New plaster, need help with chemistries


Sep 1, 2010
I'm near Houston, started building June 19th a freeform gunite pool with River Rok finish. Pool was filled 11 days ago with water from our well (new construction house, new well). As far as I know no chemicals were added to the water. I wasn't given a brush for the plaster until a week after the pool had been totally full. At that point they brushed, skimmed, cleaned out the baskets and checked the chemistries as well and gave me this report:

Chlorine 0
pH 8.2
alkalinity 240
backwash filter 30/20 6 lbs
add chemicals- 8 tabs 1 g acid 5g shock

The water had dirt/sand/leaves on the bottom but did not seem to be getting clearer like it should. I also noticed some areas in the deep end which were much darker than the rest and some areas of white splotchiness thoughout the pool. I called on Monday (day 10) and they did not return the call. I went outside Tuesday morning to brush the plaster and the pool was so murky I couldn't see the bottom of the shallow end. I emailed them on Tuesday with my concerns about the high pH and alkalinity and mottling of the plaster and murky water. They came out and tested the water with the drops. He told me pH was 7.3 and alkalinity 140. They backwashed the filter and I could immediately see a drastic improvement in the circulation of the pool. They said it should be clear by today. Their pool tech was there vacuuming and doing his thing.

So I went out this morning to brush the plaster again and found a report from the pool tech from Tuesday with the following:

chlorine 3
pH 8.2
alkalinity 240
backwash filter 30/20 6lbs
add chemicals 8 tabs 1g acid 5g shock

Also the pool was just as murky as before with zero circulation.

I called the builder to ask him why it says pH was 8.2 when I was told 1 hour earlier it was 7.3. He told me that the pool tech used strips to get the 8.2 and the chemicals were more accurate. The pool tech came out and rinsed off the filter and apparently the issue was that there was a crack in the manifold of the filter which is why it hasn't been working properly. They are supposed to be coming this afternoon to fix it.

I sent another email asking why we are using the strips for the pool if they are so inaccurate and why are we treating the pool with these inaccurate results? Did they lie to me about the 7.3 and 140? Can anyone clue me in here? He also told me only 1 g of acid can be added per day.

I am really frustrated at this point, the build was supposed to take 6 weeks and we are on week 10 with only 1 swimmable day so far. Any insight would be appreciated.

Melt In The Sun

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Oct 29, 2009
Tucson, AZ
Welcome to TFP!
It would be a good idea to get a good test kit so you really know what's going on. Can you post some pictures of the mottling (if you can still see it)? There are a few plaster/pebble experts here, and you definitely deserve to have it looking right.


Sep 18, 2010
This sounds hauntingly like my Houston area pool contractor... I am in the Woodlands, but they brag about big jobs all over. I just had a re-plaster nightmare after a broken manifold in my filter too.

See my post in Chemicals 202 about the "green line."
Thread starter Other Threads of Interest Forum Replies Date
S Algae - Prevention and Treatment 1
T Under Construction 5
L Everything Else 4

Other Threads of Interest