How important is circulation during a pool startup?

The holy trinity of water treatment is circulation, filtration, and chemistry. This is especially important during startup.

Good circulation is crucial to a successful startup. Amazingly, we have been receiving calls that pools are being plastered before the pool equipment is installed.

Never plaster before equipment is installed

Even if pool equipment is in short supply, and the labor shortage forces schedule changes, there are no excuses for plastering a swimming pool before the pump and filtration system are installed and ready to turn on when the water is full. None.

In a perfect world, the circulation system turns on as soon as the pool reaches halfway up the tile line so the skimmers and main drain can supply water to the pump. We recognize that pools may be at this water level in the middle of the night, therefore causing the pump to turn on a few hours after the water reaches that level. That is acceptable.

What is NOT acceptable is having a newly-plastered pool sit stagnant for days on end without any circulation. Stagnant water is a recipe for problems on a startup. It doesn't matter how good your chemistry balance is if you have no circulation. No circulation also means no filtration, and the trinity of water treatment is broken.

Communication is key

Many of the calls we receive are from frustrated service pros who were not called ahead of time about a startup. They are called as the water is already filling the pool, or when the pool is already full. This lack of communication puts the startup technician at a disadvantage from the beginning.

There is also a lack of communication sometimes between pool builders and plaster applicators. We understand our market in 2021 and 2022 is hectic and stressful. We understand there are major labor shortages and supply chain shortages. We get it. But none of those reasons justify prematurely plastering a swimming pool. The plaster should be the LAST thing done in the construction process.

Without a circulation/filtration system installed and ready to go, that pool shell is not ready to be plastered. Period.