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Care Tips After a Newly Plastered Pool
As the owner of a newly plastered pool, you may have some questions about the care required to properly maintain the new surface. The following suggestions and pointers will help inform you about special areas of concern. Please remember that these are “generic” tips – for specific instructions it is always best to consult your builder, plasterer or service professional.
FILLING YOUR POOL
The hose is placed at the bottom of the pool with a clean soft cloth wrapped around the end to diffuse the water entering the pool. The water must be left running until the pool is full and the water level is halfway up the skimmer opening. If more than one hose is used, additional hoses should be placed on the deck and weighted down so that the water will project into the deep end of the pool. Additional hoses should only be turned on once the pool contains 3 to 4 feet of water, with the volume adjusted so that the water does not contact plaster, only the center of the water in the deep end of the pool. Use care that water is not introduced in a manner that can damage plaster. Do not use the fill line to fill the pool. Do not fill the pool using softened water.
THE START-UP OF NEW PLASTER
There are several approaches to initial start-up. The main objectives are to balance pH, total alkalinity and hardness levels, and to remove the plaster scale (dust) created by fresh plaster and water. Questions regarding start-up should be directed to the builder, plasterer, or service technician. The start-up procedure plays a critical role in the cosmetic appearance of the plaster surface in the years to come. Consult your builder, plasterer or service company regarding special brushing needs during the first month of new plaster.
BASIC TOOLS NEEDED TO MAINTAIN THE POOL
A basic set or equipment for the pool owner includes an extendable pole, nylon brush, skimmer net, vacuum hose, brush-style vacuum head, and a 4-way test kit. A roller-vacuum head may be used after the first month.
TIPS TO HELP YOU THROUGH THE SEASONS
Your pool care will change depending upon the season of the year. You will find that during the summer season, your chemical usage will increase due to evaporation, greater sunlight, increase in water temperature and pool usage. During periods of high winds, your plaster may need to be brushed more frequently to prevent dirt from adhering to the surface. In the rainy season, you may need to lower the water in your pool to maintain the proper level (halfway up the skimmer opening.) Do not allow pool to overflow.
CARE OF THE PLASTER SURFACE
The surface of your pool is constantly changing, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Many factors contribute to these changes, including the water hardness, heat, evaporation, treatment, maintenance, usage, and the composition and curing characteristics of the plaster itself. In time, the cosmetic appearance of the plaster will gradually change as a result of these naturally occurring factors. There are some procedures that can be helpful in minimizing these effects. Please consider the following section on preventative maintenance for better plaster care.
POOL START UP
Once your pool is full of water, it will require extra attention. A pool start-up includes brushing, filtration, and chemical balancing. If you are not comfortable with these procedures, we suggest that you consult with a pool service professional.
The following are additional guidelines to be followed during the start-up period:
As plaster cures, especially during the first 30 days, it is important to remove plaster dust in a timely manner by brushing and to stabilize water chemistry in the pool. Since chemicals can have a significant impact upon the life of your plaster it is suggested that only persons trained in this area introduce chemicals to the pool. A Diamond Brite pool is generally easier to achieve a balance in water chemistry than a pool that has been replastered. A replastered pool must be brushed at least twice per day until there is no longer visible plaster dust churned up by the brushing. Inadequate brushing may result in the plaster dust becoming permanently affixed to the surface of the pool. Pebble Tec/Sheen and WetEdge pools require limited brushing.
Start the pool equipment once the pool has been filled. Run the filter 18 hours per day for at least a week subsequent to plaster. Make sure that there is main drain suction to filter the dust from suspension in the water. Monitor filter pressure as the filter may need cleaning during this period due to the accumulation of plaster dust. The filter can be set for normal operation with a Diamond Brite pool.
Do not swim in the pool until there is no longer evidence of plaster dust in the water and chemicals have been balanced.
Do not use the pool sweep cleaner for at least ten days subsequent to the application of plaster or Diamond Brite. Do not turn on the heater for at least ten days and longer if the pool is not in chemical balance.
Once your newly remodeled pool has been chemically balanced and all plaster dust has been filtered out, you will want to establish a routine maintenance schedule to thoroughly enjoy your pool and protect your investment. Since Arturo’s does not provide pool maintenance services, once the pool remodel is complete and the pool has started to be filled with water, you can either maintain the pool yourself or contract with a pool service professional. It is very important that the pool chemicals be closely monitored to maintain the proper chlorine, acid, and pH levels. Your heater, solar water heating system, cleaner, and filtering system should also be checked and maintained throughout the year.
Q. HOW DO I TAKE CARE OF A PLASTER POOL?
A.The water chemistry should be maintained according to the "Saturation Index." The saturation index measures the various factors in the pool water, such as pH, alkalinity, hardness, etc. and adjusts them according to a specific formula depending on the levels of each factor. There is not a standard level at which each factor is always kept. Based upon the results of the computerized testing, recommendations will be made as to what needs to be added to, or deleted from your pool water.
If your pool builder does not provide this service, this type of balancing can be done at a local pool store that offers computerized water testing.
CLEANING THE "RING" AROUND THE POOL.
If you have a pool or spa without waterline tile and need advice on removing the "ring" around the waterline of the Pebble Tec, the following instructions are basic guidelines.
This ring is commonly referred to as a "calcium ring" or "mineral buildup." Usually any type of cleaner designed to clean calcium off of waterline tile . When using these cleaners/chemicals follow the directions on the container. It is a good idea to spot test a small area first. Lower the water level to expose the waterline and apply the cleaner to an area of about 8-10". Next, scrub the area with a nylon brush and start rinsing with a hose while scrubbing. The cleaners can be rinsed into the pool, but remember to use caution while working with these chemicals as they may contain acids. Repeat as necessary. Always follow the instructions on the container.
Do not attempt to use Muriatic acid on the waterline ring as it will not work to remove this type of buildup.