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Thread: 10ish year old Quartz finish. Need help, suggestions.

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    10ish year old Quartz finish. Need help, suggestions.

    Hi everyone.

    I bought a house about 8 months ago with a pool that has a quartz finish/plaster. It appeared to be in good shape overall but was very dirty.

    I cleaned it out and gently power washed it.


    Notice how WHITE that pool looked after the cleaning... I have seen older photos which I can no longer find where the pool was a darker blue, like a lagoon. Below I have some photos of the spa and can show you my problem more clearly.

    Anyhow, the pool has been up and running for the last 8 months and we have been enjoying it for the last 3. However we really would like it to look better. I drained the spa to try a few things to see if I cant figure out what to do next.

    here is a close up of the finish


    here is an area on the spa which I believe is representative of what the whole pool used to look like ( the blue color anyway)


    Here is the entire spa floor


    Notice the blotches... it looks almost like caked on calcium... however acid washing doesn't seem to effect those cream colored areas.

    There are also lots of smooth white patches like this


    Keep in mind these pictures were DIRECTLY after power washing

    On top of all this, I am fighting a black algae problem (I believe it is black algae) which seemed to crop up with my chlorine levels between 6 and 10 somehow. I have treated it with algae-cide and am brushing daily and keeping the chlorine levels up.

    Algae problem aside, is this Finnish just done? It looks like most of the quartz has lost its color and become opaque. Its very white so it looks blotchy very easily. It also seems to be porous enough to trap dirt or debris and has gotten dirty looking. There are even some areas at the deep end that would not clean up so it is likely permanently stained.

    I have tried acid washing and pressure washing to no avail. If I get on it really hard with the pressure washer it will turn blue again, but it pits the finish VERY badly. There seems to be blue stained Portland as you get deeper.

    I was also thinking perhaps there is a stain for Portland that I could use to stain the Portland a darker blue to try to mitigate some of the blotchy areas.

    I found this in my searching Plaster color change Looks like a similar problem.. I read somethign about hitting it with a diamond wheel.

    Id appreciate any ideas or advice... We aren't in the mood to spend thousands of dollars right now to have it redone.

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    Casey's Avatar
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    Re: 10ish year old Quartz finish. Need help, suggestions.

    Looks like the plaster has reached it's life span and needs replaced. I have no suggestions for you, other than to replace it with a new finish.

    As far as algaecide goes, it is more a preventative than a treatment for algae. You will get significantly better results by running a higher than normal FC level conducive to your CYA level while brushing the pool daily to expose the algae to the chlorine.
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: 10ish year old Quartz finish. Need help, suggestions.

    A few housekeeping points.

    Please add your state/country to your location in your profile. Climate is an important factor in pool care that we need to take into consideration when helping you. Also, please add your pool info to your signature so we know what we are dealing with, here is what we are looking for, Pool School - Getting Started, also post a set of full test results if you have a good kit. If they are test strips or pool store test results then don't post them. Get a good test kit, link below, and then give us some test results.

    Also, please copy and paste the IMG links for your pics not the URL. That will embed the pics directly into the thread. I tried to click the links but got pop up ads and it took too long to figure out how to load the pics.


    Aggressive power washing of old plaster is not good, it is possible that what you see as darker material is actually the gunite under the plaster. Plaster is a uniform color throughout.

    It is likely that properly maintaining your water TFPC-style will yield the best results for clearing up some of the cosmetic issues. It will take some time, but won't cost anything. Of course, they are cosmetic issues so if you are not ready to replaster it can certainly wait until you are ready.

    Since algaecides have been used in the pool it could be copper stains, here is more on that, Pool School - Metals in the Water and Metal Stains

    It could be Pool School - Calcium Scaling

    If it isn't metal staining then here is what I would do.

    If you don't have one, get one of the Recommended Test Kits, I use the TF100 from tftestkits.net.

    When you get it give us some test results and get ready to SLAM Your Pool.

    After the SLAM I would hold chlorine several PPM above target for a month or so and see where you are. Chlorine level is set based on your CYA level and Chlorine CYA Chart

    Here are some of my fave Pool School articles
    TFPC for Beginners
    ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry

    Here are the Recommended Levels for your pool.
    Here are the Recommended Pool Chemicals and how to add them.
    Use PoolMath to figure out how much to add.
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    Re: 10ish year old Quartz finish. Need help, suggestions.

    Quote Originally Posted by pooldv View Post
    A few housekeeping points.

    Please add your state/country to your location in your profile. Climate is an important factor in pool care that we need to take into consideration when helping you. Also, please add your pool info to your signature so we know what we are dealing with, here is what we are looking for, Pool School - Getting Started, also post a set of full test results if you have a good kit. If they are test strips or pool store test results then don't post them. Get a good test kit, link below, and then give us some test results.
    Added. I just added shock so I will have to get test results later on tonight or tomorrow

    Also, please copy and paste the IMG links for your pics not the URL. That will embed the pics directly into the thread. I tried to click the links but got pop up ads and it took too long to figure out how to load the pics.
    will do


    Aggressive power washing of old plaster is not good, it is possible that what you see as darker material is actually the gunite under the plaster. Plaster is a uniform color throughout.
    yea, we were gentle.. the aggressive areas were momentary accidents. I sort of believe that all the plaster was dyed blue originally and the top layer has faded with time. I do not believe we went nearly deep enough in ANY area to expose the gunite.

    It is likely that properly maintaining your water TFPC-style will yield the best results for clearing up some of the cosmetic issues. It will take some time, but won't cost anything. Of course, they are cosmetic issues so if you are not ready to replaster it can certainly wait until you are ready.
    I hope so

    Since algaecides have been used in the pool it could be copper stains, here is more on that, Pool School - Metals in the Water and Metal Stains
    This is the first time I have added algeacide.

    It could be Pool School - Calcium Scaling

    If it isn't metal staining then here is what I would do.
    I probably do have some calcium scaling as well. I am working on it.



    After the SLAM I would hold chlorine several PPM above target for a month or so and see where you are. Chlorine level is set based on your CYA level and Chlorine CYA Chart
    Interesting, I will read more.

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: 10ish year old Quartz finish. Need help, suggestions.

    It is possible that there is another color plaster under the top coat, especially if the pool is 15-20 years old. Probably not copper stains from algae. Tried to look at pics again, still can't.
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    Re: 10ish year old Quartz finish. Need help, suggestions.

    Quote Originally Posted by pooldv View Post
    It is possible that there is another color plaster under the top coat, especially if the pool is 15-20 years old. Probably not copper stains from algae. Tried to look at pics again, still can't.
    Pics should be visible now

    Pool is probably around 7 years old... the house is only 10.

    I honestly do not think it was ever re done.. I talked to the neighbor that saw it built and he said that after it was done it was blue like the ocean... see the pics for the blue.
    7-10 year old In ground 20,000 gal, Aquabright ecofinish W/ Spa, waterfall and infinity jet, 60 sq foot DE filter, Single speed pump, Racer cleaner

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    Re: 10ish year old Quartz finish. Need help, suggestions.

    I don't think you'll ever get the blue back without a resurface job...I wonder if someone got too aggressive with acid and wore away the blue with an acid bath gone wrong?
    17.4k gallon IG pool with attached spa (spa itself is 730gal), Super Blue Diamondbrite plaster, Circupool SI-45+ SWG, BH/Hayward Cartridge Filter, 2hp 2speed Hayward Super II pump, , Jandy Valves, Waterway Skimmers, Rheem 400k Heater, Polaris 360 cleaner, built 2000+-, replastered June 2015, TF-100 kit---Here's my pool test reading history

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    Re: 10ish year old Quartz finish. Need help, suggestions.

    Update,

    I read up on slamming and I am not sure I am understanding correctly... I already meet the criteria for stopping the SLAM so why should I do it?

    You are done when:

    CC is 0.5 or lower;
    You pass an OCLT (ie overnight FC loss test shows a loss of 1.0 ppm or less);
    And the water is clear.
    I am running about 6 on my chlorine... Im a bit ticked off that my CYA has crept up to 60.... I have been using trichlor to get it up but it shot up higher than I wanted very rapidly. PLus I just bought a stinkin bucket of tabs. I have been planning on going to the TFPC method and using bleach eventually... Looks like the trichlor is already causing me problems I will have to undo with a water change. It might not bee too much of an issue if I can figure out what I am going to do about the plaster.

    Running 7.2 PH right now. My Calcium harness is low, looking for a source but I am hesitant to spend any money on this water if it is going to have to be drained to work on plaster or reduce CYA.
    7-10 year old In ground 20,000 gal, Aquabright ecofinish W/ Spa, waterfall and infinity jet, 60 sq foot DE filter, Single speed pump, Racer cleaner

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    Re: 10ish year old Quartz finish. Need help, suggestions.

    I already meet the criteria for stopping the SLAM so why should I do it?
    You don't. SLAM the pool only if you DO NOT meet those criteria.

    I would also indicate you cannot treat your problem until you identify it. I am pretty sure it is calcium buildup (from years of incorrect water management) but you can confirm that by applying a diluted muriatic acid to a small portion of it. If it foams up, it is calcium scale.

    I would try that first and then report back.
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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: 10ish year old Quartz finish. Need help, suggestions.

    That looks like a blue pebble finish with a bunch of calcium scaling or some kind of build up on it. I definitely don't think there is an old finish and newer finish.

    I'm going to try to get some more opinions on this.
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    Re: 10ish year old Quartz finish. Need help, suggestions.

    I think you have some scaling perhaps, but more than anything a loss of the finish color where the Blue dye has simply washed out/faded. I can't say why, but it was probably due to the dye quality as much as anything else. Making dark Blue finishes with lasting inorganic Blues that don't fade is what makes the Blue ones so very expensive to install. Oddly enough, the color in the very first picture is so close to what we put in last year it's scary. We have less blue colored Quartz aggregate, but still close. It's all a matter of taste, but I prefer it over the unnatural Blue dyed finishes, because you never see Blue Sand in a natural body of water. What you wound up with should give a very pleasant water color, but if you don't care for it, there isn't much you can do except live with it or replace it. I wouldn't try Acid washing or "hot starting" it any more from here, unless you do plan on a re-do soon. It will only shorten it's life if you do.

    It sounds like you know which way to go for the Black Algae problem, so if you'll move in that direction, and follow our guidelines and procedures, that issue will go away no problem. And as said, some of the staining may fade for you in time. based on these pics, I'm thinking it doesn't look too bad all filled up does it?
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    Re: 10ish year old Quartz finish. Need help, suggestions.

    Patrick,

    When we first cleaned out the pool, most of it looked great. There were some algae stains that we could not get to come out in the deep end.. they were formed in a ring where the waterline was at different times... Aside from that it did look very good. Over the last 8 months it has gone downhill looks wise... the bottom looks very splotchy... It is probably algae. There are some areas that are black and some that have a slight brown tint to them. IDK if the VERY light brown is in fact algae, but I am now keeping my chlorine levels pretty high.

    It seems to really get bad quickly after the TORRENT of rains we had recently. Perhaps I am just playing catchup at this point.

    Honestly, If I could get all the deep stains out and get the finish looking like it did just after we power washed it, I would be happy. I have called a local pool company (not leslies, so mad at them right now) to have them come out and take a look in person and give me their thoughts. They have treated me really well so far. I just haven't been going to them consistently because they are out of the way a bit for me... I will probably start using them exclusively instead of leslies.
    7-10 year old In ground 20,000 gal, Aquabright ecofinish W/ Spa, waterfall and infinity jet, 60 sq foot DE filter, Single speed pump, Racer cleaner

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    Re: 10ish year old Quartz finish. Need help, suggestions.

    I would suggest getting a TF-100 or K2006 Kit to test, treat, and maintain it on your own. You'll take the frustration and guesswork out of the equation and never wonder about what is really going on ever again.
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    Re: 10ish year old Quartz finish. Need help, suggestions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick_B View Post
    I would suggest getting a TF-100 or K2006 Kit to test, treat, and maintain it on your own. You'll take the frustration and guesswork out of the equation and never wonder about what is really going on ever again.
    So the Kit I have isnt good enough?
    7-10 year old In ground 20,000 gal, Aquabright ecofinish W/ Spa, waterfall and infinity jet, 60 sq foot DE filter, Single speed pump, Racer cleaner

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    Re: 10ish year old Quartz finish. Need help, suggestions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Austintatious View Post
    So the Kit I have isnt good enough?
    I'm not familiar with the 2004 kit, got a link to it? I suspect it's missing some things we would recommend, but without knowing what's in it, I can't say what those things are.
    17.4k gallon IG pool with attached spa (spa itself is 730gal), Super Blue Diamondbrite plaster, Circupool SI-45+ SWG, BH/Hayward Cartridge Filter, 2hp 2speed Hayward Super II pump, , Jandy Valves, Waterway Skimmers, Rheem 400k Heater, Polaris 360 cleaner, built 2000+-, replastered June 2015, TF-100 kit---Here's my pool test reading history

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    Re: 10ish year old Quartz finish. Need help, suggestions.

    Here are the recommended test kits and the tests they contain, Pool School - Test Kits Compared
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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: 10ish year old Quartz finish. Need help, suggestions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Austintatious View Post
    So the Kit I have isnt good enough?
    You say you have Black Algae, so you'll need to perform a SLAM on the pool but that is not possible without a FAS/DPD FC kit. I do not think that kit has one. You also say you are calling out pool companies. With a proper kit and some knowledge, there is no need for that. What tests are in the kit aside from regular DPD FC testing?
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    Re: 10ish year old Quartz finish. Need help, suggestions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick_B View Post
    You say you have Black Algae, so you'll need to perform a SLAM on the pool but that is not possible without a FAS/DPD FC kit. I do not think that kit has one. You also say you are calling out pool companies. With a proper kit and some knowledge, there is no need for that. What tests are in the kit aside from regular DPD FC testing?
    Patrick,

    Thank you for your time...

    Here is my test kit Taylor Technologies K-2005 DPD Complete Chlorine Kit

    I THINK I have black algae... I have never seen it in person other than what I have going on... Here is a pic



    Apologies, I probably wasnt clear, but I am having a pool guy come out to give me some advice on the plaster, not the algae.

    Meanwhile I am keeping my chlorine around 6. My CYA is at 40 and my PH 7.4.
    7-10 year old In ground 20,000 gal, Aquabright ecofinish W/ Spa, waterfall and infinity jet, 60 sq foot DE filter, Single speed pump, Racer cleaner

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: 10ish year old Quartz finish. Need help, suggestions.

    Here is an article from Pool School about how to eliminate Black Algae
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