New Pool Quartz Plaster Troubles

MikeInTX

New member
Oct 16, 2021
4
Prosper, TX
Pool Size
29000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Hello everyone!

Stumbled upon this site too late in my first pool ownership experience. Very useful info and glad I found this valuable community! Looking for some help and hope to contribute over time.

TLDR:
New Quartz Plaster mottled/calcium carbonate all over. Acid bath did just OK. PB added ScaleTech and said to wait and brush. Pics at bottom, YouTube video underwater showing issue. Please heeelp!!!

Long story with pertinent details:

We have run into a major concern upon the completion of our plaster job and startup. Coupled with a hot DFW pool market and our builder scrambling to keep up with their sales team, the communication and resolution has been very slow and less than promising.

Major “mottling” or calcium carbonate buildup I suspect - but I’m still learning. Couldn’t figure out how to post a video, so uploaded this video to my YouTube as it shows the issue much better than photos.

- New Pool and spa ~ 29,000 gallons
- Chlorine
- DE filter
- Wet Edge LunaQuartz Madagascar
- “Reputable” pool builder of 25+ years in north Texas
- plastered and filled in same day
8/4/2021
- Plaster complete
- Begin filling via 2 hoses
8/6/2021
- Pool full midday
- City water “green” that week (great 🙄)
- PB on-site, started pumps, added acid?
- PB stated no brushing, they would start 8/9
8/7/2021
- I brushed pool, no PB
8/8/2021
- I brushed pool, no PB
8/9/2021
- PB on-site late afternoon, “adjusted chemicals”, brushed, no chlorine
8/10/2021
- PB on-site late afternoon, “adjusted chemicals”, brushed, no chlorine
8/11/2021
- PB on-site late afternoon, “adjusted chemicals”, brushed, no chlorine
8/12/2021
- PB on-site late afternoon, “adjusted chemicals”, brushed, no chlorine
8/13/2021
- PB on-site morning, “adjusted chemicals”, brushed, added chlorine shock, added chlorine tablets or automatic chlorinator, chlorine shock was visibly tossed into pool and settled at bottom
- I brushed pool and stirred up settled chlorine as soon as noticed it.
- Afternoon I checked PH, 8.2+, chlorine untraceable
- Pool water considerably clearer
- Water sample taken to Leslie Pools
- FC = 0.1
- TC = 0.1
- PH = 8.3
- TA = 108
- CH= 142
- CYA = 5
- Phosphates = 52
- TDS = 300

From there the pool chemicals seemed to get within recommended ranges for Chlorine and pH- but I didn’t have a full test kit and PB wasn’t emailing the Calcium Hardness etc. so I was in the dark and was taking them as the experts.

Brought the discoloration to their attention, we gave it time (several weeks), brushed and brushed and brushed. Finally escalated it and sent video of underwater. They involved WetEdge (plaster mfg), the plaster sub and their GM. Proposed an acid bath. Plaster Co came out with a small pole mounted acid applicator and tested some spots and dissolved some of the white discoloration. The 3 parties agreed on an acid bath, to which I demanded written confirmation of the liability with regard to plaster integrity and warranty (and I got it from PB).

Acid Bath by PB
- added high level of acid to seek 7.0pH and I don’t know what else
- suspended two sump pumps across pool to stir the water and prevent running through pump/heater
- brushed daily, added more acid
- after ~ 7 days, added bicarb and kicked pumps on, removed sump pumps
- after a few days of brushing and backwashing and plugging filter full of some type of “plaster dust”, it cleared up a little so you could see through the water
- pointed out the major trouble areas were still apparently untouched, much of it got better though
- they added ScaleTech Plus and said to wait two weeks, to my knowledge they’ve not added any chlorine at this point
- brushing at this point has resulted in TONS of dust stirring up into the water and making it where you can’t see the end of the brush
- finally got them to come out today and vacuum and do a filter clean to get the pool somewhat usable for a pool party this weekend
- pool is now much clearer and filter is running 24/7 for last day, will keep it this way and keep brushing and backwashing/adding DE
- PB added acid and shock this afternoon, tech said PH was really high and there was no chlorine
- happened to get my big Taylor kit today and took numbers tonight, tested ~ 3-4hrs after PB added chems
FC - 11
CC - 0.2
pH - 8+
TA - 110
CH - 470
SatIndex - 1.0
CYA - 65
78F

So ladies and Gents- this was a long post, but I’m all ears as to solutions/concerns/strategies for pressuring PB differently.

Disclaimer- I’m a total poolcare Noob. I’m wading in to DIY pool care but at this point trying to let the PB try their hand at making things right, lest I give them a reason to point blame at me for the plaster issue. Their contract included a few months of service, when that (and this plaster ordeal) ends- I will not continue service with them.


At completion of plaster
B15CE2D8-D1B4-4532-B589-A003B5CC3F85.jpeg

Plaster company ran hoses and began fill, they left one hose near the top. My wife came out and saw this and called the PM, shut off the one hose and went to ACE and got a longer one and put both in deep end and resumed the fill
FC96B95B-5987-4B6F-9F8B-86C51B7DAEC4.jpeg
Pool when full, notable discoloration on tanning ledge
8B9E0D87-DFD0-4C3E-936A-D6211798D827.jpeg
Visible discoloration on bottom, water green. Apparently our city water had an issue with the water the same freakin’ day we chose to fill (no I don’t have the water chemistry at time if fill)
35343571-5AA1-4EB6-B38E-6775A58A4E4F.jpeg6985B65F-880F-4C2D-820A-4CDA270D0D2E.jpeg

Aerial shot showing discoloration a week or so later after the pool chemistry was balanced and startup completed
90CFB169-585E-45A2-8F69-DB77BB2F8F81.jpeg
 

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ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
38,860
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Welcome to TFP.

Is the pool surface smooth or rough now?

Your problems look to be cosmetic. You can drain the pool and have them sand it with 80/100 grit sandpaper which will expose new plaster and may even out the color some. But I do not think it will get you to a smooth even color.

I recommend you use your Taylor K-2006C test kit and take control of your water chemistry ASAP.

Recommended Levels

 
Last edited:

MikeInTX

New member
Oct 16, 2021
4
Prosper, TX
Pool Size
29000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Welcome to TFP.

Is the pool surface smooth or rough now?

Your problems look to be cosmetic. You can drain the pool and have them sand it with 80/100 grit sandpaper which will expose new plaster and may even out the color some. But I do not think it will get you to a smooth even color.

I recommend you use your Taylor K-2006C test kit and take control of your water chemistry ASAP.

Recommended Levels

Thanks AJW22. I was traveling for work but will get in and feel the plaster. The PB service ends this week and I’ve told them I’ll be discontinuing their service. Will get my chemistry in order myself.
 

Nikilyn

Bronze Supporter
Sep 3, 2018
1,321
Gilbert, AZ
Pool Size
17000
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
You can see they left water on the grotto bench in the fill plaster and it matches the spot perfectly. I would be wanting them to do something. The Baja step is pretty bad. I hope they make it right for you.
 

MikeInTX

New member
Oct 16, 2021
4
Prosper, TX
Pool Size
29000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
so the surface where it is lighter seems slightly smoother, the darker area seems a tad rougher. After going back and forth with the PB and showing them videos and pics and them going back to the plaster co- they are planning to drain the pool Monday and do an acid wash and refill and claim it sill solve the issue….

I took another underwater video (
) after the acid bath, and squirted some 50/50 pool water and muriatic on a patch to show how the lighter area is affected.

Also attached pic of what I got in my Polaris net after a week.

Will keep the thread updated in case it’s helpful for anyone.
 

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Mikey214

New member
Oct 1, 2021
1
PA
so the surface where it is lighter seems slightly smoother, the darker area seems a tad rougher. After going back and forth with the PB and showing them videos and pics and them going back to the plaster co- they are planning to drain the pool Monday and do an acid wash and refill and claim it sill solve the issue….

I took another underwater video (
) after the acid bath, and squirted some 50/50 pool water and muriatic on a patch to show how the lighter area is affected.

Also attached pic of what I got in my Polaris net after a week.

Will keep the thread updated in case it’s helpful for anyone.
Any updates on this ?
 
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