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Thread: Pebble Tec surface in the filter

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    Pebble Tec surface in the filter

    I have a blue Pebble Tec pool about 8 years old in Florida. I recently bought a Great White auto pool cleaner and ran it for about 12 hours. I set the vacuum flow to directions. when I looked at the pressure reading it was at 35. Started at 8. Pulled the filter and it was coated with blue plaster. I had to replace the filter. I was told by the pool store I needed to resurface. I stopped using it and have been trying to get the water quality fine tuned by taking the advice of this site. Is my surface too far gone or is there hope I can make it last another couple of years until replacing? The pebbles are not taking toll on our feet yet. But I can tell a difference. Any knowledge on average life span? Do I have a chance if I can keep my water quality within recommended levels?

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    Guest

    Re: Pebble Tec surface in the filter

    Are you the original owner of the pool? Who's has been maintaining it?

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    Re: Pebble Tec surface in the filter

    I am the original owner and have been maintaining it myself. I think I have shortened the life span of my pool surface depending on the clarity of the water over the years as a test rather than the right chemical levels. Finally caught up with me. Recently tried replacing 1/2 of the pool water to get my CH(450) and CYA(140+) levels down. Did no work levels are still high. I am using dichlor for shock and trichlor for automatic chlorine feeder(3" tabs). Tried 6% liquid but used 12 gallons in the last week to keep the FC level up to 3. I feel like I am fighting a losing battle. 3 days go the FC was 17 and CC 2.5. Thought I was good for a few days. Checked it today and FC was 0.5 and CC still 2.5. Water still cloudy with some algae present. Shocked again today. PH and TA are staying steady at 7.3 and 140. Keep adding Borax for the high TA. Not really much fluctuation there.

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Pebble Tec surface in the filter

    How are you currently testing your water? Can you post a complete set of current test results?

    Stop using the trichlor and dichlor. They are adding CYA to your water and making the problem worse. If your CH is too high then you will also want to avoid cal hypo products.

    Since you have algae and CC of 2.5 you need to complete the shock process. Once you have posted a complete set of results, we can advise you whether you need to drain and refill before attempting the shock process.
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    Re: Pebble Tec surface in the filter

    Current test results:
    FC=14
    CC=2
    PH=7.2
    TA=200
    CH=500
    CYA=140(My test tube only goes to 100 so I am guessing)
    Water is still cloudy. The calculator is telling me to replace 71% of the water. I tried about 50% already and it had no effect on my CH and CYA numbers. They are still high.

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    dmanb2b's Avatar
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    Re: Pebble Tec surface in the filter

    CYA was likely much higher than 140 and until you can get it down to 80 or below you will have a difficult time trying to shock the pool. Even with CYA at 100 shock level is at around an FC of 39ppm, which would be very difficult to maintain. You are correct that you are fighting a losing battle until you can get your CYA level down, after that you will have the upper hand. And definately stop using dichlor and trichlor for chlorination as the just add to the CYA level.

    Once a pool is properly balanced and maintained frequently, shocking weekly becomes a thing of the past....personally, I only shock upon opening and closing, and that's just for good measure, not because the water looked bad.

    Hope this helps
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    Guest

    Re: Pebble Tec surface in the filter

    PebbleTec got here in 1983, and I have personally never seen a PebbleTec pool that has needed to be redone. It is just very durable.

    Your pH is a bit low, and I am wondering if you have had low pH in the past for extended periods. I visited a pool in Las Vegas this weekend where the pebbles are releasing in large volume. I checked the pH and it was well below the reading I could get on the test vial. I asked him how he checks and he said he had been just guessing for the last ten years, so I am pretty sure he has had low pH nearly the whole time he's had the pool!

    You should get 20 years easy out of a PebbleTec pool. Get your water right and you might still have a chance.

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Pebble Tec surface in the filter

    It is not unusual for people to have CYA readings over 200 with long term dichlor and trichlor use. You may have to partially drain and refill the pool several times to get the CYA to a reasonable level.
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    Re: Pebble Tec surface in the filter

    After reading many days on this site, getting my own test kit, listening to your advice and learning what all of these chemical mean, I am going to drain the pool for the winter and try again next year. Even though I live in Florida I do not have a pool heater so my temp is around 68 degrees right now. Not really enjoyable. I think that I have been doing what the guy in vegas was doing. Although the pebbles are not showing too much. I am hoping I have a chance to make another 2-3 years before replacing. Now that I know a little, why do they keep selling dichlor and trichlor automatic feeders and shock if the only way to reverse the effects they have on pool water is to drain it? And at the same time make you gradually use more chlorine because it raises CYA the more you use. Do I have that right? If I don't please correct me. Just venting because I feel like an idiot for not learning more about such an expensive investment earlier in my ownership. Now I guess I need advice on what to do after I empty the pool. Do I seal it with a cover to keep the rain out? Will the Pebble Tec be alright after I open the pool next year and keep the chemical levels good? Will the surface still elude calcium into the water, like it is now, next year if I get the PH right and keep it that way? I guess I have all winter to worry about what to do next year. Thanks for all of your help.

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    Re: Pebble Tec surface in the filter

    Do you have "real" PebbleTec or a knock off? Is it PebbleTec (if you do) or PebbleSheen or PebbleFina? If it is Tec, it will be fine uncovered, as it is strong enough to handle exposure without water (unless you have some huge temperature swings). It is used on "rolled bond beams" in Arizona all the time, and they get pretty hot!

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    Re: Pebble Tec surface in the filter

    Do you have "real" PebbleTec or a knock off? Is it PebbleTec (if you do) or PebbleSheen or PebbleFina? If it is Tec, it will be fine uncovered, as it is strong enough to handle exposure without water (unless you have some huge temperature swings). It is used on "rolled bond beams" in Arizona all the time, and they get pretty hot!

    Only my pool builder knows for sure. I know I paid for the option of Pebble Tec. What they actually put in, I have no idea. I know there are pebbles in it. The color choices were consistent with the website. I was not given the option for peebleSheen or Fina. I live in Florida so the weather is usually predictable. I guess my question for right now is will a pool cover keep the water out for the winter or do I just leave it open and let water collect in the bottom then pump it out periodically?

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Pebble Tec surface in the filter

    I believe most of the folks in Florida do not completely drain the pool and leave it empty over the winter. If you have not left it empty over the winter before then I recommend you drain and refill and balance the water. If you do not typically have hard freezes you can just run the pump when the temps drop below 32. If you are concerned about potential freeze damage or do not want to mess with the pool over the winter you should balance the water, bring it to shock level, drop the water level to just below the returns, cap the returns and skimmer, and drain the water from the pump and filter. There is more information on winterizing a pool in Pool School at the upper right corner of the page.
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    Re: Pebble Tec surface in the filter

    What I want to do is drain the entire pool so there is no water at all left in it. Then sometime between now and next summer clean it. I have a neighbor who has an inground pool and his pool stayed empty for years. He sold it and the people that bought it filled it back up and have been using it the last 2 years. What is the danger of having an empty pool in central florida? I have heard weird things like the pool coming out of the ground with lots of rain. Something weird like that. Is there a real danger of losing my pool?

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    dmanb2b's Avatar
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    Re: Pebble Tec surface in the filter

    Primary risk would be if you live in a neighborhood with a high water table, which could put undue stress on the empty shell and promote cracking and the second would be the physical hazard of having a 8ft deep pit in your yard. If you are set on draining, why not just wait until right before you are ready to clean the surface? Let's say empty clean/refill in 48 hrs.
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    Re: Pebble Tec surface in the filter

    A gunite shell won't crack from being empty, dmanb2b, as it is engineered to withstand the external pressure of the water on the shell. Once empty, there is really no pressure on the shell (unless there is an incoming slope and a raised bond beam, but that would be engineered to handle the slope load). I've built many pools that sit for years after gunite while the house is built around it. It is just a big concrete structure.

    A high water table that could float the pool out of the ground in certain circumstances is a consideration though

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    dmanb2b's Avatar
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    Re: Pebble Tec surface in the filter

    Got it...so cracking, not likely, but a floating concrete battleship perhaps
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    Guest

    Re: Pebble Tec surface in the filter

    Quote Originally Posted by dmanb2b
    Got it...so cracking, not likely, but a floating concrete battleship perhaps


    'Round here, they might try to use it to smuggle folks in from south of the border Many uses for an empty pool!

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    Re: Pebble Tec surface in the filter

    Thank you for all the advice. I do not have a high water table and winter down here is the dry season. My pool is separate from my house and is completely screened. So the "big pit" is not a danger. I am just over the dumping of endless amounts chlorine and still not being able to get anywhere. Like I said before I have serious problems that only water replacement will solve. Tried the 50% replacement with no effect on the high CYA and CH levels. So I think I am going to drain, cover and open it next year with new knowledge and a new setup. New pump(current is 8 1/2 yo), SWG and solar heater. I will investigate over the winter to see what my best options are. Thanks again.

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