How soon can you swim after plastering pool?

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How soon can I swim in my new pool?

At this stage of the pool project you are close to the finishing line and it is crucial that you (or your pool professional) perform a ‘pool start-up’ procedure without the interference of any bathers in the pool.

new pool plaster filling process

This part of the process is going to be the same for new pools as it is for how soon can you swim after re-plastering an existing pool.

Common pool filling & start-up questions

  • How soon after filling a pool can you swim?
    • After the pool is full it usually takes up to 1 week before the pool is ready for you to swim.
    • The shortest timeline we have seen for swimming after filling a plaster pool is 5 days.
  • How long after plaster can you fill a pool?
    • Generally, a plaster interior pool must begin hydration right away, so it will begin filling the same day it is installed.
  • How long does it take to plaster a pool?
    • Depending on the size and skill level of the installer it can take anywhere between 4 to 8 hours to plaster an inground pool.

Pool Interior Finishes Curing Time

Pool interior surfaces will need special tasks performed to properly cure for the best overall results of color and exposure, as well as to help aide in starting off with a smooth surface that feels good on your hands & feet.

Typically, pool plaster interior is hard on the surface within 24 hours, but takes up to 30 days to fully cure 100% through.

For best results you should follow the NPC standards for swimming pool startup after installing a new interior surface. Not following the recommendations can disqualify your pool from a pool interior warranty, and could result in unsightly blotches during the 30 day curing process.

the curing time of gunite pool plaster

Although you can expect to swim within 2 weeks, you need to take special care of the pool interior during the first 30 days.

There are a lot of surfaces available. Depending on what your pool builder installed, you should follow the pool start up directions from them specifically, but here are some general guidelines to follow.


The more brushing, the better. No matter if you have a smooth quartz or regular pebble finish, this part of the start-up process will ensure that the surface exposes all of the small details evenly. Brushing the new pool finish at least twice per day is recommended.

You should not skimp out on this part of the process or else you will not have the absolute best results. Most manufactures of pool interior finishes recommend the brushing take place 2x per day for at least 4 or 5 days.


Circulating the water during the start-up process is highly important. When the brushing begins, there will be some residual material, some call “plaster dust” that will need to be filtered out. The water used in filling the pool for the first time is not treated for a pool, and when chemical changes are made the circulation system must be on to propagate the chemicals properly.


The recommended chemical ranges for initial plaster pool startup are different than the normal maintenance ranges. Depending on the surface you have installed will determine how your pool will be chemically treated initially.

Dark colored pool finishes are temperamental and require a high degree of attention and usually need a very low pH range to expose the finish evenly followed by a pH neutralization period. If you have a dark colored pool finish you will most likely be doing what is called an ‘acid startup’ or something similar.

Light colored pool finishes are easier to deal with in terms of chemical adjustments and monitoring but should be done with care.

In any case, you are going to need to do a LOT of brushing, and the pump should run for the first 3 days continuously.

This procedure can take anywhere from 1 week (for basic plaster surfaces) or up to 30 – 45 days (for dark-colored finishes). Don’t worry, you will not have to wait an entire month to swim in your new pool. Within about 1 – 2 weeks (depending on your choice of pool interior) you can dive in!

Even though you can swim after 2 weeks, you may still need to keep certain things in mind such as:

  • Keep the auto pool cleaner out of the pool for at least 15 days, and 30 days in some cases.
  • Do not use a roller vac on the plaster surface for at least 15 days.

swimming pool plaster start up process complete

After the initial brushing curing and filtration along with the chemical adjustments which you should continue monitoring. The first week of starting up a new inground gunite pool is the most critical time for making sure you get the desired end result. Once you are past that point the pool is open.

Do not rush this time when filling up your pool and the startup sequence thereafter. Below we have included a link to a swimming pool chemicals guide for everyday use that should help you keep pool chemical levels in correct ranges.

when the new pool is finally ready

Just filled the pool with water, now what?

Take a moment to download the swimming pool maintenance PDF guide so that you know what to do after the pool is filled with water and it’s time to swim. Keep browsing our website for even more information on caring for your swimming pool.


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