Very high hardness with Diamondbrite - empty and refill the pool?

mvoltin

Silver Supporter
Aug 1, 2016
58
atlanta, GA
Had my pool plastered with diamondbrite a week ago and depended on Leslie's Pool supplies on helping with start up (big mistake). While their recommendation's were correct about alkalinity and ph, the additive for increasing hardness was completely off. I guess my water was already hard enough and they may not even checked it. I added exactly what they told me about three days ago (have it in writing) and my hardness is now 625ppm. (small 13,000g pool). I already developed blotches and color is uneven.

At this point, I no longer care about the looks but just to preserve the integrity of the plaster and let it cure properly. Will this high hardness (625ppm) interfere with the curing process and shall I empty half pool and refill it? or should I leave it as is since everything else seems fine and just live with a pool that looks like a zebra now? Is there any way to reverse the physical damage?

I plan on emptying half of the pool tonight unless the community here advises otherwise.

thanks.
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Can you post all of your numbers? Be sure to include the water temp and what test kit you are using. Hopefully it's a TF-100 or Taylor K-2006C. Please add which one to your signature as well. Hold-off on the drain for the moment until we can evaluate all the numbers.
 

mvoltin

Silver Supporter
Aug 1, 2016
58
atlanta, GA
The water was evaluated by Spartan Pool Supplies - it has good reputation - just found out about them. Attached is the picture with all the numbers:
FC 1.1
TC 1.47
Combined 0.37
ph 7.3
hardness 642
alkalinity 108
cyanuric acid 5 (gave me stabilizer to be added).

Again pool was plastered a week ago and filled with water 5 days ago. circulating 24/7 with cartridge filter and water looks crystal clear but walls/floor have pretty bad blotching.

I am not supposed to start salt chlorine generator or pool heater for 1 month. Right now, just added liquid chlorine to keep between 1-4ppm. My concern is whether high hardness will mess up curing process but, otherwise, have given up on the physical appearance.

I had the water tested by Spartan pool but also have Poolmaster essential kit (no hardness test). just ordered K-2006 that will be arriving on Friday.

also, attached is the printout recommendations that I followed from Leslie's pool that got me in the current situation.

Here is the link to the diamondbrite curing instructions. and another link:
 

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mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
36,018
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
That amount of calcium chloride added just under 300 ppm CH. How hard is your fill water? It would be odd to be 300+ ppm.

You really need your own proper test kit. To be honest, none of us will provide much guidance based on pool store tests.
 

mvoltin

Silver Supporter
Aug 1, 2016
58
atlanta, GA
Thanks. I agree and test kit is on the way. I thought the pool store testing was reliable but i guess not...

I am working with incomplete info and assuming alkalinity, PH are correct since both stores and my two test kits match (across 4 tests). Thus, they are truly 120 and 7.3 respectively.

my question is, based on limited info:
would you partially empty the pool and refill it to drive hardness down below 400 if it’s truly 641? Will 641 interfere with curing based what else is known or are there at her parameters that would play into the decision besides alkalinity and ph?

P.S. i will go to local stores tomorrow and see if i can buy the test kit so that i don’t have to wait for Amazon delivery on Friday.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
36,018
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
I would not do anything based on a pool store test of CH. We have seen that number be wildly incorrect, especially if they use one of the electronic testing machines.

You cannot get a proper test kit at a pool store. Order the Taylor K2006C or for the best value, the TF100 from TFTestkits.net.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
23,621
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Slow down and be more patient. Even if your CH is now in the 600s it will not create any short term problems.

The only things that require immediate action is if your pH falls below 7 and you don’t want your FC over 3 ppm for the first 28 days. Low pH can be corrosive and high FC can bleach the color from curing plaster.

Get your K2006 test kit and post a full set of water tests. Then we can advise how to proceed.

Pool stores do not carry the K2006 test kit. Be patient and get it from Amazon. The K2006C is a better value then the K2006 with more reagent and the TF-100 Test Kits is the best value. See Test Kits Compared

Have you been given a plaster startup guide to follow?

 

mvoltin

Silver Supporter
Aug 1, 2016
58
atlanta, GA
Slow down and be more patient. Even if your CH is now in the 600s it will not create any short term problems.

The only things that require immediate action is if your pH falls below 7 and you don’t want your FC over 3 ppm for the first 28 days. Low pH can be corrosive and high FC can bleach the color from curing plaster.

Get your K2006 test kit and post a full set of water tests. Then we can advise how to proceed.

Pool stores do not carry the K2006 test kit. Be patient and get it from Amazon. The K2006C is a better value then the K2006 with more reagent and the TF-100 Test Kits is the best value. See Test Kits Compared

Have you been given a plaster startup guide to follow?

Thank you! Yes, I read the start-up guide and followed the diamondbrite guide as close as I could. I guess I will have to wait for my K2006 to arrive on Friday (couldn't find it locally) and will post the results. Watching Ph and Alkalinity closely.
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
I will have to wait for my K2006 to arrive on Friday (couldn't find it locally) and will post the results.
That will help tremendously. Good thing is the cooler waters should be helping you as well. In the meantime, some things you can do while you wait if you haven't already:
- Download & use the PoolMath APP; also make sure to select in your APP settings the ability to share your testing with others
- When you get the K-2006C, add that to your signature as well
- You're not using the SWG yet until the plaster cures, but you should go ahead and add the SWG info as well to your signature.
- The links below might also be helpful if you haven't seen them already


 

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mvoltin

Silver Supporter
Aug 1, 2016
58
atlanta, GA
Got K-2006 and enabled sharing on Pool Math. Below is the copy in case the pool match results are not visible:

FC 3.5
pH 7.2 (diamondbrite curing recommendation 7.4)
TA 100 (diamondbrite curing recommendation 120)
CH 750 (diamondbrite curing recommendation 200-400)
CYA 0 (I have the additive but didn't rush since the pool is not in direct sunlight but can add it as soon as other things are stabilized).

CH of my tap water is 50. Pool math recommends replacing 43% of water by volume. Should I do it?

Also, found it interesting that K-2006 and poolmaster kit have fairly different pH results (tried twice on both) - see the attached picture - the K-2006 is on the right.

Also, see the condition of the pool - it is fairly discolored. Should I add more stabilizer once its refilled before doing anything else?

thank you.
 

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JJ_Tex

Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Jul 17, 2019
2,292
Prosper, TX (DFW)
Pool Size
13000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
You are on the right track with getting a test kit and staying out of the pool stores.

With that said, you mentioned you do not like the plaster and it is discolored. Have you talked to your builder/plaster company about this? I assume there is some sort of warranty, so you want to make sure and stay in close contact with them and follow their directions so that do not try and point any issues back to you.
 
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Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
So you know the CH is a bit elevated, and no CYA (stabilizer) is never good. Your plaster is old enough now to have CYA, but if you change some water to lower the CH, do that first so you don't waste the stabilizer. As for the original question that started this thread (the plaster discoloration), I really don't know if there' a good answer. Many variables to that one. Maybe @bdavis466 can confirm. Stick with the K-2006C. :goodjob:
 

mvoltin

Silver Supporter
Aug 1, 2016
58
atlanta, GA
You are on the right track with getting a test kit and staying out of the pool stores.

With that said, you mentioned you do not like the plaster and it is discolored. Have you talked to your builder/plaster company about this? I assume there is some sort of warranty, so you want to make sure and stay in close contact with them and follow their directions so that they point any issues back to you.
I bought the diamondbrite from the National (florida distributor) and installed myself. I am not counting on warranty considering the overall install was $1,500, (including material and help I hired - in total). So, the color is what it is - compromise and result of cheap install. I just want to make sure longevity is not compromised based on the high CH.

Not sure If I should partially empty the pool sooner rather than later per Pool math recommendation to drive the CH down. If this should be done, doing it sooner rather than later would be better and my pool is relatively small - should be easily.
 

mvoltin

Silver Supporter
Aug 1, 2016
58
atlanta, GA
So you know the CH is a bit elevated, and no CYA (stabilizer) is never good. Your plaster is old enough now to have CYA, but if you change some water to lower the CH, do that first so you don't waste the stabilizer. As for the original question that started this thread (the plaster discoloration), I really don't know if there' a good answer. Many variables to that one. Maybe @bdavis466 can confirm. Stick with the K-2006C. :goodjob:
Thank you. As I mentioned in another response, I purchased and installed the DiamondBrite myself ($1500 total labor and install) and at this cost I am not complaining about the color - I may have messed up something but the CH worried me. I will partially empty the pool and refill - should be fairly easy. thanks.


Also, Please advise if you see my pool math results - I enabled sharing but wanted to make sure it was working correctly. thanks
 

Rancho Cost-a-Lotta

Silver Supporter
Apr 10, 2018
1,807
Rancho Cucamonga, CA
That amount of calcium chloride added just under 300 ppm CH.
Something doesn't sound right with your CH results, especially with your low Ch fill water. Did you use a 10 ml sample for the test? The instructions are a bit misleading and many have made the mistake of using a 25 ml sample and multiplying for a 10 ml sample (@25 ppm per drop). Just confirm you got the test right before you drain.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
23,621
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Something doesn't sound right with your CH results, especially with your low Ch fill water. Did you use a 10 ml sample for the test? The instructions are a bit misleading and many have made the mistake of using a 25 ml sample and multiplying for a 10 ml sample (@25 ppm per drop). Just confirm you got the test right before you drain.

Read post #1 where the OP explains she/he followed bad advice and added too much CH.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
23,621
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Not sure If I should partially empty the pool sooner rather than later per Pool math recommendation to drive the CH down. If this should be done, doing it sooner rather than later would be better and my pool is relatively small - should be easily.

Yes, you should get your CH down to the 350-400 range. That is a 50% drain from where you are.

No rush and it does not effect your plaster curing. But for long term pool water balance you should do the drain whenever it works best for you.
 

mvoltin

Silver Supporter
Aug 1, 2016
58
atlanta, GA
Thanks for all the help to this wonderful community. Ended up draining about 60% of the pool and got the CH down to 330. Things are looking normal now for the most part (alkalinity slightly creeped up to 130 from 120). My CYA is little high at 70 but should be OK since I am transitioning to SWG in a week and will need to keep CYA at 60-90 range.

Water is not as clear as it used to be but it took about 4-5 days last time - I assume same will happen now.

P.S. still learning about how to add right amount of chemicals. CYA bottle stated that it would increase 32ppm per 10,000g pool. It should have increased my 8,500g pool CYA to 38ppm but instead I got 70 (although I never added, there could have already been CYA that I didn't detect since K2006 measures 30ppm and up?). I guess this is still a learning process and I will be switching to non-liquid stabilizer in the future per Pool School recommendation.
 

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