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Thread: Want to improve Plaster pool surface

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Want to improve Plaster pool surface

    I just bought a house in Brea, CA in Sept 2011, and the pool is a 18,000 gallon plaster pool with a spa that cascades into the pool.

    The previous owner says they re-plastered 6 years ago, and the plaster does look good (no cracks or chips) expect for the discoloration.

    The stains and discoloration seem to be very imbedded in the plaster.
    I tried emptying the spa and acid washing it, and it doesnt change a thing.
    It looks exactly the same. No amount of scrubing with muriatic acid touches the stains.

    I'm tempted to paint the pool because the discoloration looks ugly and makes the pool look dirty.

    I would really like to install pebbletec but I wont have a budget for that for a few years,
    since we just got done doing alot of improvements inside the house.

    If you wanted to improve the pools looks for a few years and ultimately plan on installing pebbletec down the road,
    what would you do in the mean time?

    Below are a few images of the pool. Notice the blue plaster with grey blotches of discoloration mostly on the steps and ledges.




    Is there something other then acid washing that I could try to remove the stains?

    Thanks,

    -Aaron
    35,000 gallons
    Sta-Rite Cartridge filter S3 System
    In-ground, gunnite pool w/ tiles
    No idea on pump size or rate at the moment

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Lershac's Avatar
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    Re: Want to improve Plaster pool surface

    I could really only see the discoloration on the ledges and steps. Is it just on horizontal surfaces?

    If that were the case I think I would get by with just replastering those surfaces... possibly even with a contrasting color. You know you cant get it to MATCH the other plaster, so why not contrast it?

    just an idea.... someone more authoritative than me will be along to offer an educated opinion on the discoloration... efflorescence?
    (DIY):16K Gal 20X30 rectangular IG Gunite, w/spa, CCP 520 filter,2 Pentair VS pumps, 400KBTU Pentair gas heater, Heat Pump for cooling, **update5.25.2013** added an intellichem with acid pump that will control existing SWG. My Build Thread Here

  3. Back To Top    #3
    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Want to improve Plaster pool surface

    That looks more like gunite showing through the plaster than a stain.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Join Date
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    Re: Want to improve Plaster pool surface

    Can we get some close ups?
    If you get an overcast day, that would be ideal.

    Paint will just suck you into additional costs. If you must, use a rubberized. It is the easiest to sand blast off when the time to refinish comes.

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Re: Want to improve Plaster pool surface

    Metals such as copper, silver, iron or manganese can cause black stains. Blue/green could be from copper.

    Excessive calcium chloride in the plaster mix could cause darkening.

    Late hard trowelling could cause darkening.

    Adding silica fume (a pozzolan) to the plaster mix can also cause darkening.

    Do you have any reason to suspect that there is copper or silver in the water, such as from an old heater, copper or silver algaecide or an ionizer? Can you have the water tested for copper?

    Can you post a full set of test results?

    Has bromine ever been used in this pool?

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Re: Want to improve Plaster pool surface

    Leslie tested for Copper and Iron a few weeks back and said it was 0.

    I took a few more pics this morning:


    I emptied the spa down so I can take a picture of the steps, close up:




    I'm not sure what to think, maybe it was neglected for a while and some metals bonded to the plaster.

    The former home owner doesnt know much about it, they rented the property and didnt know how it got this way.

    My current levels are:
    FC: 8 (I just shocked it a few days ago, so I'm waiting for it to go down)
    PH: 7.4
    TA: 175 (I've been adding acid and aerating, but it's taking a while)
    CH: 590
    CYA: 80
    Copper: 0
    Iron: 0
    TDS: 1300
    Temp: 56 degrees F

    Chorine source: TriChlor Tabs

    I know my TA, CH and CYA are high, I plan on emptying and refilling my pool, but I want a plan
    of things too do while it is empty (in particular, fixing the discoloration).
    My tap water is CH: 225, so I have a feeling I'm be battling CH
    over the life of the pool.

    -Aaron
    35,000 gallons
    Sta-Rite Cartridge filter S3 System
    In-ground, gunnite pool w/ tiles
    No idea on pump size or rate at the moment

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Re: Want to improve Plaster pool surface

    It's hard to tell for sure. More history would help diagnose the issue. I think that there might be multiple issues involved. I think that metals, especially copper, are involved. Is there any staining on anything else, such as skimmer baskets, pump basket, weirs, filter elements etc.?

    What can you tell us about the equipment?

    How are the trichlor tabs added, in the skimmer?

    Here is a post that has similar staining.






  8. Back To Top    #8

    Re: Want to improve Plaster pool surface

    Those images do look similar on that other pool. Did they figure out what caused the staining?

    My staining is only on the plaster, nothing on the equipment that I can see.
    I checked the skimmer, pump basket, filter elements.

    Pump: Hayward Ecostar (installed 1 month ago), but was a 2HP WhisperFlo, switched it out to save $.
    Filter: American Titan Vertical SS Grid Filter 60SqFt DE
    Heater: RayPak P-R335AL-EN (made in 1998)

    The TriChlor is in a floater. It's out of the pool at the moment, since I'm waiting for my chlorine to fall back down.

    Is there a good kit for testing all metals, or should I just take it to leslie's and ask them to check all metals?

    I think in this case the damage has been done, so re-plastering is only way to resolve.
    But I'd like to know what caused it, so it doesnt happen again.

    -Aaron
    35,000 gallons
    Sta-Rite Cartridge filter S3 System
    In-ground, gunnite pool w/ tiles
    No idea on pump size or rate at the moment

  9. Back To Top    #9

    Re: Want to improve Plaster pool surface

    Has anyone tried Sider-Oxydro? It's a DIY roll on plaster.
    http://www.sider-oxydro.com/pools_decks.htm

    It's cheaper then painting, and I wonder how long it lasts.

    I might try it on my spa, and see how well it holds up.

    -Aaron
    35,000 gallons
    Sta-Rite Cartridge filter S3 System
    In-ground, gunnite pool w/ tiles
    No idea on pump size or rate at the moment

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Re: Want to improve Plaster pool surface

    I think that it is most likely copper, which could have come from a heat exchanger, algaecide or ionizer. I think that the only thing that might improve the appearance is an acid wash, but based on your earlier acid washing results, this is not likely to work very well. Acid washing will roughen up the surface quite a bit.

    I don't recommend paint. And, I am not familiar with the Sider-Oxydro product.

    You could try putting some dry acid in a sock and putting it on a stained area to see if the acid lightens the stain any.

  11. Back To Top    #11

    Join Date
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    Re: Want to improve Plaster pool surface

    I have my doubts about the durability of the Sider product. It would likely cost just as much to do it with the traditional methods.

    The pic of the spa showed some pretty significant etching. The tenants likely used trichlor tabs and not much else, resulting in the etch. Rentals and pools are not generally a good mix. Tenants don't care, its that simple.

    The plaster surface is shot. Nothing short of a new coat will solve it. I doubt the bond to the shell is though and so a full chip out wouldn't be needed. Just an acid wash, bond coat and new plaster.

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

  12. Back To Top    #12

    Re: Want to improve Plaster pool surface

    You might be able to get an acceptable surface if you acid wash and then wet sand with diamond grit sanding polishing pads. It would be a lot of work with no guarantee of good results.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0c3WjGo5mY

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3fZqYpEUD4M

  13. Back To Top    #13
    ColdAirGuy's Avatar
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    Re: Want to improve Plaster pool surface

    Hi Neighbor, beautiful pool and yard.
    My pool was and is painted from the previous owner and I would advise against painting, it lasts a season or two and then you have a mess! My pool has similar coloration. It looks like gunite coming through? I think that's what I have going on.
    Anthony 16,000 Gallon Oval, White plaster, 30' Long 15' Wide 5 1/2' Deep end 3 1/2' shallow end.
    Pentair Intelliflo, FNS Plus 60sf. DE, Pentair Intellibrite 5G
    TF100 Testkit

  14. Back To Top    #14

    Re: Want to improve Plaster pool surface

    Yeah, Hi Neighbor, I think you're right about the gunite coming through. The former owner said the pool was a darker grey when they originally did it 6 years ago, so I think the grey isnt staining, but the former plaster coloring, and the light color is the gunite underneath. So possibly the plaster etched off to this point. Thats alot of etching!!!

    I think I'm gunna live with it for a while and save up for the re-plaster or pebbletec down the road.

    The pool is on the north side of the house, so it is shaded alot, kind of a bummer for the winter months.
    water is 55 today. brrr.

    -Aaron
    35,000 gallons
    Sta-Rite Cartridge filter S3 System
    In-ground, gunnite pool w/ tiles
    No idea on pump size or rate at the moment

  15. Back To Top    #15

    Re: Want to improve Plaster pool surface

    It's hard to tell for sure, but I don't think that you are seeing former plaster or gunite.

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