Why Should You Use Plaster?
Common Misconceptions About Pool Plaster:
Do plaster finishes use more chemicals that a pool with a different surface?
NO. Chemical usage is a function of the water not of the pool surface. Conditions such as water temperature, air temperature, wind, humidity and pool usage are the significant variable in chemical use – not the pool surface. If anyone tells you different, ask them for documentation.
Does a plastered pool finish encourage the growth of algae, especially the dreaded black algae?
NO. As anyone knows who owns a fish aquarium, algae is a function of water, not a function of pool finish. Algae sticks to glass in an aquarium, so it will stick to ANY pool surface. If your pool is properly sanitized you won’t have algae. If you have algae, you haven’t sanitized your pool properly. It’s that simple.
Is the water in a plaster finished pool colder than a pool with a different surface?
NO. It is well documented that 95% of the heat loss of pool water occurs from the water surface. Only 5% of heat loss is from the shell. No pool surface will eliminate this 5% loss, and if it could, the difference in water temperature would be less than one degree.
Do plaster finished pools leak?
NO. Most pool leaks occur in the skimmer throat where the tile grout meets the plastic skimmer. Plaster finishes are water tight and will prevent water loss through the shell. If the shell structure of the pool cracks due to ground movement or other cause, any pool finish will crack.
Does the surface of refinished pools fail after a short time?
NO. The procedures for replastering pools have evolved dramatically since the early days of replastering. Modern procedures assure that the new plaster will bond to the underlying material. As with any product, there are companies who do a good job and stand behind their work and bad companies who sell you on a low price and are not around when it fails. Consumers encourage the bad companies by only being concerned about price. Choose your plaster applicator the same as you would any service company based on reputation, referral, references, length of experience, etc. Contact the National Plasterer’s Council at 949-459-8053 for a member in your area or to verify membership and for information on the care of your newly plastered pool.
National Plasterer’s Council
Swimming Pool Plaster Start-up Do’s & Don’ts
The main objective in a pool start-up is to clear or get rid a of the plaster scale (dust), and to balance and stabilize the water chemistry in the pool as soon as possible. The first 30 days of plaster curing are the most critical. The need for proper water chemistry and maintenance continues for the life of the pool. The following are some of the “do’s and don’ts” for starting up a freshly plastered pool.
A. The Source Water
Before adding any water to the pool, make sure you know the quality of the water. This is recommended because water quality is not the same everywhere. You may find that your local source water is not suitable for filling a freshly plastered pool. It is recommended that all water chemistry readings be written down for future reference.
B. Determine The Water Gallonage Of Your Pool
You may want to take a meter reading if you are filling from one source with a water meter.
Square or Rectangle-L x W x Average Depth x 7.5
Round- Diameter x Diameter x Average Depthx5.9
Oval- L x W x Average Depth x 5.9
Irregular shaped pools should be divided into the above geometric shapes and added together.
C. Filling The Pool
After the pool has been plastered, the plaster crew should leave a hose in the pool to fill it with water. This hose should have a clean, soft cloth tied on the end of it to diffuse the water so that it does not whip, protects the pool surface from being marred by the end of the hose, and to catch any debris that may be in the water system. Do not add anything but potable water. Make sure the fill is not connected to a water softener.
D. Test the Water Again.
You may find that the water is substantially different after filling the pool than when first tested. Write the chemistry readings down. In order to satisfy water chemistry needs for calcium, water must contain a minimum of 150 ppm of calcium. Insufficient amounts of calcium in the fill water will force the water to draw calcium from the fresh plaster material, creating surface conditions which may not be able to be corrected.
E. Starting The Equipment
F. Adding Chemicals
Due to the varying differences in source water chemistry, it is up to the person who is doing the start up to evaluate the water conditions present. It must be perfectly clear that the person administering the chemicals should be aware of the power and effects of each chemical and the possible reactions of each chemical. It is the sole responsibility of that person to administer the chemicals in a calculated and safe manner.
G. Adding Stain Preventative And Water Clarifiers
These chemicals are extremely important. The help minimize normal staining. Do not add these chemicals until after the pool in filled.
H. Other Chemicals
I. Clearing the Scale (Dust)
You may notice plaster scale (dust) on the bottom of the pool. This is normal and will go away with proper treatment and brushing. The main objective in starting up a pool is to clear or get rid of scale (dust) and to balance water chemistry in the pool as quickly as possible.
This information has been produced as a cooperative effort, and is accepted by the National Plasterers Council, the National Association of Gas Chlorinators, and the Swimming Pool Trades & Contractors Association. For additional copies, contact: National Plasterers Council, 2811 Tamiami Trail, Suite D, Port Charlotte, FL 33952.