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Thread: New Plaster when should I start using a metal brush (and some back story, sorry)

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    New Plaster when should I start using a metal brush (and some back story, sorry)

    I've been lurking for a while and learning a lot. I've even switched over to liquid chlorine and quit using my Nature2 based on articles in the forums. So a big thanks to everyone out there for all the information.

    I've had my pool for a year and a half and since day 1, the bottom never ever looked good. I followed the PB advice and kept PH low, brushed the pool, added scaletec, jacks magic, etc, etc, since I was continuously told it was scale. Eventually on his advice, I did a no drain acid wash, which didn't help and isn't cheap. Finally after a year and a half of persistence and throwing out some things I learned here at him, he brought a representative of the plaster company by. They also agreed it was scale and offered to do a full acid wash. Wanting my nice blue bottom I paid for, I agreed. The day came, they acid washed, nothing happened. No change to the bottom. The plaster company head guy came out and looked at it. (Severe gray all over the bottom of the pool). He claimed it was something wrong with the fill water, I didn't argue, but I think it was either bad mixing or bad workmanship. He said the only thing he could do is replaster it to fix it.

    So after a lot chemicals, a lot of back and forth with the PB, and discussions with the plaster company, they replastered and I finally have the nice bottom I paid for. I have to hand it to the plaster company, they didn't argue and offered to replaster right away. They knew it wasn't right, but I don't think would ever admit out loud it was bad mix or bad workmanship.

    It's been a little over two weeks and yes my wife was mad that it was happening right at the beginning of the swim season. The first week I brushed 3 times a day, the second week twice a day and now I'm brushing it once a day (twice if I the time). I really want it to come out nice and from what I have read brushing helps a lot. I have also checked all the numbers almost daily with my own kit (was gone a couple of days) and adjusted accordingly. I'm starting to settle at CYA 35ish between the 30 and 40; CH - appears to be settling at 240; TA - 90 (started at 160; eventually dropped to 50; overshot a tad when raising it) PH - usually at 7.8 when I wake up and I bring it down to 7.2; CL - 3.0ish.

    As you can see, I'm spending a lot of time making sure everything is correct.

    This is a long winded way of asking should I or can I now start using a metal brush on the pool and will it help me smooth out the couple of remaining areas and trowel marks? Alternatively am I better off keeping with the nylon brush for now? I don't want to mess anything up at this point.

    Thanks in advance for reading about my saga and providing your opinion.

    PS, If anyone is curious as I was, I think I lost about 1000 Gallons of capacity due to the replaster (read the meter before and after filling both times)
    16,500 gallon in-ground pool and spa with Quartzscapes Midnight-blue and pretty sparkles
    Aqualink RS with PDA
    Jandy Pro Series Plus HP 2 HP 2 Speed Pump
    Jandy CV460 Cartridge Filter

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: New Plaster when should I start using a metal brush (and some back story, sorry)

    I would make sure to check with the PB for warranty purposes. If he says it is okay to use a steel brush then go for it. We do NOT want to mess up your warranty!

    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

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: New Plaster when should I start using a metal brush (and some back story, sorry)

    Generally we do not recommend a stainless steel brush until after the plaster has cured for a year. If there are a couple of isolated places that need smoothing use wet/dry sandpaper.

    This is a nice page, Diagnosing Pool Plaster Problems. Hopefully you won't need it.

    Good job managing your water chemistry. Add CSI to your list. Poolmath will calculate it for you after you enter your test results. Tweak PH, TA and CH to change it. Borate and salt also affect it. Keep it between -0.3 and +0.3. If your water tends to scale and PH tends to rise then keep it on the negative side, 0 to -0.3.

    More here, Pool School - Calcium Scaling
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    Re: New Plaster when should I start using a metal brush (and some back story, sorry)

    Out of curiosity any reason you recommend a year to wait on the steel brush. It seems to me that the surface of the plaster would be sufficiently hard at this point. However, I know there are a lot of other factors that I could be missing, which is why I'm asking (and learning).

    As for warranty on the plaster, I was never given anything regarding that and honestly when I built the pool didn't realize I needed it. I was told there was one on the equipment. Maybe that's why it took so long to get the replastered in the first place. I used a builder that my friends used and loved and recommend to many people so I wasn't too concerned at the time. They've also been in business for a very long time and except for the plaster, which really isn't their fault, did a fantastic job on the pool.

    As for CSI, I plug it into the calculator every time I check it and have a running spreadsheet. I found an excel spreadsheet called jesses pool sheet or something similar, that does all the calculations. I believe it was a link from this site at one point. I've been trying to keep it slightly negative for now. Mostly because it seems that will help prevent/remove any calcium from from the plastering. Again, what I understand from everything on this site, may not be completely correct assumption.

    Again, thanks to all the experts on this site for their help and time.

    - - - Updated - - -

    One more thing, my signature didn't update. It's a quartz midnight blue, not micro fusion bottom. That's another story for another time.
    16,500 gallon in-ground pool and spa with Quartzscapes Midnight-blue and pretty sparkles
    Aqualink RS with PDA
    Jandy Pro Series Plus HP 2 HP 2 Speed Pump
    Jandy CV460 Cartridge Filter

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: New Plaster when should I start using a metal brush (and some back story, sorry)

    Have to click the save button down the page for your sig.

    It takes plaster up to a year to fully cure. Aggressive brushing with a steel brush can remove material. The lowest time I have ever seen advised is 3 months, but I'd wait longer. So, I suppose it would be OK if you want to use it to smooth out a few spots.
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