How Soon Can You Swim After Plastering Pool?

So, you’ve just applied a new pool plaster finish? But can you go toe-dipping? Knowing when to go in for a swim is critical for your skin and the water’s chemistry. After all, you want your plaster to cure without marks and swim without your eyes stinging.

After filling the pool, the water will clear after the pool’s equipment has been running for 72 hours. Nonetheless, it is safe to swim after 48 hours of filtering when the water’s chemistry is comfortable enough.

Hang on as I discuss why you can’t swim right away after a new plastering job and the proper startup procedure for filling water in a new plaster pool.

How Soon Can You Fill Water in Pool after Plaster?

The initial water fill is critical to new plaster. It can seem relatively simple, but there are important things to know. After plastering the pool, you should start filling the pool right away. Most household pools with a 20,000-liter capacity take 24 – 32 hours to fill.

Here are some critical water filling guidelines by the National Plasters Council.

Use Clean Potable Water

Water has a strong impact on the plaster’s finish. Hence, it’s critical that you use water from on-site (garden hose), public water, or trucked-in water.

Do Not Stop or Pause

You cannot stop the flow or pause until the pool is full, and this is when the water reaches above the tile line. Stopping the flow can create rings in the plaster at the point where you stop.

Prevent Damage from Sloshing

Fill the pool using a garden hose. Then, tie a soft, clean rag to the end of the hose to prevent water from sloshing. The cloth also catches small debris in the water.

Start Running the Filtration Equipment

The filtration equipment should run continuously for at least 72 hours. This is because calcium hydroxide in the plaster leaches into the water, causing the pH level to rise. A high pH causes cloudy water and scaling on pool equipment.

After filling water and running the filtration equipment, you can proceed with the other startup instructions.

They include:

  • Testing and adjusting the alkalinity
  • Testing and adjusting the pH level
  • Testing and adjusting the calcium hardness
  • Brushing the pool
  • Testing and adjusting the chlorine level
  • Testing and adjusting the cyanuric acid level.

Here’s the complete day-by-day pool startup procedure after plastering.

Why Can’t You Swim Immediately After Plastering Pool?

Easy Damage to Fresh Plaster

You can leave marks on fresh plaster in the first 24 hours after application. Even if you see pool guys in their special boots walking on the new plaster, it doesn’t mean it’s safe to go in.

Highly Fluctuating pH

If you’re doing a bicarbonate or acid startup, the pH will be too high or too low for comfort. A low pH level can sting the eyes, while a high pH level irritates the skin and can cause rashes. If you’re doing a normal startup, the pH level will keep fluctuating out of your comfort zone.

Bottom Line

A plaster pool provides years of functional beauty. Thus, it’s best to practice pool owner patience before taking a swim in the freshly filled pool. Wait for at least 48 hours for the water to clear. Also, you’re better off sticking to the startup procedure to ensure years of durable performance.


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