Plaster Pool Startup Procedures

New Plaster Pool Start-Up Procedures

The pool finish will start to hydrate immediately after mixing, with the majority of hydration taking place within the first 28 days. This critical time period is when a new plaster pool finish is most susceptible to staining, scaling, and discoloration. Proper start-up procedures including timely brushing and constant monitoring and adjusting of the pool water is mandatory. Due to unique local water conditions and environmental factors, parts of these recommended start-up procedures may need to be modified to protect the pool finish. Brushing and monitored chemical adjustments will be mandatory by the homeowner or a trained pool technician during the service life of any pool surface. ALWAYS ADD A CHEMICAL TO WATER, NEVER WATER TO A CHEMICAL.

Pool Filling Day

  1. Make sure the filtration equipment is operational.
  2. Remove all floor return heads and directional eyeballs (if appropriate and recommended in your geographical area).
  3. Based on temperature and type of finish, fill the pool to the middle of the skimmer or specified water level without interruption as rapidly as possible with clean potable water to help prevent a bowl ring. Place a clean rag on the end of the hose, always placed in the deepest area, to prevent damage to the surface material. If a water truck is required 24 inches of water should be placed at the deepest area for a water cushion Wheeled devices (ie. Polaris cleaner) should not be used in the pool until after 28 days.
  4. At no time should any person or pets be allowed in the pool during the fill. Do not allow any external sources of water to enter the pool to help prevent streaking. It is recommended that you do not swim in the pool until the water is properly balanced.
  5. Test fill water for pH, alkalinity, calcium hardness, and metals. Record test results.
  6. Start the filtration system immediately when the pool is full to the middle of the skimmer or specified water level.

1st Day

(It’s vital to follow these steps in order – prior to proceeding to the next step)

  1. Test pH, alkalinity, calcium hardness, and metals.
  2. High alkalinity should be adjusted to 80ppm using pre-diluted Muriatic Acid (31-33% hydrochloric acid). Always pre-dilute the acid by adding it to a five gallon bucket of pool water.
  3. Low alkalinity should be adjusted to 80ppm.
  4. pH should be reduced to 7.2 to 7.6 adding pre-diluted Muriatic Acid if the alkalinity is already 80-100ppm.
  5. Brush the entire pool surface thoroughly at least twice daily to remove all plaster dust.
  6. Although optional, it is highly recommended to pre-dilute and add a quality sequestering agent using the recommended initial start-up dosage and then the recommended maintenance dosage per the sequestering agent’s manufacturer.
  7. Operate filtration system continuously for a minimum of 72 hours.
  8. DO NOT add chlorine for 48 hours. DO NOT turn on pool heater until there is no plaster dust in the pool.

2nd Day – Brush the Pool

  1. Test pH, alkalinity, and calcium hardness and repeat steps of 1st day EXCEPT for Step 6.
  2. Once the alkalinity is adjusted to 80ppm and the pH is adjusted to 7.2 to 7.6, then adjust calcium hardness levels to a minimum of 15-ppm. (Caution: Adjustments requiring more than 20 lbs. of calcium hardness should be pre-diluted and added in 10 lbs. increments – morning and afternoon)

3rd Day

  1. Test pH, alkalinity, and calcium hardness and repeat 1st Day steps 1 – 6.
  2. Pre-diluted chlorine may now be added to achieve 1.5 – 3ppm. NO SALT SHOULD BE ADDED FOR 28 DAYS.
  3. Brush the entire pool surface thoroughly at least twice daily to remove all plaster dust.

4th – 28th Day

  1. Test pH, Carbonate alkalinity, and calcium hardness and repeat 1st DAY steps 1-5 every day for 14 days to help prevent the scaling of the pool surface.
  2. on the 7th DAY, if there is an plaster dust remaining – remove it using a brush pool vacuum.
  3. After the 4th DAY – calcium levels should be adjusted slowly over the 28 day period not to exceed 200ppm.
  4. After the 4th DAY – adjust Cyanuric acid (CYA) levels to 30-50ppm based on the primary sanitizer of the pool (add through the skimmer).



All content, new plaster pool start-up procedures, is from the National Plasters Council