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Start Up Right or End Up Wrong

The long awaited opening day for your swimming pool has arrived but your pool builder has bad news, “No swimming in the pool until the pool water is specially treated during a 30 day process known as the Start Up.” Skipping this critical step could result in serious and irreversible consequences regarding your pool’s appearance. In just a few short years, your pool’s plaster surface could look as bad as the photo featured in this article.

Here is what you need to know regarding new pool plaster in your pool:
(If you follow these guidelines during the first 30 days after you fill your pool, your pool surface will be stronger, more durable and more appealing.)

  • Allow the surface material (plaster, pebbletec, quartz-plaster blend) to properly cure
  • If you only brush vacuum, NEVER use wheeled vacuum heads. (This is particularly true of plaster and quartz surfaces.)
  • Lower Total Alkalinity of the water to at least 80 ppm.
  • Keep the pool water pH balanced.
  • Keep all pool equipment off and NO bathers in the pool.
  • Brush the entire pool and/or spa at least 5 times during the first 7 days.
  • Pool water should reach a certain calcium hardness.
  • Sanitize the pool water without the introduction of harsh chemicals.
  • Finally, surface staining agents like suspended metals need to be removed through sequestering solutions and lengthy filtration periods.

Typically, a responsible pool plasterer will leave written instructions for the pool owner to follow. However, I hold the opinion that the pool builder (or his agent) should take full responsibility for the Start Up. That way, if there should be a pool appearance issue down the road, liability rests at the feet of the most appropriate party.

All of the above precautions should also be adhered to when you resurface an older pool. The initial proper care period for the new plaster surface of a pool is essential. If shortcuts are taken, it will be too late by the time you see the damage.

So to you, responsible pool owner, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Protecting your investment by waiting just another 30 days will be well worth it.

The lasting beauty of your pool is at stake!

Feel free to contact me if you should have further questions about the proper care of new plaster in your pool or any other pool care issue.