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Thread: Extremely Rough Plaster - First Opening

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    Apr 2015
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    Owings, MD
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    Extremely Rough Plaster - First Opening

    Hi, I am new to TFP and I am hoping to get some feedback. We had a pool built last spring. It is 18x36, 18,000 gallons, shotcrete pool with plaster. We've had quite a few issues with the pool so far. Pretty much immediately after the pool was filled, the plaster began to yellow in various spots throughout the pool. The pool builder indicated it was a result of us not maintaining the water chemistry properly. But, we also have documentation from the pool builder indicating that they had not put in any type of sequestering agent or metal remover upon the initial fill of the pool (our contract called for the builder to be responsible for the entire startup, including chemicals), and we believe that may have had an impact on the yellow/orange stains. In the end the pool builder told us the only way to remove the yellow/orange stains was to drain the pool and do an acid wash. After arguing with them, they finally agreed to perform the acid wash free of charge, but required us to pay for the water to be refilled. They did the acid wash in October, immediately refilled the pool, and closed the pool for the winter about 10 days later. They told us that the water chemistry was good when they closed the pool, although there was a note that the stabilizer was low. This is what their records show for the water chemistry at the time they closed it:

    Free Chlorine: 3.6 ppm
    Total Chlorine: 3.6 ppm
    Combined Chlorine: 0.0ppm
    pH: 7.4
    Hardness: 240ppm
    Alkalinity: 117ppm
    Cyanuric Acid: 10ppm
    Copper: 0.07ppm
    Iron: 0 ppm
    Nitrate: 9 ppm

    We have test result printouts from two prior tests between the time they acid washed and closed the pool, and the pH and Alkalinity on those tests were very high, so it appears they were successful in getting those levels down before they closed the pool. Since they were the last ones to touch to the pool and we are still under a workmanship warranty with them, we had them come out to open it just in case there were any issues. When they opened it we found that the pool was incredibly cloudy. There is thick white chalky looking sand all over the bottom surfaces of the pool. We have been running and dumping the Polaris, and we have already filled up about half of a 5 gallon bucket with the "sand," and it hasn't even made a dent in the amount in the pool. The plaster is also extremely rough feeling (it was very smooth at the end of last season). We were initially concerned that they did not perform the acid wash correctly and that the "sand" in the pool is our plaster coming off, but the pool company is telling us it is "calcium deposits from color and shale." I have been reading about calcium deposits, but it seems to me that those occur when the chemistry of the pool is very out of whack, so if the levels were correct when they closed the pool, could that really be what this is?

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    kcindc's Avatar
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    Re: Extremely Rough Plaster - First Opening

    Can you please update your signature? It might sound superfluous, but it can help us troubleshoot issues.

    Signature: Please put the following information in your signature.

    The size of your pool in gallons
    If your pool is an AG (above ground) or IG (in ground)
    If it's IG, tell us if it's vinyl, plaster/pebble, or fiberglass
    The type of filter you have (sand, DE, cartridge) and, if you know, the brand and model of the filter.
    If you know, please tell us the brand and model of the pump, and mention if is it a two speed or variable speed pump.
    Date of pool build/install, particularly important if less then a year old.
    What kind/model of water test kit you are using
    Other significant accessories or options, such as a spa , SWG, or cleaner


    Can you post pics of the "sand" that the polaris is picking up and of the stained plaster?

    Is your winter cover solid or mesh? Mesh covers do let fine silt to get into my pool.

    Are you on well or municipal water?

    How do you chlorinate (pucks, powder, SWG, liquid chlorine, mineral systems, etc)?
    Karen
    33K IG w spa plaster, Pentair 1HP Whisperflo, DE Filter, SWG CircuPool RJ-60, Dolphin Triton Plus, Raypak Dig 336K BTU, TF-100.
    Pool Math Chlorine / CYA Chart SLAM - Shock Level And Maintain
    2017 replaster/retile

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Extremely Rough Plaster - First Opening

    Welcome to TFP! To edit/add signature click SETTINGS upper right, click EDIT SIGNATURE lower left.

    Sorry, cannot help with this issue. Others will be along who might be able to. Good luck!
    TFP Moderator
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    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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    Re: Extremely Rough Plaster - First Opening

    Quote Originally Posted by kcindc View Post
    Can you please update your signature? It might sound superfluous, but it can help us troubleshoot issues.

    Signature: Please put the following information in your signature.

    The size of your pool in gallons
    If your pool is an AG (above ground) or IG (in ground)
    If it's IG, tell us if it's vinyl, plaster/pebble, or fiberglass
    The type of filter you have (sand, DE, cartridge) and, if you know, the brand and model of the filter.
    If you know, please tell us the brand and model of the pump, and mention if is it a two speed or variable speed pump.
    Date of pool build/install, particularly important if less then a year old.
    What kind/model of water test kit you are using
    Other significant accessories or options, such as a spa , SWG, or cleaner


    Can you post pics of the "sand" that the polaris is picking up and of the stained plaster?

    Is your winter cover solid or mesh? Mesh covers do let fine silt to get into my pool.

    Are you on well or municipal water?

    How do you chlorinate (pucks, powder, SWG, liquid chlorine, mineral systems, etc)?
    Thanks, I updated my signature with the info. I am posting pics of the "sand" and the staining. The sand is actually made up of tiny crystals. And the staining is gone now (mostly) since they acid washed in the fall.

    We have a Cover Pools Safe-T automatic cover, so it's solid. We are on well water. And we have a New Water system for chlorinating, that uses chlorine pac cartridges.

    I really appreciate any help you can provide!! image.jpgimage.jpgimage.jpgimage.jpg
    18,000 gal, IG, plaster, Jandy DE filter, 1 HP Jandy Stealth pump, Polaris 380 cleaning system. Pool built June 2014. TF-100.

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    kcindc's Avatar
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    Sep 2011
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    Re: Extremely Rough Plaster - First Opening

    First the Alkalinity (TA) of 117ppm at closing was way too high which would cause your PH to rise rapidly over the winter. The high TA was probably caused by chemicals added to get the PH up after the acid wash. The chems to increase PH can increase TA, some more than others.

    See recommended levels:
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...mmended-levels


    Staining:
    1. The staining could be from either the fill water if it contains metals, or it could be from anything added to the pool. IF the pool company added any copper algecide, it can stain the pool.
    2. What was the temp of the pool water at closing? It is important that the water be cold so that out of whack chemistry (PH and CH mainly) don't impact the pool finish.
    3. Staining could have been made worse by the rising PH during the winter.
    4. If your well water has metals, you need to add metal sequestration pretty often. Metal sequestration agents do rid the water of metals, but suspend them in the water.

    Crystals:
    It is difficult to tell what the crystal might be. Do you have high sulfur in your well water? It can cause these cyrstals when the chemistry is out of whack.

    Here is another post that has a pic that is similar to yours.
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...on-pool-bottom

    Here is an article mentioned in the above post that describes the one possible issue:
    http://aquamagazine.com/content/post...-Crystals.aspx

    We'll know more once you get a set of reliable results from your TF-100. Test your tap water and your pool water, so we can get an idea of the water you add.

    I suggest that you take your well water to get tested for metals (one of the times we recommend pool store testing).
    Karen
    33K IG w spa plaster, Pentair 1HP Whisperflo, DE Filter, SWG CircuPool RJ-60, Dolphin Triton Plus, Raypak Dig 336K BTU, TF-100.
    Pool Math Chlorine / CYA Chart SLAM - Shock Level And Maintain
    2017 replaster/retile

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    Apr 2015
    Location
    Owings, MD
    Posts
    4

    Help with Terrible scaling

    Split by moderator from HERE. jblizzle

    Question - we are about to try something similar on the advice of a local pool company. They told us to put 15-20 gal of acid in. After reading the advice on this thread, we are going to just put enough to acid in to get the pH down to btwn 6.8-7.2. But my question is, should we turn all then pumps off while the ph is so low, or is OK to run everything (we don't have a heater) at that pH for a week or two while we brush the plaster?
    18,000 gal, IG, plaster, Jandy DE filter, 1 HP Jandy Stealth pump, Polaris 380 cleaning system. Pool built June 2014. TF-100.

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