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Thread: New guy, could use some help with a plaster problem

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    New guy, could use some help with a plaster problem

    Hey all,

    I am a new-to-pools homeowner that just purchased a home with existing pool, non-salt. My understanding from the PO of the home is the pool was built at the same time as the house in 1996. I have no info on when it was last serviced, resurfaced, nada.

    I have been working diligently to try to get the chemicals into maintenance ranges and thought I had it all good several weeks ago. Everything was working correctly, basic test kit was showing everything in the normal ranges, or needed just a bit of acid occasionally to raise PH which I believe is normal due to the aeration from the fountain and waterfalling spa into the pool.

    Well, 2 days ago the Baracuda gets caught on the steps just as it has 100 times since I've owned this thing, and I work my hand down the hose toward the head and pull it straight up to dislodge it as I always have. After I move it out of the way, my wife says, "Hey honey, look how good it cleaned the steps!" to which I look to see a large bright patch of plaster where the cleaner was. I knew immediately that the plaster had been scraped clean off the edge of the steps. But I figured it was my fault for the way I pulled the Baracuda out, though mind you, I had done this numerous times before. Today I come home and the Baracuda is again stuck in his normal spot by the stairs, and I move him this time by pulling straight out away from the stairs to avoid removing more plaster. On the spot where the Baracuda's hose weight had sat on the steps there is another bright white mark where the plaster is gone.

    That Baracuda has been stuck there over 100 times, but only in the last 2 days has it ever removed plaster. What is going on? I cannot offer you a good chemical analysis right now as we've had a heck of a nasty storm this afternoon, but is there anything chemically that could be going on? I'll take a sample up to the pool store for a reading on Thursday if the weather settles.

    When we first moved in to the house, we had a number of problems with the pool. The DE filter looked to have not been cleaned in over a year, many plastic in water parts have become brittle/broken, the pump had plant debris in the intake port which caused it to be unable to self prime in the mornings when the auto timer started and the Baracuda cleaner wouldn't operate due to low pressure. The PO also assembled the Baracuda incorrectly so it would not climb the side walls and clean the entire pool area, the spa bubbler needs attention, etc. Just bunches of little things driving me nuts. Trying desperately not to make mistakes that could be more costly.

    Thanks for any help or insight.
    12K Gal, IG plaster traditional chlorine pool with Spa Fountain & Waterfall feature, 2 skimmer, Raypak 2100 heater-currently broken :(
    2HP Challenger Pump, Pentair DE filter 48 sq. ft., The PoolCleaner 2 wheel suction side cleaner. Borates added.

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    Re: New guy, could use some help with a plaster problem

    Welcome to the forum. If the barracuda left a bright white spot, it sounds as if it is CLEANING the plaster rather than removing it. If the plaster is removed, dark grey is usually underneath

    What color is your plaster now?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: New guy, could use some help with a plaster problem

    The plaster is white, though it is older and stained various shades of yellowish green in a rather consistant manner across the entire pool.

    The cleaner has gone over the same areas multiple times and never turned spots that stark white. The spots that are stark white are gouged slightly lower than the surrounding surface as well. Not sure how thick the plaster layer is, but these gouges are about 1/16 to 1/8 inch deep.
    12K Gal, IG plaster traditional chlorine pool with Spa Fountain & Waterfall feature, 2 skimmer, Raypak 2100 heater-currently broken :(
    2HP Challenger Pump, Pentair DE filter 48 sq. ft., The PoolCleaner 2 wheel suction side cleaner. Borates added.

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    Re: New guy, could use some help with a plaster problem

    If they are "gouged" but have sharp, delineated edges, it sounds like a layer of plastering is delaminating over an older layer. Did you find the delaminated piece in the cleaner or in the pool?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: New guy, could use some help with a plaster problem

    I did not, but I have yet to check the filter baskets. I'm pretty positive it would have gone straight up the cleaner, if it didn't break up into tiny pieces.
    12K Gal, IG plaster traditional chlorine pool with Spa Fountain & Waterfall feature, 2 skimmer, Raypak 2100 heater-currently broken :(
    2HP Challenger Pump, Pentair DE filter 48 sq. ft., The PoolCleaner 2 wheel suction side cleaner. Borates added.

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    Re: New guy, could use some help with a plaster problem

    Well. Think I figured out what was happening. The baracuda was just pulling too hard as the suction was too powerful.

    The diaphragm I replaced about a month ago was working much better than the old one and the skimmer/main drain settings were compensating for the bad diaphragm. Too much suction caused the baracuda to push itself violently across the stairs and scrape the plaster off. I found the flow meter in a box, unopened. Things seem to be working much better now. Just one problem with the cleaner, I'll search for the answer here before posting.
    12K Gal, IG plaster traditional chlorine pool with Spa Fountain & Waterfall feature, 2 skimmer, Raypak 2100 heater-currently broken :(
    2HP Challenger Pump, Pentair DE filter 48 sq. ft., The PoolCleaner 2 wheel suction side cleaner. Borates added.

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