First post, first pool. super ROUGH plaster, please help!

I just had a pool built this summer. when it was finished, the plaster was as smooth as my two year old's feet.

Now, the plaster gets rougher and rougher every day. The pool is being maintained by the company that put it in as I have no idea how to treat a pool. It is my intention to take over the treatment after this winter, i just wanted to spend as much time enjoying it this year as i could.

anyway, i've talked to the builder on a few occasions. he has told me several things... he told me to brush the pool because it is probably calcium (i think) build up from the salt. he has added acid. he told me that they would drain it and polish it like granite (that hasnt happened). he told me he would be able to fix it without draining (that hasnt happened either).

I've got a 5 year old and a 2 year old that cant be in the pool without water shoes because it makes their feet bleed. I will say that one good thing to come of this is that MY feet have never been softer!

I even took a piece of 1500 grit wet sandpaper to a tiny section of the plaster to see if it worked and it did... but a week later, the spot i sanded is rough again.

What can this be? Is is a problem with the plaster or the chemicals?

Thank you for any help and I apologize for kicking open the door with a first post like this...


I'd post up a full set of water results. That will help get you some help. It's really hard to tell what is going on otherwise.

Welcome to the page!


agador spartacus said:
Thanks for the welcome!

All i have is what the pool company provides me...

So, here it is:

PH 8.2
Alkalinity 200
Stabilizer 80
Free Chlorine 1.0
Salt 3300
OK, so you need to get a good test kit so that you can get that info on your own! It will be money well spent, so grab one of those as soon as you can. I'd consider a SpeedStir also, as it makes testing easier (and kind of fun!).

pH is way too high, as is your alkalinity! Stabilizer (CYA) is fine for a salt pool, but chlorine is dangerously low. I'd also like to see your CH levels. They shouldn't be too high this early in the game, but it would be nice to know.

The high pH will cause scale. You really need to get that down to the mid 7's.

Have you been to the Pool Calculator yet? I'd suggest you go there and put your numbers in (at least what you have) and it will help get you back in line. You can do it :goodjob: :goodjob:


Your pH is still too high, your chlorine is too low, and are you sure about your hardness? That is awful high, especially for new water.

Where are you located, and can you test your fill water hardness? That just doesn't seem right to me, unless you are extremely hard straight out of the tap.


TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 4, 2009
Tf100 from or the Taylor K2006...those are the only two kits I would recommend and can both test up to 50ppm FC. Both kits can test FC, CC, TC, PH, TA, CH and CYA...if you have a SWG, you may want to get some salt test strips, but that's optional.

The TF100 is built using Taylor reagents and you get more of the reagents than in the K2006. The owner of TFP also owns so we like to send folks his way and take care of the person that supports this forum, but the choice is yours.


LifeTime Supporter
Jun 17, 2010
Glendale, CA
I'll give a 2nd vote for the TF-100. It's a great test kit and with a little practice it'll all start to make sense.

One thing I noticed from the numbers the company gave you :

The Salt level goes from 3300 to 2700 and the alkalinity goes from 200ppm to 110ppm over a couple of days. Unless you drained part of the pool between tests that's just not possible. Most likely they are using test strips and certainly not paying much attention. Your PH is possibly higher than 8.2 since most test strips max out around there. That's no good.

You'll need to spend some time in the Pool School to kinda get a feel for what all the various terms mean - but here's a quick summary

There is a relationship between your PH, Calcium hardness and Alkalinity. When these numbers are too low the water in the pool will leach calcium from your plaster. When these numbers are too high the water will deposit calcium on all the surfaces it touches. Your numbers are too high - thus all the little bits of calcium depositing everywhere.

You'll want to get a handle on this pretty quick. It's possible that lowering your PH quite low for a period of time might loosen the rough bits. The longer it goes unchecked though, the worse it's gonna get.

Also as mentioned - your Chlorine is way too low for a CYA of 90. You'll want to boost it up with liquid chlorine (bleach, etc) to 5 or 6 and then test periodically to make sure the SWG is keeping it up there.


TFP Expert
May 20, 2007
South Central NJ
If you calcium is that high, drop the ph and alk to 7.3 and 50. Salt cells raise the pH as does new plaster (less than 6-12 months is new). Between these two factors, the amount of acid you will use will be significant and slow drop over time.

If the PB has been taking care of the pool, a daily call will get the pool finish resmoothed at his expense. The PB's crew screwed this up, not you. After they smooth the surface, fire them for cause. That was gross negligence and incompetency.

Goggle Calcium Saturation Index to better understand what happened.



agador spartacus said:
again today:

PH 8.2
Alkalinity 100
Hardness 500
Stabilizer 100
Free Chlorine 5
Total Chlorine 5
Salt 2800

i cant read all the writing, but it says they added 1 gal acid, 4 oz of something that looks like "olger", 4 oz metal, 1 bag salt.

I called and said something along the lines of FIX THE FLIPPIN POOL.
pH still too high, alkalinity too high, hardness too high and stabilizer too high; other than that is looks great :evil: :evil:

Somebody needs to start paying attention! Keep good (great) records of this; you'll probably need them.


TFP Expert
May 20, 2007
South Central NJ
I didn't see it mentioned but most pH tests for pools and spas can't measure higher than 8.2 .

Don't sweat the alk level yet. It will drop as acid is added.

Shoot for a lower pH of about 7.3 because of the calcium level.

Test your fill water to see if this is the source of the high calcium level. Don't use Cal-Hypo as this chlorine booster will add still more calcium to the water and it's already 2x the level you want.

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