Quarantine Christmas Pool Build - ATX - Heater vs. heat pump - real-world advice needed

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
48,949
Tallahassee, FL
SO glad you posted the pic with the sconces as that changes my number! What I am thinking is 3 and they will go in line with the sconces. One over each pipe coming out of the lower wall.

Yes you will want to do it before you plaster. It is going to make a mess with the chipping and such.

Kim:kim:
 

TexasRain

Well-known member
May 19, 2020
353
San Antonio, TX
Pool Size
13868
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
SO glad you posted the pic with the sconces as that changes my number! What I am thinking is 3 and they will go in line with the sconces. One over each pipe coming out of the lower wall.

Also you could turn the tiles 45 degrees so they mimic the diamond shapes of the sconces. (maybe y'all were already thinking this?) ;) 🤩
 
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NWS

Bronze Supporter
May 10, 2020
76
TX
@kimkats just ordered some of the casablanca tile (expedited shipping!) I'll let you know how it looks when arrive. In the meantime, I'll be looking for other decorative tiles as well :love: If anyone sees something awesome, please send it my way!
 
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NWS

Bronze Supporter
May 10, 2020
76
TX
Getting down to the end..finally! We've asked our builder to seal our stone. Originally our designer recommended DryTreat 40sk if we were going to do it ourselves. The builder said they've recently been using MiraGard Dry Look Sealer and have been very happy with it, but they would use whichever one we prefer (same price). Our coping is buff lueders. Any experience or recommendation for either one?

Also, the builder says we don't need to seal the stone on the raised wall, but he would do it if we wanted for an additional $200. We've used porcelain tile on the sheer descent (to avoid the issues I've read about on here) but have stacked stone on the wings and tumbled on the columns (with water sconces). I assume for $200, it's worth just sealing everything? Any downside?

Appreciate the advice!
 

NWS

Bronze Supporter
May 10, 2020
76
TX
Test kit arrived today and who knew it came in such a cute case?! Now I just have to figure out what to do with it! Question: I need some testing strips too, right? I assumed they came in the set, but I was mistaken.

IMG_7257.jpg
 
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HermanTX

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
2,348
Katy TX
Pool Size
14600
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Test kit arrived today and who knew it came in such a cute case?! Now I just have to figure out what to do with it! Question: I need some testing strips too, right? I assumed they came in the set, but I was mistaken.

View attachment 324590
Refer to these videos to help you properly test your water. No need for test strips however some use a test strip for salt testing (quick and dirty) but best to use a proper Taylor Salt Kit. Or it may be included in this new pro series test kit by TFT.
YouTube for Testing Chemicals

https://www.youtube.com/user/tf100testkit?feature=results_main
 
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NWS

Bronze Supporter
May 10, 2020
76
TX
FINALLY scheduled for pebblesheen next Tues, May 18! :party:. Fingers crossed that the rain will keep moving out of the forecast. Assuming they are able to plaster on the 18th, should we be good to host a party on May 30? Daughter is graduating from high school and wants to have a graduation party with all of her friends :cool:. I wasn't sure how long we have to 'baby' the finish before we have a bunch of teenagers jump in!
 
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colleenbevans

Well-known member
Feb 5, 2021
78
Texas
Its been 1 week since we got plaster and filled the pool. Our builder's guys who brush and test everyday, told us we could get in the pool. I was a little nervous about our labradors claws... he said its ok, yet we cant vacuum, so I'm not letting the dog get in and we haven't gotten in. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. I would be nervous about hair mousse, sun block, etc NO METAL. That many people can shift your chemistry as well. Shoot for a 4th of July graduation party (IMHO).
 
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colleenbevans

Well-known member
Feb 5, 2021
78
Texas
Its been 1 week since we got plaster and filled the pool. Our builder's guys who brush and test everyday, told us we could get in the pool. I was a little nervous about our labradors claws... he said its ok, yet we cant vacuum, so I'm not letting the dog get in and we haven't gotten in. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. I would be nervous about hair mousse, sun block, etc NO METAL. That many people can shift your chemistry as well. Shoot for a 4th of July graduation party (IMHO).
Also, that water will still be cold and we cant run our heater for 30 days.
 

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HermanTX

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
2,348
Katy TX
Pool Size
14600
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
FINALLY scheduled for pebblesheen next Tues, May 18! :party:. Fingers crossed that the rain will keep moving out of the forecast. Assuming they are able to plaster on the 18th, should we be good to host a party on May 30? Daughter is graduating from high school and wants to have a graduation party with all of her friends :cool:. I wasn't sure how long we have to 'baby' the finish before we have a bunch of teenagers jump in!
You need to read your start up guideline for your specific plaster. I had made some key notes regarding my Wet Edge pebble and it is most likely similar to yours but always best to verify by going to the website and obtain the proper start up guideline. Here are some keys points I highlighted to my family & discussed with the PB.

When the pool is completely full the filtration equipment should be started as soon as possible.
Brush the walls and bottom multiple times throughout the day.
Verify that the hose is not shooting to 1 specific place - move it around throughout the day until the water depth is high enough to let hang in the pool
Do not let the spa overflow into the pool as it may streak the wall - fill the spa with separate hose if possible

Your pool finish will look and feel hard to the touch on Day 1 but, in reality it will take the cement in your pool finish at least 28 days to hydrate and cure. During hydration/curing, calcium silicate hydrate (CSH) gel forms and makes the “glue” that enable the cement to harden. CSH binds all of the ingredients together, greatly increasing its strength, water tightness and service life. The finish is more vulnerable to staining, scaling, discoloration and spider cracking during the first 28 days. Allowing the cement the necessary time to strengthen by keeping the water balanced in an unaggressive environment with a consistent regiment of brushing is the key to protecting your investment.

DO NOT ADD SALT FOR 28 DAYS – UNPLUG SALT GENERATOR - Adding salt to the finish prior to day 28 may cause spider cracking
DO NOT USE YOUR HEATER FOR 28 DAYS - Using your heater may cause spider cracking, metal staining and plaster dust could
clog the heater voiding your heater warranty.
DO NOT USE CLEANERS OR VACUUM WITH WHEELS - Wheeled devices can leave track marks
DO NOT ALLOW PETS OR HUMANS IN THE FRESHLY PLASTERED POOL FOR SEVEN DAYS - Footprints – human or otherwise can leave imprints on the pool surface.
DO NOT SWIM IN THE POOL FOR SEVEN DAYS - Day 7 you can add enough chlorine to sanitize the pool water

So if you get plaster on May 18th and follow all the guidelines you may be OK for swimming on May 30th - best to discuss with your PB and review the start up guidelines from your plaster mfg.
 

colleenbevans

Well-known member
Feb 5, 2021
78
Texas
You need to read your start up guideline for your specific plaster. I had made some key notes regarding my Wet Edge pebble and it is most likely similar to yours but always best to verify by going to the website and obtain the proper start up guideline. Here are some keys points I highlighted to my family & discussed with the PB.

When the pool is completely full the filtration equipment should be started as soon as possible.
Brush the walls and bottom multiple times throughout the day.
Verify that the hose is not shooting to 1 specific place - move it around throughout the day until the water depth is high enough to let hang in the pool
Do not let the spa overflow into the pool as it may streak the wall - fill the spa with separate hose if possible

Your pool finish will look and feel hard to the touch on Day 1 but, in reality it will take the cement in your pool finish at least 28 days to hydrate and cure. During hydration/curing, calcium silicate hydrate (CSH) gel forms and makes the “glue” that enable the cement to harden. CSH binds all of the ingredients together, greatly increasing its strength, water tightness and service life. The finish is more vulnerable to staining, scaling, discoloration and spider cracking during the first 28 days. Allowing the cement the necessary time to strengthen by keeping the water balanced in an unaggressive environment with a consistent regiment of brushing is the key to protecting your investment.

DO NOT ADD SALT FOR 28 DAYS – UNPLUG SALT GENERATOR - Adding salt to the finish prior to day 28 may cause spider cracking
DO NOT USE YOUR HEATER FOR 28 DAYS - Using your heater may cause spider cracking, metal staining and plaster dust could
clog the heater voiding your heater warranty.
DO NOT USE CLEANERS OR VACUUM WITH WHEELS - Wheeled devices can leave track marks
DO NOT ALLOW PETS OR HUMANS IN THE FRESHLY PLASTERED POOL FOR SEVEN DAYS - Footprints – human or otherwise can leave imprints on the pool surface.
DO NOT SWIM IN THE POOL FOR SEVEN DAYS - Day 7 you can add enough chlorine to sanitize the pool water

So if you get plaster on May 18th and follow all the guidelines you may be OK for swimming on May 30th - best to discuss with your PB and review the start up guidelines from your plaster mfg.
Great info Herman-TX. I need to go to the website and review- dont know why I didnt think of that!
 

NWS

Bronze Supporter
May 10, 2020
76
TX
Thank you @colleenbevans and @HermanTX -- this is very helpful! I found the following info on the Pebbletec website. No mention of how long the 'curing time' typically lasts. I'll definitely discuss with the PB.
  • DO NOT fill your pool with soft water. If any of your outside hose bibs are soft water please notify your builder/applicator. Soft water may be used AFTER the curing process has taken place.
  • DO NOT enter your pool (including pets) until it is completely filled with water and balanced. /*how long does it typically take to balance the chemicals -- a couple of days??*/
  • DO NOT chlorinate your pool until water’s pH and carbonate alkalinity are within the acceptable range. Chlorine is highly reactive and high concentrations can cause metals or minerals to precipitate (cloud water, scale and/or stain). A number of retail stores have computerized testing equipment to help you monitor these factors as well as others (cyanuric acid, metals, etc.). Ask your pool builder or applicator for a location near you.
  • DO allow time (approx. 28 days) before assessing your final water and finish colors. The start-up and balance will allow the water and finish color to change over this time period.
  • DO brush your pool. It is recommended that you brush a PTI pool finish three times a day for the first three days and two times a day for the next ten days. Using a standard, nylon (very important) bristled pool brush. Brush the walls and the floor of the finish toward the main drain. After that, regular maintenance may include brushing the pool approximately once per week, depending on the amount of dust or debris that may fall into the pool.
  • DO realize pebbles and/or glass beads will come loose during the curing process (usually in the first few weeks). It is normal to experience a small loss of pebbles and/or glass beads during pool start up.
  • DO wait at least 14 days before heating the water and monitor chemical balance more closely after you turn on your heater.
  • DO wait at least 28 days before adding salt to the pool, if using a salt water chlorine generator. Salt left on the finish surface may scale, stain, or discolor the finish and is not covered by the warranty.
 
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NWS

Bronze Supporter
May 10, 2020
76
TX
So, our 'Quarantine Christmas Pool Build' has stretched to the 4th of July :oops: However, after MANY delays due to our crazy Texas weather, we FINALLY got plastered on Wed. Thanks to all of the great posts/pics on here, we also went with PebbleSheen Blue Surf:
 

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NWS

Bronze Supporter
May 10, 2020
76
TX
A few close-ups of the shelf...I'm no expert, but I'm happy with how well it matches the PS Blue Surf sample:
 

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Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
10,352
NY
So, our 'Quarantine Christmas Pool Build' has stretched to the 4th of July
Time heals all wounds. The first few times you have friends over you will try and complain about your struggles and they will shut you RIGHT up with reply’s like :

‘I’d still give my left arm for THIS’
‘Don’t care what it took, its AMAZING’
‘No project is easy but LOOK what you got’

etc etc etc. ask me how I know. 😁

Give it a season or two and you will be belly laughing regaling the tails of woe.

‘And then a FREEZE !!!! In TEXAS !!!! Really Mother Nature……. REALLY ????’ :ROFLMAO:
 

NWS

Bronze Supporter
May 10, 2020
76
TX
Haven't posted in a bit because we've been too busy enjoying pool life :cool: My 10 year old has been in at least 3 times a day! We added several Eagleston Hollies which make a great backdrop (thanks to TFP for the recomm!) and will work on landscaping next.
IMG_8284.jpg
 
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