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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 tips and for specific instructions
it is always best to consult your builder, plasterer or service professional.
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 -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.
START-UP OF NEW PLASTER
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.
TOOLS NEEDED TO MAINTAIN THE POOL
basic set of 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.
TO HELP YOU THROUGH THE SEASONS
pool care will change depending upon the seasons 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.
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 preventive maintenance for better plaster
brushing of your pool is an important plaster maintenance procedure.
Brushing will help keep the surface smooth and free of debris,
as well as help prevent metals and minerals from adhering to
the surface. Whether you have a pool service or an automatic
pool cleaning device, the pool owner should be sure to thoroughly
brush the pool at least every other week.
pool owner should test the pool water for pH, alkalinity and
disinfectant levels before adding chemicals. At least twice
per year have your pool water tested for calcium hardness, total
hardness, and dissolved solids. In areas of high water hardness,
evaporation, high usage, or other unique chemical factors, it
would be advisable to perform these tests more frequently, even
monthly. Consult your builder, plasterer or service professional
regarding specific recommended testing frequency for your local
area. If possible, have copper and iron levels checked as well.
regular use of stain preventive type chemicals can greatly reduce
the staining effects of the dissolved minerals in your pool water.
Follow manufacturers directions or refer to your pool professional
for proper dosages for your pool.
filtration is important to the upkeep of your plaster and your
pool. Your pool should be filtered daily to insure the removal
of dirt and debris as well as to provide adequate circulation.
Never allow dirt and debris to remain undisturbed for long periods
of time as this will promote discoloration or staining.
It would be helpful to markdown
your filters clean operating pressure so that you can easily
determine when cleaning is necessary. Generally speaking, the
filter will require back washing or cleaning when the pressure
is 5-12 pounds over the initial clean starting pressure. This
will vary from filter to filter, depending on type and model.
Check the manufacturers recommendations for your specific brand
and model of filter.
CHEMISTRY AND YOUR PLASTER
normally contains many dissolved minerals and metals. When water
evaporates, only distilled (pure) water is lost, and all the
dissolved minerals and metals are left behind. The eventual
buildup of this material in your pool water adds to the water
hardness. Calcium is one of the key elements found in both your
pool water and plaster. It exists in equilibrium; if the water
is too high in calcium, it can precipitate onto surfaces as
scale. If the water does not contain enough calcium, it can
actually draw it out (etch)from the plaster itself. In essence,
a certain amount of calcium is necessary in pool water, too
much or too little will likely cause problems. Imbalances in
pH and alkalinity can also play a role in these problems. Be
extremely careful when adding chemicals to your pool as some
chemicals can bleach or burn the finish if allowed to settle
on the surface. Scaling or corrosive conditions can be reduced
by monitoring and maintaining proper chemical balance.
you sanitize your pool, you are primarily treating the organic
(living) materials in the water, and adjusting the pH and alkalinity
to compensate for any changes the sanitizing agent may have
had upon them. Water used to fill your pool can also affect
pool water balance, and may require treatment. Regular pool
treatment does not reduce the amount of dissolved minerals and
other elements in the water. If your pool water tests high in
dissolved minerals or calcium hardness, you should consider
using stain preventive chemicals. In time you may need to drain
and refill your pool when the level of dissolved minerals and
hardness becomes excessive.
water conditions will play an important role in your pool and
plaster chemistry, as they differ greatly from area to area
and even from day to day. You may want to consider having the
water analyzed from the tap you use to fill your pool in order
to check its chemical makeup.
is an often neglected aspect of pool care. Proper control of
your water alkalinity is essential to stabilize your pH. This
will insure the effectiveness of your sanitizer and that your
pool water does not go through drastic pH changes. Contact your
builder, plasterer or service professional for suggested levels
based on the sanitizer used and local water conditions.
Plaster Pools Naturally
occurring mottling is more evident in colored plaster pools.
Since the scale that forms on plaster is white, colored pools
may require different care than white plaster pools. Strategies
to deal with colored plaster can include chelating, sequestering
or calcium reduction. Please consult your builder, plasterer
or service professional for more information.
choosing a professional pool maintenance company for regular
service, be sure the service professional is properly trained
and licensed as required. A qualified pool service company will
make all the difference when it comes to helping you care for
your investment. But, remember, even the best pool service cannot
be at the poolside all the time. You should brush your pool regularly,
and you may need to occasionally skim debris or add chemicals.
Contact your service professional if you have any questions about
your pools additional maintenance needs.
information has been produced as a cooperative effort by the
National Plasterers Council, the National Association of Gas
Chlorinaotors, the Swimming Pool Trades and Contractor Association
and the Independent Pool & Spa Service Association. Photographs
courtesy of Sunshine Pools, Inc. For additional copies, contact
the National Plasterers Council, 28892 Marguerite Parkway, Suite
240, Mission Viejo, CA 92692.
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