How long should plaster last...

waskydiver

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 29, 2009
191
Bought my house, and hence my pool from my mother-in-law.

It's been under my control for about 4 years now.

I thought that the pool was about 15 years old.

Recently discovered that it was closer to 30.

It's an inground plaster pool. Not too bad shape. Some orange metal stains coming from under the ladder. Some light greenish stains on the surface. Couple of raised spots about the size of a silver dollar. Other than that no complaints.

It's pretty amazing, actually. It's never had a cover. Closing the pool has consisted of turning off the pump, and try not to look at it for six months. Until I took it over, opening and maintenance has consisted of clearing the swamp and doing whatever the pool store told my mother in law to do. I know that I have never changed the water. I doubt she did. The water is probably 30 years old.

I was considering filling it in when it's time had come. But, the last couple days we have had to drag my four year old kicking and screaming out of the pool after letting him swim for about 15 minutes. (The water is 58 degrees!!!! We thought we'd let him dip his toes in and he'd be running for the house to warm up. Nope... 15 minutes later, he's dog-paddling all around the pool in his wet suit and life jacket, and I am starting to wonder about hypothermia and visits from CPS).

Anyway... it's looking like the whole fill in idea isn't going to fly, and to price tag of resurfacing is likely looming closer than I thought.

Anyone know how much life to reasonably expect from a plaster pool before a re-surface?
 

Melt In The Sun

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Oct 29, 2009
3,899
Tucson, AZ
Do you know if the plaster is original? 30 years is getting to be pretty old, even for the older, more robust plaster. Any chance of some close-up pictures of it?
 

Beez

LifeTime Supporter
May 19, 2009
785
Dallas, TX
My pool was built in the late 1970s and it still has its original plaster. Obviously it is not in the greatest shape, but it is OK with us until times get better and my business recovers from this blasted recession. As far as I can tell, if the plaster is not delaminating from the shell and you are OK with the blemishes, it probably has several more years left in it.
 

waskydiver

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 29, 2009
191
Plaster is all original.

I added some pictures.

The black stains near the main are organic... slowly fading over the last few weeks.

Biggest problem is the rust stains under the ladder.
 

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Melt In The Sun

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Oct 29, 2009
3,899
Tucson, AZ
That looks really good, I think! Is it rough on your feet? If not, if it were me, I'd try to remove the rust stains and then enjoy it til it needs work.
 

257WbyMag

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Feb 23, 2008
5,061
Denton, TX
Based on what you are describing and what I am seeing in the pictures, I agree with MITS. Deal with your stains and keep things balanced and it will probably be good for several more years.
 

waskydiver

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 29, 2009
191
It's not really rough...

Any advice on the rust stains?

I mean, I'm sure it wouldn't be difficult to remove them from the plaster, but they are clearly coming from the step.

Without addressing the step, I'd guess I would just be chasing my tail trying to remove the stains from the plaster.
 

Melt In The Sun

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Oct 29, 2009
3,899
Tucson, AZ
Since they're not very large, you may be able to just use ascorbic acid in a sock, and apply it to the stained areas. You may not be chasing your tail addressing the stains and not the cause, since the rate of staining is likely extremely slow (assuming they have been slowly forming for the last 30 years). If not, you could replace the ladder, but I doubt that'll be necessary. See this page for a description of metal staining and a link to the ascorbic acid treatment.
 
G

Guest

You have old plaster, which was a much better formulation than today's plaster (good chance you have silica and cement. Now it is limestone and cement. Silica is a 7 on the Mohs scale, and limestone is a 3! Your fingernails are about a 2.5, for comparison :shock: ). If it is still sound, keep taking good care of it! The day will come that you will need to re-do it, but no need to hurry! The new plaster formulation (limestone) gives about 10 years of service, and quartz options should give 15 years. These are averages, so depending on how well you maintain your pool, you may get more life.

The green tinge that you see is copper staining, and the raised spots might be calcium. Do you know what your hardness (CH) levels are?

That rust is not good! Those are Cycolac (plastic) steps, and they do not rust. Looks like water has got around them and has reached the rebar. Keep an eye on that (you may be able to have it patched), which wouldn't be a bad idea!

Other than that, it is a great looking pool :goodjob:
 

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