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Thread: Has anybody seen this happen to a step?

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Ontario
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    211

    Has anybody seen this happen to a step?

    Hi
    My step has little bubbles/ plisters looking things on it. They are hard to the touch.
    Has anybody seen this or know what is the cause?
    Thanks in advance.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    16x32 inground vinyl 8' deep end
    1hp Northstar Pump, 20" Sand Filter
    6ft Double Lounge, 2 Aqua Lamps w/remote
    216sqft Sungrabber Panels (9- 2'x12') a little undersized

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    North East Ohio
    Posts
    953

    Re: Has anybody seen this happen to a step?

    Mmmm, assume that is a Fiberglass step ? Please confirm...

    If so, it looks like "blisters"...the cause is water got under the "outside" layer and basically caused these "pimples". Not an easy fix if it is fiberglass...
    14,750 GAL IG Fiberglass (16 x 33) NE Ohio || Jandy 1HP 2 speed Pump || Waterco MultiCyclone 16 Centrifugal pre-filter (removed due to not working with sand filter) || 30" 575 Lb. Sand Filter || AquaCal 140K BTU Heat Pump || Solar Cover || Inter-fab Adrenaline Slide || GLI Monsoon Solar Cover Reel || K-2006C Test Kit || BBB with Liquid Chlorine Stenner Injection || Rayner Mighty Mesh Winter Cover

  3. Back To Top    #3

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    Mar 2007
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    Ontario
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    Re: Has anybody seen this happen to a step?

    Yes it's fibreglass by the sounds of it that's not good
    16x32 inground vinyl 8' deep end
    1hp Northstar Pump, 20" Sand Filter
    6ft Double Lounge, 2 Aqua Lamps w/remote
    216sqft Sungrabber Panels (9- 2'x12') a little undersized

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    North East Ohio
    Posts
    953

    Re: Has anybody seen this happen to a step?

    14,750 GAL IG Fiberglass (16 x 33) NE Ohio || Jandy 1HP 2 speed Pump || Waterco MultiCyclone 16 Centrifugal pre-filter (removed due to not working with sand filter) || 30" 575 Lb. Sand Filter || AquaCal 140K BTU Heat Pump || Solar Cover || Inter-fab Adrenaline Slide || GLI Monsoon Solar Cover Reel || K-2006C Test Kit || BBB with Liquid Chlorine Stenner Injection || Rayner Mighty Mesh Winter Cover

  5. Back To Top    #5

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    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ontario
    Posts
    211

    Re: Has anybody seen this happen to a step?

    I know my CH is low I was told years ago that you don't need to worry about CH in a vinyl pool.
    Could this be the source of the problem? If I get the CH in line would it prevent further problems?
    Thanks for your replies.
    16x32 inground vinyl 8' deep end
    1hp Northstar Pump, 20" Sand Filter
    6ft Double Lounge, 2 Aqua Lamps w/remote
    216sqft Sungrabber Panels (9- 2'x12') a little undersized

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    North East Ohio
    Posts
    953

    Re: Has anybody seen this happen to a step?

    Well - if you have a certain filler in your gel, then due to the Fiberglass steps you MAY need to manage your CH.

    Contact the step mfg and see what kind of "fillers" they use for the Gel Coat...you are looking to see if they have calcium carbonate fillers in the gel.
    14,750 GAL IG Fiberglass (16 x 33) NE Ohio || Jandy 1HP 2 speed Pump || Waterco MultiCyclone 16 Centrifugal pre-filter (removed due to not working with sand filter) || 30" 575 Lb. Sand Filter || AquaCal 140K BTU Heat Pump || Solar Cover || Inter-fab Adrenaline Slide || GLI Monsoon Solar Cover Reel || K-2006C Test Kit || BBB with Liquid Chlorine Stenner Injection || Rayner Mighty Mesh Winter Cover

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Ontario
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    Re: Has anybody seen this happen to a step?

    Thanks for your help, do these blisters leak? My pool doesn't seem to be losing water.
    Thanks again!!
    16x32 inground vinyl 8' deep end
    1hp Northstar Pump, 20" Sand Filter
    6ft Double Lounge, 2 Aqua Lamps w/remote
    216sqft Sungrabber Panels (9- 2'x12') a little undersized

  8. Back To Top    #8

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    May 2013
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    North East Ohio
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    953

    Re: Has anybody seen this happen to a step?

    Yeah, so normally they do not "leak" right away, however over time they might.
    14,750 GAL IG Fiberglass (16 x 33) NE Ohio || Jandy 1HP 2 speed Pump || Waterco MultiCyclone 16 Centrifugal pre-filter (removed due to not working with sand filter) || 30" 575 Lb. Sand Filter || AquaCal 140K BTU Heat Pump || Solar Cover || Inter-fab Adrenaline Slide || GLI Monsoon Solar Cover Reel || K-2006C Test Kit || BBB with Liquid Chlorine Stenner Injection || Rayner Mighty Mesh Winter Cover

  9. Back To Top    #9

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    Ontario
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    Re: Has anybody seen this happen to a step?

    Thanks for your help. Not great news but at least I know what I am dealing with.
    A little bit of knowledge is helpful when talking to the manufacture. I'll see what they say about course of action.
    Thanks
    16x32 inground vinyl 8' deep end
    1hp Northstar Pump, 20" Sand Filter
    6ft Double Lounge, 2 Aqua Lamps w/remote
    216sqft Sungrabber Panels (9- 2'x12') a little undersized

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    North East Ohio
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    Re: Has anybody seen this happen to a step?

    Good luck...

    you can also "google" fiberglass blisters and get a ton more info. The repairs are often quite expensive, but honestly on steps it might only be cosmetic for years.
    14,750 GAL IG Fiberglass (16 x 33) NE Ohio || Jandy 1HP 2 speed Pump || Waterco MultiCyclone 16 Centrifugal pre-filter (removed due to not working with sand filter) || 30" 575 Lb. Sand Filter || AquaCal 140K BTU Heat Pump || Solar Cover || Inter-fab Adrenaline Slide || GLI Monsoon Solar Cover Reel || K-2006C Test Kit || BBB with Liquid Chlorine Stenner Injection || Rayner Mighty Mesh Winter Cover

  11. Back To Top    #11
    rhaas12321's Avatar
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    Jul 2012
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    Sunny Southern Oregon
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    Re: Has anybody seen this happen to a step?

    I moved into a forclosure with a shredded liner and blistered steps. My liner installer found someone that did fiberglass repair 150 miles away. He came to our town every so often when he had enough work to justify the trip. I think it was $250 to sand, fill and color match all the blisters. There were probably 20 the size of a half dollar and 20 smaller ones. I don't know if they leaked or were going to but I had them fixed before the new liner was put in. Piece of mind was worth the price. And I had a good time talking to the guy that did the work.
    Robert
    FYI. The repair was just about a year ago and still looks great. I wish I had him paint the complete steps as the top is looking...weathered.
    10k Gallon, IG Kafko Vinyl Liner (8/1/12), 200# Sand w/ 1 hp Hayward MaxFlo pump, Taylor K2006
    3 4x12 Heliocol East facing + 3 4x12 Heliocol West facing 2015
    Robert from Sunny Southern Oregon

  12. Back To Top    #12

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    Mar 2007
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    Ontario
    Posts
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    Re: Has anybody seen this happen to a step?

    Thanks for the post, feeling much better about the situation!!!
    16x32 inground vinyl 8' deep end
    1hp Northstar Pump, 20" Sand Filter
    6ft Double Lounge, 2 Aqua Lamps w/remote
    216sqft Sungrabber Panels (9- 2'x12') a little undersized

  13. Back To Top    #13

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    Jan 2013
    Location
    Cleveland, OH
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    70

    Re: Has anybody seen this happen to a step?

    Interesting; I have noticed a few blisters on my steps over the past 7 years or so. I generally ignored CH in my liner pool for years as well. Maybe not so much anymore.
    20K gal, vinyl, 1 HP Challenger 2-spd pump, 300 lb sand filter, Raypak 266K BTU, 45M stenner pumpin' bleach

  14. Back To Top    #14

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    Ontario
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    Re: Has anybody seen this happen to a step?

    My pool is going on its 8th year and the just started appearing.
    16x32 inground vinyl 8' deep end
    1hp Northstar Pump, 20" Sand Filter
    6ft Double Lounge, 2 Aqua Lamps w/remote
    216sqft Sungrabber Panels (9- 2'x12') a little undersized

  15. Back To Top    #15

    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Cleveland, OH
    Posts
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    Re: Has anybody seen this happen to a step?

    Quote Originally Posted by haybird
    My pool is going on its 8th year and the just started appearing.
    That's likely when I started noticing it on mine. Fort Wayne steel walled, vinyl-liner pool built in 1998. Acrylic/Fiberglass step insert. Seems to increase a bit each year as well.
    20K gal, vinyl, 1 HP Challenger 2-spd pump, 300 lb sand filter, Raypak 266K BTU, 45M stenner pumpin' bleach

  16. Back To Top    #16

    Re: Has anybody seen this happen to a step?

    I'd love to find a reasonable solution to this myself, but after talking to someone from Pool Step Specialists I was advised to leave these blisters alone. Ours are even more unsightly than yours - though I have no indication that these are leaking at this point. In the photo below, the dark spots are either where the resin is decaying or cobalt staining from additives in the step manufacturing. The light is not good, so it's not so obvious that these are actually blisters but each of those dark spots is a raised bump in the surface. This pool is approx 23-24 years old, we've only owned it for the last 3 years. I have no idea how well balanced the water was kept before we owned the house, but it seems that these spots have gotten more noticeable since we've been here. I don't know if that's just coincidence and timing given their age, or if it's something I've done that's accelerated the process. We did switch to salt water after the first year we moved here but have no idea if it had any affect on these.

    We both researched this independently, trying to come up with ideas to make these look better (the attached photo doesn't show the extent of the blistering - there are quite a few and they are very noticeable) - and have both come to the conclusion that there is no easy solution. We will be replacing our liner this fall, so were really hoping to come up with something that would make these look better. I believe what we've decided is to use acetone on these black spots when the water is drained, and hope that will help. Very frustrating to think that we'll spend all that money on a new liner, and these steps will still be as unsightly. It's my understanding that the process for removing blisters is both long (including at least a week to allow the blisters to properly dry out) and involved if done properly.

    I suppose the other alternative is to replace the steps, which I would assume would cost a pretty penny between finding something that would fit the opening, demo, and redoing the support and concrete.

    I certainly don't intend to scare you with what could happen - it's just what we've seen in our almost 25 year old pool. I have no idea how common it is for those blisters to evolve (devolve?) into these spots.

    Do keep us posted though - I've had a hard time finding many instances of these types of repairs being done - at least instances where they came back and updated re results and outcomes.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    19x43 Inground Vinyl Pool, approx 22 years old, no main drain, 2 (lopsided!) skimmers, 2 returns.
    1 HP Pentair Superflow Pump
    27" Hayward Sand Filter
    AutoPilot SWCG
    Aquabot T-4 Cleaner

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