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Thread: How to know if my plaster is okay for acid wash?

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    How to know if my plaster is okay for acid wash?

    I am moving into a home with an existing plaster pool and I want to do a drain and acid wash before refilling and setting it up. There is currently only a few feet of water in the deep end, which is a swamp. The majority of the pool walls and bottom (that can be seen) seem that they could greatly benefit from an acid wash to clean the surfacing before filling it...but how do I know whether the plaster is okay for doing the acid wash?

    The overall appearance is good, at least in the sense that there is not cracking or scaling, as far as I can tell.

    The 2nd thing that I'm wondering about is whether the pool could have a leak since it seems that it should not be as low as it is from evaporation alone...but the pool (and home itself) has been unattended for at least 6 months or more, but I don't know if that is enough time for this size of a pool to evaporate down to only about 2 feet (estimated) of water in the deep end.

    Thanks!
    12,000 gallon IG (newly re-plastered) pool, Pentair 3/4hp pump, DE filter, TF-100 test kit

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: How to know if my plaster is okay for acid wash?

    If you can take and post a pic like this one:
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/gunit...0.html#p161480
    The experts would be able to advise you.

    Use photobucket.com or similar photo hosting site.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

  3. Back To Top    #3
    Guest

    Re: How to know if my plaster is okay for acid wash?

    Do not acid wash!!!! It will only accelerate the need for a re-plaster, and put money in the pocket of the guy that does the acid wash. General rule of thumb-an acid wash takes three years off of the life of plaster.

    Fill the pool back up and get the plaster hydrated again. Follow BBB and get it clean. If you have a leak you will need to address it anyway, but chances are you are just seeing the effects of the 6 months of sitting and it has just evaporated.

    If you are in the San Diego area and want me to look at it for you (I'm not looking for work, just making an offer to help!) I would be happy to. If it needs a re-plaster, save the acid wash money and put it in a jar until you can afford to do it right. Otherwise save the acid wash money and enjoy it for as long as you can. Bottom line is do not acid wash!

    Congrats on the new place

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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: How to know if my plaster is okay for acid wash?

    A thorough cleaning with a pressure washer might work well enough...pictures needed!
    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
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    Re: How to know if my plaster is okay for acid wash?

    Thanks everybody for the help and advice. I'm not in the San Diego area, but thanks for offering.

    I'm glad I heard your advice about acid washing, cause I had no idea it would cause that type of damage and aging. When it was recommended to me it was never mentioned that it was that big of a deal...though I was going to do it myself based on a "pool and spa" video, which looked like a VERY simple process to me, as long as the proper precautions and steps are followed (i.e. acid left on each section of the surfaces for only 30 seconds to a minute, before being rinsed off)

    I'm not moved in yet, but will be doing a lot to the pool (as far as maintenance and start up) before I move in, so I just want to be ready and do everything right.

    I'll get a bunch of photos next time I'm over there and then post them here so that you'll all have more to go off of, but as dirty as the sides are (probably mainly due to an extreme lack of upkeep over a long period of time) I was assuming it would be best to do the cleaning before filling...but maybe not.
    12,000 gallon IG (newly re-plastered) pool, Pentair 3/4hp pump, DE filter, TF-100 test kit

  6. Back To Top    #6
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    Re: How to know if my plaster is okay for acid wash?

    Maybe you could try some TSP and a stiff brush. That would not damage or remove the plaster components but should clean what you have. You wouldn't have to worry about breathing it either! A pressure washer (if not placed too close) might also be effective.

    As we head in to the hotter months, I would try and have the pool refilled sooner than later. Plaster does not like to be exposed ( ); it is a product that needs to be submerged. Hotter temps will cause damage (delamination).

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    Re: How to know if my plaster is okay for acid wash?

    In that case I am definitely going to try TSP cleaner first and try to avoid the acid wash all together. With the TSP, should I be particularly concerned about rinsing it off and then pumping out the risnsed water, or will filling the pool dilute it beyond worry?
    12,000 gallon IG (newly re-plastered) pool, Pentair 3/4hp pump, DE filter, TF-100 test kit

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    Re: How to know if my plaster is okay for acid wash?

    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Ben
    In that case I am definitely going to try TSP cleaner first and try to avoid the acid wash all together. With the TSP, should I be particularly concerned about rinsing it off and then pumping out the risnsed water, or will filling the pool dilute it beyond worry?
    I'd try to keep it to a minimum.

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    Re: How to know if my plaster is okay for acid wash?

    Got some photos now, so let me know what you think as far as the condition of the plaster and the chemical that would be best for giving it a good clean. I'll be raking out the junk, then pumping the remaining water out before cleaning. I could always start with the TLR cleaner to see if it will do the job before worrying about an acid wash...










    Pool steps



    Closeup of pool bottom at shallow end
    12,000 gallon IG (newly re-plastered) pool, Pentair 3/4hp pump, DE filter, TF-100 test kit

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    Re: How to know if my plaster is okay for acid wash?

    I would TSP it, accept how it finishes up, and get water back in it sooner than later. You are very calcified (scale) and have copper sulfate damage (the green tint to the plaster), and the cracks that you see suggest that you will be seeing delamination before too long (sooner if you don't get water back in!).

    Do your best to clean it (quickly) and start saving for a new plaster job. That one has served its life and is near the end.

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    Re: How to know if my plaster is okay for acid wash?

    Ouch, not the best news in the world, but thanks for the input and for letting me know. I'll stick with TSP only and forget about the acid wash for good, and get the pool filled as soon as possible. Do you think I can get a few more years out of this plaster?

    Also, does the copper issue mean that my plumbing is copper? Is there anything I should know, or worry about, as far as the copper sulfate damage? Anything I can do in the future to avoid copper damage? Does that mean I may have issues with my plumbing?

    Thanks
    12,000 gallon IG (newly re-plastered) pool, Pentair 3/4hp pump, DE filter, TF-100 test kit

  12. Back To Top    #12
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    Re: How to know if my plaster is okay for acid wash?

    I am going to guess that you will be lucky to get another year or so out of that plaster, depending on what you are willing to accept. If you start to see rust, then you will know that the water has gotten through to the rebar and it is really time to re-plaster. Getting it filled now is the most important thing you can do.

    You may have copper plumbing (I don't see a spa, so probably no heater) or someone may have used a copper algaecide in the past and stained the pool. Nothing real uncommon, but you will want to watch that when you re-plaster to avoid it.

    Good luck with the cleaning and filling! Make the best of what you have for now and save for when you need to get it done!

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    Re: How to know if my plaster is okay for acid wash?

    You're correct, no heater and no spa. I don't plan to use algaeside at all myself, so hopefully that won't be a problem in the future (if that was the source of the copper staining). I'll watch out for rust in the future and get what I can out of this plaster for now.

    Thanks for your help!
    12,000 gallon IG (newly re-plastered) pool, Pentair 3/4hp pump, DE filter, TF-100 test kit

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    Re: How to know if my plaster is okay for acid wash?

    My pleasure! I'm sorry that I didn't have better news for you though

  15. Back To Top    #15

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    Re: How to know if my plaster is okay for acid wash?

    The truth is what I really need to hear anyway. Better than thinking I'm in great shape and being surprised later!
    Thanks!
    12,000 gallon IG (newly re-plastered) pool, Pentair 3/4hp pump, DE filter, TF-100 test kit

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