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Thread: Did my pool guy screw up??

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    Did my pool guy screw up??

    I had my pool acid washed on Friday based upon this guys recommendation after he did an acid test on the top step using pcv pipe. For the acid wash, he was in the pool for about an hour (small pool - 6000 gallons). I drained it myself before hand. It didn't make a bit of difference (I've since found out that it's iron that's staining the pool). He then left the pool with approximately 40 gallons of water left in the bowl mixed with 3 or 4 gallons of muriatic acid. He didn't return for about 36 hours. Upon another guys recommendation we dumped several pounds of baking soda into that mixture in the bowl and man did it fizz up. Then we filled the pool and we are working on getting back up to proper ph. My question is, do you think this damaged the pool where that mixture sat? The water is still cloudy so we can't see the area of the deep end in question. Thanks for any responses in advance!

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    Did my pool guy screw up???

    Sorry for posting this in more place than one, but I wasn't sure which board made the most sense.

    I had my pool acid washed on Friday based upon this guys recommendation after he did an acid test on the top step using pcv pipe. For the acid wash, he was in the pool for about an hour (small pool - 6000 gallons). I drained it myself before hand. It didn't make a bit of difference (I've since found out that it's iron that's staining the pool). He then left the pool with approximately 40 gallons of water left in the bowl mixed with 3 or 4 gallons of muriatic acid. He didn't return for about 36 hours. Upon another guys recommendation we dumped several pounds of baking soda into that mixture in the bowl and man did it fizz up. Then we filled the pool and we are working on getting back up to proper ph. My question is, do you think this damaged the pool where that mixture sat? The water is still cloudy so we can't see the area of the deep end in question. Thanks for any responses in advance!

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Did my pool guy screw up??

    Topics merged. Please don't ask the same question in more than one place.

    That doesn't sound good at all. There is no question that acid in the bottom of the pool will have etched the pool surface in that area. The acid was still active when you put in the baking soda, or it wouldn't have fizzed up. Just how serious the damage is won't be clear until you can inspect the area. It might have just shortened the life of your plaster somewhat, or it might have eaten right through the plaster and started on the concrete.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Did my pool guy screw up??

    Thanks Jason and sorry for the double post....I won't do it again. I believe I have a quartz finish...not sure if that makes a difference in the possible damage that was done.

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    My 'slacker' pool guy.....Please reply with honest opinions

    I'm actually not even that concerned about the staining anymore (sad but true). My main concern is now whether he has done permanent damage to the deep end. He wasn't leaving the acid in there to work on a stain. He simply didn't have a hose long enough to reach the street, so he left it in there and went to play golf. We didn't hear from him until the next afternoon. Now that the pool is full, we have the ph under control and I have rinsed the filter about 10 times in 2 days. Each time there has been a handful of sand with blue quartz crystals sitting on the top ring of the filter (the pool is gunite w/ a quartz finish) not counting the sand that I'm rinsing from the filter each time. When I say 'sand'.....that's what it looks and feels like and it's clearly the pool finish. After this many rinses, is this much finish in and on the filter normal or is this a sign that the deep end has been severely degraded? Also, when I roll the manual vacuum around the shallow end, it feels like the surface is still smooth. When I roll it in the deep end where the the acid pool was, it feels like the bottom is very rough.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Did my pool guy screw up??

    Without a close visual inspection it is impossible to be sure. However, those are signs of serious problems. A little grit is fine, but if the surface was fully intact you won't be seeing any colored quartz grains. From your description there very likely is serious damage to the plaster/quartz surface. [[I suppose that if the quartz surface is quite new, there might still be a little left over quartz hanging around from the original install that is collecting in the pump/filter, but that seems quite unlikely.]]

    With a quartz finish the acid will etch away the plaster between the quartz grains, leaving the individual quartz bits intact. Too much etching will expose a rough surface of quartz grains with gaps between. Continued etching will erode the support for the grains that were at the original surface and they will start to come off, leaving an uneven surface of exposed quartz grains. Eventually, the plaster supporting the quartz will be completely removed, freeing all the quartz grains and exposing the gunite/concrete below. The acid will then start to eat away at the gunite/concrete pool shell. Fortunately, there wasn't enough time for it to have caused any structural damage, though that is probably not much comfort.

    My best guess is that you are going to need patching or even a complete resurface. But again, without a good visual inspection it is impossible to be sure.

    In the mean time, the pool should continue to hold water, or leak only very very slowly, and be usable, even if unsightly, once the chemical balance is restored.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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