The Pool Start-Up Process

You’ve just had your pool resurfaced and you’re dying to jump in. The unusually hot spring weather makes swimming even more appetizing by the minute.

But as you throw on your swimsuit and get ready to dive in, your pool tech stops you.

“Sorry,” they say. “We know that water looks fun, but we need to finish the startup process.

We get it. Getting your pool resurfaced is really fun, especially if it means more time lazing in the water all summer. However, before you make the first splash of the season, your pool needs to be properly prepped. Read on to see the pool start-up process in action.


Get the Pool You’ve Always Wanted


Each municipality’s water makeup is different and it’s best to know what you’re working with.

The Pool Start-Up ProcessPool startup, pool replastering, pool resurfacing

Pool startup is a very critical process that lasts anywhere from 5-7 days. It’s required for all newly plastered (or re-plastered) swimming pools and spas.
Even though your pool or spa has water, there are still many things that need to happen before that first swim.
The first thing that’s done is the clearing out of calcium carbonate. As the pool plaster cures, calcium carbonate (also know as plaster dust) forms on the surface. This has to be properly brushed or vacuumed out.
The second thing that has to happen before your first swim is water testing. While most pool businesses use the term “startup”  to refer to testing, we prefer the term Initial Water Treatment. Below we’re going to go over what this testing entails and why it’s performed.

The Initial Water TreatmentPool startup, pool replastering, pool resurfacing

In the initial water treatment we test for three things:

  • The pool water’s pH level
  • The pool water’s alkalinity levels
  • Calcium hardness

There are a few reasons we test your pool water. The first has to do with hardening. Plaster hardens (cures) through a chemical reaction. If one of the levels listed above is out of balance, your pool’s surface can’t cure properly. It may not be able to reach its optimal hardness, so having the right chemical levels is key.

Another reason we test your water in the initial water treatment has to do with your water source. Each municipality’s water makeup is different and we have to know what we’re working with so we can adjust accordingly. The water tests we mentioned above should be done each time your maintenance company stops by. So how do we test? Read on to find out.


Schedule a Free Estimate Today


The acceptable pH level of pool water is 7.4 – 7.6.

Pool startup, pool replastering, pool resurfacingHow We Test Your Water

To start, we’ll take a complete water test kit and visit your pool. The test kit includes chemicals to test the pool’s pH, alkalinity, and calcium hardness levels as well as a plastic tube to gather a water sample. We’ll dip the plastic tube into the pool to grab some water. Each test requires a certain amount of water to test. Then, we’ll add a few droplets of the appropriate testing chemical.

We’ll know what the level is based on the color the chemical turns the water. For example, if we’re testing the pH level and the testing chemical makes the water a light red or pink color, we know the pool’s pH is in the acceptable pH range of 7.4-7.6.

All chemical levels must be in balance for maximum pool enjoyment.

We usually start with the pH test, then move on to the total alkalinity test. What’s great about pool alkalinity is that helps the pool’s pH. See, a pool’s pH level is never consistent, and your pools alkaline levels can buffer any pH changes.

The last test is the calcium hardness test. This may be the most important test because your calcium hardness needs to be balanced. If your pool’s calcium hardness is too low, calcium will be drawn from your pool’s plaster. If it’s too high, the surplus calcium will be deposited around the pool surface, causing scaling. The first calcium hardness test tends to be too low; however, it depends on the water source you have. This is why these tests are super important. it’s always good to know what type of water you’re dealing with going in.


“What about chlorine?” That’s an excellent question. We don’t add any chlorine or sanitizer yet during this process. That will be done after the Initial Water Treatment is finished by your pool maintenance company.

Contact Alan Smith for Pool Replastering Today!

Save yourself time and money by simply calling the trusted experts at Alan Smith Pools at (714) 613-4996 for a free estimate, or contacting us online for more information on the pool start-up process. For a job you can trust to be done right, you can rely on Alan Smith Pools.


Contact Us Today


The Pool Start-up Process | Alan Smith Pools – Orange County, CA