Congratulations on taking that leap of faith into pool ownership. You put down the payment and construction has started, but what is the next step? How do you get your pool ready for opening day? The pool startup process can be tricky; but lucky for you, Mufson Pools mapped out the pool startup process, what pool startup entails, why pool startup is important, and how to make the most out of these 28 days. Let’s dive into the intricacies of pool startup in our latest blog.
What is Pool Startup?
Although you may be eager to dive right into your new pool, the startup process is vital to ensuring that the first dip is as euphoric as you imagined. The startup process takes 28 days after you fill the pool with water. It is a rather extensive process, but the end product is well worth the time and effort. There are several steps to follow along this timeline that we will delve into later but essentially pool startup entails filling the pool with water, filtering and chemically balancing the water, brushing and sanitizing the pool, and finally turning on the water heater.
Why is Pool Startup So Important?
Without a proper pool startup, you risk having to deal with more severe issues in the future. Your pool’s walls could experience mottling, spalling, and delamination. Mottling refers to discoloration or uneven color patterns on a pool’s surface. It can manifest as light or dark spots, blotches, or streaks. While mottling is generally harmless and purely cosmetic, it can be an aesthetic concern for pool owners.
Spalling is a condition where the surface of a pool develops small cracks, chips, or flakes, caused by chemical imbalances. Spalling can compromise the structural integrity of the pool and, depending on the severity, may require repair to prevent further damage.
Delamination occurs when the layers of the pool’s surface material, such as plaster or fiberglass, separate or detach from each other. Typically, delamination occurs due to chemical imbalances or poor installation. These issues are avoidable with proper pool startup which is why sticking to this 28-day journey is going to make pool care a breeze for years to come.
Follow These Tips for a Smoother Pool Startup
Before we get into the nitty-gritty details, there are a few things to consider before beginning the startup process. These tips will make these 28 days go by in a breeze.
- DO NOT use wheeled devices, automated cleaning systems, chemical feeders except for oxidation-reduction potential and pH controllers, and saltwater generators
- DO NOT shock the pool for the first 30 days (about 4 and a half weeks).
- DO NOT use the pool heater until all plaster dust has been removed from the pool.
- DO NOT put water into the chemicals. Mix the chemicals with water in a separate bucket.
- Be sure to follow every step. Do not skip any steps.
A Day-by-Day Guide for Pool Startup Success
The startup process is rather monotonous and does follow a learning curve. You will notice the more you do each step, the easier the process gets. After the fourth day, the process mellows out and the steps are much of the same as the rest of the days. Here is a day-by-day guide to ensure a seamless pool startup.
The Fill Day
The fill day launched the pool startup process. However, it is not technically the start of the 28 days. First, you must know how to fill the pool correctly.
- Be sure to fill the pool to the middle of the skimmer or specified water level without any stoppage. If you worry about leaving the water running overnight, find a way to slow the filling process. The filling process must be continuous until it hits the correct level, or a ring will appear against the wall of the pool. Keep people and pets out of the pool as the pool fills.
- As you are filling the pool, test the water for pH, alkalinity, calcium hardness, and metals and record your results throughout the process. Mobile apps exist to aid with recording.
- Once the water is at the correct level, immediately activate the filtration system.
- Re-test the water for pH, alkalinity, calcium hardness, and metals, and record your results.
- Alkalinity should sit at 80 ppm. If alkalinity is higher than 80 ppm, use pre-diluted Muriatic Acid. You can pre-dilute Muriatic Acid by mixing it in a five-gallon bucket of water. If the alkalinity is lower than 80 ppm use baking soda to adjust the reading.
- pH should stay between 7.2 and 7.6. Pre-diluted Muriatic Acid is effective in reducing pH if the alkalinity is already between 80-100 ppm.
- It is important to get in the habit of brushing your pool surface twice a day beginning at the shallow end and ending at the deep end. This will preserve your beautiful pool finish.
- Run the filtration system continuously for at least 72 hours (about 3 days).
- DO NOT add chlorine for the first 48 hours.
- Repeat steps from Day 1.
- Once you have alkalinity and the pH balance sorted out, be sure to adjust the calcium hardness to a minimum of 150 ppm.
- Repeat steps 1-4 from Day 1.
- Add pre-diluted chlorine at about 1.5 to 3 ppm. DO NOT add salt until the end of the 28 days.
Day 4 to Day 28
- Test the water for pH, alkalinity, calcium hardness, and metals every day and repeat steps 2-4 from Day 1 for the first 14 days (about 2 weeks).
- Calcium levels should slowly be adjusted to 200 ppm over the initial 28 days.
- Pre-dissolve and adjust cyanuric acid levels through the skimmer based on the primary sanitizer. The reading should reach 30 to 50 ppm.
- On day 7 remove any remaining plaster dust with a brush pool vacuum. Once no plaster dust remains, you may begin running the pool heater.
After Day 28
You will want to continue monitoring your water balance and adjust accordingly. Use mobile apps such as the Langelier Saturation Index to ensure a smooth day-to-day pool maintenance routine. Following this guide will aid in providing you with a glorious pool season and a harmonious swimming experience.
Dive Into Pool Ownership With Confidence Today!
With extensive expertise, unwavering commitment to quality, and a track record of exceptional results, Mufson Pools is the trusted ally you need by your side. From design and construction to maintenance and support, their team of professionals will guide you every step of the way, ensuring your vision becomes a stunning reality.
Don’t settle for anything less than excellence – choose Mufson Pools and embark on a pool startup journey that exceeds your wildest dreams. Map the uncharted territory of pool ownership with ease by calling (201) 768-6844 today!