ecoFINISH aquaBRIGHT longterm review

kevbrim

Well-known member
Feb 2, 2016
45
Flower Mound, TX
So I’ve had several people sending private messages about how I like the ecoFINISH aquaBRIGHT coating on our pool. Since there seems to be so little information out there on people’s opinions or experiences with the product, I thought that I would start a long term review thread. I’ll try to update the thread on at least a quarterly basis and answer questions as they may arise. You can go to our original pool build thread here.

What is Aquabright? In short it is a thermo plastic resin that is sprayed over the plaster coating of a gunite pool.
1. Gunite goes in.
2. Plaster covers Gunite
3. 2 coats of sticky resin are rolled on the entire plaster surface with paint rollers. (This helps the first coat of aqua bright adhere)
4. 2-3 coats of aqua bright are sprayed onto the coating. It melts into one solid coating over the entire pool.
5. Fill the pool, balance water, swim immediately. No need for start up process.

Here are some of the benefits from the company aquabright website

Plaster has its own set of issues, in the form of a long and complicated start-up process (Hot-Start), as well as staining, shrinking, and cracking problems. aquaBRIGHT was scientifically developed to present a solution to these aquatic finish problems. The long-lasting thermo-polymer finish, aquaBRIGHT is the wave of the future.
Color Uniformity
Compared to colored masonry finishes, aquaBRIGHT has a more uniform color across the entire swimming pool and as the pool ages, the installation of an aquaBRIGHT finish will not "mottle" or fade in larger blotchy clouds.
No Hot Start
Looking for a colored aquatic finish? Colored masonry coatings typically require a two week start up process called a "Low alkalinity burn" or a "Hot Start." The process normally involves your pool company pouring muriatic acid into your pool to burn the leaching calcium off the curing masonry. Since aquaBRIGHT is a durable, plastic finish, it does not require any caustic or complicated start up process after installation. We call our start up process "Balance and Swim".
Chemical Resistant, pH neutral
When did owning a pool mean that you need a degree in chemistry? Old timers used to treat their pools with two things chlorine and muriatic acid. Unlike masonry finishes, the non-porous, smooth and pH neutral aquaBRIGHT finish won't counter balance with your swimming pool's water chemistry. We're not saying with the installation of aquaBRIGHT that you'll only need chlorine and acid, but due to the nature of plastic, you'll spend much less time balancing your water chemistry and more time enjoying your pool with your family.


Here are two videos of the application process in our pool



 

kevbrim

Well-known member
Feb 2, 2016
45
Flower Mound, TX
Why did I choose aquaBright?
I was primarily interested in the long term benefits of this final finish vs a traditional plaster coating. The big problem with the traditional plaster is that it is chemically active with your pool water. If you don't keep your chemistry correct you can damage the plaster. Plaster generally has a life span of a decade give or take some years.

Since the aquaBright is an inert plastic resin it is not chemically active with the pool water and it has a longer expected lifespan. It has a 100% warranty in years 1-5 and then gradually prorated to 50% by year 10. Lifespan should be much longer that a plaster pool. My personal opinion is that is should easily surpass the lifespan of traditional plaster or fiberglass pools.

Would I choose it again?
Granted it is only about 6 months old at this point and no problems have arisen. Yes absolutely I would choose it again.

Would you do anything different?
Yes.
The resin starts out as a powder. When it first goes on its pretty rough. The longer they apply the heat, the more the individual pieces of resin melt together and the smoother the finish becomes. Generally they will heat the material up enough until the finish becomes like an orange peel. They gave us the option of leaving the beach entry/sun deck a little rougher than the rest of the pool. I choose to do this thinking it would help prevent slips in that area. In hindsight I would have made the beach entry the same smoothness as the rest of the pool. The orange peel finish has plenty of grip to it. The rougher beach entry feels just fine on feet, but if you lay on it, its a little rough for belly or back.
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
15,850
Tucson, AZ
Thank you for starting this thread! Independent and unbiased reviews help everyone out. It certainly is an interesting product and we'll all be interested in seeing how it performs in your pool.

Best wishes.
 

kevbrim

Well-known member
Feb 2, 2016
45
Flower Mound, TX
I"LL BE EDITING THIS POST WITH RUNNING Maintenance/upkeep.

I have found maintenance on this pool to be very easy. I think the combination of a Salt Water Generator with the inert pool finish is what makes is so easy. When it was brand new I was testing every few days and I've gradually expanded out my testing to about once every two weeks. The water chemistry is just that stable. I think in large part to the inactivity of the finish with the pool water.

Pool fill date: Feb 27, 2016
It took a few weeks to get the chemistry where I wanted it. Since then this is what I've added.

Total chemicals added since Start up balancing was complete (1 year 1 months time)

Muriatic Acid: 5 cups
CYA: 5 lbs


3/26/2016 Added 4 ounces of Muriatic Acid
5/27/2016 Added 1 lb. CYA
7/3/2016 Added 6 ounces of Muriatic Acid and added 4 lb. CYA (I think the summer heat really did a number on my CYA)
8/14/2016 Added 2 pints of Muriatic Acid
11/21/2016 Added 40 lbs. Salt
3/19/2017 Added 6 ounces pH up / added CYA


RUNNING TOTAL of lifetime chemicals added. Last updated 3/19/2017 (1 year + 1 month)
MA = 7 cups
CYA = 6 lbs
CH = 6 lbs
CH = 4-6 lbs
NaHCO3 = 6 oz
Salt = 40 lbs
 

bdavis466

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
Aug 4, 2014
5,013
San Clemente, CA
Those chemical additions are incredible...5 cups of acid in 6 months?! Granted your pool volume is relatively low but I add over 5 cups of acid in 2 days.

Thanks for the info. Please keep us posted.
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
11,494
Evans, Georgia
We occasionally read on TFP of folks who are having to repair their fiberglass pools. I wonder if this product could ever be used to refinish a fiberglass pool that might have damage?

addendum: Ooops, just saw some videos on Youtube. This product looks amazing for all types of pool's refinishing!
 

bdavis466

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
Aug 4, 2014
5,013
San Clemente, CA
It is actually used to repair new fiberglass pools that were cracked during transit or installation and is a great option for resurfacing. Several waterparks are also using EcoFinish products on their fiberglass waterslides because it withstands the constant abuse much better.
 

mrd5

LifeTime Supporter
May 15, 2014
37
Vienna, VA
Just to share, I'm in the process of getting replaster quotes and the Aqua Bright approach is VERY intriguing to me. Yesterday the AB installer stopped by to survey our pool and I'm waiting to hear his final numbers to see how they compare with the replaster companies.

If the price for the AB isn't outrageous, I'm probably going with that approach. While I usually shy away from something that is new, I really like the AB concept.

I'll circle back to share with the group.
-Mike
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
15,850
Tucson, AZ
Just to share, I'm in the process of getting replaster quotes and the Aqua Bright approach is VERY intriguing to me. Yesterday the AB installer stopped by to survey our pool and I'm waiting to hear his final numbers to see how they compare with the replaster companies.

If the price for the AB isn't outrageous, I'm probably going with that approach. While I usually shy away from something that is new, I really like the AB concept.

I'll circle back to share with the group.
-Mike
Any update on the quote you got from the AB installer? Would be interested to know if you went that route or not.
 

bdavis466

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
Aug 4, 2014
5,013
San Clemente, CA
Equal to or possibly less since you aren't paying to chip out and haul off the debris. It really is a great option for remodels.

On new pools the pricing ends up being comparable to high end quartz and pebble finishes.

Pricing is difficult to know for sure because it varies so much in different regions. Here in California, plaster is very cheap and some installers are applying pebble finishes for what just the AquaBright materials cost me. With that said, there are a lot of poor quality jobs since cost is a bigger factor than quality and longevity.
 

bdavis466

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
Aug 4, 2014
5,013
San Clemente, CA
Acid wash, pressure wash, 2 coats of a specially formulated concrete epoxy and then the flame thrower of death comes out for a minimum of 3 passes of material.
 

bdavis466

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
Aug 4, 2014
5,013
San Clemente, CA
Sorry Matt, my nomex chonies were in the laundry. Here is my best stinkbug impression though

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I'll get a pic of the color matched drain covers. First ones ever done with AquaBright!
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
41,259
Tallahassee, FL
LOVE the professional shoe-ware LOL In all seriousness I would think you need to at least wear long, fire gloves just in case you need to grab the metal part of the hose.

Kim:kim: