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  Plaster Pools (cont.)


plasterers know how to get the mix right, with numerous variables that can affect the finished product. They also work in a team of 4 - 6 workers, to get it up before it sets (and cracks). Small patches? OK, but re-plastering the entire pool? I would leave that to plasterers. If YOU prep the pool for plaster, however, you could save 25% or so on the job.


What is the procedure for starting up a freshly plastered pool?


There are basically two methods, chlorine start, or acid start. I do the acid start which eliminates the brushing and filtering of plaster dust. The idea is to drop the Total Alkalinity level to zero, and then rebuild it with the carbonates that are contained in the plaster dust.


Here's how I do it. As the pool is filling, immediately after plastering, add 1 gallon of muriatic acid directly to the water (don't splash it on the bare plaster) per 5,000 gallons of fill water. With a watch, time the amount of time it takes to fill up a 1 gallon or 5 gallon bucket with the hose(s) used to fill up the pool. Do the math to determine how many gallons are added every hour. Divide 5,000 by the number of gallons coming out of your hose(s) per hour, and you will know how long it takes to fill 5,000 gallons from the hoses.


When the pool is full, test the Total Alkalinity. It should be zero. Then test the pH, and do a base demand test to determine how much pH increaser to add. Add up to 6 lbs of pH increaser at a time, brushing the pool to distribute fully. Wait a few hours in between 6 lb additions. When all of the pH increaser is added, recheck pH and Total Alkalinity. Add additional increasers if needed.


Check Calcium Hardness levels. If below 180 ppm, add Calcium Chloride in dissolved form to bring the levels up. Brush pool after any addition of chemicals. When pH, Alkalinity and Calcium levels are balanced, slowly begin to chlorinate the pool. Do not shock the pool for a week or so. Leave the pool filter (and heater, and pool cleaner) off until the chemistry is balanced. Brush frequently to distribute chemicals added.


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