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Thread: White Splotchy Areas

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    White Splotchy Areas

    Hey everyone. Found this white splotchy areas in my blue-ish pool today.
    This is the best pic. On a bench under my waterfall.


    On a step between horizontal and vertical parts.


    The areas are not any rougher than the pool and seem to be in areas in corners or vertical to horizontal changes.

    Current test data:
    FC 2
    Cc 0
    Ta 80
    Ch 350
    Oh 7.9 (added acid
    Cya 60 (+25 oz of stabilizer then I ran out)
    Temp 80

    Thoughts?

    I tried searching for white spots on pool but can't find anything definitive.
    ~Paul
    19x40 IG including 10' BE, 18,000 gal, plaster, 48 SF DE, 1.5HP pump, AquaPure SWCG, Ozonejoe 30MR, Rockwaterfall, LED light, TF-100 Fill date 11/21/2014
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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: White Splotchy Areas

    I think they are cream spots. Meaning Imperfection in the application of your finish. Those is usually adressed through trowelling, but some finishers take care of it with acid washing, scrubbing, and pressure spraying. Sometimes there are still these small spots are left behind. Some can be reduced with brushing to differing degrees, some will remain.
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    Re: White Splotchy Areas

    So it isn't a water chemistry issue correct? I don't know what etching looks like so I wanted to make sure prior to talking to the PB.
    ~Paul
    19x40 IG including 10' BE, 18,000 gal, plaster, 48 SF DE, 1.5HP pump, AquaPure SWCG, Ozonejoe 30MR, Rockwaterfall, LED light, TF-100 Fill date 11/21/2014
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    Re: White Splotchy Areas

    No, this happened during installation of the plaster. It's the plaster material/cement paste that holds everything together, and it should have been removed, or better yet, not let happen during the application process. Be prepared, and keep it under your hat until (if) he says it, but builders and installers love blaming things wrong with plaster on "bad water chemistry". Most problems of appearance are associated with install versus water chemistry more often than not. I have more of these than I wish in my pool, and there would have been more/worse ones had I not made them address them on install day.
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    Re: White Splotchy Areas

    I didn't notice them at first. Looks like they are just showing up.

    The PB started with "make sure to not get grass fertilizer in the pool." I have fertilized since the pool. Then he shifted to "is it where shock could have accumulated and bleached the color out". I have added shock. Ever.

    He sent photos to the plaster guys.
    ~Paul
    19x40 IG including 10' BE, 18,000 gal, plaster, 48 SF DE, 1.5HP pump, AquaPure SWCG, Ozonejoe 30MR, Rockwaterfall, LED light, TF-100 Fill date 11/21/2014
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    Re: White Splotchy Areas

    So how do I get rid of these things?
    ~Paul
    19x40 IG including 10' BE, 18,000 gal, plaster, 48 SF DE, 1.5HP pump, AquaPure SWCG, Ozonejoe 30MR, Rockwaterfall, LED light, TF-100 Fill date 11/21/2014
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    Re: White Splotchy Areas

    So the pool builder obviously wants history of "crappy pool store chemical tests." His words not mine. Don't have these as I deemed them a waste of time.

    Any suggestions?

    Will probably have to abandon the PB helping here. What's my next step?
    ~Paul
    19x40 IG including 10' BE, 18,000 gal, plaster, 48 SF DE, 1.5HP pump, AquaPure SWCG, Ozonejoe 30MR, Rockwaterfall, LED light, TF-100 Fill date 11/21/2014
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    Re: White Splotchy Areas

    Received a call from the pool plaster sub (not he PB). He was very helpful. He indicated that he tested it and it turned out to be calcium deposits. He tested the water and the PH was 8.1. When I tested it yesterday it was 7.5. That is a 0.6 clime in less than 24 hours? Going to test right when I get home.

    He also indicated keeping the PH at 7.2 and that will (over time) eliminate the small amount of calcium build up I have. Now if I do that it drops my CSI a lot! Is this safe?
    ~Paul
    19x40 IG including 10' BE, 18,000 gal, plaster, 48 SF DE, 1.5HP pump, AquaPure SWCG, Ozonejoe 30MR, Rockwaterfall, LED light, TF-100 Fill date 11/21/2014
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    Re: White Splotchy Areas

    I doubt that the white areas are calcium scale deposits.
    I would advise not making the water more aggressive with a low pH. Better to keep it balanced.

    If the white "stained" areas are small, I would try using 100 grit wet-or-dry sandpaper to see if they come off.
    If the white disappears quickly, then perhaps it is a calcium scale problem, which would come off easily on new plaster pools.
    But if it requires a whole lot of sanding, then it is more likely caused by improper wet troweling.

    Improper wet troweling does not show up immediately while or soon after troweling is completed. It takes a couple of months to show up (depending on the degree of abuse), which is why this problem is often blamed on supposedly bad water chemistry balance. Improper wet troweling causes the surface (where troweled with water) to become weak and porous, and over time more porosity develops and loses it's (plaster) color and turn whitish.

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    Re: White Splotchy Areas

    Sorry, but I have my doubts about it being scale.

    It may or may not help a lot, but 7.2 isn't going to hurt you. It's likely going to be more effort than you are used too. Your pH will want to come back up. If you keep doing this down to 7.2, watch the TA so that you don't crush it. You may be ok with your makeup water putting some back in, just be mindful of it.
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    Re: White Splotchy Areas

    So the plaster guy had a bucket of Copper and Scale remover (or something like that) that was a powder. He added a handful on one step and it bubbled for a minute. He then brushed it away and it looks like this...


    Now this is a different area than the pictures above, but there seems to be a scale issue I was unaware of.

    The plaster guy said to add a sequestering agent to keep the calcium suspended and the filter get it.

    Here are test results from yesterday.
    Fc 3
    Cc 0
    Ta 70
    Ch 300
    Salt 3000
    7.8
    Cya 65
    ~Paul
    19x40 IG including 10' BE, 18,000 gal, plaster, 48 SF DE, 1.5HP pump, AquaPure SWCG, Ozonejoe 30MR, Rockwaterfall, LED light, TF-100 Fill date 11/21/2014
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  12. Back To Top    #12

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    Re: White Splotchy Areas

    It looks like the plaster guy etched the plaster surface. Nothing more.
    Did he try that process on the white areas and spots?
    If not, the question is why not? He didn't prove that the problem is calcium scaling.

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    Re: White Splotchy Areas

    No he didn't. Unfortunately I wasn't here.

    So when you say etch that's remove the top layer correct? How do I prove if it is calcium or not?
    ~Paul
    19x40 IG including 10' BE, 18,000 gal, plaster, 48 SF DE, 1.5HP pump, AquaPure SWCG, Ozonejoe 30MR, Rockwaterfall, LED light, TF-100 Fill date 11/21/2014
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    Re: White Splotchy Areas

    Listen to onbalance. You will not find better advice.
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  15. Back To Top    #15

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    Re: White Splotchy Areas

    Did the and pale test. This was the result after 100 grit for 10 seconds.

    Large left circle - plaster guys powder
    Small right circle - me 10 seconds 100 grit sandpaper.

    So that proves its scale right? What is TFP's solution for light new scale?
    ~Paul
    19x40 IG including 10' BE, 18,000 gal, plaster, 48 SF DE, 1.5HP pump, AquaPure SWCG, Ozonejoe 30MR, Rockwaterfall, LED light, TF-100 Fill date 11/21/2014
    My ODK Build | My Pool Build | If You're From Texas Vote Here

  16. Back To Top    #16

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    Re: White Splotchy Areas

    The etching treatment does remove some of the cement and will darken colored pigmented plaster.
    I suggest you ask him to come back and do that same "acid" treatment on the white areas.
    If the white areas are calcium spots, then the acid treatment will remove the white spots quickly and easily.
    If it doesn't, then the white areas are not calcium scale, and instead they are "porous" spots that lost the color. That is opposite of calcium scaling.
    Ask him to bring some sandpaper to try. Sanding will probably make the other plaster areas also turn slightly darker.

  17. Back To Top    #17

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    Re: White Splotchy Areas

    I did the sandpaper. The pic I posted above is the result. Right next to his big spot is my sandpaper little spot. It comes off in a white dust. Did many different spots with same affect. Comes right off.
    ~Paul
    19x40 IG including 10' BE, 18,000 gal, plaster, 48 SF DE, 1.5HP pump, AquaPure SWCG, Ozonejoe 30MR, Rockwaterfall, LED light, TF-100 Fill date 11/21/2014
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  18. Back To Top    #18

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    Re: White Splotchy Areas

    Most dark color plaster pools will have a slightly lighter shade of color uniformly and throughout the entire pool, and whenever a think layer of the surface is removed by acid or sanding, one will generally notice a difference in the color. That is not indicating bad water chemistry.

    So what about the white areas that you originally took pictures of?
    Did you sand those areas? Can you remove those white areas? That appears to be the main issue.

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    Re: White Splotchy Areas

    Here is the same bad spot as before. Came right off with 120 grit paper barely rubbed over it. Couldn't get it off with the nylon brush though.
    BEFORE

    AFTER
    ~Paul
    19x40 IG including 10' BE, 18,000 gal, plaster, 48 SF DE, 1.5HP pump, AquaPure SWCG, Ozonejoe 30MR, Rockwaterfall, LED light, TF-100 Fill date 11/21/2014
    My ODK Build | My Pool Build | If You're From Texas Vote Here

  20. Back To Top    #20

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    Re: White Splotchy Areas

    Okay, it must be a calcium scale problem. But very odd that it occurred in that pattern.

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