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Thread: Plaster issue, need advice

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    Plaster issue, need advice

    Hi everyone!

    I'm hoping I can get some advice about my plaster. We opted for a white quartz plaster and from day one it has never been very white. It has always had a grey tint to it. After the first week the grey started to become more noticeable. Now we have grey swirls throughout the pool especially on the sides and some on the floor. It has been like this since the first week. It hasn't been getting worse, but it hasn't been getting better either.

    I talked to my builder and of course it is my fault. Either I didn't brush it enough the first week or my chemicals have been off. Neither of which are true, I monitor the chemicals daily and we brushed it religiously for the first two weeks. I believe he is trying to get out of fixing it. I have had an independent pool guy come check it out and all he would tell me is the plaster "definitely didn't look right".

    I took two pictures. One is of the floor in the shallow end and the other is on the baja shelf. The grey spot is quite apparent on the picture of the shelf. I did my best to capture the grey swirls in the shallow end. I would say the swirls cover about 85% of the pool floor and walls.






    I'm meeting with the builder soon and any advice or knowledge would be greatly appreciated.

    *Edited the links, it should work now. Sorry about that.
    18'x32' Rectangle (3.5'-6') Baja shelf and 8'x8' spa- 18K gallons, white quartz plaster
    Pentair equipment (Clean and Clear 520, Intellichlor IC40, Intelliflo VS, MasterTemp 400k BTU, EasyTouch 8 w/ wireless controler, Glo-Brite x4)
    Coverstar auto cover, Paramount PV3

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    Re: Plaster issue, need advice

    The links don't work
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    epro05's Avatar
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    Re: Plaster issue, need advice

    The two links somehow are conjoined as one. If you copy each one and paste into browser, they work.
    27,500 gallon in ground gunite/plaster (1995). Attached Spa with fountain, spillway, and 2 lion heads streaming into the pool. Hayward pump and AO Smith UST1152 1.5 hp motor (single speed). Hayward 60 sq ft DE Filter (Model DE-6000). Kreepy Krauly cleaner.

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    Re: Plaster issue, need advice

    Copy the IMG code to the right of the pic and paste it in your post, that will embed it is the thread so we can see it without clicking out of the forum.
    TFP Moderator
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    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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    Re: Plaster issue, need advice

    I took another picture. The is the wall of the deep end. The lighting shows the streaks better.

    18'x32' Rectangle (3.5'-6') Baja shelf and 8'x8' spa- 18K gallons, white quartz plaster
    Pentair equipment (Clean and Clear 520, Intellichlor IC40, Intelliflo VS, MasterTemp 400k BTU, EasyTouch 8 w/ wireless controler, Glo-Brite x4)
    Coverstar auto cover, Paramount PV3

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    Re: Plaster issue, need advice

    Certainly looks like an installer issue.

    Take a look at this thread for some of the common practices plasterers use and issues that may result from them:

    Plaster and Aquabright Comparison
    -Brian-
    33K Pool/Spa, Pentair Equipment
    POOL BUILD
    Davis Custom Construction - Home Page

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Plaster issue, need advice

    More info here that might help, Diagnosing Pool Plaster Problems
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    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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    Re: Plaster issue, need advice

    You may want to get the plaster manufacture involved, they can sometimes be helpful pressuring builders to make good on workmanship issues since they have a vested interest in being sure their products have and keep a good reputation.
    12,300 Gallon, IG PebbleFina, 3 ft sheer, 2 Jandy nicheless LED lights, Jandy Pro 1.5HP VS pump (A.O. Smith Motor), PB4-60 Booster pump, Polaris 280, Jandy cv340 cartridge filter, Zodiac Z4 control panel W/iAquaLink, Stenner pumps for chlorine & MA connected to WiOn WiFi switches, TF-100. You can support TFP with AmazonSmile just click the link!

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    Re: Plaster issue, need advice

    Thank you all for the advice. I spoke to the foreman and was told that the builder was going to come take a look at the plaster with the owner of the plaster company some time today. This isn't the first time they have looked at it, but everything was new then including me and my experience. This time I won't back down so easily if they try to dismiss it as normal or user error.

    I believe the manufacturer of the plaster is NPT anyone have any experience with them directly? I will try contacting them just to see what they can do. They may have a rep in the area that can look at it as well. I just feel like it is me versus everyone else with this issue because a replaster is the last thing they want to do I'm sure.
    18'x32' Rectangle (3.5'-6') Baja shelf and 8'x8' spa- 18K gallons, white quartz plaster
    Pentair equipment (Clean and Clear 520, Intellichlor IC40, Intelliflo VS, MasterTemp 400k BTU, EasyTouch 8 w/ wireless controler, Glo-Brite x4)
    Coverstar auto cover, Paramount PV3

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    Re: Plaster issue, need advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Markb81 View Post
    Thank you all for the advice. I spoke to the foreman and was told that the builder was going to come take a look at the plaster with the owner of the plaster company some time today. This isn't the first time they have looked at it, but everything was new then including me and my experience. This time I won't back down so easily if they try to dismiss it as normal or user error.

    I believe the manufacturer of the plaster is NPT anyone have any experience with them directly? I will try contacting them just to see what they can do. They may have a rep in the area that can look at it as well. I just feel like it is me versus everyone else with this issue because a replaster is the last thing they want to do I'm sure.
    I had some similar issues and the owner of the pb company came out and said not all plaster was white all the time and that some variation is normal and depends on curing time, season it was installed etc...


    Vinny B
    New Pool Owner Nov 2015
    20x40 mineral set up

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Plaster issue, need advice

    NPT is a good company and they make a good product. Here is their pool start up page that hopefully you have been following.
    Overview | National Pool Tile Group
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    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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    Re: Plaster issue, need advice

    So I thought I should update you on my plaster situation. I am still trying to come to some resolution with my builder. They are really dragging their feet on the issue. I think they may be trying to run out the clock on any warranty work. I finally decided to drain the pool to get some proper pictures of the situation. I also needed to do a drain to lower my TDS. When the builder had the water tested to try and blame me for the issue he claimed the TDS could be a source of the problem. If the water was the cause of the issues with my plaster then why isn't there any discoloration in the spa? It all is the same water.

    Please take a look at the pictures and offer any advice for the cause of the discoloration.

    Thank you in advance for your help.




    18'x32' Rectangle (3.5'-6') Baja shelf and 8'x8' spa- 18K gallons, white quartz plaster
    Pentair equipment (Clean and Clear 520, Intellichlor IC40, Intelliflo VS, MasterTemp 400k BTU, EasyTouch 8 w/ wireless controler, Glo-Brite x4)
    Coverstar auto cover, Paramount PV3

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    Re: Plaster issue, need advice

    Very interesting. I would like to request some information:
    Date of plastering. Was the new plaster job given an acid wash prior to filling, or an acid start-up?
    What was the previous pool water test results before draining. Please provide your tap water pH, alkalinity, and Calcium content.
    Is there any sandpaper type roughness of the plaster surface anywhere?
    Is this a salt pool? If so, when was the salt added? If not, what type of chlorine is being added?
    Do you recall how many hours it took to complete the plastering job?
    How long did it take to fill the pool?
    Lastly, don't try to read anything into my questions. Some information and answers may not be necessarily relevant to this plaster problem.

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    Re: Plaster issue, need advice

    Any chance it rained the day it was plastered?
    -Brian-
    33K Pool/Spa, Pentair Equipment
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    Davis Custom Construction - Home Page

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    Re: Plaster issue, need advice

    1. The pool was plastered around January 5th this year. They did not do an acid wash, and I'm not sure what kind of startup they used. A person showed up and dumped several gallons of a liquid in the water and left.

    2. According to my TF-100 kit these are my results prior to draining:
    pH- 7.5
    TA- 90
    Calcium- 210

    3. No sandpaper roughness, the discolored area is the same texture as the rest. It feels smooth.
    4. It is a salt pool and salt was added approximately 40 days after fill up.
    5. Plastering took about 4-5 hours. (One thing I remember one guy on the crew saying is they ran out of calcium for the mixture towards the middle of the job. The foreman acted like it was no big deal and they kept going.)
    6. The pool was filled by a garden hose for the first two hours, then a fire hydrant for another hour. Pool was full in about 3 hours. I think it is interesting that the spa was filled exclusively by a garden hose and it has zero discoloration, it was also the first to be plastered.
    7. No rain the day of the fill, it was cold and calm.

    Hope this info helps to find some answers. Thanks for all your input thus far.
    18'x32' Rectangle (3.5'-6') Baja shelf and 8'x8' spa- 18K gallons, white quartz plaster
    Pentair equipment (Clean and Clear 520, Intellichlor IC40, Intelliflo VS, MasterTemp 400k BTU, EasyTouch 8 w/ wireless controler, Glo-Brite x4)
    Coverstar auto cover, Paramount PV3

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    Re: Plaster issue, need advice

    Are you sure that the spa was finished before the pool was completed?
    Was the spa filled with water after the pool had finished filling?
    How soon after final troweling was water filling started?
    I still want to know what your tap water readings are, pH, TA, and Calcium.
    Thanks. I do not think that this discoloration has anything to do with your maintenance of the pool.

    See this post: Gray Mottling Plaster Discoloration

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    Re: Plaster issue, need advice

    I'm fairly certain the spa was finished first. They had one guy working the spa and four in the pool. The spa was definitely filled first as they had one hose on the spa and two in the pool. They did that until the spa was filled and then put all 3 into the pool. When there was about 24" in the deep end they then turn on the hose for the hydrant.

    My best guess for when they started filling from when they finished troweling was within an hour. It seemed fast at the time, but it was so long ago that the memory isn't as clear.

    My tap water readings:
    pH- 7.6
    TA- 150
    Calcium- 300

    The post about the mottling was helpful and really describes the issue I am dealing with. I have insisted with the builder that it is mottling, but he dismisses it and says it is not. The owner of the plaster company also denies it being mottling. Everything I have read and pictures I have seen all seem to point the same direction.
    18'x32' Rectangle (3.5'-6') Baja shelf and 8'x8' spa- 18K gallons, white quartz plaster
    Pentair equipment (Clean and Clear 520, Intellichlor IC40, Intelliflo VS, MasterTemp 400k BTU, EasyTouch 8 w/ wireless controler, Glo-Brite x4)
    Coverstar auto cover, Paramount PV3

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    Re: Plaster issue, need advice

    Okay, let's see if you can some relevant information from the builder and/or plasterer.
    Ask them how much calcium chloride was added to each batch of plaster, and specifically, what the weight of calcium chloride was added to each 100 pounds of white cement (not including the aggregate and quartz). Ask them to put that info in writing to you.
    You might remind them that plaster material can be analyzed for that specific information. Your call on that.

    Any word or help from NPT?
    Push your original logic that the spa isn't discolored, and portions of the pool also aren't discolored, yet all areas have the same water in contact with the plaster surface, and that the patterned of discoloration is not consistent with brushing effects (or lack thereof) or chemical imbalance.

    The other suggestion I have is to take 100 grit wet and dry sandpaper and hand-sand a 4 by 4 inch square area of the dark gray discoloration for about 10 to 20 seconds and see if any gray color disappears or lightens significantly.

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    Re: Plaster issue, need advice

    That doesn't really look like mottling to me, it's too consistent and in the same locations. It almost looks to me like somebody went wild with the firehose and blasted the walls??? That or there was a considerable change to the mix when the walls were done.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Had this been an actual water chemistry issue the mottling would have been much less uniform and in very random locations around the pool
    -Brian-
    33K Pool/Spa, Pentair Equipment
    POOL BUILD
    Davis Custom Construction - Home Page

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    Re: Plaster issue, need advice

    Hi Brian. I agree that there are some unusual differences in regards to mottling. And as the OP (Mark) indicated, the plasterer may have run out of adding calcium chloride during the job. So yes, that could be at play here in the unusual pattern of gray discoloration. I also agree that it is also possible that the filling process, and/or other "water action" issues had an effect and also created some differences in the discoloration pattern. In fact, those types of issues usually lighten (whiten) the plaster in those areas, and create the contrast in discolorations.

    But I believe that the bottom-line reason for the overall severe mottling in this pool will mostly be tied to the amount of calcium chloride that was added (and perhaps not added to some batches) to the plaster mix.

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