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Thread: Help with damaged plaster

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    Help with damaged plaster

    ok. So I've got some issues in my pool. I've got a series of hairline cracks in the plaster and on some of them, there is a hard solid white growth. I'm assuming calcium.

    The plaster company says the plaster has been chemically damaged and needs a drain, an acid wash, polishing, etc. The bill will be over $1,000.

    So what I'm trying to understand is what happened, when, to cause this? How long will this calcium growth take to appear? 1 week? 1 month? 6 months? 1 year? I just don't know.
    We started doing our own chemistry this year, so have been doing it for not even 3 months. At the beginning, the numbers were all over the place...TA was at 300, FC was at 0, Calcium was at 0, etc.

    Over a period of time, we've stabilized the water and gotten TA down, calcium up, pH in balance, CYA present, FC=TC, salt at 3300, etc. I could post recent testing, although I'm not sure it's germane to this particular question.

    So again just trying to understand this process of damaging the plaster, what happened, when, and why, so I don't repeat the mistake, whatever mistake has been made.

    (I'd post a picture, but the forum tells me I've got 240K of attachments already and I've got no idea what it's talking about since there's no picture on this thread.)
    (I also tried giving a link to my picasaweb album where I uploaded the images for my pool builder and the attachment window that pops up says that link is invalid)
    (No clue)

    Some direct links to the pool plaster underwater pics are:
    https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/phot...eat=directlink
    https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/phot...eat=directlink
    https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/phot...eat=directlink
    https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/phot...eat=directlink
    Central TX / 12K GAL / IG / SWG / DE filter / Pentair SVRS & 3 swim jet pumps / Spa bench and jets / Single body of water / No heater.

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    Sandra B's Avatar
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    Re: Help with damaged plaster

    Hi Bob, I have some of the same calcium problems on the floor of my pool....looks like hairline cracks(?) and little mountains of calcium. I also have calcium "drips" on some of the pool sides. My calcium hardness has also been rising for no apparent reason....has yours? My CH started the summer around 350, in range, and is now closer to 550, with nothing other than topping my pool occasionally with fill water of <100 CH. Evaporation hasn't been terrible this summer. I think something is leaching the calcium into the water, but I have no idea what it might be, other than some kind of failure of the plaster. My chemistry is spot on, but I admit to probably not keeping my pH in tight control over the winter. I'm interested in what folks have to say also.
    18,000 gallon freeform inground plaster
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Help with damaged plaster

    Search for posts by OnBalance. He has pictures and explanations for what you are describing. Water is getting behind your plaster and causing the build up.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Help with damaged plaster

    Sandra...thanks for the reply. No to the question of calcium hardness. In the beginning of the summer, there was no CH at all...pool guy that was maintaining it, apparently wasn't really maintaining it.... When we took it over, numbers were way outa whack....TA too high, phosphates through the roof, FC at zero, no CYA, no CH, etc. slowly brought everything in range and calcium has been hanging out at 240 - 200 ppm. Yes also the the hairline cracks.
    Central TX / 12K GAL / IG / SWG / DE filter / Pentair SVRS & 3 swim jet pumps / Spa bench and jets / Single body of water / No heater.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Help with damaged plaster

    Here is a list of onBalance's threads: http://www.troublefreepool.com/searc...earchid=274926

    Here is the one discussing nodules: http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...dules-in-Pools
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    Re: Help with damaged plaster

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    Search for posts by OnBalance. He has pictures and explanations for what you are describing. Water is getting behind your plaster and causing the build up.
    Thank you Jason. Quite a lot of search results, but I believe the reference you maybe referring me to find is located at
    http://www.pool-help.com/handouts/oB...%20Handout.pdf. Am I reading that correctly in that it says to just essentially let it alone? The pool plaster company wants to drain and acid wash and polish. Been reading around and it seems that the opinion of a lot of articles is that does more harm than good. A bit confused as to the proper course of action to take.

    Is this OnBalance person still around and posting?
    Central TX / 12K GAL / IG / SWG / DE filter / Pentair SVRS & 3 swim jet pumps / Spa bench and jets / Single body of water / No heater.

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    Re: Help with damaged plaster

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    Here is a list of onBalance's threads: http://www.troublefreepool.com/searc...earchid=274926

    Here is the one discussing nodules: http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...dules-in-Pools
    Very helpful, so thank you! The posting references filling crack with epoxy after sanding off nodule. So since they also said not to drain the pool, I take it there's an epoxy that works under water? What brand is that and where could it be obtained?

    I didn't know there was wet/dry sandpaper either. I guess lowes or Home Depot?
    Central TX / 12K GAL / IG / SWG / DE filter / Pentair SVRS & 3 swim jet pumps / Spa bench and jets / Single body of water / No heater.

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    Re: Help with damaged plaster

    So now we have a NEW symptom. The floor of the pool and the steps seem to be getting splotchy white spots on them. Dove in and felt. Smooth, not sharp and not raised in any way. Completely different than what's on the side wall. But new. And worrisome. Not sure if that changes any diagnosis or not. Or is it a symptom of a new and unrelated problem?
    Central TX / 12K GAL / IG / SWG / DE filter / Pentair SVRS & 3 swim jet pumps / Spa bench and jets / Single body of water / No heater.

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    Re: Help with damaged plaster

    Wet/dry sandpaper at any home store. You can also use a pumice stone for larger nodules...the pool stores have one with an attached handle but take care not to gouge the real plaster. Once most is gone, switch to the wet/dry paper.

    I haven't found any epoxy that isn't white, and my pool has a darker bottom so I don't want to end up with what are sure to be very unprofessional looking white epoxy putty streaks! I've seen the white curing underwater putty/epoxy at Leslies and most other pool store, and several options on amazon. Look for underwater epoxy or putty. I have no idea how to stay submerged long enough to repair or even sand....I'm thinking a scuba tank might be in my future .
    18,000 gallon freeform inground plaster
    Jandy 1.5 hp pump & .75 hp booster pump
    Aquapure SWG
    Pentair Triton II sand filter
    Legend pressure-side vacuum

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    Re: Help with damaged plaster

    I did get a flavor of pool store testing today. Because the plaster company says it is chemical damage they asked for 2-3 tests by different stores to narrow in on the problem. I am unsure if their assertion and don't even ha the $$$$ they want, but thought I'd get the tests done. Somewhat laughable comparisons. One had TC at 4 while the other had it at 0.5. One had CYA at 35, the other at 0. One had CH at 200, the other at 316. One had TA at 70 the other at 110. They both agreed pH was 8.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sandra B View Post
    Wet/dry sandpaper at any home store. You can also use a pumice stone for larger nodules...the pool stores have one with an attached handle but take care not to gouge the real plaster. Once most is gone, switch to the wet/dry paper.

    I haven't found any epoxy that isn't white, and my pool has a darker bottom so I don't want to end up with what are sure to be very unprofessional looking white epoxy putty streaks! I've seen the white curing underwater putty/epoxy at Leslies and most other pool store, and several options on amazon. Look for underwater epoxy or putty. I have no idea how to stay submerged long enough to repair or even sand....I'm thinking a scuba tank might be in my future .
    Thank you Sandra! Appreciate the help. The presence of white splotchy marks on the floor this morning may redo the diagnosis....not sure.... Good luck with scuba lessons (g)
    Central TX / 12K GAL / IG / SWG / DE filter / Pentair SVRS & 3 swim jet pumps / Spa bench and jets / Single body of water / No heater.

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    Re: Help with damaged plaster

    Quote Originally Posted by eqbob View Post
    I did get a flavor of pool store testing today. Because the plaster company says it is chemical damage they asked for 2-3 tests by different stores to narrow in on the problem. I am unsure if their assertion and don't even ha the $$$$ they want, but thought I'd get the tests done. Somewhat laughable comparisons. One had TC at 4 while the other had it at 0.5. One had CYA at 35, the other at 0. One had CH at 200, the other at 316. One had TA at 70 the other at 110. They both agreed pH was 8.
    I replied to your other post about the TF-100. That is why we recommend a quality FAS-DPD test kit. It has been proven time and time again about pool stores test. We use the FAS-DPD because it is very accurate and test to higher levels.
    17500 gallon Doughboy AGP, Hayward DE filter, waiting for the 1.5hp DB pump to go out.
    Learn to take the advice here and be trouble free or use the pool store's advice. "You can't do both and get very far"

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    Re: Help with damaged plaster

    Quote Originally Posted by jcowart View Post
    I replied to your other post about the TF-100. That is why we recommend a quality FAS-DPD test kit. It has been proven time and time again about pool stores test. We use the FAS-DPD because it is very accurate and test to higher levels.
    Thanks. I will go look at that post, could you please tell me what a FAS-DPD means? I have no idea what those acronyms mean.
    Central TX / 12K GAL / IG / SWG / DE filter / Pentair SVRS & 3 swim jet pumps / Spa bench and jets / Single body of water / No heater.

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    Re: Help with damaged plaster

    It's the different kinds of chlorine test.
    FAS-DPD Test
    Ferrous ammonium sulfate-N, N-diethyl-paraphenylenediamine
    A titration or drop count test for both FC and CC, to find your TC add your FC and CC readings. Measures chlorine levels up to at least 25 ppm with an accuracy of .2 ppm.

    DPD Test
    N, N-diethyl-paraphenylenediamine
    Tests both FC and TC. You have to subtract the FC from the TC to get your CC. This test will turn different shades of red when chlorine is present and uses a color comparator that you match up the shade of red with. Many men have problems with this test because they are unable to differentiate the shades of red! This test can bleach out when chlorine levels go above 10 ppm and will turn colorless. This can lead you to believe that there is NO chlorine in your pool when it is actually very high.

    OTO Test
    Orthotolidine
    OTO will only test TC but it is a 'bulletproof' test that will not bleach out and will always tell you if there is chlorine in your pool. It will be different shades of yellow if chlorine is present and will turn orange to reddish or even brown at very high chlorine levels. It's a good test for a daily check to see if there is chlorine in your pool and is the test that is usually found in 2 way chlorine/pH testers.

    Here is a link to compare the test kits
    17500 gallon Doughboy AGP, Hayward DE filter, waiting for the 1.5hp DB pump to go out.
    Learn to take the advice here and be trouble free or use the pool store's advice. "You can't do both and get very far"

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    Re: Help with damaged plaster

    Terrific info. Thanks! I'm guessing the Taylor test kit I have is a DPD ASTI uses the shades of red.
    Central TX / 12K GAL / IG / SWG / DE filter / Pentair SVRS & 3 swim jet pumps / Spa bench and jets / Single body of water / No heater.

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    Re: Help with damaged plaster

    Yes if you have to compare colors for the chlorine test it's the DPD. The good thing is you can get the individual FAS-DPD test and then have a full kit. The FAS-DPD test is very easy to use. Add a good scoop of R-0870 and the sample will turn pink. Add the R-0871 drop by drop till it turns clear to get your FC. Add 5 drops of R-0003. If it stays clear you have no CC's. If it turns pink add R-0871 drop by drop till it turns clear and that's your CC'S.
    17500 gallon Doughboy AGP, Hayward DE filter, waiting for the 1.5hp DB pump to go out.
    Learn to take the advice here and be trouble free or use the pool store's advice. "You can't do both and get very far"

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    Re: Help with damaged plaster

    EqBob,

    In order for us to assist you in this manor, we request test results from YOUR personal FAS/DPD based test kit. I can give some suggestions based on your test results from the pool store, but I wouldn't put any money on them being right......... A pH of 8+ is a MAJOR concern in a plaster pool. This can lead to scaling issues to your plastered pool and at no time should the pH be allowed to go above 7.8 for any reason.

    Can you run a full set of tests using your personal test kit and repost here?

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    Re: Help with damaged plaster

    Quote Originally Posted by eqbob View Post
    Terrific info. Thanks! I'm guessing the Taylor test kit I have is a DPD ASTI uses the shades of red.
    What is a DPD ASTI test? I've done Google searches for DPD ASTI, DPD ASTI test, DPD ASTI reagent, and Taylor DPD ASTI without finding anything.
    21K gal 16' x 40' in-ground pool built 1959, old school with Jacuzzi bronze pump, American Products 24" Sand Filter & Americana Multiport valve, Jandy Lite2 millivolt heater, Coverstar cover, and classic Kreepy Krauly.

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    Re: Help with damaged plaster

    Think he meant DPD as it---.
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    Re: Help with damaged plaster

    Quote Originally Posted by Leebo View Post
    EqBob,

    In order for us to assist you in this manor, we request test results from YOUR personal FAS/DPD based test kit. I can give some suggestions based on your test results from the pool store, but I wouldn't put any money on them being right......... A pH of 8+ is a MAJOR concern in a plaster pool. This can lead to scaling issues to your plastered pool and at no time should the pH be allowed to go above 7.8 for any reason.

    Can you run a full set of tests using your personal test kit and repost here?
    I plan on running a full set tonight and posting. Thanks.
    Central TX / 12K GAL / IG / SWG / DE filter / Pentair SVRS & 3 swim jet pumps / Spa bench and jets / Single body of water / No heater.

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    Re: Help with damaged plaster

    Quote Originally Posted by gtemkin View Post
    What is a DPD ASTI test? I've done Google searches for DPD ASTI, DPD ASTI test, DPD ASTI reagent, and Taylor DPD ASTI without finding anything.
    My fault. Poor typing and not checking before I post. I'm sorry. I didn't mean to waste your time. Also a unintended violation of forum rules.
    Central TX / 12K GAL / IG / SWG / DE filter / Pentair SVRS & 3 swim jet pumps / Spa bench and jets / Single body of water / No heater.

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