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Thread: Blotchy pool surface - Please help!!

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    Blotchy pool surface - Please help!!

    I have a quartzon pool, its 2 and half years old and within 6 months these blotchy patches began to appear at the top of the pool walls and continued to get worse overtime running down the walls to the bottom of the pool. I have been in contact with manufacturer of the surface 'Quartzon' as soon as I saw it appear, and they continued to tell me it was just calcium build up.

    To cut a long story short. I finally convinced them 6 months ago it was not calcium and had them come out to inspect. After debating and having one technical person from another to view it, they still have no idea what it is or what is causing it. They have decided to semi-drain my pool and acid wash a certain section of the wall to see if it fixes the problem. If it works, they will drain the entire pool and acid wash the entire surface.

    Does anyone out there know what this is, or had this problem? If so I would very much appreciate your help and advise on this. I have attached images of the surface of the pool.

    I am very particular with my pool and have always kept the chemicals balanced and strictly followed the instructions to brush pool walls. Everyone that comes to see the pool comments on how clean it is and how great it looks until they look harder at the surface and see the problem.

    Looking forward to seeing what you say.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    12680gal (48,000 litres), Sky Blue Quartzon Concrete, Hurlcon ZX 250 Cartridge Filter, Kreepy Krauly Sprinta

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    Re: Blotchy pool surface - Please help!!

    Welcome to TFP!

    Sure looks like calcium to me. Is it rough and raised? Can you provide some test results for us that include a CH reading?

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    ComputerGuyInNOLA's Avatar
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    Re: Blotchy pool surface - Please help!!

    I am by no means an expert on any pool subject but your photos show a pattern. It is as if someone took a paint roller and ran it horizontally down the wall over the plaster. Was anything done to the plaster after installation? I will defer to the previous poster but would a calcium deposit leach itself in such a repeatable pattern? In the bottom right corner of the last photograph it looks like four consecutive "Z" letters with a single dot on top of each letter. Would a calcium deposit exhibit this behavior?
    Gunite/Plaster pool at 13k gallons. All Jandy with CL340 series cartridge filter, 1.5 HP Jandy Stealth pump. Jandy 1400 SWCG and PDA4 controller. Dual waterfalls. Polaris 280. Pool installed August 2012. Southern Louisiana. And lets not forget my trusty TF100 test kit!

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    Re: Blotchy pool surface - Please help!!

    As 257 mentions, test results are the place to start. ( I also suspect calcium but the test results will be extremely helpful.)
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Blotchy pool surface - Please help!!

    As mentioned Quartzon (the manufacterer) of the concrete pool surface have been out on 4 occassions with different pool professionals to inspect the pool and all of these recognise that its not calcium because it just doesnt feel or look like calcium on inspection. They had 2 US representatives in Australia 2 months agos so they decided to bring them out to have a look, and again they couldnt help. Everyone is pretty dumbfounded by what it is and Quartzon are saying they have never seen this before.

    When you feel the wall its smooth, just like you are feeling the pool surface. Its not rough at all. It is just blotchy patches that just started appearing on the surface, lithey started from the top of the tiles a long the walls and progressively got worse, its like a disease!! You can see it running down the pool walls to the bottom of the pools surface.

    I do have a bit of calcium in the pool, Im not sure if you can see a little bit in the photo's the calcium I do get is like a whitish/sandy desposit that appears on the pool walls and it is often quite small and something that just breaks away with my nail. I get a bit around the pool surface but very little. Also, they checked the salt cell, which will show calcium build up and it is always pretty clean. I tend to get a bit more calcium build up on this when its due for my calstop, but the salt cell I clean about once every 6 months when I start to see a bit of white build up and the cell is always pretty free and clean of calcium. Tends to make me think my CH levels are ok.

    I would get a CH test and post it here within the next few days. I appreciate everyone's feedback, thanks.
    12680gal (48,000 litres), Sky Blue Quartzon Concrete, Hurlcon ZX 250 Cartridge Filter, Kreepy Krauly Sprinta

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    Re: Blotchy pool surface - Please help!!

    Not just a CH test but pH and TA as well.

    When you say you have always kept your chemistry in balance, I assume you mean you have been testing for those things all along, right? FC and CYA, too?

    They have decided to semi-drain my pool and acid wash a certain section of the wall to see if it fixes the problem. If it works, they will drain the entire pool and acid wash the entire surface.
    If that's the plan, I wouold wait for the results of that acid wash and go from there.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Blotchy pool surface - Please help!!

    If it isn't rough and raised, then you are probably right about it being something other than calcium scale.

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    Re: Blotchy pool surface - Please help!!

    Based on the pictures, I believe the pool has "white soft spotting" and is not calcium scaling. Locate my post in this Deep End forum for "Diagnosing Plaster Problems" and read the "White spotting and Streaking" section. In addition to what is stated there, it is also possible that someone sprayed the pool down with water right after the plasterer finished and before filling the pool.

    I highly doubt that the acid wash will do anything to remove the whitish areas.

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    Re: Blotchy pool surface - Please help!!

    Thank you so much for this information. After reading the post, you referred me to, it sounds just like this. As mentioned, I have had so many pool professionals come out to inspect the pool and these pool people are all related to Quarzton and none of them could tell me what it would be or could be. They actually were trying to say it could be when my sealer sealed my pavers around my pool and it leaked into the pool!! I proved to them it couldn’t have been that because the blotchiness is running down walls where pavers are not near. I just do not want them to come back at me for this problem. They are confused by the pattern saying that it seems to come from the grout lines down the walls. I dont necessarily think that there is much of pattern but they have in their mind for some reason it is in-line with the grout line of the pool tiles.

    So are we saying here that is the applicator who applied the quartzon to the pool who has caused this problem and its not the actual Quartzon product?

    If it is, this means I have to take it up with my pool builder and they are extremely difficult and will not help me.

    Do you have this information about this White Spotting and Streaking issue that comes from a reputable source so I can provide this to my pool builder and or product supplier 'Quartzon'. I'm not sure how to convince them it is not me that's caused this issue, not sure how to approach this.

    Thank you so much for your help and sorry about the all questions.
    12680gal (48,000 litres), Sky Blue Quartzon Concrete, Hurlcon ZX 250 Cartridge Filter, Kreepy Krauly Sprinta

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    Re: Blotchy pool surface - Please help!!

    If you rub your hand along the pool walls, and the surface is smooth, and you can't feel any difference between the more whitish spots versus the grayish areas, then I am convinced that it is a workmanship issue, not a material problem.

    Without seeing the pool in person, I can't be sure, but the reason I mentioned the "spraying water" issue, is because it somewhat appears that water might have used to rinse and run down the tile grout lines and onto the plaster walls, causing some streaking. It can cause similar effect as adding water while troweling, but that still is a likely workmanship issue, unless someone else did that.

    If you go to http://www.poolhelp.com and click on "onBalance" and read some case histories, most of which deal with the white soft spotting, also incorrectly known as "spot etching," the professional cement labs have documented the cause of this spotting as due to improper plastering practices, such as adding water while troweling, using too much calcium chloride, and late hard troweling.

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    Re: Blotchy pool surface - Please help!!

    Thank you for the information. Can you tell me what the process is to have the problem completely fixed?

    I want to know as much about this as I can so I can be ready to argue my point with the pool builder. If there is any other important information that you might be able to share, please post.

    Thanks
    12680gal (48,000 litres), Sky Blue Quartzon Concrete, Hurlcon ZX 250 Cartridge Filter, Kreepy Krauly Sprinta

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    Re: Blotchy pool surface - Please help!!

    The white soft spotting and streaking problem cannot be easily remedied. Generally, only a replaster is the only option. Under this Deep End forum is another post titled "Diagnosing Pool Plaster Problems" that will shed some more light on your issue.

    And an acid wash will only make it worse and hide (destroy the evidence) the true cause of the problem.

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    Re: Blotchy pool surface - Please help!!

    *sigh*...yes I have read through many forums that one included.

    So I am guessing replastering is a very lengthy, drawn out process and I can see a BIG bung fight to get it fixed without it costing me

    Is it worth the fight, or should I not even worry this? Will things get worse?

    As mentioned in earlier posts, it started about 6 months in to the new pool being installed and the spot etching began just under the waterline tiles, running down the pool walls and vastly over a period of time got worse and worse. There is really not one section of wall, floor and steps (basically the entire quartzon) that does not show some spot etching. However I have to say the walls of the pool are the most effected, the steps have medium spot etching and the floor is the least effected area of the pool.
    12680gal (48,000 litres), Sky Blue Quartzon Concrete, Hurlcon ZX 250 Cartridge Filter, Kreepy Krauly Sprinta

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    Re: Blotchy pool surface - Please help!!

    The pool is coming up to 3 years old in June.
    12680gal (48,000 litres), Sky Blue Quartzon Concrete, Hurlcon ZX 250 Cartridge Filter, Kreepy Krauly Sprinta

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    Re: Blotchy pool surface - Please help!!

    I do not know what the warranty is, but I think three years might be the longest the contractor will warranty the pool plaster job. Perhaps your contractor will want to make it right.

    It will continue to slowly get worse. But it is up to you to decide whether to puruse this or not.

    To replaster only takes a few days to prepare the pool to replaster. The problem is mainly cosmetic, but the white areas will probably become somewhat less smooth over a few years in time.

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