Plaster Coming

nalai

Active member
Jan 27, 2012
38
Houston, TX
#1
Our pool builder uses the BBB method and (even before picking him) I wanted to use the BBB method, my husband says since I wanted the pool and I promised to care for it, I can use any method I want as long as I can explain it to him.

We're getting close to finished on the build, so I ordered my TF-100 kit Wednesday, should get here shortly. I was hoping it would arrive before we finished so I could play with it a bit, but the pool builder called this morning and they're coming to plaster TODAY. Yay, water!

What do I need to get started? I have baking soda already, and I'm off to Costco to buy bleach. How much should I purchase to get myself started, and do I need to buy anything else such as muriatic acid, borax, CYA, or are some of those not necessary to start it up? When do I add my first chemicals? as it's filling, or after its full and the pump started?

If you can't tell I'm SOOOO EXCITED!
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
37,879
Silver Spring, MD
#2
For a fresh plaster startup it is common to use trichlor tablets for the first three or four weeks.

I suggest you read the National Plasterers Council startup card. It has lots of good information. You should also ask your builder if they have any special instructions for startup.

The main thing during the first few weeks is that the PH, TA, and CH levels will all be going up fairly quickly. You will most likely need quite a bit of acid daily to keep the PH under control.
 

nalai

Active member
Jan 27, 2012
38
Houston, TX
#3
Thanks for the info. My remaining question is, if I plan to use BBB once the pool is up and running, how much of what should I have on hand if I want to avoid making 5-10 trips to the store as I discover I need something that I don't have because some aspect of the chemistry is going out of whack. I don't want to massively overbuy, especially since things like bleach don't have a long effective shelf life in the garage with Texas summer heat, but I'd like to get a week or two's supply when its time to transition.
 

march2012

LifeTime Supporter
Jan 21, 2012
369
#4
nalai said:
Thanks for the info. My remaining question is, if I plan to use BBB once the pool is up and running, how much of what should I have on hand if I want to avoid making 5-10 trips to the store as I discover I need something that I don't have because some aspect of the chemistry is going out of whack. I don't want to massively overbuy, especially since things like bleach don't have a long effective shelf life in the garage with Texas summer heat, but I'd like to get a week or two's supply when its time to transition.

I just started up my pool in texas. 17K gallons. I used 6 lbs of CYA because it happened to rain and we lost about 10% of our water. I am using about 50 oz of 6% per day and around 32 oz of muriatic acid per day.

I started with 3 182 oz jugs from costco (8.50 for 3) and 4 gallons of muriatic acid from the PB.

Chances are you dont need anything to make the pH go up because with new plaster or aeration it will go up on its own.

To some extent what you need will be determined by your fill chemistry.
 

nalai

Active member
Jan 27, 2012
38
Houston, TX
#5
Well the pool was plastered on Sunday, and the pump has been running nonstop.

AND my test kit arrived today!

So I had to play.

These are my current results.

FC - 7ppm
CC - .5ppm
TA - 110
CH - 140 (low for a new plaster, PB told me to test in the morning and he'll tell me how to adjust)
CYA - 60
PH - 7.2 (it was <6.5 @ 1pm)

So it looks like my TA is High, my CH is low and everything else is ok?

Oh and the temp here today was 97, the water is about 82
 

Bama Rambler

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 22, 2009
22,893
SouthWest Alabama
#6
How are you going to chlorinate your pool?

Your CYA is a little high if your manually chlorinating your pool. I wouldn't add or let anyone else add any more to it.

Looking good.
 

nalai

Active member
Jan 27, 2012
38
Houston, TX
#7
Well I'm a little confused,

So they put pucks in the inline clorinator to start up the pool and get it running. (normal I here easiest way to get CYA in the pool)
It ran full out (5) from Monday till Tuesday 1pm when the builder told me to turn it off since my FC was over 5ppm

Last night I got the results I posted above.

This morning I went to test:

FC 9.5ppm
CC 0.5ppm
PH 7.5-7.8
TA 113
CH 150 - leaching
Didn't check CYA but now I'm going to since I'm confused how my pool self clorinated with the inline clorinator off and no bleach added.
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
37,879
Silver Spring, MD
#8
It is possible that the knob on the chlorinator is not working correctly. That isn't very common, but it is about the only thing I can think of.

Be cautious about CH additions during the first three weeks. CH will come up as the plaster cures. If you raise it too much now it can end up way to high later. It sounds like your builder is well aware of this, so best to follow their advice, which also helps insure you keep your warranty intact.
 

nalai

Active member
Jan 27, 2012
38
Houston, TX
#9
Yup, I'm following his advice, he's been building pools for a long time. He uses the bbb way to maintain his own pool, and knows that's how I want to maintain mine. So it's a futzing with chem mode right now.

Got to say I love my kit, fun to play with.
 

nalai

Active member
Jan 27, 2012
38
Houston, TX
#10
So I didn't trust the results from this morning.

My Hubby took them and he doesn't swirl after each drop. (he says it shouldn't make a difference in the first 6-7 drops if you do it for the last 4-5) I don't know.

So I ran the test again (and the FC one 4 times just to be sure)

FC - 6ppm
CC - .5ppm
PH - 7.5
TA - 120
CH - 150
CYA - 60

So it looks like it's doing what it's suppose to. The builder would prefer the FC to be around 3-4 so we are letting the pool sit today under the hot texas sun to burn it off.

Fingers crossed.
 

Brookwood

Well-known member
Mar 7, 2012
112
Mountain Brook, AL
#11
Sounds like it is going well. Mine should get plaster within a week so I'm trying to be prepared.

What color Diamond Brite did you choose?

Taylor makes a small battery operated mixer that is pretty cool. It is called the SpeedStir. No more drop, swirl, drop.
 

nalai

Active member
Jan 27, 2012
38
Houston, TX
#13
since our pool is so small 13k gallons, and in the direct Houston sun nearly 12 hrs a day we went with Oyster Quartz finish (basically white).
It looks nice.

took readings last night (7pm) and this morning (7am)

FC - 4ppm/3ppm
CC - .5ppm/5.ppm
PH - 7.5/8 -> added 1/2 gallon of M-acid (I forget how to spell that)
TA - 120/110 - not sure why this dropped
CH - 150/160
CYA - 60/60

Ran the PH test an hour after adding the acid and it's a bit too low now 6.8 but I also know since the plaster is curing that it's going to rise

After my coffee I'm going to brush down the pool again (lots of dust)

when the pump isn't running the pool is as clear as glass, when the pump runs and kicks up all that dust it's very cloudy.

Oh and I've learned to use both hands right hand swirls left hand holds the bottles to deliver the drops.
 

Bama Rambler

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 22, 2009
22,893
SouthWest Alabama
#14
nalai said:
Oh and I've learned to use both hands right hand swirls left hand holds the bottles to deliver the drops.
:mrgreen: That's one of the first things you learn with the test kits. Then we go out and get a SpeedStir and don't have to swirl anymore.
 

nalai

Active member
Jan 27, 2012
38
Houston, TX
#16
Yeah the builder added some cya at startup, and is using picks to get me the rest of the way (60-80). Right now he was trying to get my chlorine under control since running the chlorinator at 5 was leaving my pool at 9.5ppm of chlorine.

Now we have it at a stable 3-4 in the past 24 hrs and we are balancing the other parts piecemeal. Small pool, new plaster curing, lots of hot Texas sun (~12hrs) and temps already hitting 95+, wil make for interesting chemistry.

But hopefully we can swim soon, the kids are getting anxious
 

nalai

Active member
Jan 27, 2012
38
Houston, TX
#17
A quick question:

I've been testing at around 7am before the pump turns on, and around 630-7pm right after the pump turns off at dusk.

Is this the right?

And after the pool is balanced when should I test? Morning, evening?

I know the PH will rise due to the plaster curing over the next 6 months - year so I'll have to adjust the PH

but when do I know the TA is safe?
I know the CA is low and it's rising as the plaster is curing but when should I add CA? Do I need to?

trying to figure out how to use the pool calculator. What should my goal values be?

Right now the PB told me to keep the FC in the 3-4 range, and the PH 7.2-7.8 but what should my other values be?

My CYA is 60-70 (I've gotten more 60 readings than 70 readings but he has me using pucks for right now)

I know the plaster is only 5 days old but...

I'm the type of person that wants to know as much as possible before problems happen. That's why I read through pool school BEFORE I built the pool, and I've read through it several times since.

The pool looks so inviting, it's beginning to kill the kids and me that we can't swim.


IMAG0892 by Nalai Nalai, on Flickr


IMAG0891 by Nalai Nalai, on Flickr
 

Bama Rambler

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 22, 2009
22,893
SouthWest Alabama
#18
If you have a swcg you're getting close to the recommended CYA level. If you don't have one you're already over it. Id' stop using the pucks now and switch to using bleach.

It doesn't really matter when you test. The pump should be running for about 30 minutes prior to testing whenever you choose.

Go ahead and post a full set of test results.

pH
FC
CC
TA
CH
CYA
 

chezdude

LifeTime Supporter
May 24, 2012
5
Hillsborough, NC
#19
@nalai, is that a robotic cleaner in your pool? My PB said not to use mine for the first 2-4 weeks due to plaster curing. He also said to run the pump on high for the first 2 weeks...

Interesting how PBs all seem to have different directions for the first few weeks of a new plaster pool...

That's a gorgeous pool, BTW.
 

nalai

Active member
Jan 27, 2012
38
Houston, TX
#20
pump is on high during the day and off at night, it's how he set it up. PB said since we used diamond brite it's much harder than normal plaster and was no problem using the polaris.