AquaBright Ecofinish--Alternative to Acid Washing

xyz

Gold Supporter
Sep 8, 2016
641
Escondido/CA
Interesting thought. I might turn it down to 10% and see what happens. Probably going to be too cold soon to matter. Pool gets down to 70 at night now, so another month and I'm likely to turn off the SWG.
 

Swampwoman

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 27, 2012
3,835
Grand Rapids, MI
Just wanted to say GORGEOUS color!

I had to search high and low for a liner that would create that tone in sun this summer (found it in Reef by Kafko, only avail in Canada so imported it.)

Crazy question for Brian and future reference to other posters...is it only applicable in gunnite/concrete pools? Or does it form a barrier that could retrofit a liner pool?

Also, I have friends who epoxy paint their pools up here in Michigan every few years it seems, and complain about it ;) What kind of cost per SF and longevity could someone expect from this finish as an alternative?
 

bdavis466

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
Aug 4, 2014
5,529
San Clemente, CA
Depending on the construction of the vinyl liner pool, AquaBright could certainly be used. Pools with a concrete floor and metal walls have been done. I've been told that the seams between the panels and transition to the concrete end up looking like they were originally one piece.

In full disclosure I've never seen a vinyl liner pool in my entire life so I don't know that I'm the best reference. I do know that I've seen it done. I'll look for a picture.

This is not an inexpensive product and should be considered in the same regards as the high end plaster finishes. It is not comparable to paint in any way.

For a new construction pool, the pool must first be plastered and then the AquaBright is applied over the top of the plaster. This is by far the most expensive route since you'd basically be paying for 2 interior finishes. What you do get is a smooth and durable surface that will not mottle, discolor, roughen up or have adverse side effects from typical pool chemicals/chemistry.

I have a plaster contractor that I use exclusively that I was a little hesitant to show the AquaBright to. He was blown away at how smooth and uniform the surface was. I have a pool I'll be doing next week that is new construction with marker tiles, plaster and then AquaBright applied to the pool, spa and two separate water features in two different colors. There will also be two mosaics done with stencils that I'll be making. The plaster guy said he's interested enough that he'll be there for the entire process.

In regards to longevity, I don't really know. I saw two pools on the east coast that were 10 years old and they looked new. There are installers offering a lifetime warranty on the finish which probably says something for their confidence in the long-term durability.
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
17,744
Tucson, AZ
Pool Size
16000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Interesting thought. I might turn it down to 10% and see what happens. Probably going to be too cold soon to matter. Pool gets down to 70 at night now, so another month and I'm likely to turn off the SWG.

I don't have an acid dosing system and don't really want to bother installing one as I can typically get away with 10 days or so between acid doses. So manual dosing is not a bother to me. I was interested in how the aquaBright performs in terms of natural pH creep. My fill water TA is over 100ppm with a pH that averages 8.0. In an aquaBright pool, that and my two sources of aeration would be where all of my pH creep comes from.
 

swimcmp

In The Industry
Nov 8, 2011
1,091
Moberly,MO
I have done a galvanized steel wall and won't do another. Rust wants to cause bulges between the galvanized steel and the aquabright. I have retrofitted a Ft. Wayne polymer wall and that wasn't a good idea as the polymer won't take the constant heat. The new plaster finishes that we have covered has been fine.

In about a month we will be starting a onlyAlpha wall with a concrete floor then doing aquabrite.
 

xyz

Gold Supporter
Sep 8, 2016
641
Escondido/CA
I don't have an acid dosing system and don't really want to bother installing one as I can typically get away with 10 days or so between acid doses. So manual dosing is not a bother to me. I was interested in how the aquaBright performs in terms of natural pH creep. My fill water TA is over 100ppm with a pH that averages 8.0. In an aquaBright pool, that and my two sources of aeration would be where all of my pH creep comes from.

Short answer is, not much creep when I target 7.6.

last time I checked, my TA was 130. I'm keeping TA high to avoid a highly negative CSI. Ive got my intelliPH set fairly low (20%) and will have to lower it soon as my PH is drifting slowly down, which again, I don't want (don't want severe negative CSI). I'll try to remember to measure and report my TA.

In a more general sense, for some reason, the Aquabright seems to be far easier to Lee stable. My guess is, since you can't dissolve it with acid, and you can't deposit and then rediscover calcium, metal, etc, you are not fighting the water AND the surface. You need only worry about the water.

My my guess is, people with Liner pools probably don't worry as much, nor need to worry as much about PH too.

I still have have tile and grout, heaters, metal lights, SWG, etc, so I still need to keep CSI slightly negative, but it seems easier to do with Aquabright than with plaster.

I'll also say my (now unemployed by me) pool guy had the PH up so high all the time that I had lots of calcium deposits, and nodules, so it may be that a properly kept up plaster pool would be easy too.

But ridiculously clear water, and super easy to keep it that way is what I'm enjoying now.
 

Swampwoman

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 27, 2012
3,835
Grand Rapids, MI
^excellent news re your trouble-free finish ;)

Thanks Brian and Swimcmp for the info. Makes sense. I checked out the site to learn more and will keep it in mind when my concrete pal complains about aging to paint the pool again ;) There seem to be a plethora of old concrete pools in my neck of the woods ;)
 

swimcmp

In The Industry
Nov 8, 2011
1,091
Moberly,MO
The onlyAlpha Evolution series wall is a composite wall. It isn't steel wrapped in fiberglass. I have a couple of sample wall panels and have sprayed them myself and it takes the heat without warping, even without any backfill material to take the heat from the wall.
 

xyz

Gold Supporter
Sep 8, 2016
641
Escondido/CA
Just wanted to say GORGEOUS color!

I had to search high and low for a liner that would create that tone in sun this summer (found it in Reef by Kafko, only avail in Canada so imported it.)

Crazy question for Brian and future reference to other posters...is it only applicable in gunnite/concrete pools? Or does it form a barrier that could retrofit a liner pool?

Also, I have friends who epoxy paint their pools up here in Michigan every few years it seems, and complain about it ;) What kind of cost per SF and longevity could someone expect from this finish as an alternative?

Thanks. I was worried it would be too dark for me with one light. But the samples look darker than th end result.
 

Enjoying this content?

Support TFP with a donation.

Give Support

xyz

Gold Supporter
Sep 8, 2016
641
Escondido/CA
I have now now used about 3/4 gal of MA Since AquaBright was installed. Cool! But now I think I will empty it, and replace MA with h2o. Who would have guessed so little acid use?

Water is super clear, CSI is a bit too negative for my taste (-0.4) but harmless. Water is in the mid 50s.

Another Picture, cause we like pictures! :)

An old quote/joke that I can't remember the source: "A real man never solves problems with discussion that can be solved with a flame thrower."


IMG_0079.JPG
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
17,744
Tucson, AZ
Pool Size
16000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
An old quote/joke that I can't remember the source: "A real man never solves problems with discussion that can be solved with a flame thrower."


View attachment 55898

Anyone who knows Brian knows that his REAL motivation for becoming an AquaBright installer is because he really just wanted to add the flame-thrower to his shed full of tools....but honestly, who can blame him.

Nice job on the acid use. I say keep it running since you'll want to see what a full season of acid demand looks like. You can always cut your acid in half with water to run the IPH longer.
 

bdavis466

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
Aug 4, 2014
5,529
San Clemente, CA
I have now now used about 3/4 gal of MA Since AquaBright was installed. Cool! But now I think I will empty it, and replace MA with h2o. Who would have guessed so little acid use?

Water is super clear, CSI is a bit too negative for my taste (-0.4) but harmless. Water is in the mid 50s.

Another Picture, cause we like pictures! :)

An old quote/joke that I can't remember the source: "A real man never solves problems with discussion that can be solved with a flame thrower.

That is pretty consistent with what I've seen in other's pools as well. It really goes to show that plaster does have a huge contribution to acid demand.

Anyone who knows Brian knows that his REAL motivation for becoming an AquaBright installer is because he really just wanted to add the flame-thrower to his shed full of tools....but honestly, who can blame him.

Nice job on the acid use. I say keep it running since you'll want to see what a full season of acid demand looks like. You can always cut your acid in half with water to run the IPH longer.

I was only trying to impress you...
 

Paulette

LifeTime Supporter
Nov 10, 2015
105
Eagle Point Oregon
This has been great to read. Thank you so much for all the great info. We had a pool built and finished about two years ago. Plaster is Quartzscape and they did a horrible job. This will be something to look into. Hope there is someone in Oregon. That could be an issue, pool installers not very good here. Please keep us all posted on how you are doing with this product!!! Looks just beautiful!!!!
 

xyz

Gold Supporter
Sep 8, 2016
641
Escondido/CA
OK, update after a few more months. So far so good. I've got my IPH turned down to about 3%. I pretty much don't do anything but check the FC and PH, and it seems to be sitting still, despite the daily temp of 80+.

SWG is set higher that I'd have guessed, [60%] for ~8 hours. That keeps my FC at around 6, and that has kept it looking remarkably clear. Like almost fake clear. Lots and lots of junk from all the spring stuff, and even more than usual because it rained a lot this winter. That is now subsiding.

I added a little Calcium, which seems to have lowered my acid demand. I think I may be able to get rid of the IPH all together.


In terms of color [someone was asking], this is a great color. It is bright during the day, blue, and ultra blue at night with only one Pentair LED light [set to blue]. It is not very different from a white plaster pool during the day.

Had I to do this all over again, I'd choose the French gray. I think it would add even more of a rich look to it, and would not be too dark at night.

If you choose the really light blue, I believe it will act just about exactly the same as white plaster. Your pool will look like it is nearly pure white. [so of course the water will look blue as every white pool does].

Anyway, Pool is as nice as the day I filled it, and maintenance is super low. The robot scrubs most of the edges every day, I scrub once a week, and clean the robot/skimmer once a week. That is pretty much it. Tweak the FC level once in a while.
 

bdavis466

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
Aug 4, 2014
5,529
San Clemente, CA
That's great to hear and I'm glad it's been working out!

Calcium shouldn't have changed the acid demand though? How high did you raise it?
 

bdavis466

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
Aug 4, 2014
5,529
San Clemente, CA
That will help with calcium levels but you are just trading one problem for another... the softened water probably has around 200-300 ppm of salt so you will ultimately end up draining because your salt levels get too high.

The best option to limit calcium hardness from rising is to limit evaporation. This is even more important now that you have solar heating and your water will be warmer than the ambient air most of the day...add a little wind in the mix and you may not have any water left. Its a simple solution but a shame that pool covers are so ugly. I just can't do it :brickwall:

I think in the Southwest, dumping the pool every few years is just a way of life. I know I am due for a drain as my calcium level is nearing 1200.
 

Enjoying this content?

Support TFP with a donation.

Give Support
Thread Status
Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
It can take a long time to get an up-to-date response or contact with relevant users.