Footprints in Brand New Plaster Pool

johnmastraci

Member
Aug 1, 2020
21
Midwest
Hi

Just had a brand new concrete pool put in our yard. Plaster one day, acid wash and fill the next. There are a few issues that I am wondering about:

1 - footprints - white footprints that look like work boot soles from the deep end up to the shallow end and steps.

2 - lines from the housing of the lights and returns down to the bottom that are lighter/different color than the rest of the pool. These look like a strong drip from the housing down to the floor.

3 - linear changes in color - dark horizontal lines across the bottom of the pool and another sharp one across the deep end wall. Random other streaks throughout the pool in various directions.

Any specific mistakes that could have been made in the plaster, acid washing or filling process?

I've tried to take pictures but they don't show well.

Thanks
 

johnmastraci

Member
Aug 1, 2020
21
Midwest
Thank you Allen

It is a dark finish - would the acid wash make it lighter and therefore not give me the color that I wanted? Will it reduce the life or longevity of my plaster ie force me to replaster the pool sooner over the lifetime of the pool?
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
23,724
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Thank you Allen

It is a dark finish - would the acid wash make it lighter and therefore not give me the color that I wanted? Will it reduce the life or longevity of my plaster ie force me to replaster the pool sooner over the lifetime of the pool?

It all depends how aggressive he is with the acid.

He can also try sanding some areas.

Many plaster finishes do not come out perfect. It is a manual applied process that varies day to day. You can decide if you are ok with the way it is or want the builder to try and change it.
 

johnmastraci

Member
Aug 1, 2020
21
Midwest
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johnmastraci

Member
Aug 1, 2020
21
Midwest
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PoolNewb2020

Well-known member
May 7, 2020
302
Lathrop, CA
This looks like carelessness (boot prints) and messing up the application process by your builder. You need to bring this up with them. If you attempt fixing it in your own first, they may deny any warranty.
Do it quickly too. Otherwise they may blame water chemistry for this.
 
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johnmastraci

Member
Aug 1, 2020
21
Midwest
They have already agree to do an in pool acid wash. I’m leaning towards requesting that they re-plaster the pool, but wondering if I should give them a chance first?
 

PoolNewb2020

Well-known member
May 7, 2020
302
Lathrop, CA
I would let them do an acid wash again. However, I would inspect the plaster and take detailed pictures when they drain the water.
Take more pictures once they acid wash it before water is filled back in. It should look uniform. If not something is wrong.
 

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johnmastraci

Member
Aug 1, 2020
21
Midwest
They are doing an “in water” acid wash. Not draining the pool, just dropping the pH to a very low number and brushing.

Very reputable pool builder in my area, I’m sure they know what they are doing but somehow this one did not go well.
 

PoolNewb2020

Well-known member
May 7, 2020
302
Lathrop, CA
What level are they going to drop the PH to? If it's very low, consider how it might affect your equipment, negatively that is.
Basically ask them how many gallons of acid are they planning to use. It should give you an idea on the effect this may have.

Personally I would make them drain the water. Muriatic acid has a ph of 1 or 2, your water has a PH in the 7s most likely. I highly doubt that dropping PH even to mid 6 will have much effect on the defects. Your equipment, on the other hand may not like it.
 
Last edited:

Rich D

Bronze Supporter
Aug 3, 2018
961
MA
Very reputable pool builder in my area, I’m sure they know what they are doing
Did they inform you that you will most likely end up with a rougher finish than what you currently have? My understanding is that you are removing a small lair of plaster that will inevitably shorten the life of the plaster.
 

Rich D

Bronze Supporter
Aug 3, 2018
961
MA
We're you there when they plastered the pool?
Were there any issues during the install like excessive heat or rain?
What type of surface is it and what color is it?
 

onBalance

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Jul 25, 2011
1,095
Utah
Acid treatments generally lower the pH down to about 4. which is very acidic. Acid treatments etch the plaster surface and shorten the life-span by 2 to 5 years. Also, while it may help the plaster finish look better, it will be short-lived. An etched surface will slowly turn whitish again, usually in less than a year.
I strongly suggest that you insist that the contractor drain the pool and power-sand it (polish) to remove the white streaking. That will provide a much better smooth surface that will last longer and look better for years with proper water balance.
Reputable builders can still make have mistakes by their employees that should be properly remedied.
 
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johnmastraci

Member
Aug 1, 2020
21
Midwest
Thank you all for the feedback.

I was there when they plastered. It was a hot day - 90's and very sunny.

It is a basic plaster - dark color (gray/black) w/ blue speckles. I believe it is a custom color from NPT. To me it looks more blue in my pool.

I am wondering if I should just push for a replaster. I paid extra for the plaster color (Around $2000) and the obvious cost of the pool was fairly high. The final product should be right and not decrease the longevity of the product.
 

Rich D

Bronze Supporter
Aug 3, 2018
961
MA
It is a basic plaster - dark color (gray/black) w/ blue speckles
That does not sound correct. I do not believe they acid wash plain colored plaster. I had a medium gray plain plaster finish put on my pool and they filled it the same day with no acid wash. I believe they only acid wash aggregate finishes. Do they state on the contract exactly what was to be used for the finish?


I am wondering if I should just push for a replaster.

I would say there's really no harm in asking for that, I truly believe with these kind of negotiations you need to start high because they will definitely try to talk you into the cheapest fix. I would definitely not settle for less than what onbalance recommended. I had very similar issues with my pool. White streaking modling and footprints. All they ever wanted to do for me was an acid wash. And after a ton of research I could find no one that actually got a new plaster surface because of discoloration of a colored plaster. If you carefully read your contract I'm sure there's a waiver in there that says colored plasters may tend to fade or something to that effect. I do believe onbalance would agree with me that your situation is far more than the expected discoloration of a colored plaster. In my situation I finally got them to resurface the pool (which still needs to be done ) only after the plaster started spawling. All of my issues started approximately a year after the install and not immediately like yours.
 
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