HELP!!! Stonescapes Rep recommends Zero Alk Acid wash to remove Abalone stains!!

rev29k

Well-known member
May 8, 2018
84
Tampa
I found post about The Zero Alk Bath in the "Deep End" forum. Which appears to just be a copy/paste from another guy's website. Does anyone have any experience with this? Is this a legitimate request or are they just trying to get out of fixing their problem! I had abalone added to my Midnight Blue Stonescapes Mini-Pebble. I didn't think it would be an issue given the recipe for Tropics Blue already has abalone included in the recipe. Is this a legitimate request or are they just trying to get out of fixing it? I am sort of in crisis mode now and don't know if I should threaten to sue my builder or what. But I wanted to get as much info as possible before going out guns blazing. If anyone has any info or experience with this please let me know.

Thanks everyone!!
Sean
 

mknauss

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May 3, 2014
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Laughlin, NV
Also, do you have bypass the heater if your are doing this?
Yes.

I have no experience in that process. It is fairly complex and can go wrong in so many ways.

Is it worth it for the staining you are seeing? Will not that staining return after?
 

rev29k

Well-known member
May 8, 2018
84
Tampa
I just spoke with my builder and basically put the onus back on him. I said the installer and manufacturer are both trying to put this on my shoulders and this IS BS. I said I am still within my builder's warranty, you KNOW (and he does, I'm freaking ANAL about my levels) that my levels are well maintained, and that I have a contract with you, not the plaster installer, so it's between you two to get this resolved. He of course mentions he does not warrant the "product" but I also reminded him that he does have to warrant the install, and we don't know what kind of shells he used. There have also been two "patch" areas that have always been lighter since the day it was installed (he literally added water to already dry plaster and "patched" some areas where the plaster job wasn't good). When I brought that to the installer's attention a month ago during their visit as well, he basically said "yeah that happens", like tough s$!t. So, after reminding my builder of the questionable install job, and the current spot issue, I said he and the installer can work out what to do to fix it, but I'm not taking on that responsibility so that Stonescapes can later try and weasel out of their warranty.

I am waiting to hear back from the builder, but I am hoping I get them to do it rather than myself. I also mentioned the need to install a heater bypass, because it will likely attack/dissolve copper from the pump coils, and then we/THEY will have ANOTHER staining problem to deal with. So, just waiting to hear back from my builder after he reviews what the Stonescapes Rep says to do and then talking with the installer. Although my builder is very good at dragging Rear, I do think he is an honest guy. He just kicks the can as long as he can.

So, if they DO do the wash, I'm hoping it isn't too harmful. I also read another post where they said not to wait the arbitrary 7 days, but to cease the process as soon as the stains disappear. Also, my builder never installed a heater bypass, so that could very likely be another battle to get that installed.

As far as the stains returning.....I've had it since March. I've only seen a FEW additional spots during that time, so I am hoping all of the proteins have been leached out so far.
 

rev29k

Well-known member
May 8, 2018
84
Tampa
So my builder is having the rep come out at some point to confirm it's abalone shells. I'm not sure what is next once he does. I'm guessing I'll have to either pressure Stonescapes to fix it under warranty or my builder to have my installer perform the fix. This is very frustrating as I am certain I have never had a too acidic condition. If anything, I would have been towards the high side, not low (pH) wise. Plus I have an acid dispenser, so it's not like I accidentally manually dosed too high. It's automatic, which keeps the levels even/from spiking.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
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Jul 21, 2013
20,476
Northern NJ
You ask about posts in other threads and other websites. Can you provide links so we know what you are talking about?


 

onBalance

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Jul 25, 2011
1,061
Utah
rev29k, It is likely that the abalone shells have stained, darkened, and discolored the cement portion of your finish.
Any kind of acid treatment, bath or drained, will etch and age the cement portion of the plaster finish. Acid generally does not harm pebbles. When cement is "etched" the color will slightly lighten. Additionally, an etched cement surface will often increasingly lighten in color over time. Whether the dark spots also lighten at the same time and by the same amount, and whether they darken again and become visible again, is guess work.
 

rev29k

Well-known member
May 8, 2018
84
Tampa
What's funny is that most of the spots aren't near any particular abalone. Can the proteins dissolve in water and stain somewhere else where there isn't abalone?
 

onBalance

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Jul 25, 2011
1,061
Utah
Abalone shells can be beneath the surface and can still decay and discolor the plaster above and at the surface.
 
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rev29k

Well-known member
May 8, 2018
84
Tampa
So, is this protein staining always a potential ongoing issue? I mean if there’s always a risk of it staining, then why would the manufacturer even include it as an ingredient in any of their products? Do you ever reach a point where it’s no longer an issue or worry if it happening?
 

rev29k

Well-known member
May 8, 2018
84
Tampa
So, I'm reviving this thread because I FINALLY got the Stonescapes Rep to come out. ( I think my installer was BS'ing me about "waiting" on the rep, I called NPT and had the rep out in a week!). Anyways, the rep noticed a lot of calcium scale (which I admit I thought was just the dark plaster bleaching out). At first he tried to blame it on the abalone, and said that isn't covered under warranty, which we then bitched about and said where is that documented! Then, he said it might not be the abalone because it's in spots where there isn't any abalone. He recommended me doing a Jack's Magic Copper and Scale treatment first, see how it looks, and then they can do the Zero Alkalinity Wash if the spots are still there. I know they will still be there, because if we test with the Jack's Magic first, it doesn't get rid of it. He also said there could be spots under the scale we don't see, which is why he suggested the Jack's Magic treatment first.

My question is, isn't the Zero Alkalinity wash going to remove the scale ANYWAYS!? Should I just have him do that and not waste my time (and MONEY !, stuff isn't cheap) on the Magic Jacks's treatment? Or is the Zero Alk really bad to do? I know it's harsher that the Copper and Scale treatment, but wasn't sure if I am just wasting my money trying his thing first. He tried to say they treat different things, and that it's better to try the Copper and Scale first.

I understand the Zero Alk is basically stripping a small top layer off of the pool. Plus Muriatic Acid will dissolve calcium, so I don't see why it wouldn't remove the calcium before removing the top layer of plaster. It looks like the pH is dropped to about 4.5, so is that enough to remove the calcium scale as well?

I get the feeling he just wants me to try the Copper and Scale treatment first on my dime to see if that works well enough, and then they do their wash if I'm not happy. I just don't want to waste hundreds of dollars on a treatment that will end up being redundant anyways.

Thanks for your feedback folks!
Sean
 

mknauss

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May 3, 2014
33,378
Laughlin, NV
I remember that the Jacks Copper Scale treatment messes with your chemistry for a long time. It is best to do the treatment and drain the pool to rid it of copper and the side effects of the treatment.
 

rev29k

Well-known member
May 8, 2018
84
Tampa
Ok thanks. So are you saying the Copper & Scale treatment is still better to try over the acid wash? That's the initial question I am trying to determine.

Also, why would a copper and scale treatment add more copper? Such a treatment would be for removing copper, not adding it. It's not an algaecide.
 

mknauss

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May 3, 2014
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Laughlin, NV
It does not add copper. You do the treatment because you have copper stains. When you do the treatment, the copper releases from the surface and is in the water.
If you have no copper staining, it does not make sense to do the treatment. There are less disruptive ways to reduce calcium scaling.
 

rev29k

Well-known member
May 8, 2018
84
Tampa
So what are those ways? I'm talking systemic ways. Also, how disruptive? It looks like it uses Sulfamic Acid, which hydrolyses into Ammonium bisulfate.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
33,378
Laughlin, NV
The sulfamic acid disrupts the measurement of FC. For some time.

To remove scale, if minor, we recommend using a low CSI for a period of time. The next level is the zero alkalinity process you have described. Be sure they bypass your heater during that process.