Monthly Archives: January 2019

Properly Opening a Freshly Plastered Pool

The first 30 days after a swimming pool has been plastered are the most important.  It is critical that the plaster is properly cured.  This is done by maintaining a proper balance in the pool waters chemistry and maintaining it throughout the life of the pool.  When starting up the pool the main objective will be to clean and get rid of the dust left over from the plaster while stabilizing and balancing the water that is in the pool.  This article will give you a few things to consider if you are contemplating having the plaster on your swimming pool re-done or a new plaster pool installed.

The Quality of the Water You Are Adding to the Pool

Before you begin to add water to a freshly plastered pool it is important to know the quality of the water.  Believe it or not all water is not the same.   The quality of the water in your home may not be the same as the quality of the water in the water spout outside of the home.  The local source that you have for filling the pool may not be suitable.  It is important to take a sample of the pools water to a pool retailer to have it analyzed.  Write down the water’s chemistry for reference at a later date.

Determine How Much Water Is Needed for The Pool

If you determine that your water source is appropriate for filling your swimming pool the next step is to take a meter reading to make sure the source is adequate to fill the pool without issues.  To measure the amount of water needed to fill a swimming pool use the following measurements:

Oval – Length x Width x Average Depth x 5.9

Round – Diameter x Diameter x Average Depth x 5.9

Square/Rectangle – Length x Width x Average Depth x 5.9

Irregular Shapes – Divide the pool into geometric shapes and add the gallon amounts together

Starting the Pool Filling Process

After the pool has been plastered, the water has been tested, and the amount of water needed to fill it is determined it is time to fill the swimming pool.  When filling the pool use a clean hose with a soft cloth tied to the end to diffuse the water so that it does not whip about and mar the freshly plastered surface.  It will also catch debris coming out of the hose.

If you are bringing water in via a truck note that a cushion of two feet is needed in the bottom of the pool.  Water should be added quickly but in a manner that does not harm the plaster.  If a pool fills too slowly cracks may appear.  In order to avoid this the plaster should be added in as quickly as possible.


  • Do not let the hose flip and flail around the pool
  • Put the fill hose in at the deep end of the pool
  • Do not allow the hose to rest on the fresh plaster
  • Do not add anything to the pool until it has finished filling including clarifiers
  • Do not stop the water until the pool is completely filled
  • Do not walk on the freshly plastered pool

Test the Water After It Has Finished Filling

The water may test substantially different once the pool has been filled.  It is important to test the water and write the current water chemistry down.  The pools water must have the correct chemistry to prevent staining or pitting.  Calcium is especially important to the pools water chemistry.  If the calcium is not maintained, it will pull calcium from the plaster which could cause issues to the plaster surface

In our next installment on pool plaster we will continue to discuss the steps involved in properly opening a newly plastered pool including: starting the equipment, adding in chemicals, and maintenance. 

Pound Pool Plastering offers several options when it comes to servicing your pool including plaster, caulk, tiling, cement decks, plumbing, and coping in both commercial and residential settings.  More information can be found at

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How to stop your pool from draining your wallet: Top tips for cutting pool power consumption

For many home owners, summer marks the time of year when the expense and effort of owning a pool can finally be justified.

Pool owners can spend anywhere between $800 and $1200 per year maintaining a pool, with electricity to run the pump making up the bulk of this expense.

But smart strategies and upgrades to your pool and your home’s energy system can significantly reduce the impact your pool has on your household budget.

Power your pool with solar

Solar panels work best in conjunction with battery storage because the energy generated during the day when the sun is shining can be stored and used in the evening when residents are at home.

But pool owners can take advantage of solar panels without having to fork out about $10,000 for a battery because power-hungry pumps can be scheduled to run when the panels are generating electricity.

SolarQuip principal Glen Morris says homeowners who can use solar energy when it’s produced, such as pool owners, can see the biggest benefit and recoup the cost of solar panels quickest.

But before investing in a solar system, Morris says home owners should focus on efficiency.

“If you don’t have solar, schedule the pump to run when the power is cheapest. If you do have solar or you are considering solar, schedule it to run during the solar period.”

Solar panels can help offset the cost of running a pool pump.
Solar panels can help offset the cost of running a pool pump.

Canstar Blue editor Simon Downes said it was worth investing in solar, provided home owners understood it was a long-term investment.

“Any savings made will be further down the track once the system and installation costs are paid off,” he said.

Whether or not home owners would save money by powering their pools with solar comes down to their feed-in tariff, according to Downes.

“If the feed-in tariffs available are modest in your area and because your solar system is new you’re not receiving a premium rate, then it’s probably beneficial to use the power you generate rather than exporting it,” Downes said.

“If you do receive a premium feed-in tariff … then it makes more financial sense to export your solar power rather than use it during the day.”

Downes suggested pool owners talk to their energy retailer about controlled-load pricing, which involves installing a separate meter for the pool pump.

“Controlled load pricing is generally much cheaper than a general usage tariff,” he said.

Data-driven pool pump savings

If the expense of setting up solar power is a barrier, Sydney pool owners seeking lower running costs and automation have another option.

Technology company and energy retailer Pooled Energy has created a system it claims reduces the energy consumption of pool equipment without having to replace existing components.

By monitoring water quality, weather and energy prices and analysing the data at a control centre, the system remotely triggers pool pumps, heaters and chlorinators to run more efficiently.

“An average pool represents about 40 per cent of the electricity consumption in the house,” said Pooled Energy co-founder Greg Irving. “A typical pool runs about 1.5 kilowatts. We reduce that by two-thirds in most cases.”

Most pool pumps are fixed speed and use more energy than necessary for most tasks. A key component of the Pooled Energy system is a smart controller that dynamically adjusts the speed of the filter pump as required.

“It changes the amount of electricity that’s delivered to the pump and the frequency of that electricity, and by that, it’s able to vary to the pump’s power consumption,” Irving said.

“You just plug a normal pump into our system and it decides how to run it and when to run it.”

The system also replaces traditional pool chemicals with a unique formula, reducing the number of chemicals and the quantity required to keep a pool healthy, which reduces the load on chlorinators.

Home owners need to sign up to Pooled Energy as their energy provider, and pay a $330 installation fee and $67 monthly management fee. The chemistry has an initial cost of $150 to $200, with periodic top-ups for about $100 every six months.

The offering appears to come at a cost, as although the company claims to reduce energy usage, it doesn’t offer discounting and pricing is among the highest in NSW, according to a Canstar Blue comparison.

“We don’t discount our electricity because our experience is the reduction in energy consumption will match pretty much any discount in the market,” Irving said.

While it’s available only in Sydney, Irving said there are plans to roll out the system to the rest of NSW and Queensland.

Tips for cutting pool power consumption

  • Switch to a variable speed pump: Analysis from the Department of the Environment and Energy revealed that a variable speed pump can cost twice to buy as much as a fixed speed pump, but half as much to run over the life of the pump, saving pool owners far more than the difference in the purchase price.
  • Take advantage of peak and off-peak pricing: Households that take advantage of time-of-use or flexible pricing for electricity will generally see the biggest savings by running pumps between 11pm and 7am. On the other hand, power will be the most expensive between 2pm and 8pm.
  • Adjust your maintenance schedule: Set your pool pump to the minimum runtime that still keeps the pool clean. Empty the skimmer basket regularly to maintain good water flow and reduce the load on the pump.

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Original Date: Jan 6 2018

Written By: Daniel Butkovich