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Start Up Instructions

For newly replastered pools (does not apply for pebble pools).
  • Start up:
    1. Once the pool has started to fill, do not shut the water off for any reason. Wait until the pool is completely full. If you have concerns about overfilling the pool, turn the water down, do not turn if off. This will prevent a "bathtub ring" from forming on the plaster where the water stops.
    2. Do not enter the pool for any reason until it is completely full of water.
    3. It is not necessary or advised to spray the pool down with water.
    4. Do not use your automatic water fill, simply let it fill with a water hose from the bottom to the top.
    5. Once the pool is full, turn on the pump, there will be air in the system so the pump basket may need to be primed.
    6. Add cyanuric acid(water stabilizer) to the skimmer and let it work into the filter. About 1 lb for every 5000 gallons of water.
    7. Run the pump and filter the water for 3 days.

  • Mottling: You will notice that the plaster has slight shade variations similar to that of cumulus clouds. This is known as mottling and is not considered a deficiency. These variations of white are usually more pronounced in the shade and will quite often bleach out over a period of years. Spot etching (caused by low alkalinity or adding too much acid at one time) can make mottling more pronounced.

  • Plaster Fluff: When water is added to a freshly plastered swimming pool, the acid in the water mixes with the base in the plaster, causing a chemical reaction. From this chemical reaction a type of salt forms, nick named "Plaster Fluff" because of its likeness to plaster. This "Fluff" as its called, must be brushed and filtered out of the pool, otherwise it will stick to the plaster, causing a discolored surface.

  • New Plaster Start Up Schedule Note: This is a basic guideline to help you clean out the plaster fluff and condition, balance and prepare your water for routine maintenance. You may wish to consult your local pool store or pool service for exact amounts of chemicals to add. Most pool stores will test your water for free if you bring in a water sample.

  • Day 1
    1. Shut the water off when it reaches the middle of the tile or skimmer throat.
    2. Remove your pump lid, clean out the motor basket and make sure the pump has enough water for prime. (The pump reservoir only needs to be about 3/4 of the way full to prime).
    3. If you have a cartridge filter, remove the cartridge, clean it out with a water hose and put it back together. If you have a sand filter, backwash for 3 minutes or until the water backwashing is clean. If you have a DE filter, backwash or, take apart and clean the grids if necessary. Replenish the DE.
    4. Turn the equipment on. If you have a timer, set it to run continuously.
    5. Add one to two gallons of liquid chlorine. Note: You may need to add more on larger pools. Fill the chlorine floater with chlorine tabs. Note: Tabs will not be very effective until stabilizer is added. Do not add stabilizer until fluff is completely gone.
    6. Start adjusting your alkalinity between 100 and 160 ppm. If the alkalinity is high (most common) add acid. Note: Do not add more than 1 quart of acid per day. If the alkalinity is low, add pH buffer (sodium bicarbonate).
    7. If the alkalinity is in the proper range, you may adjust your pH. If the pH is too high, add acid. If the pH is too low, add soda ash After adjusting the pH, check the alkalinity again. You may need to go back and forth between alkalinity and pH until both are adjusted correctly.
    8. Install your automatic cleaning system.
    9. Let the cleaner vacuum up the fluff and clean or backwash the filter as needed. (You may need to clean or backwash the filter several times, refer to step 3). Then brush the entire pool to get the areas the cleaner missed.

    10. Helpful tip: If you do not have a cleaner, simply brushing the pool will only stir up the fluff and make the water very cloudy, very little of the fluff will find it's way to the drain. To filter the fluff out much quicker, first, brush the floor area very slowly toward the main drain. Try to get as much fluff into the drain as possible before the water gets cloudy. Then you can brush the walls and floor more vigorously to keep the fluff from sticking. Wait several hours for the fluff to settle and do the same thing over again. Using this method will speed up the process considerably.
  • Day 2
    1. Remove your pump lid, clean out the motor basket and make sure the pump has enough water for prime. If you have a cartridge filter, remove the cartridge, clean it out with a water hose and put it back together. If you have a sand filter, backwash for 3 minutes or until the water backwashing is clean. If you have a DE filter, it is not necessary to clean the grids again until all of the fluff is gone.
    2. If the water is not blue, add one to two gallons of liquid chlorine. Note: You may need to add more on larger pools. Fill the chlorine floater with chlorine tabs. Note: Tabs will not be very effective until stabilizer is added. Do not add stabilizer until fluff is completely gone.
    3. Adjust your alkalinity between 100 and 160 ppm. If the alkalinity is high (most common) add acid. Note: Do not add more than 1 quart of acid per day. If the alkalinity is low, add pH buffer (sodium bicarbonate).
    4. If the alkalinity is in the proper range, you may adjust your pH. If the pH is too high, add acid. If the pH is too low, add soda ash. After adjusting the pH, check the alkalinity again. You may need to go back and forth between alkalinity and pH until both are adjusted correctly.
    5. Back wash as needed.
    6. Brush the entire pool toward the main drain.

    7. Note: The purpose of brushing is to get the fluff filtered out and to keep it from sticking to the plaster. Failure to brush during this time can cause uneven curing thus causing your pool to be discolored. This condition is not always repairable.
  • Day 3-10

  • Repeat the steps of day 2 until the fluff is gone. Once the fluff is gone, clean out or backwash your filter a final time and add the conditioner/stabilizer Run the equipment continuously for an additional 48 hours to allow the conditioner/stabilizer to dissolve. Reset your timer to the normal desired run cycles and resume your normal maintenance routine.
Chemicals:
  • Alkalinity:
  • When the pool is full of water check the alkalinity. Adjusting the alkalinity to between 100 and 160 ppm makes balancing the pH much easier and prevents problems with the plaster, thus extending the life of your plaster. If the alkalinity is below 100 ppm add a small amount of pH buffer (sodium bicarbonate) daily until it reads above 100 ppm. If the alkalinity is above 160 ppm (usually the case with new plaster) add one quart of hydrochloric or muriatic acid per hour, with the equipment running, until the reading is below 160 ppm. Low alkalinity causes copper sulfate staining, premature breakdown of the plaster and can corrode equipment parts. High alkalinity causes calcium scale to form on pool surface making the plaster rough.
  • pH:
  • Once the alkalinity has been adjusted, balance the pH between 7.4 and 7.6. Keeping the pH in balance makes the chlorine more effective and cost efficient. Also, proper pH balance lowers eye and skin irritation significantly. To lower pH (most common), add hydrochloric or muriatic acid. To raise pH add soda ash. Sometimes it is necessary to add soda ash initially after adjusting alkalinity. Never add more than one quart of acid per hour. Always add acid to the deep end of the pool with the equipment running. Once the pH has been balanced check the alkalinity again. You may need to add more pH buffer (sodium bicarbonate). Repeat the process until both alkalinity and pH have been brought into balance.
  • Chlorine:
  • Depending on the size of your pool, add one or two gallons of liquid chlorine initially, liquid chlorine should be used until pool conditioner/stabilizer is added.
  • Stabilizer:
  • Add conditioner/stabilizer with the filter running allowing at least 48 hours for it to desolve before cleaning or back washing the filter. Note: It is a good idea to wait until the fluff has been filtered out before you add conditioner/stabilizer.
    Also check the calcium hardness and total desolved solids. It is a good idea to take a sample of water to your local pool store and have it checked. Improper alkalinity and calcium hardness levels can cause damage to your plaster in a short amount of time, and is not covered under warranty.
  • Helpful Tips
    • Do not add tablets to the skimmer. Most filtration systems are equipped with on and off timers, tablets will desolve in uncirculated water inside the skimmer during the off cycle. When the system turns on it will pump the highly concentrated and acidic chlorine in through the pump, filter and then out through the returns. This can cause premature deterioration of the entire cleaning system, copper sulfate staining and etching of the plaster. These problems can be avoided by using a chlorine floater which dispenses chlorine into the water in small amounts 24 hours a day regardless of when your equipment is on.
    • Do not use powdered shock that contains calcium chloride. It is best to use liquid chlorine when shocking the pool ( 1 to 2 gallons added in the deepest part of the pool while the equipment is running).
    • Do not let the pH bounce (Letting the pH rise 8.0 or above and then over correcting with acid, dropping the pH to 7.2 or lower): this can cause etching, staining, calcium scale, calcium nodules, copper sulfate, dirt staining and many other expensive problems which are not covered under your workmanship and materials warranty. Check chemicals regularly adding small amounts of acid at a time to avoid pH bounce.
    • Do not use gas chlorine: gas chlorine is very powerful and effective at controlling algae, however, it can be extremely harmful to plaster. Use only chlorine tablets, maintaining a 1.5 to 3.0 ppm and shocking occasionally with liquid chlorine.
    • Avoid adding any type of algaecide: algaecides are powerful chemicals, which over time and heavy use can cause damage to your plaster. Sometimes it is necessary to use these chemicals to kill algae, but they should be used with discretion and as minimal as possible. Prevention is the best and most economical way to sanitize your water and protect your plaster.


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