New Pool: Which New Plaster Start-Up Method?

TexasPool128

Well-known member
Apr 22, 2019
80
N. Texas
New pool just filled yesterday. PB has a company coming out for the first week or 2. When they were here yesterday, I saw them add 2 ~32oz. bottles of a clear liquid. Unsure of what it was. Then I saw them add several gallons of muriatic acid. They did a bunch of prep to the pool pump, jets, etc., said to brush it 2 times a day and that they’d be back on Wednesday (tomorrow). Just to kill some time, I decided to test the chlorine, pH and “acid demand”. The chlorine test showed nothing. The pH test showed less than the measurable amount. The “acid demand” showed nothing, even after adding 20 drops of the solution. I was under the impression, by them adding the muriatic acid the first day, that they were using the acid start-up method but I’m unsure. The PB says he likes to start up pools really slowly so the plaster lasts but I saw them pour several gallons of acid in it. For a start-up of a new pool that’s only had chemicals in it <48 hours, what do these non-existent numbers tell you? Thanks!
 

TexasPool128

Well-known member
Apr 22, 2019
80
N. Texas
*ETA*
Just noticed the link you posted is different than anything I’ve read so I’m going to read it. THANKS!!!***

I’ve read the start up guide several times. Since my PB is having a company come and do this, I really don’t have much say-so in how it is to be done. That guide makes it sound like they’re using the acid method but PB says he goes very slow/easy with the process so I can’t see them going that route. The test list is a Pentair kit the PB gave me with a couple other items. I ordered a Taylor K2006-C but it won’t be here for another day or 2.
The kit I’m using seems pretty cheesy.
image.jpg
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
10,475
Northern NJ
Curing plaster generates high pH that you need to lower with acid. Nothing unusual about that.

The Pentair kit you have is only good for pH. The CL test can only tell you if you have it in the water.

Where did your fill water come from? Municipal water has 1-2ppm of CL in it. No CL is not a big problem for the first 3 days.

You should be nosey enough to ask about all the chemicals being added to your pool and write the chemical and amount and date and time. Grab the empty bottles. It is your pool and eventually you will be taking over the care. Download PoolMath and you can use it to record all chemicals added and tests once you get your test kit. No reason you can't test the water as your PB maintains the chemicals.
 
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TexasPool128

Well-known member
Apr 22, 2019
80
N. Texas
Okay, I got the Taylor K-2006C kit in the mail Thursday and tried it out. I got no measurable chemicals in the water. They came back today and put more chemicals in it. They told me they put:
Muriatic Acid - 1gal.

Sodium Bicarb - 2lbs

Cyanuric Acid - yes but unknown amount

Chlorine - tabs in auto chlorinator

My question is:
Isn’t putting acid and sodium bicarb in at the same time counterproductive? I mean, one raises pH and the other lowers pH. Am I thinking incorrectly on this?

(I’m at work until Sunday morning so I can’t check any values until then)
Thanks!
 
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ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
10,475
Northern NJ
MA lowers the pH and TA. Sodium bicarb raises the TA.

If you have low TA then using sodium bicarb with MA is the right thing to do. If you have high TA then it is not needed. Depends what your numbers are.

Breakout your test kit in a few days and see where your numbers are.
 
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TexasPool128

Well-known member
Apr 22, 2019
80
N. Texas
MA lowers the pH and TA. Sodium bicarb raises the TA.

If you have low TA then using sodium bicarb with MA is the right thing to do. If you have high TA then it is not needed. Depends what your numbers are.

Breakout your test kit in a few days and see where your numbers are.
When I tested it the other day, I came up with no measurable TA. I followed the directions that came with the Taylor kit but then again, it was my first real attempt at using it!
 

Comeby

Member
Jul 13, 2015
6
Frisco, Texas
We are at the same point. Filled up today, in Frisco.

I was at work when they kicked off but PB said they added acid but no CL yet.

Question, did you just circ pumps or are they still filling with water, overflowing into P trap. I came home and the water was overflowing. Turned it off but didn’t know if they expected to flush all the water and acid down the drain over the next day or so.
 

TexasPool128

Well-known member
Apr 22, 2019
80
N. Texas
We are at the same point. Filled up today, in Frisco.

I was at work when they kicked off but PB said they added acid but no CL yet.

Question, did you just circ pumps or are they still filling with water, overflowing into P trap. I came home and the water was overflowing. Turned it off but didn’t know if they expected to flush all the water and acid down the drain over the next day or so.
Once my water level got midway up the tile, I quit filling it. I have an auto fill and turned it on when I turned the water hoses off, that I was using to fill the pool with. I see no reason to allow it to just keep overflowing.
 

TexasPool128

Well-known member
Apr 22, 2019
80
N. Texas
That is not possible.

Test your tap water. It should have a reading for everything includinga round 1ppm of CL.
I tested the pool water today. Results:

CL - 60ppm (10ml sample)
CC - 1ppm
pH >8 (2 drops acid demand to =7.8pH)
TA - 100
CH - 350
CYA - 32

CSI - ~.84

I entered the FC into PoolMath and it stated the values were out of range so I stopped there with the poolmath calculator. Since I can’t get anywhere with PoolMath, what do these numbers tell y’all?
Thanks!!!
 
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ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
10,475
Northern NJ
60ppm of CL is not valid. How many drops did it take? Did you multiply drops by 0.5?

Your pH is a bit high. Put 8.2 into PoolMath and target 7.6 and lower it with MA.

TA is fine right now.

CH is good

If the dot disappears in the CYA test between the 40 and 30 line we round up and call it 40. You can’t eyeball values between the lines because the scale is logarithmic, not linear.
 
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TexasPool128

Well-known member
Apr 22, 2019
80
N. Texas
60ppm of CL is not valid. How many drops did it take? Did you multiply drops by 0.5?

Your pH is a bit high. Put 8.2 into PoolMath and target 7.6 and lower it with MA.

TA is fine right now.

CH is good

If the dot disappears in the CYA test between the 40 and 30 line we round up and call it 40. You can’t eyeball values between the lines because the scale is logarithmic, not linear.
CL was 20 drops and I multiplied that by 3. I was supposed to multiply 20 drops by .5 since I did the 10ml sample?
The directions say:
Multiply drops in step 3 (20 drops) by drop equivalence in step 1 (.5ppm, 10ml sample).
Do I not mess with multiplying by 3 and only multiply drops by .5?
Thanks!
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
10,475
Northern NJ
Ok. Your FC is 10. That is high for your first 30 days. You should keep FC around 3ppm.

Not sure what you did to get your FC that high. If you have tabs in the chlorinator adjust it or remove some tabs.

All you want is CYA 30 which you have. Continued use of tabs will lead to a high CYA problem. You should remove the tabs and chlorinate using LC.
 
Last edited:

TexasPool128

Well-known member
Apr 22, 2019
80
N. Texas
Ok. Your FC is 10. That is high for your first 30 days. You should keep FC around 3ppm.

Not sure what you did to get your FC that high. If you have tabs in the chlorinator adjust it or remove some tabs.

All you want is CYA 30 which you have. Continued use of tabs will lead to a high CYA problem. You should remove the tabs and chlorinate using LC.
Pool company put tabs in auto chlorinator on Friday. I’ve never used it so I’ll go out and see if I can figure out how to lower the percentage or remove some tabs.
Thanks!
*ETA*
Chlorinator was set to 3, out of 5, so I set it to 1.5.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
10,475
Northern NJ
Pool company put tabs in auto chlorinator on Friday. I’ve never used it so I’ll go out and see if I can figure out how to lower the percentage or remove some tabs.
Thanks!
*ETA*
Chlorinator was set to 3, out of 5, so I set it to 1.5.

If you can, turn it off or as low as possible. It will take a few days for your CL to drift down to 3-4ppm even if it is iff. Check your FC daily and turn it back up or add LC when it gets to 3-4 (6-8 drops).
 
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TexasPool128

Well-known member
Apr 22, 2019
80
N. Texas
Will do. PB has this company coming out for a week or 2 then I’ll be free of their shenanigans!!! I have to use them while he has them coming so I don’t void any warranties. Thanks a ton!!!!!
 

TexasPool128

Well-known member
Apr 22, 2019
80
N. Texas
I turned the chlorinator down to zero and added 20oz of muriatic acid to lower pH. Also,
I tried to remove the CYA that they put in the skimmer but it’s a powder down in one of the holes that’s in the bottom of the skimmer. It appears to have been just poured in there until it completely filled/clogged one of the holes in the bottom of the skimmer. Is this normal?
 
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ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
10,475
Northern NJ
I turned the chlorinator down to zero and added 20oz of muriatic acid to lower pH. Also,
I tried to remove the CYA that they put in the slimmer but it’s a powder down in one of the holes that’s in the bottom of the skimmer. It appears to have been just poured in there until it completely filled/clogged one of the holes in the bottom of the skimmer. Is this normal?
Well it’s normal that’s what happens when stabilizer is added directly to the skimmer. That is why we recommend using the sock method.

Try and loosen it so water flows past it and dissolves it. Or call the PB to come unclog your skimmer.
 
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