PebbleSheen Uneven

ald2002

Silver Supporter
Sep 10, 2020
169
Fort Mill, SC
Hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving. I had Blue Surf applied one month ago. The pool walls are much darker than the floor (see photo). Is this a normal part of the curing process and will the color even out over time? Thanks.
 

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ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
24,985
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
No, the color is unlikely to change.

Are you sure the color difference is not from the light and shadows?
 

ald2002

Silver Supporter
Sep 10, 2020
169
Fort Mill, SC
No, the color is unlikely to change.

Are you sure the color difference is not from the light and shadows?
I wish it were. The first photo was taken when cloudy. The one below was taken in the sun. The walls are gray to black.
 

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Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
8,624
Central California
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Your finish should be covered by at least one warranty from PebbleTec, and possibly a second one from the installer. What does the PB and/or his PebbleTec installer say about the color issue? Have they yet? Did you already get the ol' "Oh, it'll go away on its own." spiel? Ask them to arrange a warranty review directly with PebbleTec. The installer should have been certified by PebbleTec to apply that material, and PebbleTec is suppose to stand by that work. If you've got a two-tone pool, that is not a standard installation. Have PebbleTec weigh in directly about this issue. They've been known to send their own rep to inspect a problem like this.

The PB and his installer are probably not going to volunteer this step, because if it is determined they are at fault, they'll be on the hook to make it right. If they won't arrange a review by PebbleTec, then call PebbleTec yourself.

If there has been any mention of an acid wash, put on the brakes immediately and check back with us. That's a no-go.

Who has been taking care of the pool chemistry for this first month? That's important. If it was the PB or his staff, you're in the clear. If it was you, you might find the PB and/or PebbleTec will push back and claim it was bad water chemistry that caused the problem, and so your fault, and so no remedy. Did the two colors develop over time, or were they like that from day one? Can you prove that? If you were taking care of the water, did you test the water correctly, and keep records of the test results? Unfortunately, if there is to be a dispute about fixing the color issue, you'll need to be prepared to prove it wasn't your doing (if in fact it was not).

No need for things to get ugly just yet. First see if you can involve the PB, the installer and PebbleTec to come to some kind of reasonable resolution. That starts with a call to PebbleTec.

At some point you'll need to decide what a satisfactory solution is, and to what extent you want to fight for it. Can you live with it? Would it be more palatable if a discount was offered? Or do you want the finish replaced, and if so, are you willing to endure what that will take to get done. At first you'll want to know what the PB and PebbleTec are willing do. Maybe they'll offer to replace the finish. If not, then you'll go from there...
 

ald2002

Silver Supporter
Sep 10, 2020
169
Fort Mill, SC
Your finish should be covered by at least one warranty from PebbleTec, and possibly a second one from the installer. What does the PB and/or his PebbleTec installer say about the color issue? Have they yet? Did you already get the ol' "Oh, it'll go away on its own." spiel? Ask them to arrange a warranty review directly with PebbleTec. The installer should have been certified by PebbleTec to apply that material, and PebbleTec is suppose to stand by that work. If you've got a two-tone pool, that is not a standard installation. Have PebbleTec weigh in directly about this issue. They've been known to send their own rep to inspect a problem like this.

The PB and his installer are probably not going to volunteer this step, because if it is determined they are at fault, they'll be on the hook to make it right. If they won't arrange a review by PebbleTec, then call PebbleTec yourself.

If there has been any mention of an acid wash, put on the brakes immediately and check back with us. That's a no-go.

Who has been taking care of the pool chemistry for this first month? That's important. If it was the PB or his staff, you're in the clear. If it was you, you might find the PB and/or PebbleTec will push back and claim it was bad water chemistry that caused the problem, and so your fault, and so no remedy. Did the two colors develop over time, or were they like that from day one? Can you prove that? If you were taking care of the water, did you test the water correctly, and keep records of the test results? Unfortunately, if there is to be a dispute about fixing the color issue, you'll need to be prepared to prove it wasn't your doing (if in fact it was not).

No need for things to get ugly just yet. First see if you can involve the PB, the installer and PebbleTec to come to some kind of reasonable resolution. That starts with a call to PebbleTec.

At some point you'll need to decide what a satisfactory solution is, and to what extent you want to fight for it. Can you live with it? Would it be more palatable if a discount was offered? Or do you want the finish replaced, and if so, are you willing to endure what that will take to get done. At first you'll want to know what the PB and PebbleTec are willing do. Maybe they'll offer to replace the finish. If not, then you'll go from there...
Thank you so very much! I informed the PB of the color issue yesterday. The color looked great and has slowly showed the unevenness on the walls and deep end.

The PB took care of the chemistry for the first 15 days and I took over. I have emails and text messages from week one about my water chemistry concerns. My CYA was and had been too high. Someone from the pool company put in too much stabilizer. The PB has asserted a high CYA has no impact on the pool surface. Further to this, at pool orientation, they dumped about five bags of salt into the pool. Upon my protest of this, the PB contacted the PebbleTech rep who said this was fine as long as the chlorinator isn’t started. Again, I trusted the PB. I am very comfortable with my documentation to evidence my concerns and the PB’s advice and direction. I also had a reputable pool service company help me with the chemistry. They wouldn’t touch it due to the high CYA and advised I work with the PB.

Obviously I am super disappointed, frustrated and upset. Every time I look at the pool it upsets me. I know the standard response will be “this is normal and the pebble takes time to cure”. It seems like I’ve had so many issues. I will ask for a review by PebbleTech but I want a review by a rep unaffiliated with the PB, if that’s even possible.
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
8,624
Central California
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
The more expert opinions you gather to support your position the better. You've already gotten a hint that, well let's just say, PebbleTec will not automatically side with the consumer. You're not the one selling their product, nor one that it is in their best interest to keep coming back for more pebbles! Adding salt to a curing finish, certainly within the first 30 days, is not recommended. So that's a red flag, and two if you count PebbleTec's cavalier attitude about it. I don't know enough about it to claim that was the cause of the problem, but it does indicate that your pool might not have received the best care possible.

Let's see if our experts have any ideas about the cause or remedy. @onBalance? @chem geek? @JoyfulNoise? Why would a pool's bottom surface cure differently than its sides, and will this go away on its own?
 
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ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
24,985
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
@onBalance thoughts?

My guess is they may have poorly mixed batches of plaster with some color variation.
 

ald2002

Silver Supporter
Sep 10, 2020
169
Fort Mill, SC
The more expert opinions you gather to support your position the better. You've already gotten a hint that, well let's just say, PebbleTec will not automatically side with the consumer. You're not the one selling their product, nor one that it is in their best interest to keep coming back for more pebbles! Adding salt to a curing finish, certainly within the first 30 days, is not recommended. So that's a red flag, and two if you count PebbleTec's cavalier attitude about it. I don't know enough about it to claim that was the cause of the problem, but it does indicate that your pool might not have received the best care possible.

Let's see if our experts have any ideas about the cause or remedy. @onBalance? @chem geek? @JoyfulNoise? Why would a pool's bottom surface cure differently than its sides, and will this go away on its own?
Thank you so very much.
 

ald2002

Silver Supporter
Sep 10, 2020
169
Fort Mill, SC
Strangely, when I turn off the pump, the color variation is not as significant. I can still see it - the walls have a gray tone.
 

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Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
8,624
Central California
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Reflection, refraction and the physics of light through water are all in play. The color of any pool surface, especially in the tones of yours, are going to look differently at different depths. You'll be able to see this clearly on your steps. The top step will look grey. The next step a bit bluer, the bottom step the bluest. The deep end will look significantly bluer than the shallow end. That is the water doing that. Surrounding visual elements in your yard will also affect your perception of the color of your pool (house and fence colors, landscaping, etc).

So some of what you're seeing might be caused by things other than the plaster finish, exacerbated by the ripples in the surface cause by the pump's circulation of the water.

How distinct is the change in color(s)? Is it just where the surface transitions from horizontal to vertical? Is it very abrupt?

My guess is that some of what you're seeing is real, and some is illusion...

I like the color of my deep end best. I don't like the color of my steps and bench as much. Some of that is to be expected, in any pool.
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
8,624
Central California
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
This illustrates my last post. Between the shadows, the depths and the reflection of my house, it looks like four different pools. This is my brand new finish, day one. Check out the bench in the deep end corner: looks like a different pool altogether. I'm not saying your pool doesn't have a problem, I'm just saying it might not be as bad as you think. No matter what PebbleTec and the PB do or don't do, the color is never going to look consistent across all the areas and depths and angles of your pool. It might be consistent, you'll just never be able to see that.

just filled cropped.jpg
 

ald2002

Silver Supporter
Sep 10, 2020
169
Fort Mill, SC
Reflection, refraction and the physics of light through water are all in play. The color of any pool surface, especially in the tones of yours, are going to look differently at different depths. You'll be able to see this clearly on your steps. The top step will look grey. The next step a bit bluer, the bottom step the bluest. The deep end will look significantly bluer than the shallow end. That is the water doing that. Surrounding visual elements in your yard will also affect your perception of the color of your pool (house and fence colors, landscaping, etc).

So some of what you're seeing might be caused by things other than the plaster finish, exacerbated by the ripples in the surface cause by the pump's circulation of the water.

How distinct is the change in color(s)? Is it just where the surface transitions from horizontal to vertical? Is it very abrupt?

My guess is that some of what you're seeing is real, and some is illusion...

I like the color of my deep end best. I don't like the color of my steps and bench as much. Some of that is to be expected, in any pool.
The walls are a different color than the floor.
 

ald2002

Silver Supporter
Sep 10, 2020
169
Fort Mill, SC
This illustrates my last post. Between the shadows, the depths and the reflection of my house, it looks like four different pools. This is my brand new finish, day one. Check out the bench in the deep end corner: looks like a different pool altogether. I'm not saying your pool doesn't have a problem, I'm just saying it might not be as bad as you think. No matter what PebbleTec and the PB do or don't do, the color is never going to look consistent across all the areas and depths and angles of your pool. It might be consistent, you'll just never be able to see that.

View attachment 169707
This helps! Thank you! Your pool is similar to mine!
 

onBalance

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Jul 25, 2011
1,115
Utah
There are several possible causes for color differences in plaster finishes. Could be differences (mistakes) in batch mixes, could be "plaster dust" that settle on floor and hardened and scaled (lightened) the surface, could be from poor workmanship troweling, and even from acid treatments, etc. The PB may be able to figure out what happened and provide a remedy. They need to be consulted and they should have some answers. Hopefully they will be straight with you.
 

ald2002

Silver Supporter
Sep 10, 2020
169
Fort Mill, SC
There are several possible causes for color differences in plaster finishes. Could be differences (mistakes) in batch mixes, could be "plaster dust" that settle on floor and hardened and scaled (lightened) the surface, could be from poor workmanship troweling, and even from acid treatments, etc. The PB may be able to figure out what happened and provide a remedy. They need to be consulted and they should have some answers. Hopefully they will be straight with you.
Thank you so much! The PB, an individual I trust, will look at the pool on Wednesday. I hope they will be straight too.
 
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