New Pebbletec Advice Needed

Mr. Muriaticacid

Active member
Apr 25, 2016
26
Owasso , OK
Our 11 year old plaster pool is in need of an upgrade and we have decided to go with a Pebbletec Sheen finish. I had previously spent a lot of time learning about the plastering process on this site with the greatest help coming from several excellent articles that OnBalance wrote. I had been dreading starting this process because I knew I was going to have to “negotiate” with the plasterers to get them to do it the way OnBalance wrote about. But then, I discovered that for my pool Pebbletec isn’t all that much more expensive than regular plaster. So here is what I am thinking about why Pebbletec is the better option and please jump in with any suggestions.

1. Since PTI (Pebbletec International) requires a plasterer to be certified by them, the quality of the application should be more consistent and the plasterer will be more likely to use best practices.
2. Assuming pool care is equal and adequate, the Pebbletec finish will outlast a plaster finish.
3. You will not have visible defects like shoe prints (I had them), streaks, mottled areas, etc. in the Pebbletec finish.
4.Pool water will be easier to balance.

I look forward to hearing suggestions, advice, and personal experience from the fine people here on TFP.
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
16,099
Tucson, AZ
#4 really isn’t true. There’s really no difference in the requirements for maintaining an appropriate saturation balance between straight plaster or aggregate plasters (PebbleTec, etc). The process is the same and the largest determining factor is the TA and pH maintenance of the water. The quality of your fill water and the chemicals you add will affect the TA and pH the greatest. The plaster surface has almost no bearing on that. If a plaster surface was actively emitting calcium or carbonate hardness into the bulk of the water, then your water would be in an extremely corrosive state or the plaster wound be in a serious state of deterioration.

As for longevity, plaster or pebble doesn’t matter, proper water care does. Again, maintaining the proper chemistry is the most important.

I would agree that Pebble surfaces “hide a multitude of sins” sort of speak. It’s much harder to see stains on a pebble surface but, then again, if you’re taking good care of your pool, you should never get stains to begin with.
 
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Rancho Cost-a-Lotta

Silver Supporter
Apr 10, 2018
896
Rancho Cucamonga, CA
If I were to do pebble again, I would avoid any of the darker colors. I went with black-marble. After 4 years, I'm starting to lighter blotches and streaks in some areas. I know it's not related to chemical balance since I maintain a good CSI. Stick with lighter colors if you can find something you like. Just my 2 cents.
 
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Mr. Muriaticacid

Active member
Apr 25, 2016
26
Owasso , OK
As for longevity, plaster or pebble doesn’t matter, proper water care does. Again, maintaining the proper chemistry is

I agree with the taking good care of your pool part. Unfortunately, when we got our first and only pool we didn’t know what we were doing and the plaster wasn’t finished correctly so that combination made what should have been a pleasant experience a painful and expensive learning experience. Thanks to this site, I now know how to balance the water correctly. I think my main reason for going Pebbletec is mostly to prevent us from seeing any visual defects. But I also believe that by choosing a good contractor, which I think I did, AND knowing how to take care of a pool thanks to this site that we will get even more enjoyment this time around.

I think you put more trust in PTI certfication then it deserves.
ajw22, can you elaborate on this? Doesn’t the fact that PTI certifies the applicators indicate at least a little oversight if something were to go wrong? assuming the chemistry was properly maintained.

I do have one other question.
The PTI website recommends to follow the NPC guidelines on balancing pool water. The NPC uses the Langelier Saturation Index. How close is the LSI to the CSI that TFP uses? I plan on following the LSI for the first 4 weeks as recommended but will anything be different if I switch back to the CSI?
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
22,961
Laughlin, NV
I do have one other question.
The PTI website recommends to follow the NPC guidelines on balancing pool water. The NPC uses the Langelier Saturation Index. How close is the LSI to the CSI that TFP uses? I plan on following the LSI for the first 4 weeks as recommended but will anything be different if I switch back to the CSI?
This is some good information -- CSI and LSI - Further Reading
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
11,637
Northern NJ
Doesn’t the fact that PTI certifies the applicators indicate at least a little oversight if something were to go wrong? assuming the chemistry was properly maintained.
There has been no indication that PTI has ever stepped in for the customers benefit on a plaster problem. If you read your PTI warranty all they agree to do is provide materials on a warranty claim, which may be 10% of the cost.

I don't know specifically what the certification process is but I doubt it is more then some initial training, which could have been years ago, and likely not for the crew who is on your job. After the company becomes a PTI certified installer they are on their own.

We have seen members with great PebbleTec jobs and lousy PebbleTec jobs. All those installers were "certified". The quality depends on the installer and more importantly the crew you get and if they make the right on-site decisions about if the weather is appropriate for plastering that day, accuracy in mixing the materials, following the correct installation process, and not rushing the application.



 

Jbrillo

Gold Supporter
Jun 11, 2018
331
League City, Texas
Our 11 year old plaster pool is in need of an upgrade and we have decided to go with a Pebbletec Sheen finish. I had previously spent a lot of time learning about the plastering process on this site with the greatest help coming from several excellent articles that OnBalance wrote. I had been dreading starting this process because I knew I was going to have to “negotiate” with the plasterers to get them to do it the way OnBalance wrote about. But then, I discovered that for my pool Pebbletec isn’t all that much more expensive than regular plaster. So here is what I am thinking about why Pebbletec is the better option and please jump in with any suggestions.

1. Since PTI (Pebbletec International) requires a plasterer to be certified by them, the quality of the application should be more consistent and the plasterer will be more likely to use best practices.
2. Assuming pool care is equal and adequate, the Pebbletec finish will outlast a plaster finish.
3. You will not have visible defects like shoe prints (I had them), streaks, mottled areas, etc. in the Pebbletec finish.
4.Pool water will be easier to balance.

I look forward to hearing suggestions, advice, and personal experience from the fine people here on TFP.
#2 was my primary reason for going with Pebbletec. It may cost a little more upfront, but to me it’s worth it if I can go longer w/o having to replaster. It’s cheaper to upgrade to Pebbletec than to have to replaster. I agree it definitely matters who does the plastering. Luckily, the one that did ours is a very well regarded installer. I follow the TFP way, so I’m hoping to squeeze a long time out of this Pebblesheen. Good luck on the replaster!
 
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