I recently bought a house with a 13 year-old pool with no previous personal experience maintaining such a thing. The original surface was wearing out (chipping, stained) so I decided to get it re-plastered. After interviewing several contractors I decided to go with one of the more expensive ones with the idea that I would get "better service." Part of the contract was that he would complete the start-up process including brushing, balancing chemicals, and adding the salt when ready.
The new plaster was applied on 22-May and municipal water added same day. The contractor came back out two days later to brush and add muriatic acid. Repeat once the following day. Then on 27-May he came back to add soda ash and start the pump. After that he has basically disappeared: no visits and no answer to my phone calls. This wouldn't have been so bad except now I'm seeing brown stains developing all over the new plaster. The water, however, is crystal clear and has no discernible odor.
I didn't bother to understand much of this process until recently because I was assured by the contractor everything would be taken care of. He gave me no instructions. Now I feel like I was duped and that I need to take matters in to my own hands. I just read the pool school article "Start-up New Plaster" on this website and realized the surface has not been brushed nearly enough.
The test strips I have show no measurable chlorine or stabilizer in the water. The pH, total alkalinity, and total hardness are in the "OK" range as far as I can tell. There is no salt added yet.
I've tried brushing the brown stains firmly with a nylon brush to no effect. I got some vitamin C tablets and rubbed them into stained areas and nothing happened. I can't be sure what the contractor may have added to the water in terms of sequestrants, so I have to assume nothing.
The pump has been running continuously for the last 12 days.
Does anyone know what these brown stains might be, and how I can get rid of them ? Is it too early to shock the pool to see if that would help (maybe the stains are organic) ? I'm thinking about rubbing a chlorine puck on some stains to test. Bad idea ? What else should I be doing at this time ?
I just ordered the TF-100 test kit so I should be able to post numbers when that arrives.
Thanks for any advice !!