Looking for opinions


New member
Jul 29, 2017
I joined this site a few years ago but this is my first post so I decided to put it here.

First, some background. I installed my pool before the internet was invented. Back in those days sources of information were the installers, pool stores, and the informational pamphlets put out by various manufacturers. The pool salesman had told us that a concrete pool was far better than a liner pool because it would last forever. He failed to mention plaster. I think I had an idea that he wasn't entirely above board when the I found out that the automatic clorinator promised turned out to be cartridges filled with 1" tablets that screwed on to the skimmer covers.

During those early years I followed the recommendations I was given by Leslies and the service company that I used for some things. Even so my original plaster lasted about 10 years. As I was trying to figure out why it didn't last forever I found Ben Powell's old site and got a handle on chemistry. Since then I have used bleach, muriatic acid and baking powder for adjusting. I use the 3" pucks in the Hayward CL200 that I installed to raise the CYA when needed and when I go on vacation (more on that in a bit.)

About the time that I had the pool replastered my work schedule changed. I would leave the house at 5:00 am on Monday morning I would get home at 7:00 pm on Friday. During the week it was up to my wife to pay attention to the pool. I ran the Hayward a little and she would add some bleach from time to time if the test strips showed a problem. On Saturdays I would get out the test kit and make sure everything was balanced. I would actually over adjust slightly to try to average it out over the week when I wasn't home.

That wasn't a total disaster as that plaster finish lasted even longer than the first. Four years ago I started having issues with coping and decided to renovate the pool. We put in a pebble finish. I was told it had a lifetime warranty but I needed to have the water tested by a store every month. Since then I have been going to Leslies or occasionally another pool store to get the print out. Readings from Leslies have been inconsistent but all I wanted was the print out. They know I am not going to buy PHOSfree. I retired a couple of years ago and now test and adjust regularly so I don't care what Leslies says.

Here is where I need opinions. I recently pulled out and read the warranty on the pool finish. There are two problems. First, it says that monthly testing is to be computerized. Although I get a computer print out from Leslies the test is done manually. The other store I have used a few times is computerized but they are a BioGuard dealer and I can't handle their attitude. They want me to switch to their stuff and are very annoyed that I don't. So I have four years of monthly test results that the finish folks could probably say are invalid. The second problem is that the warranty is for material only and does not cover labor. I don't know what the exact breakdown is but I suspect much of the cost of a new finish is in labor, not material.

So here is my dilemma. Do I stop getting the monthly print outs? Now that I am able to test correctly on a regular basis I really don't think I will ruin this finish, and the warranty might be void already. If I have a problem and if they stand behind the warranty I don't know how much that is worth. Labor to redo the finish would be costly.

What would you do?
Last edited by a moderator:


Silver Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 15, 2017
Spring Valley, NY
Do your own testing on the side if you have to have everything logged. Pool store results never add up. If you get the chemistry spot on it'll have no effect on the finished product except perfect water. If there is such a thing as them only testing but not adding chemicals, that would be the best of both worlds.


Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
Northern NJ
I don’t think your Pebble warranty will be worth the accumulated time, effort, and money you spend getting the monthly tests for the reasons you listed. Their only obligation is to give you materials, if they don’t find any issues when they review your tears of test results. I would guess that 90% of the plaster cost is in the labor, 10% in materials.