CHECK THE AREA AROUND THE POOL/SPA AND EQUIPMENT, MAKE SURE THERE ARE NO SAFETY HAZARDS.
MAKE SURE THE HEATER IS IN THE "OFF" POSITION.
The following is a step-by-step procedure for starting up a freshly plastered pool. It is understood by the pool industry that the first thirty days of a pool is the most critical. Following these directions will help to assure that the plaster has received the attention that it needs.
NOTE: Remember to read and follow all chemical manufacturer's directions and warnings
A. TEST THE SOURCE OF WATER
Before adding any water to the pool, make sure you know the chemistry of the water. There are four items that should be checked:
- pH minimum 7.2; maximum 7.8
- Alkalinity minimum 60: maximum 180
- Water hardness minimum 150; maximum 600
- T. D. S. (total dissolved solids) minimum 300; maximum 2300
If the alkalinity and water hardness do not meet the minimum requirements, you may have to add bicarbonate of soda or calcium chloride to bring them to the minimum. This should be done after the pool is filled, and introduced as a liquid form by dissolving them in water and lifting the larger particles out of the solution, (See item G-: adding chemicals).
It is recommended that all chemistry readings be written down for future reference.
B. FILLING THE POOL
After the pool has been plastered, the crew should leave a hose in the pool to fill it with water. This hose should have a soft cloth tied on the end of it. The purpose of the soft cloth is to diffuse the water so that it does not whip, it is also to protect the pool surface from being marred by the end of the hose and to catch what little debris may be in the water system. Do not add anything but fresh water. Make sure that the fill line is not connected to a water softener.
- Fill the pool as soon as possible. The more hoses the better. Make sure soft cloths protect the ends.
- Do not let the hoses whip or flail around on the pool.
- Put all the hoses in the deep end.
- Do not let the hoses rest on the plaster, particularly across the length or width of the pool. They will leave a mark.
- It is okay to leave the soft cloth protected end of the hose resting on the bottom of the pool as long as it remains in the pool of water that is forming.
- Do not add anything to the balanced pool water until it has finished filling.
- Do not stop the water until the pool is completely filled. This is usually to the middle of the skimmer opening.
- If it appears as if the pool is going to finish while you are not around, turn down the water to a slower rate.
- If you turn off the water while filling the pool, a "bathtub ring" will be left at the level where the water was shut off
- If you splash water, spill, wash, or cause anything to fall into the fresh water; it will mar the plaster
- Do not walk on the freshly plastered surface.
C. TEST THE WATER AGAIN
You may find that the water chemistry is substantially different after filling the pool than when you first tested it RECORD AND ADJUST ACCORDINGLY.
D. STARTING THE EQUIPMENT
When the pool has been filled: The next step is to get the filter system operating so that the water and plaster can be treated. Start with a clean filter.
- Make sure that the circuit breakers are on and the time clock is set for 24 hours.
- Prime the pump with water and start the pump. There will be air in the plumbing. Forcing water into the pipes with a hose will help force the air through the system.
- Record the pressure reading from the gauge on the top of the filter. Ensure this is the reading with a clean filter. When the filter pressure has risen to 5 to 7 psi. it will require cleaning. ( the filter is easier to clean if cleaned at less than a 10 psi. pressure rise )
- If there is a main drain valve, open it all the way. (skimmer control valve if present)
- Do not turn on the heater.
- Do not turn on any waterfalls or fountains that are not necessary.
- Do not swim in the pool until after the start-up procedure is completed
E. ADDING STAIN PREVENTATIVES AND WATER CLARIFIERS.
These chemicals are extremely important - they prevent stains from occurring.
- Follow manufacturers' directions.
- Dilute with water before pouring into the pool (if required).
- Sprinkle the solution around the pool; do not pour directly into one spot.
- Brush pool immediately to mix the solution.
F. BRUSHING THE POOL. DO NOT VACUUM THE POOL. IT WILL LEAVE MARKS
The more you brush the pool, the better it will appear
- You may notice, "plaster dust" on the bottom of the pool. This is normal and will go away with repeated brushing and filtering.
- The pool should be brushed twice a day minimum.
- The equipment should be on, with the main drain open.
G. ADDING CHEMICALS
The goal of adding chemicals to the pool is to balance the chemistry as soon as possible and as close to ideal as possible.
All chemicals should be introduced slowly and spread throughout the pool.
DO NOT PUT THEM IN ONLY ONE SPOT.
Follow the manufacturer's instructions.
The ideal range being an alkalinity of 80-100, pH of 7.6, and a calcium hardness of 200-400.
- If alkalinity and ph are high (alkalinity over 120 and pH over 7.8), add muriatic acid to the pool to bring the chemistry down.
- If alkalinity and pH are low (alkalinity below 70 and pH below 7.2), then introduce bicarbonate of soda or soda ash, in a liquid form, to bring them up to ideal.
- If the calcium hardness level is below 200, then the addition of calcium chloride is needed to bring it up to ideal. The calcium chloride should be diluted in water and strained before adding to the pool.
- While adding any of these chemicals to the water, the pool equipment should be running and the pool should be brushed thoroughly.
Always add chemicals in small quantities.
- Make sure that the filter will run for at least four hours after adding chemicals to allow the chemicals to mix thoroughly.
After the water has been balanced, add cynuric acid, also known as conditioner.
Only after all of these steps have been taken you should add chlorine.
- The chlorine should be introduced slowly and spread throughout the pool.
Enjoy your newly plastered pool