Want to start off on the right foot

We just completed the remodel of our 11yr old pool. Went from white plaster to Stonescapes mini pebble aqua white with lightwaves blue 1 x 1 toe tile with a few mosaics. Water full and pump on this past sunday morning at 10am.

I have been reading this site like crazy since we started talking about our remodel. We have a salt water system Aqualogic ps 8 with t-cell 15. Although we know we do not add salt until much later. I was reading the "Balance for SWGs" page and the number that I want to make sure we get right is the CH. I do not want to assume anything so I thought I better verify if the 350-450 for plaster would be the same range I would target for the pebble finish?
I apologize if this question has already been verified somewhere in the reading, I may not have gotten to that part yet. (pebble = plaster for the purposes of the school?)

We are striving to be much more educated and take better care of our "new" pool. Knowledge is power. :) We did not receive a very good education when we first built our pool. Previous pool start up was so jacked up that the builder added chlorine, salt and a bunch of other stuff all in the first week. We didn't know better and either he didn't either or just didn't give a flip. Needless to say we had problems with our plaster that showed up 30 to 60 days in and have dealt with for the past 11 yrs. Although we have "start up" being handled by the contractor, I guess you could say we have serious trust issues and are trying our best to do our own homework this time. A perfect example on this job, acid wash performed saturday, hoses dropped in at 1130am, pool full sunday by 0830. (we have killer water pressure) Everything we have read from here, the NPT website and the link to the National plaster page says pump should be started IMMEDIATELY once the water is mid skimmer. We call contractor, no return. We started are own stuff at 1000 sunday morning... Didn't see pool person until monday at 1pm. Maybe immediately is an exaggeration but we are literal people so we panicked and refused to wait for them. Again we have trust issues. LOL

Thank you in advance.


Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
Evans, Georgia
Mom, that's fine you turned the pump on.

What I don't see any mention of is your test kit?? I would *seriously* recommend the TF-100 from TFTestkits.net . They also sell the Taylor K-2006C kit, but the TF-100 is the better buy. You need to stay on top of that water and protect the baby bottom new plaster from any chemical abuse. Please get on to this today so you'll have it in hand pronto.

We'd love to see a picture of the newly filled and finished pool.

Welcome to TFP!

Maddie :flower:
I will post values when I get home this evening. We have a new Taylor k-2005 (high) kit. We have tested several times per day since we turned on the pump.
since we didn't want to cause an issue with PB doing start up / our warranty. The one value I know was high pH was over 8 and TA was 110. Hubby diluted some (amount he calculated from the book with kit) acid in a bucket and added it to the pool because that number freaked us out. Tested water again that evening and the TA was 80, PH was about 7.4. CH about 100 i think.
We took water that local pool store on sunday afternoon to get a print out of values including metal. Pool store numbers pretty close to ours.

When pool guy came out yesterday he added more acid (don't know how much, wasn't there) and added something to bring up the CH. Also added startup dose of Jack's magenta stuff. ( I already had that but didn't want to add too much stuff until they had a chance get their own baseline test) Hubby tested water again last night and the PH was at 6.8. Should be be concerned that the fella added too much acid? Will be testing and brushing again when I get home. Will post results


Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
Evans, Georgia
Get that rock waterfall running full speed and get that pH up, please! Call the PB and tell them they goofed and dropped too much acid in there and what are they going to do to fix it? (Or decide to fix it on your own if that doesn't mess with the warranty?)

Now, about that test kit.... you're missing the all important FAS-DPD test for FC and CC far above the 10ppm your current test kit does.
Order this to bring your kit up to snuff--> FAS/DPD Chlorine CC's test

Maddie :flower:
Water is still crazy green, sure hope it blues up...trying not to freak out just yet since everything I have read on here says so. :) We picked Aqua white as it is suppose to look a crisp blue (we hope). 56503578968__AAF91AA9-9121-485A-9298-F3A6A1DEF634.jpg
We will add to our kit ASAP the thing I don't have.( I am still studying the pool school so that I know what all of that is)
For now test tonight are as follows:
TA 60
PH 7.2
CH 150 He added stuff yesterday to raise this and didn't want to add more today in case what he put in had not dissolved fully yet. Said he would check it again tomorrow.

I think chlorine will finally be added either tomorrow or thursday.
FC 0
salt 0

Pool guy told us we shouldn't turn on the waterfall for at least 3 weeks. EEEK may need to discuss that with him when he comes tomorrow to verify what his reason is for that.
Since finish work happened over the holiday weekend the circle of communication was terrible! We didn't even know they were gonna put in the pebble the day after Thanksgiving until our doorbell rang at 0730 on friday morning. Turns out we did the right thing starting the pump when we did. He confirmed to my hubby that we are doing a "normal" start up vs an acid start up since it was acid washed just prior to fill up. Also for now our heater has been bypassed.


Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
Evans, Georgia
Good to see your pH is within normal limits now. Too low pH can mess with your plaster and your heater (before knowing it was being bypassed, whew!).

The pool water color will "develop" over time. It seems to commonly be "too green" at first then settles in to its intended/final color.

Maddie :flower:
We did not have a bypass in place. They cut the plumbing to leave the heater out. They will be plumbing it back in tomorrow, about 10 days after fill since water is balanced now for the most part. There also wasn't a check valve at the heater previously and they are t
elling us that is required to be added if we do not want to void our pebble warranty.
Ok I have an update.

Our water has finally started to turn blue... WHOOOHOOOO! NO MORE GREEN! I will post a pic soon.
Our FAS-DSD kit will arrive tonight so that we can do better at giving those numbers.

For now this is what we have from this morning.

pH 7.8 (added 29 oz MA per pool math phone app )
TA 140 (start up pool guy did that mess, Been that number since he was here thursday even when pH was 7.2. Waiting for him to finish and give us our warranty paperwork for Stonescapes then well ya know)
CH 230
CYA 10 (claims that is not a big deal since we are in winter time. He will be adding more next week though)
CSI 0.18 (per app)
Water temp 63
He is not a big fan of the numbers that we have decided to follow, TFP numbers that is. But this is also the guy that doesn't measure ANYTHING that he tosses in the pool and uses his hand to cover test tube for invert for readings. Yikes. After previous experience and our recent training we are very AR with it. Our little measuring cup and bucket stay next to our testing table. LOL Hubby said that after the guy tested last week he offered him the measuring cup.. he didn't take it. Had to take a deep breath and realize that once we secure our warranty we can fully take over.

They will deliver salt next week for us to add in a few more weeks. They acted surprised that we asked for that, I guess salt people don't consider that as part of the "start-up" service $$$ for a replaster. We figured it had 10 bags of salt when they drained it into the street so we should have 10 bags to put back :p So for now we are following the Liquide chlorine parameters. He is also going to plumb our heater back in next week as well as add a check valve at the heater. We have never had that and our heater is 11yrs old and still going strong, never had any copper discoloration in pool. He said our pebble warranty will be void if we don't add one.

We had to order another vacuum hose(old one fell apart) and a brush vacuum head(never had one of those) that will be here monday. We have quite a bit of lose tiny pebbles on bottom from sweeping. Read somewhere not to use our wheeled vacuum head to get that out at least before the first 28 days or so and that was all we had. We are trying super hard to do better than we did on original start up 11 yrs ago. (didn't know better).
I have read the links under pool school and am now reading the e-book. The one thing that I do not believe we are going to use is the borax as our beloved Dobie use to drink out of the pool whether she had a giant fresh bowl of water or not. She didn't drink copious amounts but a few laps here and there. Plus our other yard wild life likes to sip from the pool and water bowl in the waterfall. (squirrels and birds that we feed). Don't currently have a puppy but that will change one day when we are ready.


Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
Tallahassee, FL
You are so on the right track this time!

Salt-get the bags but don't bothering adding them yet. Your SWG will not work in low temps. so for now you will have your pool on a liquid chlorine diet.

Do you have kids? If so make sure they are there when you do add the salt as they LOVE to swim on "Diamond Day". They also help dissolve the "diamonds" aka salt.

We are now in our 3rd week after water fill and are still trying to get our chemicals just so. 5 inches of rain last weekend sure didn't help those efforts as we were ALMOST there then --- bang... oh well. Anyway I have a question about the CSI. We are logging our results into the pool app last 2 days are as follows:

Dec 12
FC- 4.8
pH-7.7 (added 22oz acid)
CYA- 10
Temp- 60

Dec 13

We know we need to get the CH back up to where it was before the rain,( was at 230, pool start up folks coming out again today). Kinda freaked out that CSI looked good on the 12th then on the 13th is says we are at risk of being corrosive to plaster... Yikes What the heck? I put the numbers this morning into the Poolmath thingy on the forum and it says it is balanced. I am confused. Not really sure if our CYA level is correct or not since the water is chilly, dot test says it is 35 but... Hubby and I were like school kids that got a bad grade on a test.. LOL He put all the numbers in then got the notice about the CSI and it just let all the wind out of our sails... :confused:
Are we being too AR?


Well-known member
May 27, 2017
Coventry, CT
For your Dec 12th results, I get CSI = -0.06

and for your Dec 13th results, I get CSI = -0.27

Both results are fine, especially for the current cold water temperature.

Make sure you're using the Pool Math link at the top of pretty much any page on this website.


Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
Evans, Georgia
To make FC and CC testing a bit faster and easier, just use 10 mL of pool water and then each drop of reagent equals 0.5. So get your total drops and divide by 2. That's it! It is plenty accurate enough for your needs at this time.

Maddie :flower: