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Thread: Pool plaster - are defects purely cosmetic?

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    Pool plaster - are defects purely cosmetic?

    We purchased a home a couple of months ago that has a pool. We got a pool inspection and the inspector noted some worn areas and hairline cracks in the plaster meant that we would probably need to replaster in the "next season or two." I asked him if there were reasons beyond cosmetics to replaster and he said no. He said that it was a cosmetic issue, the rough plaster could snag bathing suits and hurt feet.

    I can live with cosmetic imperfections. And we have found since living and swimming here, the plaster is smooth except for the spots where we see wear, but it's not impacting our day to day life in the pool by any means. The pool also doesn't appear to be losing water. But in reading around the web a bit, I just wanted to run it by this group to get a consensus on whether it was purely a cosmetic issue. I've seen some assertions on the web that if the plaster is worn, the porous gunite could be exposed which could lead to rusting rebar and impacting the structural integrity of the pool. That assertion concerns me.
    Houston, TX


    23K gal, chlorinated in ground irregular shaped white plaster pool with waterfall feature. DE filter. 1.5 hp Hayward super ll pump. Doheny Discovery Cleaner. TF-100 test kit.

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    Re: Pool plaster - are defects purely cosmetic?

    I'm not there and I haven't seen your plaster. That said you need to understand that plaster is always deteriorating. If you follow the advice on here and control your csi index you plaster will last longer. When your plaster will eventually go from cosmetic to problematic we can't say exactly.

    However, while gunite is not watertight, generally even with badly cracked plaster you don't have a problem with leaks or deteriorating rebar. Those usually occur when there is an unrepaired crack in the actual gunite that extends to the rebar in some way. That's when those probles generally start and get worse.
    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: Pool plaster - are defects purely cosmetic?

    I appreciate your response. This site is so helpful. All my test indicators are good and we are actively managing the pool chemistry so I believe we are doing all we can to properly care for the pool!
    Houston, TX


    23K gal, chlorinated in ground irregular shaped white plaster pool with waterfall feature. DE filter. 1.5 hp Hayward super ll pump. Doheny Discovery Cleaner. TF-100 test kit.

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Pool plaster - are defects purely cosmetic?

    Managing your CSI is the best thing you can do for your plaster. Keep it between -0.3 and 0.3. We might change that once we see accurate test result from a Taylor drop kit like the K-2006 or the TF-100 from TFTestkits.net. More here, Pool School - Calcium Scaling

    We have black clay soil that moves a lot. Maintaining even and constant moisture content will help inimize soil movement. We have several cracks in our plaster. One from 2012 leaked and the rest don't. All were fixed with pool putty. Gunite is a little more flexible than plaster is. So, the gunite can flex a bit which can result in hairline cracks in the plaster.

    There is no real need to replace plaster until it leaks so much you can't keep up with it. Anything else is for cosmetic purposes. Base on what you're saying you likely have many years of life left in your plaster.
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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: Pool plaster - are defects purely cosmetic?

    We have clay soil here in Houston as well and it wreaks havoc on everything! We run soaker hoses around the house foundation, so it stands to reason we should be doing the same around the pool perimeter.

    I have purchased the TF-100 kit, in fact I received it just yesterday. I've performed my first round of tests and everything is within recommended parameters so far, but I want to read up specifically on the CSI link you provided and make sure I have a good grasp on that. Thanks for your guidance!.
    Houston, TX


    23K gal, chlorinated in ground irregular shaped white plaster pool with waterfall feature. DE filter. 1.5 hp Hayward super ll pump. Doheny Discovery Cleaner. TF-100 test kit.

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Pool plaster - are defects purely cosmetic?

    PoolMath will give you your CSI number after you enter all your test results, including temp. Tweak PH and TA to move the number.
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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: Pool plaster - are defects purely cosmetic?

    Right now I am sitting at -0.21. Thanks for that link! It's especially useful to know how I'll need to alter the pool chemistry when the temperatures start to drop off.
    Houston, TX


    23K gal, chlorinated in ground irregular shaped white plaster pool with waterfall feature. DE filter. 1.5 hp Hayward super ll pump. Doheny Discovery Cleaner. TF-100 test kit.

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Pool plaster - are defects purely cosmetic?

    Ok, that's a good number! I prefer to keep my CSI between -0.3 and 0 because our oh tends to rise and our fill water has high TA. Both push CSI up.
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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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