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Thread: Stonescapes Aqua Blue finish turned black

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    Stonescapes Aqua Blue finish turned black

    I am having a problem with my pool finish. It is stonescapes aqua blue and over the past several months it has turned black. I called several months ago to my pool service company about the problem and they came out to treat the pool with Jack's Magic. When they started the black stain was on the stairs and on the seating.

    Now its everywhere. They insist that it is not black algae but the pool builder said it is. Below is the results of the test that the pool finish manufacturer did. and I have also posted two pictures of the finish.

    I don't know who to believe but I want my pool back and blue.

    Help!
    Stonescapes inspection 2.jpg
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Swampwoman's Avatar
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    Re: Stonescapes Aqua Blue finish turned black

    Fred, I'm not sure how much help we can offer "remotely" and when you're not the person whose been caring for your pool...so take anything I or others say with a grain of salt

    To me, your stairs look much more uniformly discolored than what I typically see with either stains or algae.

    At the same time, your chemistry does not follow the TFP method so your water is "under- or - not- sanitized" by our standard. Going forward, please consider getting yourself a FAS/DPD kit like the TFP 100 or Taylor K2006 ( http://www.tftestkits.net ) and reading up on the FC/CYA Chart and working through pool school.

    If you want to get an idea whether or not it may be organic, you might set a puck on the step for a bit to see if it lightens the color. Then maybe work a small area with a wire brush. After that, you can try a crushed up vitamin c to note if the black reacts to that in any way. If it started out as copper staining, the black might deepen, then turn rust color and lift. Other stain sources include maganese, which does stain black/purplish. I'm surprised they did not test for metals. I would ask them to.

    I have additional questions, some that you may not be able to answer:

    - Is you're water source well or city?
    - is your pool properly bonded?
    - what Jacks treatment did the pool co. use and what did their stain test show?
    - how long after the job did the black start?
    - why is your salt level so high? What swg are you using -- please post equipment info in your signature
    - do you have records of readings from each pool service reading from when it was done to when it started blackening?

    You are in Illinois, correct? Or does Il stand for something else? Black algae is not particularly common in these parts. Is the pool now winterized? Can you post a pic of the whole pool?

    You might want to reach out to a poster that goes by the name OnBalance. He has a company that researches problems in finish applications and may have much deeper insight to your photos than I.

    I can sometimes assist with stain treatment as I'm on well and have fooled around/experimented and read a good deal with stains but this one may be a bit beyond me.

    Sorry this is happening to you and I hope that you're able to get things put right!
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    Re: Stonescapes Aqua Blue finish turned black

    Pour a little acid on the top step with the water level at normal level. You can use a pvc pipe to pour some onto the floor. See what
    effect that has on the look. Aqua Blue has a baby blue base cement color, most certainly not the dark your pictures show.

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    Re: Stonescapes Aqua Blue finish turned black

    following....
    29k Gallon Free Form Gunite Pool, 3 floor returns, 2 wall returns, 1 vacuum pressure port, 2 skimmers, Main drain, Jandy JXI400N Gas Heater, Jandy CV340 Cartridge Filter, FusionSoft 1400 SWG, 2 Watercolors LED, iAqualink with PDA, Sheer Waterfall, Rock Waterfall, 9' Deep End w/Diving Board, SunDeck, Polaris 9650iQ, TF-100 - Pool Build - 2017 - Google Photos

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    Re: Stonescapes Aqua Blue finish turned black

    Quote Originally Posted by Swampwoman View Post

    I have additional questions, some that you may not be able to answer:

    - Is you're water source well or city?
    - is your pool properly bonded?
    - what Jacks treatment did the pool co. use and what did their stain test show?
    - how long after the job did the black start?
    - why is your salt level so high? What swg are you using -- please post equipment info in your signature
    - do you have records of readings from each pool service reading from when it was done to when it started blackening?

    You are in Illinois, correct? Or does Il stand for something else? Black algae is not particularly common in these parts. Is the pool now winterized? Can you post a pic of the whole pool?
    Swampwoman, This pool is in Naples Florida. Here are the answers to your questions.


    - Is you're water source well or city?
    City
    - is your pool properly bonded?
    I would imagine so, the pool was inspected when built (three years ago) and the bonding was approved. What would I look for?
    - what Jacks treatment did the pool co. use and what did their stain test show? I think it was Jack's #2. Don't know
    - how long after the job did the black start? It started before the jack's treatment. They worked on it for two months and developed into this.
    - why is your salt level so high? What swg are you using -- please post equipment info in your signature Don't know but we drained off about a foot of water and put fresh in Its now 3900.
    - do you have records of readings from each pool service reading from when it was done to when it started blackening? Sorry no. the pool service did not provide records.

    The whole pool looks black now. when before the black started on the steps. Does this help?

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    Re: Stonescapes Aqua Blue finish turned black

    I'm thinking copper. The aquablue color will mask turquoise colored staining. Copper usually starts out turquoise and then turns black.

    Jack's #2 is Jack's copper removal chemical. So, that might point to copper as well.

    Test for copper.

    Is there a source of copper?

    Black algae is more spotty. Black algae can be scrapped off with a fingernail and examined. It's really a form of blue-green bacteria. It's similar to mold you would find in bathroom tile grout.
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    Re: Stonescapes Aqua Blue finish turned black

    I was thinking copper also, as in a LOT of copper algaecide.

    Do you know if anyone has been using a cheaper type of algaecide routinely in this pool? They often contain copper and we do not recommend their use. In fact, we rarely recommend any algaecides and prefer folks manage their pools with our suggested levels of chlorine, etc.

    I too would like to see more pictures of this pool. And metals tests done. Odd that they didn't do those

    Swampwoman is the queen of metal stains, par excellence!

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    Swampwoman's Avatar
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    Re: Stonescapes Aqua Blue finish turned black

    Hi again Fred.
    Now knowing (I think) that its a 3 year old job and that you're on city water my vote is leaning toward copper BUT the jacks treatment,if done correctly, should have lifted it.

    Do you have a heater, and if so, what is the make/model and general useage? Do you have any kind of mineral system added? AND what Algaecides have been used?

    You can try muriatic acid as suggested or dry acid in a sock to tell if its copper, but aso get your water tested for metals so we know the level. If there are high levels of copper you will need to do a partial if not full drain to rectify.
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    Re: Stonescapes Aqua Blue finish turned black

    Do you have a picture of the pool before the stains?
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    Re: Stonescapes Aqua Blue finish turned black

    I turned 2 pool surfaces black like yours in one afternoon.

    After shocking with cal hypo, the surfaces turned black & water remained clear..

    I treated it with a generic metal removal regimen & both came back around in about 30minutes.

    I never put my finger on the offender, but I suspect cobalt or manganese..

    Incidentally, the pools are next door neighbors. One is a liner & the other PT.



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    Re: Stonescapes Aqua Blue finish turned black

    Why suspect cobalt?

    Silver can also cause stains. Usually from algaecide or an ionizer.
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    Stonescapes Aqua Blue finish turned black

    Quote Originally Posted by JamesW View Post
    Why suspect cobalt?

    Silver can also cause stains. Usually from algaecide or an ionizer.

    Strictly based on superstition,
    as the jobs are Cobalt Mine Rd..

    Ive had these pools weekly for over 12 yrs, they have never seen silver or ionization & both surfaces blackened.

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    Re: Stonescapes Aqua Blue finish turned black

    Quote Originally Posted by Swampwoman View Post
    Hi again Fred.
    Now knowing (I think) that its a 3 year old job and that you're on city water my vote is leaning toward copper BUT the jacks treatment,if done correctly, should have lifted it.

    Do you have a heater, and if so, what is the make/model and general useage? Do you have any kind of mineral system added? AND what Algaecides have been used?

    You can try muriatic acid as suggested or dry acid in a sock to tell if its copper, but aso get your water tested for metals so we know the level. If there are high levels of copper you will need to do a partial if not full drain to rectify.
    Thank you all for your help so far.

    My Heater solution is solar panels which are plastic. The pool company used Jack's Magic #2 (i think) It only got worse.

    Here is a pictures of the whole pool Sorry about the reflection.

    imagewhole pool.jpg

    Here is a link to Stonescapes Aqua Blue

    StoneScapes® Gallery | National Pool Tile Group
    Last edited by fredpamm; 01-01-2018 at 12:42 PM. Reason: add url

  14. Back To Top    #14

    Re: Stonescapes Aqua Blue finish turned black

    Try some ascorbic acid (vitamin C) on a test spot.
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    Swampwoman's Avatar
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    Re: Stonescapes Aqua Blue finish turned black

    ...and get your water tested for metals because in this case, whatever it is, you need to know for certain to avoid future problems even once resolved

    Jacks 2 when properly applied should have lifted copper, not made it worse. Ask your pool guy for the receipt and an exact run down of treatment.
    Also ask him for a list of every single product and brand of treatment he's used on your pool with a maintenance list of dates.

    Then call Jacks Magic and talk to the tech about it. They may have ideas of what's gone on and why. I'm afraid your going to have to do some forensics-style auditing to get anywhere with this.

    Given the severity of the staining, i would also ask your pool builder or an electrician to test your bonding grid.

    A sloppy repair person knocked off a bonding nut on my bonding wires this summer and I suddenly had slight blackening on my vinyl that lifted with sequestrant. I checked my bonding wires at the equipment pad and saw what happened and replaced the bonding nut and that was the end of it. But the staining was only able to happen because I have trace amounts of copper, iron and maganese in my water. In my case, I know where each is from and have done what I can about it.

    In your shoes, I'd ask the mfg with help on this, as its in their interest to know Report back anything you learn in any category and we may have more insight to offer.
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    Re: Stonescapes Aqua Blue finish turned black

    THanks Swampwoman. I've called an electrician and will contact Jacks Magic.

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    Re: Stonescapes Aqua Blue finish turned black

    Did you try vitamin C?

    Do you have a good test kit?

    Did you get high CCs after the Jack's #2?
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    Re: Stonescapes Aqua Blue finish turned black

    Quote Originally Posted by JamesW View Post
    Did you try vitamin C?

    Do you have a good test kit?

    Did you get high CCs after the Jack's #2?
    No
    No just the strips - that's what I pay for a pool service for.

    WHat is CC?

    The pool service company said they put in the following
    Jack's Magic stain identification kit (used to identify)
    Jack's Magic stain solution #2 "the copper and scale stuff" (used to treat )10 lbs.
    Jack's Magic "the purple stuff" 1 quart (use as sequestering agent)

    I contacted Jacks Magic so we'll see what they say

  19. Back To Top    #19

    Re: Stonescapes Aqua Blue finish turned black

    If you want to get this under control, you need a good test kit. The service is obviously not doing a good job.

    Is there some reason that you don't want to try ascorbic acid?

    CC is combined chlorine.
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    Swampwoman's Avatar
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    Re: Stonescapes Aqua Blue finish turned black

    James is spot on here in that it is almost impossible to correctly dx what has happened exactly based on 3rd party reports and substandard testing methods.

    Whatever you've paid this pool service co. by now is less than the cost of new plaster, so going forward if you want to resolve it using TFP strategies you may wish to get up to speed on self management...even if you later only choose to use that knowledge to direct another pool service.

    So, with that said, metals is kinda an advanced class even here

    High ph can cause metals to come out of solution and stain. Shocking can cause metals to come out of solution and stain. Low ph can strip metal components and add metals to water (but unlikely in that you do not have a copper heat exchanger.)

    Jacks Purple at 1 quart may not have been enough to sequester whatever it is -- it depend on the level.

    So, a good place to start is to take a sample of your water to a pool store for metal test only. Pool stores are generally unreliable for other tests, but will do in a pinch for metal levels.

    And put crushed up vit c (ascorbic acid) on the steps again and tell us what happens.

    Take a look at FAS/DPD test kits (these are for accurate reg parameters, not metals, but its all connected) at TFTestkits.net .

    And let us know what jacks says
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