EcoFinish Pool wall questions

STLPool2017

Bronze Supporter
Aug 22, 2017
71
Saint Louis, Missouri
Just a quick update that the "main" Pool contractor is draining the pool again for the 3rd time on Wednesday and then the main Pool Contractor and the "ecoFinish" sub-contractor owners will come and get into the pool to inspect the blisters and staining issues on the fiberglass walls and the staining in the seams along with the other items I have listed. It has taken all summer and this is the third draining but hopefully they will have plan to address these issues. After Thursday I will post an update on the progress.
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
18,592
Tucson, AZ
Pool Size
16000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Thanks for the update. Lets hope the old saying "third time's a charm" comes true... ?
 

STLPool2017

Bronze Supporter
Aug 22, 2017
71
Saint Louis, Missouri
I have to stay positive that some day it will get fixed.....for good, otherwise, what is my choice? If this goes another month at least it will have the cover over it....

Of course, I am going to be in the pool with them every minute on Thursday.....stay tune!
 

STLPool2017

Bronze Supporter
Aug 22, 2017
71
Saint Louis, Missouri
Today the work begins again. The main contractor guys drained the pool and got started right away on opening up the bubbles and some of the stain areas so they can assess the issues. Its a real mess. No answers yet from the Service Manager (he stopped by) on how it will get fixed. Since they are not the ecoFinish contractor I think they are struggling with the proper solution too. The ecoFinish sub-contractor is suppose to come out tomorrow to take a look at it. As a reminder, I will have a complete postmortem of this project with my assessment of the pro's and con's going with the ecoFinish / AquaBright process when I think we are done. Come back tomorrow to see the next steps.

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STLPool2017

Bronze Supporter
Aug 22, 2017
71
Saint Louis, Missouri
Well, they drained the pool on Wednesday and immediately started to cut out the bubbles on the ecoFinish fiberglass walls. The main contractor and the ecoFinish sub-contractor owners came out on Thursday to inspect the pool. They saw all the issues that I have described in previous posts and the main contractor owner again express his commitment to getting the pool fixed but both owners are still at a loss of words on how all this happened or even what to do to fix the issues. I gave them the list of suggestions that I have gotten off of this website along with other sites but they still claim that the bonding material and epoxy that they have used in the past works. They talked about doing that again but when I asked how they can expect different results by doing the exact same thing that seemed to stopped that idea. The main contractor now is going to consult with a fiberglass expert on how to repair these holes that they created. He said that may take weeks so the pool is done for the season and even if they get something done to "fix" it we may not know if it worked until next spring when we open the pool up again. So now all I can do is look at the hole in the yard along with the disappointed frogs that are wondering where their pond went.

If I get any news from the experimental fixes in October I will post the results.....
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STLPool2017

Bronze Supporter
Aug 22, 2017
71
Saint Louis, Missouri
Quick update......my main contractor has been doing a lot of research on the epoxy that he used on the fiberglass walls (I believe recommended by the ecoFinish folks) and found out that it was a low density epoxy that has air and fillers that when exposed to high heat could pop. He found this out by finding a company in Michigan that produces all kinds of epoxy for marine products. He spoke with their head of Technical Develop and he suggest a type of high density epoxy along with a carbon type filler that could take the 800 degree application process that comes from using the ecoFinish heat gun applicator. He also said it would work well on vertical wall panels and could be sanded (although not easily) to be flush with the surface. Additionally, he stated that the fiberglass patch kits they sell, and of which my contractor used, are low density epoxy and has air and fillers that, when heated, could pop. This is what happened on the patches in my pool and is why the internal epoxy ran after the application. The high density application will not have the air inside and thus won’t heat and expand like the low density models.

My main pool contractor is now applying the new higher density epoxy and it looks much better but the REAL test will be when the ecoFinish application heat gun is used to put the finish on the pool. Will it hold up???? Nobody is for sure. Also, for all the patches that didn't pop in the first application, can they withstand another dose of the heat???? The sub-contractor is talking about using the new hand heat gun they just got for smaller repairs but when you look at my pool, there is a whole lot of "smaller" repairs that have to have a new coating of ecoFinish. They are also using the new epoxy to smooth out the ledge between my coping and the top of the fiberglass panels before they re-spray those areas. and of course, last but not least, is the issue with the fiberglass wall seams that looked stained and felt like caulking because the VM caulking that was applied to the seams came through the ecoFinish during the heating process. They think that keeping the heat gun a little further away will keep the VM caulking from leaching out onto the top of the ecoFinish finish. Wow, a lot of if's, maybe's and "let's try this" discussions but hey, at least the main pool contractor is trying to fix the problems.

Here are some of the latest pictures....and of course if ANYONE has some ideas or suggestions on any of these issues, I would love to hear from you!

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STLPool2017

Bronze Supporter
Aug 22, 2017
71
Saint Louis, Missouri
Latest update from a meeting with the main contractor and the sub-contractor (ecoFinish installer) on Friday, Oct 20th. The work is progressing on filling in the spots with the new epoxy system. It's called the "West System" with 105 Epoxy Resin, 206 Hardner and 406 Colloidal Silica Adhesive Filler. According to the contractors it is made to withstand over 800 degree temperatures and should withstand the ecoFinish application process. The contractors also talked about how to address the fiberglass seams and the rust and stains that were coming through during the first two times they applied the ecoFinish. They decided to use the new epoxy products to seal up the seams and hope that the pool walls don't flex to much when the pool is filled. Amazingly, the ecoFinish sub-contractor installed said the he had talked to the parent company of ecoFinish about what to do with the fiberglass problems we were having and ecoFinish told him that their product was NOT tested on fiberglass pools and that they had no advice to give. They said their ecoFinish tests were on plaster pools only. Wow, this was the first time I heard this anywhere. Has anyone else hear this before about fiberglass pools and ecoFinish?????

Anyway, the repairs are still going on this week and they hope to try to re-shoot the ecoFinish later next week or so, weather permitting. Its, getting colder here in the Midwest with temps getting down into the 30's later this week. It's going to be close on getting this project done before we have to cover the pool. AS usual, I will keep everyone updated as things develop.
 
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Silver_2000

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Nov 29, 2015
580
Carrollton tx
plaster has the ability to deal with the heat better due to the thermal mass of the plaster and the gunnite behind it

Fiberglass is a thin shell
It will react to heat totally different

Im impressed they admitted the issue about fiberglass
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
18,592
Tucson, AZ
Pool Size
16000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
I don’t think fiberglass is the issue here. I think the main problem is the fact that this was a fiberglass panel cement floor hybrid pool. The panels had, by your own account, some significant problems (holes, etc) and the individual panels create joints that are normally filled with a rubber gasket. On a typical continuos fiberglass pool shell, I would not see AquaBright as a problem.

Unfortunately I think your pool renovation was the guinea pig/beta-test pool by a pool builder that had little practical experience with AquaBright. So now what your seeing is everyone playing the cover my a__ game to avoid looking foolish.

A pool renovation such as yours should have been thought through much more carefully by both the PB and the ecoFinish installer. Clearly that was not the case....

Glad to hear they are making you whole on this! You’ve certainly been through the wringer and I bet the PB will think twice before he engages in another hybrid pool renovation job.
 

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STLPool2017

Bronze Supporter
Aug 22, 2017
71
Saint Louis, Missouri
Let me clarify a couple of things about my pool. I had no holes or big issues with the pool other than the plaster floor needed to be re-done. I did have some hard small bump-outs on some of the fiberglass walls but they had been there for the last 10 years. The main contractor said he could sand those off before the ecoFinish was installed and everything would look great. Clearly, he didn't know what he was talking about and openned up a can of worms.

As to the sub-contractor (ecoFinish installer), when I called the parent company of ecoFinish and talked with the General Manager way back in April, he told me that this ecoFinish installer was one of their BEST installers in the country and had done more pools than most installers (but I am guessing that they were more plaster only pools). So I don't know why they are having this problem other than lack of experience with fiberglass.

Everyone is trying to get this pool fixed and spending a lot of time and money (more than what they were paid) to get to a point that it looks good. Only time will tell if they are successful but I think the comment that the parent company of ecoFinish is distancing themselves from this is also clearly showing that ecoFinish is still untested on fiberglass walls/pools.

The panels had said:
cover my a__[/I] game to avoid looking foolish.
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
17,620
Evans, Georgia
Well this is concerning to me because in the back of my mind, if ever my fiberglass pool needed refinishing, I was going to immediately call in Ecobright folks.

I hope in 15-20 years when I need it it will have the kinks worked out. My fingers crossed!

Maddie :flower:
 

STLPool2017

Bronze Supporter
Aug 22, 2017
71
Saint Louis, Missouri
Yes, this has been a very troubling process with an unknown ending to it. We are so much into the fall with temps dipping into the 30's on some nights that we will be lucky to get the new ecoFinish on the pool before we have to close it for the season. I am afraid that we may have to wait until spring to see what kind of surprise we find when we remove the pool cover. I am still hopeful (but what other choice do I have) that this will all work out however if I knew what I know now back in October 2016 I would have just re-plastered the floor and not gone this this headache. I will keep providing updates as I learn more on fixing this pool but if anyone with fiberglass sides or a full fiberglass pool is thinking of putting ecoFinish / aquBright over it, I would think twice about it at this point because of the lack of backing by the parent company of ecoFinish on fiberglass.
 

kekin

Member
Aug 11, 2015
23
cumming, ga
Just know we are here rooting for you and hoping that this gets fixed. I'm interested in seeing if the ecofinish company backs their product. I'm sure a lot of people who are considering this product are waiting to see what happens.
 

STLPool2017

Bronze Supporter
Aug 22, 2017
71
Saint Louis, Missouri
Thank you for your kind words and support. Today I looked at all the fiberglass seams that were filled with the new epoxy filler and one of them is already showing a hairline crack. I sent a picture of it to the main contractor and he told me that the sub-contractor will put a very small amount of the VM caulking over the hairline crack and then coat it over with the ecoFinish. They are hoping that the weather is good enough to apply the ecoFinish later next week or at least in the next 10 days. Stay tuned.......
 

craigskier

New member
May 31, 2018
1
St Louis, Mo
Hello STLPool2017. I am sad to hear all the issues your are having because I have the exact same pool as you. I am in St Charles and my pool was also built in the 80s. I am sure we both have the same pool. We too are having the hard round bumps on the wall panels and need the bottom re-plastered. We also were looking at the ecoFinish with then sanding down the bumps. We do like the look and feel of the ecoFinish but it may not me the right product for our walls. Unless the last "fix" worked with the better epoxy we will look at something else for the walls. One question is how did the ecoFinish work on the plaster part of the pool?
 

STLPool2017

Bronze Supporter
Aug 22, 2017
71
Saint Louis, Missouri
Well, I am picking up where I left off in October of 2017 with the ecoFinish horror story. Since signing a contract with P*** P*** of St. L**** back in October of 2016 its been nothing but trouble. You can go back and look at all the trials and tribulations in my previous posts but the new story is my main pool renovation contractor and H***** P*** & S**, the sub-contractor that has the exclusive rights to handle ecoFinish in the St. Louis area, are in complete disagreement on fixing my pool after all the problems they both caused. The bottom line is that the ecoFinish sub-contractor installer is refusing to do the final re-shoot after the main contractor fixed all the problems. Ironically, its only my pool that is not getting done. They both still are in partnership with the my main contractor marketing the ecoFinish product on his website and then sub-contracting the work to the "authorized" ecoFinish installer. What a racket.

Here is how my pool looks now and my questions to the Trouble Free folks and other ecoFinish installers is how do I get that ecoFinish junk off of my pool? Has anyone reversed the process to take that plastic finish off of fiberglass and concrete? Without the ecoFinish installer wanting to finish the job (he already was paid by the main pool contractor) where do I go from here????

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Repairs made by main Pool contractor back in Oct 2017 with the ecoFinish installer approval, now the ecoFinish installer doesn't want to be involved anymore and is too busy getting new business.


It has been suggested to me that I should look at a custom made vinyl insert for my in-ground pool now that it is messed up. Can anyone tell me their experience with vinyl inserts? The main contractor is suggesting that but isn't that a cheaper process than the ecoFinish process. He has most of the money for doing the ecoFinish process and I want to know if we go the vinyl insert process should I be asking for some money back? Any thoughts would be welcome. We are halfway through the pool season and my 13 year old is losing heart that he will ever get to swim in this pool again.


 

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JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
18,592
Tucson, AZ
Pool Size
16000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Just a comment but, given the nature of the epoxy layer that sits between the ecoFinish and the fiberglass, there’s no way it’s coming off without a ton of back-breaking grinding work. In my totally novice opinion, a customer vinyl liner with a new track installed under the coping, is about the only way I see you getting a pool. A vinyl liner, if well cared for can last more than 10 years.

Sorry for your situation. It sounds like you’re dealing with lousy pool contractors.
 

STLPool2017

Bronze Supporter
Aug 22, 2017
71
Saint Louis, Missouri
Thank you for your comments. I think the vinyl liner is the only option I have other than bulldozing the pool under. I just think putting a vinyl liner in is a lower quality option and I worry that it will lower the value of the pool.
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
17,620
Evans, Georgia
A filled in useless pool is surely a lesser value than a vinyl lined one.

A solid colored vinyl liner can look very nice, IMO. Avoid the printed water line "tile" on vinyl and it can look very classy.

Maddie :flower:
 

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