New pool startup help


Mar 6, 2012
Coast of South Carolina
Our new pool is almost finished after tearing out the old on after it floated up during repairs. I have been reading the start up page for new plaster and have couple questions:

1)DO NOT SWIM DURING THE BREAK IN PERIOD! It is not very clear to me, at least, what the time frame is for break in period. For a tradional sart up, it looks like a week. Is that correct?

My pool builder told me we could swim soon as it is filled up but reading pool school says different.

2) We are installing a salt system and new pump, sand filter as soon as the equipment comes in. Am I correct that we should not use the salt system at the beginning. I still have the old pump and chorline feeder hooked up. How long should I use this before that Salt system?
2a) Should I get one of the start up/winter cells?

3) How hard is to install new pump, filter, swg. I am not very handy but have friends that are. Or should I pay my pool guy to do it?

4) any other suggestions to get this pool up and running when they finally finish?

Bama Rambler

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 22, 2009
SouthWest Alabama
1) I wouldn't swim until you get the pump & equip hooked up and running and have some FC in the water. If your PB said it was ok to swim as soon as it's filled then once you get the pump running and the FC up go swimming.

2) You should wait 30 days, or as long as the PB says, whichever is longer before you put salt in the pool.
2a) You can either just not plumb the cell into the line until after the 30 days, or get a start-up spacer. Either way will work.

3) If you have a few handy friends it's not a big job at all to install the new equipment.

4) a)Follow the PB's recommendations because he holds the warranty. b) Watch the pH closely. c) get a good test kit if you don't already have one.


TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
Silver Spring, MD
Don't add salt during the first 30 days. Which means you can't use the SWG during that period.

Installing equipment is a fairly straightforward process for DIY types. PVC plumbing takes a little getting used to, but there is nothing really complex about it.

Using trichlor tablets during the first couple of weeks is recommended for fresh plaster. That will raise the FC and CYA levels slowly, both of which are important with fresh plaster.

There is lots of conflicting advice about when it is safe to swim. The most important limitations are not to swim unless PH is at least 7.2 and FC is at or above the minimum for your CYA level. There are also some minor risks to the plaster during the first 24 to 48 hours if you send on it or press too sharply. Beyond that it gets a lot more debatable.