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Thread: Pebble Tec - too much plaster in the corners?

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    Question Pebble Tec - too much plaster in the corners?

    So, our pebble tec (tahoe blue) went in yesterday, acid washed today, and we're filling now (soooo slowly). Looking at the corners of our shelf/step, practically all of them have a lot more of the blue plaster showing through than the rest of the surface, which looks kind of crappy IMO.

    pics: http://imgur.com/a/RnXvD

    There's also some plaster streaks on the rest of the PT surface, but I think that will go away as the pool fills.

    Is this something that will diminish as the pool fills and chemistry gets sorted out? I read something about a no-drain acid wash (which just sounds like ampung up the acidity of the water and letting it dissolve some more plaster), but our PB hasn't mentioned anything like that. I just emailed and asked our guy, so we'll see what he says, but I wanted a preemptive second-opinion.

    I'm also a bit nervous because, like a dope, when they asked for the final payment when the ptec was going in, I didn't think about it and just gave it to them. I *could* stop payment on the check if necessary, but... I don't know. This is a pretty established company in our area (Premier Pools in Sacramento), one of only two that do Pebble Tec, and I'm not *too* worried, but still a little.

    Thanks for any input!

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Pebble Tec - too much plaster in the corners?

    PebbleTek installers are usually very responsive and much more often than not they will go the extra mile and make it right. Seeing some extra plaster at this stage is not a big deal. An acid wash will take care of it, drain or no-drain should both be fine. Some kind of acid wash a couple of days after application is common enough. Talk to your builder and if they won't help talk to the pebble installer.
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    Re: Pebble Tec - too much plaster in the corners?

    Rootyb - please let me know how it goes. I am getting my Pebble Tec in next week. I am also using Premier Pools in Sacramento (Ranch Cordova). You can see my build thread at http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...ern-California . In general, I been happy with the project except the flaw with my step ladder. If you have pictures of your build, I'd love to see it.

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    Re: Pebble Tec - too much plaster in the corners?

    Thanks!

    Diverminh, how has your communication with premier been? I've been really dissatisfied with their communication level. Every step of the way has felt like pulling teeth to find out what's happening next, what they need from us, etc. They even started on the steel for our shelf even though we made it clear to our rep that it was *completely* wrong, setting us back at least three days.

    For example: I have no idea what's going to happen next, when we can swim, if they are coming back out, etc. It's really frustrating.

    Oh, also, they have told us that for total transactions over $10,000, there's a 1% fee to pay with credit card. That is *not* legal in California.

    Kind of wishing we had gone with the other guy we were talking to. Smaller, but I think that would have been good.

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    Re: Pebble Tec - too much plaster in the corners?

    More picture for ya, Minh:
    (In reverse order)
    http://imgur.com/a/1IEIf

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    Re: Pebble Tec - too much plaster in the corners?

    Thanks for the pictures. Looks like both of us did about the same thing - except you got a carbo shelf. I skipped because my shallow part of my pool was already so small. I got deck jets installed. But our project seems very similar.

    As far as communication - I have been communicating with the project manager directly and the concrete guy . I haven't communicated much with the sales person. It has been a little difficult to understand exactly what I should expect for each inspection. But I been working with my buiding inspector department directly to get information. Most of the guys who have come out to work on my pool has been great to deal with and are very helpful. Of course it helps that I have been working from home during the pool build, so I can keep an eyes on things. Also helps that I make sure they have drinks and snacks.

    Just out of curiosity - who was the other pool builder you were considering? For me, it was a toss between Premier and another small pool builder (whose name I forgot).

    - - - Updated - - -

    BTW - I recognize some of the guys pouring the concrete. Same guys that did my concrete.

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    Re: Pebble Tec - too much plaster in the corners?

    See... I don't even think we *had* a project manager other than our sales guy.

    The smaller company (guy, really) was Sierra Ridge pools. The guy was *super* informative and talkative. I really liked him, and his prices were only *slightly* higher than Premier's, but my wife's family is very much the "big company = easy to find someone to fix it if anything goes wrong" kind of mindset. Similarly, she was more hesitant to go with gemstone (which Sierra Ridge does) vs Pebble Tec, largely just because there's so much more info on PT available.

    And yeah, I've been able to work from home a lot of the construction days. I don't even know how most of this would have gone if I hadn't been here for so much of it.

    all complaints aside, most of the work they've done has been pretty great. There are a few hairline cracks in our new deck, but it sounds like that's kind of inevitable. Still sucks, but they're all really minor, and I'd rather save my griping for something like the pebble tec plaster.

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    Re: Pebble Tec - too much plaster in the corners?

    *sigh*

    "All interior finishes go through a curing stage. Once the pool is filled, and chemicals are added the true look will begin to show. I am sure after a few days all will look great."

    Yeah, I don't think "curing" is going to make extra plaster disappear.

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Pebble Tec - too much plaster in the corners?

    That is what my neighbor of 9 years said. He has been building pools for 28 years and built mine 3 years ago. I saw what I thought were some issues with my pebblesheen, streaks extra plaster, etc and he said it looks fine to him. And now it looks fine to me too. I wouldn't sweat it too much. Especially if you trust your builder and they did a good job. Once you are in a floatie with a beverage it ALL looks good!
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    Re: Pebble Tec - too much plaster in the corners?

    Oh, I don't really trust our builder.

    I get frustrated basically every time I email our guy.

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Pebble Tec - too much plaster in the corners?

    Aww heck! Well, life will still be good in a floatie with beverage!
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    Re: Pebble Tec - too much plaster in the corners?

    I have the phone number to the project manager/foreman, the concrete guy, and the equipment guy. I text them when i have questions. The sales guy is just a sales guy. He's nice enough, but for more "technical" questions, I been going directly to the source. I also found in dealing with people, it's better to try to acknowledge that they are the experts. I usually phrase my question in the form of... "I was thinking of doing xyz, but you're the expert, tell me what you think." Sometimes they go with my suggestions, other times I go with there's.

    I trust the my pool builder. I just verify that they are doing the job up to my specs. But seriously - overall, I think they have done a very good job. I haven't notice any cracks on my deck (yet), but I also did a lot of extra preparation. For example, I watered the ground for a few days before the concrete was poured to make sure the ground didn't suck out the water from the concrete too fast. Any loose soil that i saw - I either remove or compacted it more. I also got lucky that the day they poured the concrete it was very cool. And it was cool for the next couple of days.

    So when do they start putting water back into your pool? Did you get any new equipment?

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    Re: Pebble Tec - too much plaster in the corners?

    Water's going in now. About 2/3 full so far. We *love* the color.

    We got a new VSP, and a water feature on the shelf (Parascope!).

    Got another email from our PB after I replied to his:

    Not to worry.
    You are in good hands, and we will do what ever needs to be done to make your Pebble Tec finish looks the way it is intended to look.
    Which is basically exactly what I needed to hear (as long as they follow through).

    I think the biggest issue has been that *we* feel like they're mostly done, and they're probably like "lots to do still!", but there's no communication, so we have no way of knowing what's going on. The communication is my biggest complaint. I don't know what's going on. Nobody has told us when we can swim, when the chemical balancing starts, what's happening next with equipment, etc.

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    Re: Pebble Tec - too much plaster in the corners?

    Rootyb - I know what you mean. I think that if I haven't been so pro-active, I'd wouldn't know what's going on. However, I think people like us are different from most clienteles that they are used to dealing with. I wouldn't be surprise if most people say "just build it and I will use it. I don't want to know anything about permits, scheduling, etc. I hired you to deal with that. Just tell me when it will be done and how much."

    BTW - I like your new shelf. I wanted one too, but my pool shallow end is to small to effectively put one in. Nice job with your pool. Can't wait to see more pictures.

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    Re: Pebble Tec - too much plaster in the corners?

    How did the plaster turn out? My pool gets plaster (Pebble Tec) today.

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    Re: Pebble Tec - too much plaster in the corners?

    No change, really. Our PB (sales rep) came out today to look at it while we were at work. He sent an email saying it "looks pretty good to me", comparing it to the finish on his pool, whatever that means.

    I'm going to be unavailable for a couple of weeks, but he mentioned meeting to discuss it after that. I definitely get the feeling that said discussion will be "oh, look how great it looks, that's natural variation, there's nothing that we can really do blah blah blah". I could just be bitter, though.

    I went ahead and emailed Pebble Tec (the company) just to ask them if extra plaster in the corners is a normal thing that's unavoidable, or if I should be pushing back on my PB. Not at all to throw them under the bus (I didn't complain or say who our PB was, even though I'm sure they could figure it out, since there are only two in the area that do PT), but as a bit of a sanity check to see if I'm being unreasonable. I don't *think* I am, but *shrug*.

    How did your plaster turn out, Minh?
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    Re: Pebble Tec - too much plaster in the corners?

    Rootyb -

    After two days of no show (and poor communication) for plastering, they finally got my pool plastered yesterday. I can totally understand if they have to reschedule because they are busy, but it bothers me when I have an appointment and they just don't show up. Today, they are coming back to do the acid wash, and then it's time to fill up the pool. Right now - the finish looks splotchy, but I kind of expected that until the acid wash is completed.

    BTW - if you want to compare your finish to my finish, you're welcome to come over, and we can compare notes. I am interested to see what Pebble Tec has to say about your situation. BTW - did you pay $10K with a credit card? If you did, open up a case with your credit card company. That way if there is a flaw - you can hold that $10K until the problem is resolved. If you wait too long - then they have all your money and you won't have any real leverage.

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    Re: Pebble Tec - too much plaster in the corners?

    Hah, sounds about right.

    Ours looked splotchy, but mostly evened out. Now, our only issue is the corners.

    I would have been ****** if they pulled a no-show on our pebble tec, since I took a day from work to be here for it.

    We did pay a decent amount on the card, but it was like, almost two months ago at this point.

    Ah well. Supposedly, Pebble Tec corp is pretty great about making sure stuff gets done right. They replied pretty quickly to my email, but just to say that the images I sent didn't go through, and asking me to resend them.

    Did I already mention that they cut our water feature tube too tall, and it shoots 20 feet in the air, rather than "bubbling"? The guy that came out yesterday to fix some stuff was half-arguing with my wife that he cut it according to the directions (he didn't), and that some people like that kind of water feature.

    A 20' *geyser*. Like, bellagio style.

    My wife finally found the installation instructions video and sent it off to our guy for someone to look at and fix.

    The water feature was also supposed to come with two extra heads that have still not turned up. They're out there, somewhere, I'm sure. (Cutting the pipe 3" above the water line *is* correct for one of the heads, but not the one they installed for us).
    18,000-gallon-ish IG
    New (May 2015) baja shelf/Tahoe Blue Pebble Tec
    Jandy VS-FHP1.0 pump

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    Re: Pebble Tec - too much plaster in the corners?

    My pool has been filling up since yesterday. And you're right - it's so slow... I might go over to my neighbor and ask them if I can use their hose to speed up the filling up of the pool.

    What water feature did you get? I had six deck jets installed. Since I didn't have a cabo shelf, I didn't get anything inside of the pool. Now I am waiting for my solar panels to arrive so that I can install them. Starting out with four 4x12 panels, but may expand in the future.

    If you have more pictures, love to see them. I'm also curious to see how Pebble Tec handles your problem.

    I'd love to see more pictures of your pool.

    Minh

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    Re: Pebble Tec - too much plaster in the corners?

    Run another hose from a different faucet on your property if you can. It won't double the full speed, but it helps.

    Water feature wise, We got a Parascope: Parascope - Paramount Pool and Spas

    I'll get more pics up shortly.
    18,000-gallon-ish IG
    New (May 2015) baja shelf/Tahoe Blue Pebble Tec
    Jandy VS-FHP1.0 pump

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