Closing on a house with badly stained pool

Nickmpower

Well-known member
Oct 31, 2014
146
Bay Area, California
#1
See the picture attached.

To me the color looks like they are organic but it covers a large portion of the whole pool. The pool does use copper pipes and the owner "maintains" the water himself.

What do you guys think? Buy jacks stain ID kit?

I think the pool is pretty old but the plaster appears to be in good shape, besides the staining obviously.

UPDATE: Ok so they said it wasn't painted. They also said that the neighbor said that the pool was drained and refinished in the 80's, and the pool was originally installed in the 60's!!!
 

pooladdict

TFP Guide
In The Industry
May 14, 2007
819
New Brunswick Canada
#3
IF it has copper pipes its almost guaranteed metal staining. Drop a Vit C tab on it and it should come white in a very short time. If it is metal, then the copper could be causing the issue and I believe it will continue to cause it if the Ph elevates the slightest.
 

Nickmpower

Well-known member
Oct 31, 2014
146
Bay Area, California
#4
No heater, used to be some solar panels on the roof (could see in google maps) but they are gone now, guess they started leaking and the owner took them down.

I think the plaster is more than 10-15 years old but seems to be in good condition besides the stains. If I can get the stains out and make it a couple more seasons that would be great.

By my estimation the pool is 20,000 gallons or less.

- - - Updated - - -

IF it has copper pipes its almost guaranteed metal staining. Drop a Vit C tab on it and it should come white in a very short time. If it is metal, then the copper could be causing the issue and I believe it will continue to cause it if the Ph elevates the slightest.
The previous owner has rent back for about 2 months after closing, should I try and deal with it before I move in? I'm guessing it has been this way for a long time.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
12,826
#7
It kind of looks like the pool had been painted and most of the paint has come off. Has the pool ever been painted? Try rubbing your hand on the walls to see if you get white residue on your hand.

Can you post a full set of chemistry readings?

What history can you get?
 

Nickmpower

Well-known member
Oct 31, 2014
146
Bay Area, California
#8
I vigorously rubbed one of the stains on the wall with my hand and I don't remember any white residue on my hand. There was a touch of cloudiness in the water though, in the few inches around where I was rubbing it. Stain didn't budge.

I will try and get some history. The owners are neglectful idiots
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
12,826
#9
The whiter areas look like paint. The darker areas look like old stained/dirty plaster where the paint has worn away.

I would suspect that the pool had been painted a few years ago as an inexpensive alternative to doing a replaster. The water does seem to have a greenish tint that could be from copper.

Try rubbing the lighter areas to see if white paint comes off on your hand. The cloudiness that you saw previously could have been from paint or from deteriorating plaster.

If possible, ask the previous owners for a list of everyone they have used to service the pool. Then contact the people/companies to see what they can tell you.

What equipment does the pool have? Pumps, filter, chlorinator, heater etc.?
 

Nickmpower

Well-known member
Oct 31, 2014
146
Bay Area, California
#10
The pool owner does the service themselves, and judging by how handy they were with other aspects of the house they suck at it.

No heater, single speed pump for circulation, separate pump for cleaning robot (which is no where to be found), filter is a old hayward model I think but I dont know the type/condition. I was planning on replacing all that stuff with variable pump and new Hayward Preflex DE filter.
 

Nickmpower

Well-known member
Oct 31, 2014
146
Bay Area, California
#14
The really dark area (the grey you are referring to?) is dirt etc.

Thats going to be a bummer if it was painted but I was prepared to not be able to remedy the problem myself.

The pattern of the staining does kind of seem to have the design of a rolled on paint, or maybe chemicals poured down the walls?
 

JVTrain

TFP Expert
Feb 3, 2014
5,080
Central Minnesota
#16
I'd try the ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) tablets on the stains to test for metal staining. I'd also try putting a trichlor puck on them as well to see if they are organic.

The pattern to the staining does look a lot like paint lines...

Looks like it could be a beautiful pool with some TLC. Taking the water to the pool store could get you semi-accurate metals results or you can find a nearby environmental lab to test the water for metals. My local lab charges $45 for a water suitability test including levels for Calcium, Chloride, Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Sodium, Conductivity, Hardness, Nitrate, pH, Sulfate and Dissolved solids. Many labs will test for single metals for about $15 each.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
12,826
#19
Perhaps it would be worthwhile to get a service person for an onsite diagnosis. It's difficult to see from pictures.

Even though they say that it wasn't painted, I still think that it looks like paint.
 

Nickmpower

Well-known member
Oct 31, 2014
146
Bay Area, California
#20
I gave it the rub test, nothing on my hand. The current people have been there since 2001 and never painted it. Is there another type of paint that could have been used prior to that that wouldn't leave a residue? Said when they moved in it looked pretty similar to how it does now. The plaster is visually in great condition, except for the discoloration.

I will order a stain ID kit