A little more help from the experts/contractors, please

kri5tian

Well-known member
Jun 13, 2016
62
Palm Harbor, Florida
Hello all. I just drained my pool and have a few questions.

1) Does anybody know what the pentagon-shaped region at the bottom of my jacuzzi sections is? I certainly did NOT expect something like this at the bottom. My jacuzzi section rests higher than the rest of the pool. The pump for this portion is broke, so, in the past, I've just been running the pump that pulls from the main pool area, and returns into the jacuzzi and pool...so the jacuzzi overflows like a waterfall into the rest of the pool. I don't have too much interest in getting the heater working...too many bigger fish to fry. But if anyone knows what this pentagon cut-out is, I would appreciate some knowledge.

View attachment 58968

2) I originally planned to drain the pool, then acid and pressure wash it, then fill it back up. However, I did not acid wash it and instead did an initial pressure wash. The pictures of damaged plaster below screams that I need to get the plaster redone, right? I would be an idiot/cheapskate to simply refill the pool without getting this addressed, right?

View attachment 58971View attachment 58970View attachment 58969View attachment 58972

3) There is a crack underneath the skimmer and appears to run to the skimmer and even up to the deck. What can I do about this? Can I simply buy some concrete patch mix and fill in the crack? It looks like the previous owner attempted something similar.

View attachment 58973

4) Is there a place where an average Joe can purchase Pebble Tec or the equivalent for himself, or do high-end plaster distributors only sell to contractors?


Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Since I was able to drain the pool and get it pretty much cleaned up, I am VERY tempted to try doing the chip-out and plaster work myself. I figure, I doubt I can screw it up any more than it already is.

- - - Updated - - -

I just wanted to post a couple of before/after pressure washing pics:

View attachment 58974View attachment 58975

- - - Updated - - -

My original post somehow didn't show the picture of the crack through the skimmer I referred to:

View attachment 58976

You can also see in one of the pics from my before/after post that the crack does indeed run quite a long ways.
 

pooldv

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Aug 10, 2012
25,178
FL panhandle
Plaster has two jobs. Make the pool look pretty and hold water. Yours is finished with the looking pretty part but if it still holds water then there is no harm in waiting to replaster. I wouldn't spend any time trying to make it look better. Just fill it up and swim.

Here is a DIY plaster thread, maybe it mentions where he got his plaster. DIY Pool restoration project
 

pooldv

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Wow, look at that. Pretty cool. Never seen something like that before. I was figuring it was cut out for a plumbing repair of the drain line.
 

kri5tian

Well-known member
Jun 13, 2016
62
Palm Harbor, Florida
All, thanks so much for the replies. You guys are absolutely right - it IS for some kind of bubble blower. It used to work but suddenly quit...and I had completely forgotten all about it. The previous homeowner was not very handy and just let things slip into disrepair. Lesson learned: never buy a house without checking the air filters. I assumed that the folks had done basic maintenance, but nope. A week after we moved in, I checked the filters and they looked as if they hadn't been changed in more than a year. NO KIDDING. Well, enough of me complaining about the past - I need to fix this pool! Thanks again!
 

gwegan

TFP Expert
Apr 19, 2013
2,769
Sacramento, CA
Plaster repair is hard dirty and just plain nasty. If you want to DYI it that's fine you just need a lot of free weekends.

So generally, unless you have a lot of cash and the pool still holds water, don't mess with it. Your Plaster crack looks superficial (I'm not there) so I would be inclined to leave it alone.

I vote with Danny. But if you want to do the work, its best to hire someone, unless you are young and have the time and don't burn easily.
 

kri5tian

Well-known member
Jun 13, 2016
62
Palm Harbor, Florida
View attachment 59018View attachment 59019I'm 40, not exactly young, but I am fit, I've come this far, and, more importantly, I'm cheap. I can't STAND paying someone to do something that I might be able to do myself. For instance, my neighbors pay people to clear their roofs and cut their grass. Not this guy. And, I must admit, I have pool envy :D But, now that you mention it, my 9 year old daughter probably could care less if the plaster isn't pristine. She just wants to swim! However, our pool doesn't get warm until around June, but that's another problem.

The fact that I've gone this far, I just feel like I'd be cheating myself if I didn't go the extra mile and get some new plaster installed. I would at least want to firm up the compromised spots with some hydraulic cement - but that would probably stick out like a sore thumb. It's not like I have cash I'm itching to spend, either. I imagine that it would cost over $2,500 to hire someone to do it. I figure I can buy the Diamond Brite for around $1K and some tools for $400. If I could save $1K by doing the labor myself and have the satisfaction of knowing I did it myself, that would be a win. Or maybe I could hire someone that does this for a living to help me after hours on the weekend. Decisions, decisions.
 

blakeusa

In The Industry
Jul 8, 2010
576
Ashford, CT
The crack does not seem bad.
You can grind down and patch the area around your return or jet with a few different products.
Diamond Brite (is a plaster and needs to be done over a few hours) and immediately filled with water to cure. The pressure and h20 makes it cure.
Not really a DYI project.
That bubbler may just be full of dirt/muck so your pressure washing may take care of it.. or try blowing air into your spa with a compressor or shop vac and see
if you have air coming out of those holes.. my guess is that they are small holes say 1/4 inch + and could just be plugged up.

I would acid wash, fix or patch the small areas to preserve the existing plaster coating -- fill and swim.

Another day if you want to refinish the pool it will be there..

B
 

kri5tian

Well-known member
Jun 13, 2016
62
Palm Harbor, Florida
Well, the Mrs. says that, since I've come this far, we might as well get the pool plastered. I'm adamant about not wanting to pay retail - heck, they probably even charge more for the Diamond Brite, which I can get online for around $20/80lb bag. Ideally, I want to find someone that does this for a living and asking if I could pay them in cash to help me on a weekend. The problem is finding someone. I understand that this is hard work, but I'm no stranger to hard work. I guess I'll continue reading up. I have a million questions - like, should I acid wash before I chip out?...stuff like that. I also don't understand why the Diamond Brite has to be applied during the same day. It seems weird to me that you cannot let one section harden, then come back the next day and finish another section. Maybe that is best practice, but good grief - I find it hard to believe that, if an emergency arises and a company has to stop the application just before finishing, they must return another day and chip out all the plaster and start all over again.
 

pooldv

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Aug 10, 2012
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Yeah, I'm not sure. If you open his thread and click his user name it will be there if you can see it.
 

kri5tian

Well-known member
Jun 13, 2016
62
Palm Harbor, Florida
OK guys. I have decided to put off re-plastering until the winter if I'm going to do it myself. This will give me many months to research and allow me to take my sweet time whenever I start. Tomorrow I will acid wash and Sunday I will try to do some patching of the many bad spots. QUESTIONS: can someone recommend a plaster from Home Depot or Lowes? And can I use that same plaster to go around my light cord in the niche to stop that leak, or would you recommend a different product (like silicone ?)? I've seen these rubber plugs that you put around the cord and then push up the hole, but I don't trust that! Thanks guys!
 

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