Leaving Pool Unfilled With Water

chicha

Member
Apr 6, 2013
12
El Salvador
I have an in-ground pool at a house I've been renting for a number of years. I drained it a few years ago and began a process of re-surfacing and re-painting it. A few years prior, I had drained and re-painted it. Perhaps due to an excessive use of chemicals, I noticed some cloudiness in the water from the old "plaster" dissolving into the pool water. So I decided to resurface it. We rented a machine to remove some of the plaster from the floor and walls of the pool. It's ready to be resurfaced and painted. Maybe I should have just drained the pool and left it the way it was, but I felt an obligation to resurface it. Also, I've rented the house for nearly 10 years and don't have any plans to move at the current time. My question is this: If I were to re-plaster (is that the name of the material used for common, in-ground pools, "plaster"?) and paint the pool with the special paint required for a swimming pool, is there any reason why I couldn't leave the pool unfilled with water? The average, year-round temperature where I live is about 76 degrees. One of the reasons why I began the resurfacing was because I was told that if I just drained it, the intense sun would damage the surface of the pool [thinking back now, the pool was already damaged, so it wouldn't have made any difference! - if the claim was true.] CAN I RESURFACE AND PAINT THE POOL AND LEAVE IT UNFILLED WITH WATER?
 

Mdragger88

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Not to be facetious but why go through the trouble & expense of resurfacing if you didn’t plan to fill , use, & enjoy it?

But To answer your question plaster pools are meant to have water in them- new coating or not. I would imagine the work u have done already would be somewhat undone over time if you didn’t follow through with the final steps of finishing it.
Btw- pool paint doesn’t usually last more than a few years now even if applied perfectly. It is no longer formulated the way it was many years ago.
 

Bperry

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Aug 20, 2020
1,365
Knoxville, TN
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CircuPool RJ-60
I have an in-ground pool at a house I've been renting for a number of years. I drained it a few years ago and began a process of re-surfacing and re-painting it. A few years prior, I had drained and re-painted it. Perhaps due to an excessive use of chemicals, I noticed some cloudiness in the water from the old "plaster" dissolving into the pool water. So I decided to resurface it. We rented a machine to remove some of the plaster from the floor and walls of the pool. It's ready to be resurfaced and painted. Maybe I should have just drained the pool and left it the way it was, but I felt an obligation to resurface it. Also, I've rented the house for nearly 10 years and don't have any plans to move at the current time. My question is this: If I were to re-plaster (is that the name of the material used for common, in-ground pools, "plaster"?) and paint the pool with the special paint required for a swimming pool, is there any reason why I couldn't leave the pool unfilled with water? The average, year-round temperature where I live is about 76 degrees. One of the reasons why I began the resurfacing was because I was told that if I just drained it, the intense sun would damage the surface of the pool [thinking back now, the pool was already damaged, so it wouldn't have made any difference! - if the claim was true.] CAN I RESURFACE AND PAINT THE POOL AND LEAVE IT UNFILLED WITH WATER?
Paint and plaster are different things. Plaster will cost you $5k-$10k and lasts a long time. Paint costs much less and lasts much less time. The cloudiness you saw may have been the paint corroding.
 
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KCNM

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May 20, 2021
239
Tampa Bay, FL
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Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
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Jandy Truclear / Ei
I have an in-ground pool at a house I've been renting for a number of years. I drained it a few years ago and began a process of re-surfacing and re-painting it. A few years prior, I had drained and re-painted it. Perhaps due to an excessive use of chemicals, I noticed some cloudiness in the water from the old "plaster" dissolving into the pool water. So I decided to resurface it. We rented a machine to remove some of the plaster from the floor and walls of the pool. It's ready to be resurfaced and painted. Maybe I should have just drained the pool and left it the way it was, but I felt an obligation to resurface it. Also, I've rented the house for nearly 10 years and don't have any plans to move at the current time. My question is this: If I were to re-plaster (is that the name of the material used for common, in-ground pools, "plaster"?) and paint the pool with the special paint required for a swimming pool, is there any reason why I couldn't leave the pool unfilled with water? The average, year-round temperature where I live is about 76 degrees. One of the reasons why I began the resurfacing was because I was told that if I just drained it, the intense sun would damage the surface of the pool [thinking back now, the pool was already damaged, so it wouldn't have made any difference! - if the claim was true.] CAN I RESURFACE AND PAINT THE POOL AND LEAVE IT UNFILLED WITH WATER?
Given that it sounds like you've already at least partially removed the existing plaster:

OK, so first: If you get the surface replastered, you need to fill and maintain it for *at least* the first 30 days while it does the initial cure. Then maybe you can drain it and paint it. But...

Second: Why paint it if you just had it resurfaced? Painting is usually done as a cheap method to carry over some old plaster that's structurally sound but has aesthetic issues. As mentioned, the paint only lasts a year or two max. That new plaster should last at least a decade. So why paint over it?

Third: Leaving the pool unfilled will absolutely deteriorate the plaster faster. Pool plaster is formulated to be underwater and have constant hydration. I have no idea if painting the surface would help protect it. And, those swimming pool paints are *also* formulated to be underwater and may not hold up well to the open elements...

Fourth: When you say you're renting this property, and not planning on moving, that makes it sound like you're renting this as a tenant and not a landlord? If so, why are *you* investing *your* money into the landlord's property? I would not be touching any of this unless the landlord was crediting my expenditures as substitute for rent.

Fifth: If you *are* the landlord, I would think you better fill that pool quick before someone has an "accident" falling into it...

My recommendations:

* Just leave it alone for as long as you are not going to fill it. Spending money to resurface it, just to leave it dry, is a waste. Like buying a car just to never drive it. (And not one of those collector cars; I'm talking a Corolla here.)
* When you're ready to have it filled, then get it resurfaced with plaster and don't put any paint on. There is zero reason to paint new plaster.
* And for the love of everything holy, do not invest your own money into someone else's property.

If you had not touched the old existing plaster, then maybe painting it would have made sense.
 
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Newdude

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Jun 16, 2019
14,392
NY
Where do you live ? Does it rain frequently or occaisionally get one big storm ? An empty pool is no longer a giant bathtub and becomes a boat. Groundwater or rain slowly finding its way down can literally float the shell right out of the ground.

If your ground water is plenty deep and you never get any storms, then you'd still be exposing the new plaster to the sun which is presumablly very harsh in the summer by you. We generally dont reccomend people do that for a matter of a day or two in the hot climates. We tell them to wait until its cooler to do the work that requires the plaster to be exposed or to build some sort of tent to protect it from the UV.

Also I'm with @KCNM above. If you're handing out $10k for pools you don't own, PM me for my personal info. And THANKS in advance if so. 😁
 
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chicha

Member
Apr 6, 2013
12
El Salvador
I initially had planned to continue using the pool after the repair. I'm in El Salvador, so the cost of the work will be a fraction of what it would be in the U.S. The problem was that I took the advice of my gardener (less expensive in this country, as well, but more expensive in the end as I took the advice of the guy!), who didn't speak English (who has since been fired; I believe I can make myself understood in Spanish) and lead me to believe that the process would be faster and simpler than it was. Someone mentioned that it might have been the paint clouding up the water, rather than the plaster. I had put an excessive amount of acid in the pool at one point. That coupled with the claim of the gardener that plaster-based pools need resurfacing about every 5-7 years based upon exposure to pool chemicals - versus tile-based pools which he claimed last for more than 20 years. So I had it in my mind that it was my fault!

Another issue as to why I put off finishing the project. There are dangerous snakes in this forested area where I live. The small little casita that houses the pool pump is some distance from the pool and it is not uncommon to find a snake in the ceiling.

Thanks for all the input.
 
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Newdude

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Jun 16, 2019
14,392
NY
I'm in El Salvador
Ok so you have crazy high UV from the sun most of the year (bad for the finish) and 6 ft of rain a year (risky for the shell).

I’d leave it filled. An ugly green pool can be fixed if you decide to use it again down the road.

Here in the states the EPA made the paint formulas change several years ago to make them more environmentally friendly, but at the cost of the durability. Although plenty of pools were painted with longevity for decades, now they get 1-3 years and can see cloudy residue almost immediately, making it too much work for so little results.
 

chicha

Member
Apr 6, 2013
12
El Salvador
Ok so you have crazy high UV from the sun most of the year (bad for the finish) and 6 ft of rain a year (risky for the shell).

I’d leave it filled. An ugly green pool can be fixed if you decide to use it again down the road.

Here in the states the EPA made the paint formulas change several years ago to make them more environmentally friendly, but at the cost of the durability. Although plenty of pools were painted with longevity for decades, now they get 1-3 years and can see cloudy residue almost immediately, making it too much work for so little results.
Oh, my God. I removed the plaster because of a paint issue! Thanks for the information.
 

Newdude

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Well if it makes you feel any better, the only reason it was painted in the first place was it was due for a replaster and they went the cheap route refinishing it. You can only repaint it so many times before the plaster deteriorates and no longer is waterproof. So maybe you jumped the gun a little removing the plaster but it was probably time either way. :)
 
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Mdragger88

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Jun 1, 2018
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Hernando, Ms
Pool Size
26000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Intex Krystal Clear
Thanks for updating your location- now I’m picturing anacondas in your pool among other things …. 🐍 🐍😳
There are lots of threads here about plaster methods & surfaces (not paint) just do a little search 🔍 in the bar. Hopefully u can find an option that can be carried out in your country that will definitely be longer lived than paint so u can start enjoying your pool 😊
 

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