Rebar rust spots

Mar 21, 2017
Los Angeles, CA
Hi all,

I just finished up with my first (and hopefully last) SLAM, and the water is looking amazing. However, with all of the cleaning, I noticed a small rust spot in the shallow end of the pool. I thought it was just a little stain from some metal that may have been in there at one point, but then the next day, I saw another small spot that was in line with the first, heading down toward the deep end. Now I have 3 spots, all in line, all about 4-5 feet apart, so I'm thinking it's the rebar that is rusting through.

I've seen on the web that you want to get this taken care of ASAP before it spreads. My questions are: If the spots can be fixed without draining, what kind of ballpark pricing would that be? (I know it's hard to say, but I'm wondering if it would be a hundreds to 1k kind of job or easily a multi thousand dollar repair... Just looking for ANY kind of ballpark. Also, does anyone have a recommendation in the Los Angeles area for someone to come take a look.

Alternatively, I was considering taking a sock and getting dry acid and trying that out... but since the acid eats away at a layer of plaster, I'm worried about trying that when I think the rebar is the issue and not a dropped piece of metal.

Any thoughts?


20,000 gallon Gervasi pool. American Titan D.E. Vertical Grid Filter


TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 7, 2011
Midland TX
Man, I hate to be negative, but this sounds unstoppable without repair, unless someone has other ideas. As for that, I also think its a drain, and fairly expensive repair job. Maybe wrong on the cost, but it's going to be a little project for sure. Maybe someone has more positive thoughts and ideas on it, and maybe some suggestions about solutions. Ill bump this to the top with my answer, and PM a member or two I'm thinking about who may help more. Best of luck on this simple man..


Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Aug 10, 2012
Is this a pebble finish or plaster? Your diagnosis seems correct but there is an occasional pebble in a pebble finish that rusts. We had one, three in a row is pretty unlikely. Our PB dug it out with a flathead screwdriver and stuffed some pool putty in the hole. I think the PB might be able to dive the pool, clean out the crack and patch it with pool putty. It cures underwater and lasts a long time. We had a crack in our pebble that leaked water. It was repaired in 2012 and has been fine ever since.


TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 4, 2014
San Clemente, CA
It's asorbic acid, not dry acid if you are trying to remove the stain.

It sure sounds like there wasn't enough coverage over the rebar in that area and that's why you are getting the several spots in a row.

Unfortunately most quick fixes will just be temporary. A true fix will require draining the pool, chipping out the areas, fixing the rebar and then patching the plaster.

An alternative option would be an AquaBright coating but that is not an inexpensive solution.
Thanks for all of the input and sorry for such a delayed reply! I don't get much time during the week to check the forums but it seems like worst case, we need to drain, fix and fill... Gonna have someone come check it out in person and we will see what they say... I'm hopeful that they will be able to repair without draining, but if it's really just temporary, I think we know what needs to be done...