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Thread: Should my plaster look this bad after one season?

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    Should my plaster look this bad after one season?

    I have a new construction (May 2014) salt water pool that, after one season, the plaster looks nasty. We started with #501 Antilles Aquamarine, and as you can see in the pictures, we have plaster that is gray in appearance as well as white streaks and crazing. Discoloration issues started within the first 30 days. We have gone back and forth with the PB for the last two years, more off than on given their unresponsiveness, with initially no resolution to what is causing the plaster problems, and how to resolve them. After meetings with PB management, their same rep came out 2 days ago and basically said what I’m seeing is a result of normal curing.

    We feel a pool shouldn’t look like this after one season, and after two years of dealing with the PB to come back and say “this is all due to normal curing” is hard to accept. We understand a lot of factors play a part of this, but feel the plaster and / or plaster job is the main cause. PB is willing to work with us, but everyone we have talked to who owns pools said ours shouldn’t look like this after one season.

    I initially wrote an long post explaining EVERYTHING we have been through with the PB over the last 2 years, but felt it was too much for an initial posting, but not sure where to start. I figure I would post some initial pictures with descriptive names and continue with follow on posts to explain issues.

    Thanks in advance.

    http://s801.photobucket.com/user/rhb...izepr.jpg.html

    http://s801.photobucket.com/user/rhb...joocm.jpg.html

    http://s801.photobucket.com/user/rhb...bgwwd.jpg.html

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    23,000 SW Pool, Shotcrete shell, #501 Antilles Aquamarine Diamond brite plaster, Jandy JE series heat pump, Jandy Stealth Pump, Jandy cartridge filter, Polaris 360 cleaner,

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Should my plaster look this bad after one season?

    Those pictures look like scale, possibly with copper embedded in it.

    Have you ever added algaecide that contains copper? Have you been chlorinating with trichlor pucks? They're very acidic and can actually dissolve the copper in the heat exchanger. Check out the pictures in this thread: Maintain your chemicals correctly If you got copper dissolved in the water and then let the pH go uncorrected for a while, scale will form. And then later when the pH starts being fixed, you get that crazing effect. It also looks like maybe insufficient brushing.

    How have you been testing your water, and do you have any recent test results?
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
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    Mod Squad YippeeSkippy's Avatar
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    Re: Should my plaster look this bad after one season?

    We need to know how you've been sanitizing your pool? Can you provide a full set of test results from one of the two reliable kits we trust (TF-100 or the Taylor's K2006). We need to know: FC, CC, pH, TA, CH, CYA. Pool store tests and strip tests are not known to be very accurate nor provide all the information we need, hence we work with the above kits.
    We need to know everything you've put in your pool, such as conditioners, algacides, pucks, etc.

    Yippee <who once had a college beau in Lothian on a horse farm...such memories!>
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    Re: Should my plaster look this bad after one season?

    A couple points:

    First I tend to agree this is probably not an installation problem. It really looks like scale. Test results would be great. Pool store results to start but results you do from a recommended test kit are best.

    Second have you had an y experts or third parties look at it? Even from another plaster company? Have you contacted ATG Labs who made the color?

    Third, its been 2 years, I have no idea what the statue of limitations is for breach of contract or defective construction is in Maryland but once that passes you lose all leverage with the contractor. You might want to get a better idea of what is wrong or lose leverage.
    22k gallon IG pebblefina, Jandy 1.5 HP VS, Jandy CV Cartridge filter, Fafco solar panels, Polaris 360 supply side cleaner, waterfall

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    Re: Should my plaster look this bad after one season?

    Algaecide was added at initial startup by PB, and they recommended us adding a “splash” every few weeks. I couldn’t tell you if it contained copper or not.

    Initial startup (30 days) was chlorinated with pucks, again provided by the PB. Purchased more myself at a local pool store. Once the 30 days passed, PB came out and started up the salt generator.

    One thing you will find interesting is approximately 60 days after initial startup I started to get the following stains:

    Insert pic

    PB didn’t know what this was or what caused it, so they brought out a plaster rep who said we had black algae. My research concluded this wasn’t black algae, as everything I seen resembled little eraser heads growing out of the plaster. Plaster rep recommendation was for the PB to add trichlor granules. So, PB added 16 X 16oz scoops of trichlor granules, let it sit on the floor for about 6 hours, then instructed me to turn on our vacuum to “mix it up” and get it off the floor. This did nothing to the stains.

    I test our water using a K 2006 kit as well as take samples to a local pool store for analysis. I don’t have recent tests as the pool is still closed at this time. But I would assume you are more interested in test results during the first year all this happened, which I don’t have.

    But I must say keeping my water balanced the first year was a challenge since this was all new to us, in addition to the rain, having to remove water with being over full, as well as removing water to keep calcium levels in check.
    23,000 SW Pool, Shotcrete shell, #501 Antilles Aquamarine Diamond brite plaster, Jandy JE series heat pump, Jandy Stealth Pump, Jandy cartridge filter, Polaris 360 cleaner,

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    Re: Should my plaster look this bad after one season?

    Initial sanitation was with pucks, then salt water generation since then. I don't have any previous test results at this time. I may be able to find an old print out from a pool company, but I would have to try and locate then. I use a k 2006 test kit, but don't keep logs from one test to the next, which I normally tested every 2-3 days.

    Everything that has gone into the pool....I don't think I can tell you everything as the PB has don't most of the treatments for the stains. Outside of salt, acid (or other pH increase / decrease products), alkalinity increase / decrease products, chlorine pucks, scale inhibitor during closing, sequestrate agents for metals, PB used Jacks Magic Magenta Stuff and Stain Solution #2 to try and remove stains.

    Sorry I don't have more information for you.
    23,000 SW Pool, Shotcrete shell, #501 Antilles Aquamarine Diamond brite plaster, Jandy JE series heat pump, Jandy Stealth Pump, Jandy cartridge filter, Polaris 360 cleaner,

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    Re: Should my plaster look this bad after one season?

    I don't have any test results at hand. As I mentioned in previous posts, I will try and locate some, but I don't think I have any from the first year of the pool has been in service.

    I guess you would have to define "experts". I've had people who service pools come out and tell me my pool shouldn't look like this after 5 months of service; I've had people who have owned pools for 10-15 years look at it and tell me the same thing. I've started to call around again to try and find people to look at it, but again what is an "expert"? I can have someone come out who has experience with pools, but doesn't mean they are experts. Do I need to ask for specific certifications, training, etc?

    Regarding the statue of limitations, I'm not sure if there are any. I personally feel the PB is pushing us off, adding time to the issue so they can say its been caused over time, but this is only after 5 months of use.

    Almost every reply to my initial post says it looks like scale. At no time has the PB mentioned scale.

    If it is scale, what is the best course of action? Everyone I had come out says an acid wash or acid bath, but they also stated that a pool shouldn't go through an acid wash/bath after its first year of use.

    Thanks in advance.
    23,000 SW Pool, Shotcrete shell, #501 Antilles Aquamarine Diamond brite plaster, Jandy JE series heat pump, Jandy Stealth Pump, Jandy cartridge filter, Polaris 360 cleaner,

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    Mod Squad YippeeSkippy's Avatar
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    Re: Should my plaster look this bad after one season?

    We need current test results. When you open the pool up get us those and we'll have more idea of where things stand. Also when you can grab some water take it to the Pool Store and ask them to test it for metals.
    My Amazon Smile for November12K Fiberglass IG, Infinity 4000 automatic cover, SWCG, Hayward Sand Filter, Hayward 1.5 Pump, Doheny Discovery Robot, Savi Melody LED pool lights, outdoor speakers and other assorted doo-dads. Sundance Altamar Hot Tub.
    Our pool build--> Our Pool Solved Our Sloping Yard Skippy's Cheap Pool Cooler -->Skippy's New Fountain

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    Re: Should my plaster look this bad after one season?

    I'm not convinced this is the PB's responsibility. Some water test results and metals tests would be best.
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    Re: Should my plaster look this bad after one season?

    Current, not old, test results get the ball rolling. We are just guessing now.

    That said, my guess is also "scale" from having your water out of balance.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: Should my plaster look this bad after one season?

    I went out and pulled some water. I don;t have all the chemicals to test (refills are on there way), but this is what I have:

    Pool was balanced at closing:
    CC & FC - didn't get any reading (of 6 pucks placed in floater at closing, I have two left)
    pH - high, based on chart, I would have to add 1/2 gal of acid to bring it down to 7.2
    TA - 120
    CH - 500
    CYA - don't have agents to test.

    Since everyone is staying this is scale, what is the best way to have it removed?

    Also, what will the inside of my equipment look like? Could scale collect in the generator and affect the process?

    Thanks in advance.
    23,000 SW Pool, Shotcrete shell, #501 Antilles Aquamarine Diamond brite plaster, Jandy JE series heat pump, Jandy Stealth Pump, Jandy cartridge filter, Polaris 360 cleaner,

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    Re: Should my plaster look this bad after one season?

    I'd take it one sytep at a time and not worry about the generator unless it won't work.

    Generally, are three ways to reduce scale....

    1. Drain the pool and acid wash by a pro. easily the fastest

    2. No drain acid wash - reduce the pH of the pool water by a lot and let some chemistry do the work.....seems to work fairly well

    3. Simply lower your pH down to 7.o and CAREFULLY hold it there until scale is gone. Slowest, but it is free. May or may not be effective.
    Dave S.
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