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Thread: Does my Plaster need replaced right away?

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    Does my Plaster need replaced right away?

    We became pool owners when we got our house in 2007. The pool was a little rough but relatively ok. Due to our failed attempts to care for it (and subsequent neglect due to frustration) it has developed some stains. From what i'm not entirely sure. I tried testing to see if it was copper, which is pretty likely, but my test was inconclusive. I have no idea how old the finish is but it is kind of rough though not flaking off or chipping.

    We have now developed some wear marks around the water jets. What i'm not sure about is if this is all just cosmetic or if things have gotten to the point where we just have to replaster. We have no water loss and the wear is actually more of a green color (though not algae as its this color even when the pool water is perfect). I almost wonder if it is either another layer of green plaster underneath the white or if we have a calcium buildup (had really high levels for a long time) and that the jets kept whatever is actually built up all over the pool from appearing in their stream. Likely, it is a combination of things one of which being the plaster has about had it!

    Here are some pics.
    2014-06-04 14.41.51.jpg
    2014-06-04 14.42.03.jpg
    2014-06-04 14.38.42.jpg

    I appreciate any insight you can give me. I'm sure no matter what it is, it is partially age and mostly just poor maintenance. I'm looking to get on top of things and follow the advice I've found here!

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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: Does my Plaster need replaced right away?

    Have you tried testing the stains to see if they're iron or organic?

    Iron - lightens under a vitamin C tablet
    organic - lightens under a trichlor tablet
    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
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    Re: Does my Plaster need replaced right away?

    I remember trying vitamin C and a puck on the stains a couple years ago and couldn't get it to budge. I think I will pick up some vitamin C and try that again just in case I did it wrong last time. Knowing my couple year ago self I'm sure i just rubbed one on there and said NOPE and moved on. We got this house as young newly wed first time homebuyers and our priorities leaned more toward getting more video game time in than making sure we took care of things properly. Not to say we let the house fall down around our ears (we take care of the big stuff) but the pool was outside so didn't get much thought. :P That has now changed.

    If they are just stains I can absolutely live with them. but if there is a risk of structural damage due to bad plaster then I might have to convince the husband to stop being so cheap and just get it taken care of. I'll update tomorrow after I run a new iron / organic test. In the meantime I would love any other thoughts you guys have!

    Edited to ask: If its Iron would that also cause some green discoloration in addition to the brown? I had a multivitamin on hand that has vitamin C and did see the staining lift somewhat just now. Will repeat with just a vitamin C. Would be nice to know that I could get rid of those stains if I want this winter! I don't want to throw the balance off right now, I just got it right!

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    Re: Does my Plaster need replaced right away?

    First question is do you have a heater or anything thing that would possibly present metal into the water? While you can get metals in the water just by filling your pool but it really has to be significant enough to cause staining. At least this is my experience on how metal staining can present itself in a pool.
    Paul
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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: Does my Plaster need replaced right away?

    There certainly isn't any risk to the structure of the pool...so you can tell your husband he can keep being cheap.
    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
    TF Test Kits -- PoolMath -- Pool School
    Make each day your masterpiece. - John Wooden

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    Re: Does my Plaster need replaced right away?

    LOL, my husband will be excited about that! I'm pretty cheap too but I also don't mind spending some money now if it saves me more later.

    There was a gas powered pool heater hooked up when we moved in. We have never used it and the water does not run through it. First thing we did when we bought the house is turn it off and shut off the gas to it. I do believe that it was used before we moved in and the water in the pool when the staining occurred was the same water that was in it when we got the house. There was also that metal lawn chair that got blown into the pool and sat there for a couple of days before we found it but i'm not sure what it was made out of or where that is on the stain timeline.

    I'm sure the stains appeared after we let it go to heck the first couple of years. We had some things come up and couldn't spend the money on pool chemicals. It turned into a swamp which we then tossed some bleach into just to keep mosquitos and frogs out but never balanced. Maybe there were metals in the water that deposited due to the poor water balance but were not a problem normally. It has really looked like this for a few years and has never gotten better or worse so whatever caused it is probably still not present though we have certainly been caring for it better.

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    Re: Does my Plaster need replaced right away?

    I had planned to add solar salt to my water, aiming for 1500ppm. My salt is around 400 right now. If I do this will the salt level be an issue later on if in fact they are metal stains and I decide to try and remove them? Thanks again! This forum is full of so much useful info!

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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: Does my Plaster need replaced right away?

    Hi Natira,
    Adding solar salt will not have any effect one way or the other on the stains or any effort to remove it. You will be just fine.
    Go for it and enjoy.
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

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    Casey's Avatar
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    Re: Does my Plaster need replaced right away?

    Do you have a test kit? I would take a sample of water to the Pool Store and have them just check for metals only and DO NOT buy anything, even if they want to sell you air! Come back and tell us what the results are. If you have not purchased a test kit, Test Kit Comparison
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

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    Re: Does my Plaster need replaced right away?

    Right now I just have an 7 way kit I got at walmart. I'm going to use it up before getting the fancy kit. I'm all balanced out and with my stabilizer level my Target FC is 5 which I can measure with my current kit. If I think something is up and I can't figure it out, I pass the pool place once a week on my usual travels so I'll get a free test there if I need it.

    I'll have to see if they offer that test. Right now its a computer that does the testing. They inject the water into a little disc, pop it into a gizmo, and the computer prints out the results. Metals was not included on the printout. I do want to note that since this staining occured a few years ago and we have long struggled with calcium and stabilizer levels (thanks to this forum I now know why) the water in the pool has been partially drained and refilled many times. We also have a sand filter so lose some water and refill when backwashing. It's city water, not well, so i'm sure the metals were introduced sometime before we bought by the heater or after by some random object blowing into the pool. The previous owners had a hired pool company taking care of the pool and it was sparkling when we got the house. I'll get it tested for metals (if they offer it) next time i'm over that way and I promise I wont buy anything! =)

    I've switched the pool to bleach and retired my granules entirely now that I know its causing the water balance issues. My husband way over did the stabilizer levels and had an unbeatable algae bloom because of it. So just this last week I've replaced about 60% of the pool water just to get it down to a reasonable amount. I'm now using just bleach, no granulated or trichlor tabs and everything is nicely balanced.
    15,000 Gallons - IG - Plaster - Jacuzzi (totally not made anymore and somehow still running) Sand filter
    Chlorine - No idea on dates as the pool was here when we moved in.

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    Re: Does my Plaster need replaced right away?

    Ok, brown stains are totally Iron (removed by vitamin C tabs) but i'm still not sure on the greenish ones. They lightened a little bit but i'm not sure if it was from abrasion or if they are just more stubborn iron stains. I also rubbed a trichlor tab on them and while again they may have lightened a bit they still hung on. At least I know what to do now about most of it! I saw a thread about an AA treatment that I might do this fall. Until then, i'm going to enjoy my pool and feel better that it is not disintegrating around me. =P
    15,000 Gallons - IG - Plaster - Jacuzzi (totally not made anymore and somehow still running) Sand filter
    Chlorine - No idea on dates as the pool was here when we moved in.

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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: Does my Plaster need replaced right away?

    Hi narita,
    its good news you figured out what the stains are. Removing metal stains will prolly be easy enough and make your pool look so much better!
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

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    ComputerGuyInNOLA's Avatar
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    Re: Does my Plaster need replaced right away?

    Hi Natira, I just wanted say welcome to the forum. We have quite a few south Louisianians on here. I can feel your pain. My last pool was such a PiTA that I finally just ripped it out and filled in the hole. I found this site when we built a new pool in 2012. It has made my life so much easier and pool care is now a breeze. Good luck!
    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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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: Does my Plaster need replaced right away?

    A thought crossed my mind about the greenish stains. Could be copper. All algaecides that I know if have coper in them. If not properly managed, it can stain. The best way to test it is unfortunately at the pool store.

    Quote Originally Posted by natira View Post
    Ok, brown stains are totally Iron (removed by vitamin C tabs) but i'm still not sure on the greenish ones. They lightened a little bit but i'm not sure if it was from abrasion or if they are just more stubborn iron stains. I also rubbed a trichlor tab on them and while again they may have lightened a bit they still hung on. At least I know what to do now about most of it! I saw a thread about an AA treatment that I might do this fall. Until then, i'm going to enjoy my pool and feel better that it is not disintegrating around me. =P
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

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    Re: Does my Plaster need replaced right away?

    Thanks Divin Dave. I did read that the cure for the iron stains could make copper stains worse. If I just go ahead with an iron treatment and it does not get everything (or worse, makes the rest of the stains black) will that make it harder to remove the (then obviously) copper stains or it would just look bad. I'm fine with a try this then do that approach as long as the only result is ugliness followed by another type of treatment. If it sets the stains harder then that might be counterproductive and cost me even more later.

    I did get the metals checked at the pool store a couple days ago and there is no problems in the current water. She didn't give me the exact test result (I should have asked but wasn't thinking) but said it checked out just fine.

    We get a TON of leaves from a neighbors oak tree so I'm wondering if those might have been the culprit. The stains appeared the year we let them just sit in the pool forever and it got kinda swampy. So not proud of that!

    On a side note, I got my TF100 today and I already love it.
    15,000 Gallons - IG - Plaster - Jacuzzi (totally not made anymore and somehow still running) Sand filter
    Chlorine - No idea on dates as the pool was here when we moved in.

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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: Does my Plaster need replaced right away?

    Natira,
    I really dont know the answer to your question about the staining and if removing one will make the other worse. Hopefully someone else who knows more about that will chime in.

    I can tell ya for sure though, that some of them are prolly caused from all those leaves in there for so long.

    Keeping your FC up a point or 2 above recommended might belp to aleviate them. One way you can test to see if the stains are organic, is to rub a Chlorine Tab on them. If the stain lightens, the proper chlorine levels will certainly help with those ones.

    Please post up some test results from your TF 100! And you're right, that test kit rocks!
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

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