Pressure Washing PebbleTec Waterline

KDpoolguy

Bronze Supporter
Mar 5, 2017
593
Palm Desert, CA
This is my first ever pool that has no Waterline tile-back when they’d use the pebbletec all the way to the coping.

I have a ‘lip’ on one side of the pool (check out the video) leaving the pool feeling like a cool lagoon. I actually like the style, but will certainly revisit when it needs a resurface. The pebble (and other things) were repaired a year ago to the tune of $5k (by prior owner) and this ‘lip’ has multiple cracks that were ‘re-pebbled’ over. When we purchased the home I noted the unrepaired water line areas were caked in calcium/mineral buildup. Nkw these areas are showing mineral ‘ring around the collar’ buildup.

Now that I’m managing the Ph better, I’m still getting this white film at the Waterline. Could this be the salt? I’m new to salt SWCG pools.

I’ve managed many properties, some with fountains built in this era of ‘let’s pebble everywhere’ and we’d drain and media-blast off the buildup. I have a gas pressure washer I’d love to use to try to blast off as much of the calcium buildup as possible with this, but can’t find anyone whose done this. If it were clay tile, I’d even be leery of media blast as it’s always left the tile cloudy and they always seem to use the wrong media/sand.
This is 20 year old pebble and I feel media blast might lead to more cracks and removal surface of areas of repaired cracks.
Has anyone used a standard pressure washer for their pebbletec waterline? Am I all alone here. :(
Check out the video of my Boffo attempting to clean the Waterline .
 
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Rocket J Squirrel

Silver Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Jun 7, 2018
596
Alamo, CA
I would be afraid the pressure wash would blast the pebbles right out of the plaster. That's what happens to my aggregate concrete deck unless I set the pressure so low that it doesn't even clean. In other words, for my deck, there is no pressure setting that works.

For the waterline, I use a scrubbing mitt like this one.
 

KDpoolguy

Bronze Supporter
Mar 5, 2017
593
Palm Desert, CA
I imagine I’d have to be very close with the spray nozzle, yes. I’ve blasted skin off my hand leaving a permanent scar, a hairs-breath away from stitches and a ER visit. Would media blast be gentler on the pebble?

@mknauss My CSI calc is in the normal range now (don't have it handy) but yes I imagine that this rough aggregate surface is ‘sticky’ compared to tile as once I’d have a freshly cleaned tile surface when I managed the Ph And brushed regularly I never had a problem with buildup.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
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May 3, 2014
23,009
Laughlin, NV
If the surface can 'wick' water above the waterline, you will get scale. Non epoxy Tile grout is a bad actor for that.
 

KDpoolguy

Bronze Supporter
Mar 5, 2017
593
Palm Desert, CA
If the surface can 'wick' water above the waterline, you will get scale. Non epoxy Tile grout is a bad actor for that.
Marty, I really didn’t consider that the concrete ‘water wicking’ nature of the pebble surface is inherently going to suffer deposits...so why in heavens name did they do it? :confused: It’s crazy because almost all of the exposed waterline pebble is caked in white calcium buildup. I doubt the prior owner ever maintained it as it was likely supposed to be—whether that’s media blast or what manufacture OEM spec advised.
Am I a fool to try the pressure wash?
 

duraleigh

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Apr 1, 2007
32,864
Sebring, Florida
Am I a fool to try the pressure wash?
Your pool......your decision. I wouldn't. I would clean it with muriatic acid and elbow grease. An acid brush to start and perhaps a wire brush if you need it (you'll sacrifice the wire brush in the acid environment).

Once you get it clean, keep your pH down and minimize the CH content of your water (200 or so). That will assist in prevention, but. as Marty says, you are still gonna get some calcium deposits.......nature of the beast.