Diamonbrite being installed today. IS THIS RIGHT???


LifeTime Supporter
Jun 26, 2007
SF Bay Area
cword is the original poster of this thread, which was originated and lost during the software blackout.

cword said on: Wed Jun 11, 2008 3:37 pm
The plaster crew showed up this morning. They prepped the pool and plastered the spa. But I am feeling uneasy about his method of (or rather lack thereof) of exposing the quartz in the diamondbrite. I asked him if he was going to use the water method or the acid wash method to expose the aggregates. He said he does not use either. According to him both of these methods make the plaster rough and he thinks it is better to let the crystals expose naturally. He says you just fill the pool with water and brush it every day and in a couple of weeks the crystals start to expose naturally. Is this right? I am wondering it this is just a way to cut out a step and make his job easier. His crew of 6 is coming back tomorrow to do the pool and I am wondering if I need to tell him to do an acid wash exposure before I pay him. I am sick of paying people only to find out after they leave that they did not do their job properly. They will NOT come back to fix it either, I have found that out the hard way. I know what the diamondbrite instillation instructions say. Are there any opinions on here? I will say it looks like he did a very good job in the spa today. He did go ahead and fill it with water. But..... at this point it just looks like dark grey plaster. No sparkles. This is an owner/build. Thank you for any help.

Owner/Builder- Pool under construction- Started 4/18/08
20X40 freeform 3 1/2" to 8 1/2' deep
elevated 8' spa w/ spillover
Plaster: Undecided
Pentair intelliflo
Pentair intellichlor
Pentair Mastertemp 400,000 BTU gas heater
Pentair Triton II 30" sand filter
LED (probably colorlogic) 3 in main pool and 1 in spa
Polaris 280 w/ booster pump
Control System: Still working on this Intellitouch I guess but don't know all the components I need yet.
HarryH3 said on: Wed Jun 11, 2008 7:09 pm
Tell him that he'll get paid the day that you can see the crystals.

26,000 Gallon Gunnite IGP
2.5HP Challenger High Head Pump
60sf Nautilus DE filter
Polaris 280
Titanium said on: Wed Jun 11, 2008 7:25 pm
I would never consider letting an installation crew do something contrary to the manufacturer's instructions. The only possible exception would be if the contractor was able to provide a written letter from the manufacturer approving the proposed deviation from instructions.

Tell him to follow DiamondBrite's instructions exactly, or be able to provide a letter from DiamondBrite saying his alternate method is acceptable.

The biggest problem that I see is that DiamondBrite's warranty, ineffectual as it is, will be completely null and void if DiamondBrite's instructions are not followed by the installer.

24,000 gallon inground freeform pool/spa circa 1983 (113 ft perimeter, 625 sq ft)
2007 2 HP, three-phase Hayward TriStar pump which is powered by an Ikeric VS-200 variable speed drive system
1983 Laars XE Pool/Spa Heater Type ES, 400,000 BTU
1998 Hayward Super Star-Clear C-4000 cartridge filter (400 sq ft, 4 separate cartridges) and new pressure gauge
1998 Polaris 380 pressure-side cleaner w/ 3/4 HP booster pump
One skimmer and one PoolSkim
One Supervision Galaxy LED pool lamp
Second story solar panels
350 gallon attached spill-over spa
Hayward/GoldLine AquaLogic PS4 (replaced 1983 vintage dual circuit Intermatic timer)
JasonLion said on: Wed Jun 11, 2008 8:00 pm
I have heard of this before but I never found out what the full story was. I think he is right that the surface will be smoother without the wash, but the color will be noticeably less visible/intense that way. 3M does say to do one or the other kind of wash depending on the series of Diamondbrite and the water conditions.

20K gal, vinyl, 3/4 HP pump, 18" sand filter, AutoPilot Total Control SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
TFP Moderator. Author of The Pool Calculator. Other handy links: TF Test Kits, The Stickies
billyjoeraybob said on Thu Jun 12, 2008 8:56 am
I have a slightly different view on this being the owner of a pool with a Diamondbrite finish. My builder strongly recommended against the frequent brushing. He indicated that it is very difficult for you to use even pressure on all areas of the finish when you brush it resulting in uneven color exposure. He recommended normal maintenance brushing and patience for the best results. This is what I did and by the second season the color reached its full intensity and was nice and even. Just my experience.


18' x 36' Freeform IG Gunite with 7' spa
Super Blue DiamondBrite
Pentair 1.5 hp circulation pump
Pentair 2.0 hp spa booster pump
Pentair Triton II Sand filter
Polaris 280 with booster pump
Pentair Intellichlor IC40 SWCG
Jandy Laars LX 250k btu NG heater
TF-100 test kit from http://www.tftestkits.com/
Taylor K-1766 Salt Water Test Kit


LifeTime Supporter
Mar 26, 2008
Well..... I called the SMC diamond brite home offices and spoke to Al who is suppose to be a regional manager. These guys are so vague. They do not want to give you any advice other than to say “I am only supposed to refer you to the manufactures installation instructions." When I would ask a simple question like "Your instructions do not say whether to use a brush or not using an acid wash exposure." His reply was "We intentionally keep the instructions vague, so if something goes wrong you won't blame us." He also told me I should just leave it completely to the installer and not worry about whether or not he was doing his job properly saying "You don't go to the dentist and tell him how to fix your teeth, do you?" Can you believe that! I said “Well, Dentist are not allowed to buy drugs etc that they have not been properly trained to use and if you are going to sell your products to just anyone regardless of training, then you should supply detailed instructions, offer support, and answer questions that may arise. I told him when I buy a bottle of hair die to color my hair it comes with full easy to understand instructions on how to use it properly along with a toll free number to call if I have questions! He was rude and short with me and basically told me they do not offer any support other than the “Intentionally vague” directions so if something goes wrong they cannot be blamed.
As an owner/builder I have found out the most dangerous things you can do is ASSUME that the person doing the task will do it properly. You MUST educate yourself on every task and be right there to see that it is done properly. I have spent well over $1000 fixing the mistakes made by subs that are sloppy, lazy, and/or careless; and the money is not the worst of it. The worst is the headache and worry associated with each mistake and then getting it fixed. I was very disappointed in SMC’s unwillingness to answer any questions and parrot back to me "I am only supposed to refer you to the online instructions and nothing else." He would not even tell me if it was just OK to not do any exposure and let it expose over time. Even that question got the same robot reply.
I finally gave up on Al and called back and got the number to another regional guy named Scott and while he was much more professional and not at all rude as Al was, he was not much help either. He did offer a little more advice and told me it was OK not to expose the crystals at instillation and they would expose over time. But he would give no indication whatsoever as to whether that time was weeks, months, or years. So..... I decided to ask the installer to do an acid wash as I thought what is the point in paying for Diamondbrite if you don't expose the diamonds? Grey plaster would have been a lot cheaper and if you have no sparkle, you just have grey plaster. My installer did a light acid wash. It was done in a hurry and very sloppily, and I can see some streaks down the slope, and uneven spots and blothes throughtout the pool. But he told me to stop worrying about it that with brushing over the next couple of weeks it would all even out. Maybe I should have just left it be. It looked really nice when he finished but I wanted the diamonds to show up. A couple of other people who have been out and looked at it have said there is always some streaking with an acid wash and that overall it looks good and should be just fine in a few weeks. I will keep the Ph low and brush daily and see what happens.
I suspect no one will ever notice it but me. The water will be a deep blue as plaster was French grey/onyx mix, so you probably won't even be able to see the bottom all that well. I have posted this in case it can help others who may be thinking of getting Diamond brite. There does seem to be questions about the expose process from others as well, and with the "Intentionally Vague" instructions it is going to be applied and exposed in as many different ways as there are installers.
BTW, I did ask SMC prior to hiring a plaster company if they could recommend a licensed installer in my area, and the answer was ‘NO”. The closest one was out of Florida (probably at least 6-8 hours away) and he wanted $9000 to do my pool. That is too much for Diamondbright as I could get Pebble Tec for only $500 more than that. There seems to be very few that are actually licensed by Diamond brite to install their product. They could only give me 2 names in all of Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, Louisiana, Florida. But Hey……. maybe I can buy some laughing gas from them :lol:


LifeTime Supporter
Jul 25, 2007
Alamo, CA
Wow, that company sure doesn't seem to care about customer satisfaction! I'm sorry the experience was so unpleasant, but I hope everything turns out nicely. I certainly know now who ISN'T resurfacing my pool this year, though.


LifeTime Supporter
May 11, 2007
Baton Rouge, LA

Here's what little experience i had with my Diamondbrite:

Plaster crew did acid wash. I watched, but don't remember too much about it. It seemed that once it got wet that it was difficult for them to see where they had "done" and hadn't.

The next day, with pool filled there was a streak where they had left the water hose in the pool. I talked with pb about this, and he said, "we're gonna drop the pH and brush the hell out of it with a stainless steel brush, and it will look fine."

I immediately called SMC, and they agreed that this was the right thing to do. Whoever I spoke to told me that the more I brushed it during the next few weeks, the more even and better it would look.

My pb did drop the pH (with about 12 gallons of acid), I really don't know how the low the pH got. Who do you think did the brushing? (You actually have to be present to brush a pool... and my pb wasn't really into such things that involved his time.) I tried to brush twice a day for about 2 weeks.

It turned out pretty good. It's not perfect, but its good. (Maybe not brushing would have kept it "more consistent", I dunno...)

I have no idea if the "excess plaster" would've eventually washed away as another poster noted, but it very well may.

Good luck!


LifeTime Supporter
Mar 26, 2008
Hey Steven, thanks for the first hand knowledge. Can you tell me if you had the circulation on during the period of time that you dropped the ph and were brushing? I thought it would ruin your pump etc, if you ran the pump during a no drain acid wash. How long did you leave the ph this low before you raised it back up? Thanks again.


LifeTime Supporter
May 11, 2007
Baton Rouge, LA

The Diamondbrite instructions say to circulate the water constantly during this process. This was an issue with us, as our braindead pb didn't have my equipment completely installed when he plastered. (dont even get me started...)

If it were me, I'd circulate 24/7 for the first few weeks (or more.) I don't think you'll hurt anything. Your equipment will be fine, you can clean your filter... you gotta look at that plaster a long time...

Good luck,