First Time Pool Owner (Houston Pool Build)

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
41,318
Tallahassee, FL

rhawke

Bronze Supporter
Nov 27, 2017
215
Houston, TX
Thanks for the pool vacuum recommendations! I will order one today from Amazon.

A few questions for santacruzpool as a fellow Primera Stone Owner:

1) Does your primera stone also have areas where some individual pebbles fell out? We have quite a few dips / craters in our otherwise smooth plaster surface. Unfortunately some of those are on the sun benches and while it is not very noticeable during the day, at night when the lights are on you can really see those.

2) Are your floors as smooth as the walls and benches? Ours are much rougher and I'm not sure if this is standard practice or if the polishers were less detailed on the floors. There are also a few patches on the walls where they must have forgotten to polish because it's much rougher there.

3) What do you use to brush? Our pool builder gave us a nylon brush and said to only use Nylon. But the WetEdge start up docs say to use a Combo Brush. I told him that and he said he wouldn't use a combo on the polished primera stone. I am planning to get the wall whale but the combo brush is $55 with shipping vs $25 for the nylon from Amazon.
 

santacruzpool

Gold Supporter
Feb 24, 2015
688
Santa Cruz, CA
Thanks for the pool vacuum recommendations!
A few questions for santacruzpool as a fellow Primera Stone Owner:

1) Does your primera stone also have areas where some individual pebbles fell out? We have quite a few dips / craters in our otherwise smooth plaster surface. Unfortunately some of those are on the sun benches and while it is not very noticeable during the day, at night when the lights are on you can really see those.

2) Are your floors as smooth as the walls and benches? Ours are much rougher and I'm not sure if this is standard practice or if the polishers were less detailed on the floors. There are also a few patches on the walls where they must have forgotten to polish because it's much rougher there.

3) What do you use to brush? Our pool builder gave us a nylon brush and said to only use Nylon. But the WetEdge start up docs say to use a Combo Brush. I told him that and he said he wouldn't use a combo on the polished primera stone. I am planning to get the wall whale but the combo brush is $55 with shipping vs $25 for the nylon from Amazon.
We have spots where some stones have fallen out - when the pool was newer we had a few of the little bits of stones that were picked up by the robot. I think this is due to the nature of all of those random shaped stones - some of them are going to be tapered just right so that they will easily fall out. The rest are captured well enough and hold in place well.

Our LED Lights do seem to magnify any imperfections and makes it easier to notice them, but I haven't picked up on missing stones from the lights. We have a really dark finish so it might show (or not show) missing stones differently than yours does.

Our floors are pretty smooth - in general they are just as smooth as the walls, so I expect that they just didn't do as good of a job polishing yours. That being said, I have noticed that the floor right near our 2 main drains is just a tiny bit rougher - this could be due the original acid wash - since that is where all of the liquid settled when they did the acid wash - it might have etched that area a bit more.

We had several areas on different walls that were rough and a little 120 grit sand paper fixed those right up. We also had another area on a step that the pebble company sanded down - I could see that spot for about 2 years, but looking for it the other day it has blended in as the surface has aged.

We have only used a nylon brush on ours - and most of our "brushing" is now done by our robot! I think the nylon would be good enough with the polished finish.

- - - Updated - - -

Your pool looks great by the way.:)

We registered with WetEdge directly for the finish warranty. I hope we never need to use the warranty.
 

rhawke

Bronze Supporter
Nov 27, 2017
215
Houston, TX
We have spots where some stones have fallen out - when the pool was newer we had a few of the little bits of stones that were picked up by the robot. I think this is due to the nature of all of those random shaped stones - some of them are going to be tapered just right so that they will easily fall out. The rest are captured well enough and hold in place well.

Our LED Lights do seem to magnify any imperfections and makes it easier to notice them, but I haven't picked up on missing stones from the lights. We have a really dark finish so it might show (or not show) missing stones differently than yours does.

Our floors are pretty smooth - in general they are just as smooth as the walls, so I expect that they just didn't do as good of a job polishing yours. That being said, I have noticed that the floor right near our 2 main drains is just a tiny bit rougher - this could be due the original acid wash - since that is where all of the liquid settled when they did the acid wash - it might have etched that area a bit more.

We had several areas on different walls that were rough and a little 120 grit sand paper fixed those right up. We also had another area on a step that the pebble company sanded down - I could see that spot for about 2 years, but looking for it the other day it has blended in as the surface has aged.

We have only used a nylon brush on ours - and most of our "brushing" is now done by our robot! I think the nylon would be good enough with the polished finish.

- - - Updated - - -

Your pool looks great by the way.:)

We registered with WetEdge directly for the finish warranty. I hope we never need to use the warranty.
Thanks for all those answers. I will get the pool builder and plaster company out to see what they say. The main area we see the imperfections is on the sunshelf and steps where the Globrite light is shining directly on it. Each missing pebble is noticable because of the shadowy hole it creates. I will try to take some pictures at night and post them here.
 

rhawke

Bronze Supporter
Nov 27, 2017
215
Houston, TX
I finally got some pictures, it's not that easy to take at night through water.

Some of the holes on the picture don't look to different from the glass pebbles but when you see it in person you immediately can tell that it's a hole.

So what are people's opinion? Am I too picky?
 

riley00dog

Gold Supporter
Nov 14, 2017
2,213
Brisbane, Qld, Australia
To me it would depend on whether it is getting worse or not. Not sure what that track of holes is about. It looks like something has been dragged through the plaster when it was still wet. If this stable then I would probably live with it. My concern would be whether more pieces of glass are coming away over time.
 

rhawke

Bronze Supporter
Nov 27, 2017
215
Houston, TX
Thanks for the reminder, i meant to post a final update at some point.

In general we love the pool and the choices / selections we made. The tile I can highly recommend, so far zero issues. We are using the pool daily, swimming our laps in it. We even had it heated to 82 degrees all winter. With the solar cover that cost us about $150 in gas per month from December through March. We are definitely getting great use out of everything.

We already had a few equipment issues, the pump motor started making screechy noises, got replaced. The salt cell stopped reporting the salt level ... etc. The good news is that Pentair appears really reliable. I tell the pool builder, he puts in a ticket and within 1-2 weeks Pentair sends somebody buy to take care of the issue. Very smooth process, no fighting, no discussions, etc. which is nice. And we have that warranty for 3 year since all the equipment was put in by the pool builder.

The issues with the scratches in the plaster also got resolved. They sent somebody to repolish the Primera Stone in that area which absolutely fixed it. The little holes are still there, i think it is mostly where pebbles came loose during the polish process and fell out. It mainly shows at night, so not a huge deal.

Unfortunately, only one issue remains that nobody can figure out what is happening. In the spa we have some build up happening right on the seats. With intense brushing (holding just the brush without the pole and lots of elbow grease) I can brush it off, but it comes back within 1-2 days. If left unattended for a while it becomes too hard to brush off. They already repolished the whole Spa twice and it still comes back within a few days. The rest of the pool does not have that issue and all surfaces are super smooth.

Another thing I'm still a bit annoyed by is the PH rise. It increases by about 0.10 per day, so I need about 4 cups (0.25 gallons) of Acid per week to bring it from 8.3 back to 7.5. Interestingly even turning off the SWG doesn't make a big difference, so it's probably still some form of curing going on.

Anyway, that's the latest 9 months in. I plan to post some pictures tomorrow when the sun is shining!

GP2, if you are in the Houston area and want to see the tile in person, PM me.
 
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bmoreswim

Mod Squad
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LifeTime Supporter
Jul 16, 2012
5,407
Central MD
Another thing I'm still a bit annoyed by is the PH rise. It increases by about 0.10 per day, so I need about 4 cups (0.25 gallons) of Acid per week to bring it from 8.3 back to 7.5. Interestingly even turning off the SWG doesn't make a big difference, so it's probably still some form of curing going on.
If you are annoyed because your expectation is the pH should not change, that could be problematic for you. For some it always does rise, but not for all. For almost all it rises faster for the first year than afterwards. And there is also a chemical relationship to consider that could be at play here. What is your current TA (total alkalinity) level?
 

jaymantx

Silver Supporter
Apr 3, 2018
146
Houston/TX
If you are annoyed because your expectation is the pH should not change, that could be problematic for you. For some it always does rise, but not for all. For almost all it rises faster for the first year than afterwards. And there is also a chemical relationship to consider that could be at play here. What is your current TA (total alkalinity) level?
Regarding the pH rising, my pool was finished about the same time as the OP, and my pH also rises from 7.3 to 8 every week or 10 days. I figured it's my plaster still sloooowly curing.
 

rhawke

Bronze Supporter
Nov 27, 2017
215
Houston, TX
If you are annoyed because your expectation is the pH should not change, that could be problematic for you. For some it always does rise, but not for all. For almost all it rises faster for the first year than afterwards. And there is also a chemical relationship to consider that could be at play here. What is your current TA (total alkalinity) level?
sorry with a new born i just don't get to come here a lot and post :S

My TA is at 70. I knew the PH would rise slowly but I didn't realize it goes so fast. I measure once every weekend and the PH is typically on the highest color level (8.2 or higher). I then add 4 cups of acid for my 14,000 gallon pool and end up somewhere around 7.4ppm. Not sure if there is any benefit to adding 2 cups every 3-4 days instead.

The main frustration is that we are still having surface issue with the Primera Stone plaster. There are deposits growing on the surface and with the surface being so smooth you can feel every little unevenness. It doesn't appear on the smooth plaster area, it happens mainly in little holes in the plaster where a tiny pebble maybe fell out. I can scrape it off with a finger nail immediately or some very aggressive brushing takes care of it as well. With the 8.2 the CSI is typically around 0.5 to 0.6 and after adding the acid I'm back at -0.3, so based on the ranges discussed here I should not have any scaling ... So I'm not sure if this is something from the water adhering to the surface or if it is something coming out of the inner plaster and showing up on the surface. It's too small to see by eye, but you can feel it.

I'm not sure if the PH rise has something to do with it. Maybe I should try to add acid every other day to keep the PH stable to see if this is still going on then . ...
 

bmoreswim

Mod Squad
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Jul 16, 2012
5,407
Central MD
So you are running your CSI positive though to what extent is unknown because your pH may be higher than 8.2 and it is logarithmic.

Test and dose frequently enough to maintain your pH from 7.4 - 7.8 since you are having scale issues.

You can also confirm the scale is calcium by scraping some off and putting a few drops of MA on it. If it fizzes it’s calcium. Just don’t do it on something that MA can mark up.

Your TA at 70 is fine and will probably drop some over time at you repeatedly lower pH. That cycle of lowering TA creates more stable pH.

But it’s just a common thing with new plaster for pH to rise so try to keep your approach more frequent than once per week (if possible with a small human to care for).
 

rhawke

Bronze Supporter
Nov 27, 2017
215
Houston, TX
i already tried to scrape some off and get it out of the water, but this stuff is so small that most of the time i cannot see it even if an inch away with my goggles. And it also feels like when i scrape it off it turns into dust and dissolves. The stuff also regrows within 24 hours again. So i can scrape it off with my finger nail or brush and the surface is completely smooth. 24 hours later it feels like little sand crystals are stuck to the plaster again.

But I will follow your advice and do a daily ph test and acid adjustment this week to see if that changes anything ...
 

rhawke

Bronze Supporter
Nov 27, 2017
215
Houston, TX
alright, so after 4 weeks of testing the pool every day except for 1 week where i was on vacation: I first only tested to see what happens and then after one week starting dosing to correct as well. I noticed that my PH is shooting up strongly very fast in the first few days after adding acid. I can lower the PH to 7.5, the next day it is at 7.8 and the next day already above 8.2. But then it must stay there, because the acid demand to bring it back down did not increase even when I was out of town for a week again and couldn't add acid compared to just after 3 days. But what appears to happen is that instead of the PH going up, then the TA starts to creep up. So I guess the PH at some point reaches a ceiling and then the TA starts to increase instead.

Last Water Test:
FC: 10
TA: 70
PH: 7.8
CH: 325 (although I took pool samples to three different Leslie locations and they all came back at 240!?)
CYA: 80
Salt: 3800
Chlorine Cell: 45 % at 11:00 hours on low speed - comes out to approx. 2.6 ppm per day in direct 10-11 hours of Texas Sun.
CSI: -0.23 ... I have been trying to keep it negative, knowing that I will quickly get up to 8.0 if I don't add acid every other day.

I also opened the salt cell and when I used the hose "thin sheets of calcium" came out. Nothing stuck on the plates though that the hose didn't get.

Still the same issue, tiny scale (barely visible to the eye, but immediately felt on skin) is forming on all the benches, floors and about half of the walls. The rest of the walls are still smooth like a baby butt :D I can always scrape the scale off with a finger nail and it turns into dust.

One thing that came to mind: I have a white limestone coping and a salt pool. Could the scale not be from the water but somehow the coping is being eaten up by the salt water and starting to drop scale directly into the pool that then settles?

I got desperate enough and also just ordered Jack's Magenta stuff which is supposed to help with scaling. I'm curious to see if that will help at all.