run it as soon as your pool is filled.

-Fill the pool first then the spa-do NOT turn off the flow of water once it starts as it could cause the ring he talked about. He meant the flow of water is my guess.

Here is one good link about plaster start up Startup New Plaster

-do NOT use the heater for about 30 days as the plaster dust could mess it up :( on top of that no wheeled cleaners as it can leave track marks in the new plaster.

We can and will help you learn your pool!

Take and share a shot of the equipment so we can see what you are working with.

Kim:kim:
 

combsone

Member
Mar 24, 2020
20
Long Beach, CA
Ok. They still haven’t showed up to do the acid wash so I haven’t dropped the $400 yet. I did read the plaster start up articles but wasn’t sure if they directly apply. We have a micro pebble finish. The plaster guy said it was ok to heat the water but only up to 85 degrees. He said not to turn up the spa to high temperature. I believe the PB said it had to do with the cooling of the water not the actual heating up. The plaster guy also said that I wouldn’t have to brush the pool 2x daily like I’ve read and that I only had to once I started doing the regular maintenance. Both of them said that we could even start swimming this weekend.

All of the information I’m getting from them seems to contradict everything I’ve read here. I’m more inclined to want to go with suggestions on here but my wife might have a differing opinion since I’m brand new to this. I’ve attached pics of my equipment. Thanks for any help!
 

Attachments

  • C10A2BD4-C81E-4F4B-B634-54F8F1C55537.jpeg
    C10A2BD4-C81E-4F4B-B634-54F8F1C55537.jpeg
    21.4 KB · Views: 7
  • A2ACDE1D-F40E-4295-9B90-97908D836E95.jpeg
    A2ACDE1D-F40E-4295-9B90-97908D836E95.jpeg
    25 KB · Views: 7

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
48,180
Tallahassee, FL
TFP ways are science backed as well as many, many, many experiments. I was a part of a couple of them......how fast does CYA power mix into the water after being put in a sock and squeezing it and running the pump.....it used to be "Wait about a week before testing" now it is "Let the pump run over night or through the day then test as it should be mixed in"

The no heat is to protect your HEATER! It has nothing to do with the plaster. The dust from the new plaster can clog up your heater. I have seen the pics of a very plaster dusty heater=NOT good :(

The brushing is to get the dust off the plaster and into the filter. If the dust is allowed to sit on the new plaster it will adhere to the plaster and be almost impossible to get off cause you plaster to look blotchy. Now all plaster can look blotchy and such but well done plaster and well cared for plaster will look better than the uncared for plaster.

Have you wife look at this start up from the National Pool Council. This should bring her over to the good start up side:
https://www.nptpool.com/pdf/npc_swimmingpoolstart-upprocedures.pdf If this does not bring up the card Google "National Pool Council plaster start up card" and it should bring it up. The ONLY thing we change is to wait 6 hours after the acid wash before you add water. This comes from a plaster expert that found this part works better BUT the NPC has not changed their start up card to that yet.

Kim:kim:
 

combsone

Member
Mar 24, 2020
20
Long Beach, CA
Update: So you guys just saved me $400. I wasn't sure if the Plaster guy was going to send someone over yesterday as the pool was filling up because I never confirmed with him. If he did, I probably would've just used him since he was here....Oh well. So the pool finally filled up yesterday evening. I was able to brush it (hopefully I'm brushing correctly) and take a test with my TF-100 and I got:

pH 8.0
TA 120
CH 325

So from my research on here, I have to bring the pH down and the TA will go down when I add muriatic acid?? I was able to get some from Home Depot with 14-15% Hydrochloric acid. Is that OK? Currently, the only issue is turning on the pump. But, the PB should be here today to help with that. Am I on the right track?? Is the best way to add the acid to just slowly pour the recommended dosage in front of a return once everything is running? I believe that's what I read here, but then I've seen a bunch of different YouTube videos walking it around the pool and/or mixing it with a 5 gal bucket of pool water.

Should I just follow the dosage recommended on Pool Math? Also, what should I have my pump running at and for how long?
Anything else I should do? Sorry for all of the questions. Thanks again for all the help and helping me save that cash!

COMY
 

Rancho Cost-a-Lotta

Silver Supporter
Apr 10, 2018
1,944
Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Great decision!

More help will come, but I can get you started on the priorities...you need to get CYA (chlorine stabilizer) and chlorine in the pool. I'm assuming your gonna use liquid chlorine. One trip to Home Depot should take care of both.

For now, add enough CYA to raise level by 30 ppm using the sock method (54 oz by weight/56 oz by volume). Test after 24 hours to make sure you hit your mark. You can raise this up to 50 ppm later help protect the FC

Follow your start-up guide for the first 30 days and not general TFP chemical levels.

- Go easy on the chlorine. Most start guides say keep it to 3 ppm.
- Max CYA of 30
- Keep the pH at the high end of the range
- Don't worry about TA yet
- Focus on pH, chlorine, and brushing the pool daily.

Bring FC to 6 ppm using 10% liquid chlorine/bleach. You'll need to add 2-4 ppm of FC each day (1 to 2 quarts), so stay on top of this. Target 6 ppm, never let it fall below 2 ppm.
FC/CYA Chart

You can drop your pH to 7.5 using MA (the acid got at Home Depot)


The article below will give you guidance on how to perform chemical additions.

Use PoolMath for dosing quatities.

A lot to throw at you now. Don't hesitate to ask for help.
 
Last edited:

Rancho Cost-a-Lotta

Silver Supporter
Apr 10, 2018
1,944
Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Is the best way to add the acid to just slowly pour the recommended dosage in front of a return once everything is running?
Yes...a stream about the width of a pencil
Should I just follow the dosage recommended on Pool Math?
Yes
Also, what should I have my pump running at and for how long?
Run it for 24 hours to allow CYA to mix, then follow start-up instructions. Here's an article that will help you determine runtimes/speeds:
 
Last edited:

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
48,180
Tallahassee, FL
I was able to brush it (hopefully I'm brushing correctly
You can't brush wrong....try to hit all of the plaster possible to get all of the dust up and off.

14-15% Hydrochloric acid
That is the okay stuff. It is not as "fumy" as the full strength stuff that comes in at 31%. Make sure to adjust the % in pool math to reflect you have the 14% m.a.

So you guys just saved me $400
HA!!! If you want you can share a bit of it with us by being a supporting member as seen here: Become a TFP Supporter
 

Rancho Cost-a-Lotta

Silver Supporter
Apr 10, 2018
1,944
Rancho Cucamonga, CA
There was recent post from a member in Long Beach. He tested his tap/fill water at CH 350. That's high for municipal water. His provider is Long Beach Water Department. Since your fresh water is at CH 350, chances are you got the same water (test your tap water to confirm). Keep that in mind as you move forward. CH does not leave the pool with evaporation. So each time you top-off, you'll be filling with high CH water.

A solar cover will help reduce evaporation and, in turn, top-offs. You can manage a CH of 850+, but you'll find yourself having to exchange water every few years. As time permits, read the article on CSI to learn how to keep scaling to a minimum after the start-up process.
 
Last edited:

Enjoying this content?

Support TFP with a donation.

Give Support

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
24,960
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Follow your start-up guide for the first 30 days and not general TFP chemical levels.

- Go easy on the chlorine. Most start guides say keep it to 3 ppm.
- Max CYA of 30
- Keep the pH at the high end of the range
- Don't worry about TA yet
- Focus on pH, chlorine, and brushing the pool daily.
 

combsone

Member
Mar 24, 2020
20
Long Beach, CA
Thanks for the help! A couple of questions: In the NPC start up guide, why does it say not to add chlorine for 48 hours? Also, should I add a sequestering agent or is that not needed? If so, is that something I have to get at the pool store? Thanks again.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
24,960
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Thanks for the help! A couple of questions: In the NPC start up guide, why does it say not to add chlorine for 48 hours?

The plaster is still soft and curing. They don’t want the surface color to be bleached out by the chlorine.

Also, should I add a sequestering agent or is that not needed? If so, is that something I have to get at the pool store? Thanks again.

A sequestering agent captures any metals in your fill water to prevent staining of the new plaster.

You don’t need it if you are sure of the purity of your fill water.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
24,960
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Follow the startup guide. Wait 48 hours before adding chlorine.

Where is your fill water coming from? If from a municipal water supply it will probably have 1-2 ppm of chlorine.
 

Enjoying this content?

Support TFP with a donation.

Give Support
Thread Status
Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
It can take a long time to get an up-to-date response or contact with relevant users.