I may have been ripped off, please help with acid wash.

Yarzy

Well-known member
Jul 16, 2020
103
PA
Hi everyone. I am hoping you can help me out. I have a pit in my stomach as I write this but I think my plaster person just took me for a ride. Long story short, I hired a plaster company and they are no longer returning my calls. They said they would come out at the end of the season to acid wash my pool but it seems they took off so I am now stuck. Here is the deal, we have a new plaster pool with Quartzscapes Barbados Blue Reflection series plaster. I love the color, etc but there are some stains, marks, etc. that are driving me crazy. I was told that they can do a light acid wash (without removing the water, I have a well) and the stains should be much better/be gone. They also said since the chemicals are strong, we can not swim for a week and they would need to bring in their own pumps as the strong chemicals could ruin our stuff. This is why we wanted to wait until the end of the season. I really want these stains gone as it is a brand new pool and I hoping this is something I might be able to do myself. Can someone please tell me what is involved in this process? Do I need to get a separate pump? I have a heater but it is not hooked up yet. Not sure if that is something I can bypass. I am just at a loss and am nervous I am gonna be stuck with these stains forever unless I do something myself. I paid extra to get this plaster done when there were all those plaster shortages this year and I feel horrible that I may have been taken advantage of. I have included a few pictures of the larger/bad stains in the pool. I also understand this will not be perfect but hopefully they will be better for sure. Please help if you can, thank you!
 

Yarzy

Well-known member
Jul 16, 2020
103
PA
Here are the pictures.
 

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Tres Gatos

Well-known member
Apr 13, 2019
86
Bullhead City, AZ
If you read TFP that is very common for dark finishes. Those are streaks not stains. Over time they will blend in and you will have a nice marble looking finish.
 

sktn77a

Gold Supporter
May 16, 2010
2,202
Chapel Hill, NC
Those streaks may or may not go away. I'd drive down to the plasteres place of business and speak to them face to face. If that doesn't work, file a complaint with the BBB and find someone else to do the acid wash, if that is indeed what it needs (colored plasters all have different "acid wash/startup" requirements).
 

onBalance

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Jul 25, 2011
1,202
Utah
Normally, several new plaster discolorations do not blend in time, but in fact, get worse. However, some types of mottling may improve. There is still time this season to get the plastering company to make good on their agreement.
However, since pools in your area normally get shut down during the winter, and then need to be cleaned up once spring comes, I suggest to wait until then to take steps to remove those discolorations and start-up the pool would be best.
 
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cowboycasey

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Jul 3, 2013
8,648
Southern OK
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@onBalance can speak more about this and WAY better than I can.. An acid wash takes life out of your plaster, like years.. Is there any way to add a little acid in the spots you are worried about and scrub them to "blend" them into the surrounding area.. It would save 95% of your great looking plaster form damage... :)
 
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Yarzy

Well-known member
Jul 16, 2020
103
PA
WOW! Thank you all for the responses! Just to address a few things. The two major spots I would love to fix is the brownish spot on the stairs and the darker spot in the deep end. Unfortunately, I think the one in the deep end is where they used my hose to fill up the pool a little before the water truck started to dump all the water. So, I am glad to hear that they may improve (but may get worse as well). I was thinking of seeing how they fair when the pool is closed so happy to see others feel the same way. One question for you is how can I add acid to just the one spot so I can scrub them? Does that mean taking all the water out or is there a way to do it with water still in the pool? Thank you all so much!!!!
 

Bperry

Gold Supporter
Aug 20, 2020
887
Knoxville, TN
Pool Size
27000
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Plaster
Chlorine
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There was a plaster shortage last year? Or just a shortage of labor to install it?
 

cowboycasey

Gold Supporter
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Jul 3, 2013
8,648
Southern OK
Pool Size
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There was a plaster shortage last year? Or just a shortage of labor to install it?
Both and it was last year and this year and still going on.. some of the plasters and white mini pebbles are no where to be found right now... :)
 

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onBalance

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Jul 25, 2011
1,202
Utah
Yes, it is possible to acid treat plaster discolorations under water. A plastic squeeze bottle containing acid can be used.
There is also a device that allows acid to be poured through a PVC tube, which is placed underwater at the discolored area. Of course, the discolored areas need to relatively small in size and not most of the entire pool.

If you have a smooth quartz finish (as opposed to a bumpy exposed aggregate finish), using 100 grit wet&dry sandpaper is more often the best way to remove most discolorations, which also can be used underwater.
 

Yarzy

Well-known member
Jul 16, 2020
103
PA
Excellent, I actually got some wet/dry sandpaper but I was using like 1000grit. If 100 is what I need, I will try that. Any idea what that device is called that drops acid on the spot? Also, how soon after the acid is added to the spot do I scrub with the sandpaper? Thank you so much!!!!
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
28,590
Northern NJ
Pool Size
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Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
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Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Also, how soon after the acid is added to the spot do I scrub with the sandpaper?

Just try 100 grit sandpaper and elbow grease first and see what results you get. It will be a lot better for your plaster then any acid.

Go easy on any acid treatment. Some mottling is better then an acid damaged plaster surface.
 
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Yarzy

Well-known member
Jul 16, 2020
103
PA
Ok, so I just went out with 120 grit (that is all I had in wet/dry) and it did not seem to do anything. Anything else you suggest I try to scrub with? Can I use steel wool or something? I dont want to mess anything up. Thanks again!
 

onBalance

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Jul 25, 2011
1,202
Utah
Sometimes 100 grit isn't coarse enough. Try 80 grit. Using that takes less work. And it will keep the plaster smooth.
 

Poolbreh

In The Industry
Jul 31, 2021
272
San Diego
Yes muriatic acid, I would use a diluted amount first and slowly work on strengthening it until you get results. I supposed you could make your own with 1.5” pipe, cap, and sponge with a rubber band. You want to work the area slowly, too much will darken an area much like your deep end. But you may be able to get it to blend nicely. Just take precautions handling MA.
 

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