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Thread: Pool Plaster Dust

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    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Cape Coral, FL
    Posts
    7

    Pool Plaster Dust

    Completed new home and pool in Cape Coral, FL 10/2013. The week we closed Sunset Pool Builder Rep came to hook up the Zodiac computer. While he was here I asked him to look at how much white dust was being brushed from the floor of the pool. Water would be clear in the morning and completely cloudy after I brushed. He dumped in a gallon of some chemical and caused the whole pool to cloud up. He said calcium too high but should clear if pH kept low and lots of brushing. As time went on a brown discoloration developed on floor, all sides and especially around perimeter. I could brush it off over several hours but it reforms in 3 days. We moved in permanently 10/2014 and the entire pool was brown and continued to cloud every time I brushed it. Pool service was exasperated and said he had a difficult time keeping it balanced and had spent a lot of money on Jack's Magic and time scrubbing to remove the stains while we were gone. We were here several times during that year and did not change pool service as he thought he was getting a handle on it and we knew we would soon be moving in permanently by the time we realized we had a major problem. We contacted several pool service companies and the pool builder who came over and reviewed all the equipment with us. Spa waterfall blue tiles were completely white with deposits and builder thought they were etched - but we were able to clean off with dilute muratic acid and lots of elbow grease. He did not want to replace the tiles as he said the new grout would look just as bad.
    I took over managing the pool 10/2014 and spent many many hours on TFP website and with local pool stores to learn how to balance the chemicals and maintain the pool. The white clouds persisted when I swept the pool and then I discovered that local pool companies only can test to 400 ppm of Calcium. I purchased my own test kit and calcium was 800 ppm. Landscapers had installed sprinkler from reclaimed water in the pool area which sprayed high Calcium and Phosphates in the pool water for 1 year and no one knew it was happening until I saw it happen October 2013. We immediately capped them and thought Problem Solved. Wrong! Problems persisted but Calcium lowered by 4 partial drainings of pool to under 400 ppm.
    Spoke with City Water Supervisor and our city water very low in Calcium. Asked Pool Builder if high Calcium could possibly be from leaching out of the plaster. "Absolutely not."
    Our home builder convinced him that we still have an ongoing serious problem with the pool so 9/21/15 he drained the pool and acid washed.
    Pool started back up 9/23 and a large amount of sand like material filled the Pentair filter and the Dolphin filter. Pool completely clouds when I brush it so further research led me back to you and the Internet where I read about Plaster Dust forming from improper application of the plaster. Although problems have been present since pool was new, the Pool Builder denies that problems could be due to faulty plaster and told home builder he does not want to hear from us again. Pool surface is getting very rough.
    He and the home builder who recommended him may be willing to discuss with "an Expert" if I can find one locally.
    I would like to know if you can recommend a local Pool Finish Expert to help clarify the ongoing problems with this pool.
    Cape Coral, FL IG 11,500 gallon plaster(Pearl Pebble Pool Finish) pool built 9/2013. AutoPilot Digital Nano SWG. Pentair variable speed Clean and Clear RP150SFO Pump. Jandy valves. Zodiac computer. Aquacal R410A electric heat pump. Filter 8 hours/day. Taylor Testing reagents from Leslie's. Dolphin Premier sweeps daily. Vacuum monthly.

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Tallahassee, FL
    Posts
    26,678

    Re: Pool Plaster Dust

    WOW! What a story-------sad, sad story. I hope someone has some ideas for you.

    My ideas-----------call around to all of the pool builders you can find.

    Find numbers to makers of plaster and see what they have to say. In fact call THE maker of YOUR plaster to see what they say.

    Push and call and push some more..............the squeaky wheel and all of that.

    HUGS!

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    San Rafael, CA USA
    Posts
    12,082

    Re: Pool Plaster Dust

    Hopefully onBalance will see this to comment but it does seem as if your pool was leaching a lot of calcium from the plaster. Either the startup was too low in too pH for too long (or had insufficient TA) or the plaster mix maybe had way too much calcium chloride in it or something else that prevented a good seal of calcium carbonate.

    This water quality report shows Cape Coral city water with 4-5 grains per gallon or 68-86 ppm Total Hardness which is not high. However, this is AFTER Reverse Osmosis treatment plus adding some original source water back in. The original source water is described as "brackish" with TDS of around 2000 ppm. The CH of this water may be high. I don't know what water was used as "reclaimed water" for your sprinkler system. I would think that would be water after the RO process that was used and then recovered, but if it was from the wells directly then that's quite different.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Cape Coral, FL
    Posts
    7

    Re: Pool Plaster Dust

    Thanks to all for being there. I did contact National Plaster Council and Rep came out. He thought high calcium came from the plaster but thought it was intact. My home and pool builder told me that they do not consider that organization to be "Experts" and referred me back to the local Leslie's clerk - they though was an "Expert"!! He decided that all the brown was from "dead algae"! Hahaha - especially since I have never had live algae - just gives you an idea of the "help" I have received. At least the National Pool Rep knew not only the finish on my pool but also the supplier - Florida Stucco. I did contact them and their rep came out and informed me that because of the way they mix the plaster that the high Calcium could NOT be from the pool finish - Florida Pearl - but he felt that a mistake had been made when the pool was originally opened and way too much Calcium had been put in at that time. Since the draining and acid washing, the pool looks great and am still scrubbing off the brown old deposits. Water pristine but pH drifts up to 8 from 7.4 in a day with Chlorine 4, CC 0, CYA 60, Alk 80, Ca 280, Borates 30, NaCl 3200. Any suggestions? How do I test if pH actually higher than 8?
    Cape Coral, FL IG 11,500 gallon plaster(Pearl Pebble Pool Finish) pool built 9/2013. AutoPilot Digital Nano SWG. Pentair variable speed Clean and Clear RP150SFO Pump. Jandy valves. Zodiac computer. Aquacal R410A electric heat pump. Filter 8 hours/day. Taylor Testing reagents from Leslie's. Dolphin Premier sweeps daily. Vacuum monthly.

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Jun 2014
    Location
    South-Central Texas, Marion/San Antonio
    Posts
    12,941

    Re: Pool Plaster Dust

    Testing pH at high levels is tough. Use the Poolmath calculator to adjust down to an initial target (i.e. 7.6), test after 30 minutes of mixing, and adjust again as needed. Better to do it that way than to put too much acid in a go way too low. Remember your SWG, new plaster, constant aeration, and your TA call all drive pH higher. You may do well to let the TA sink slightly lower (60-ish) which may help keep the pH down a little longer.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
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