NO Drain Acid Wash for Plaster/Pebble Snafus

osorry1August 3, 2007

The pool has been finished and chemically balanced since 4th of July, but still with the same plaster leftovers despite vigorous brushing that were in the pool when they "half-acid" washed it in the first place. I've called the pool builder and all I get is "that's one of the prettiest color pools ever, you should just enjoy it" with no attempt to help remedy the plaster situation. It's noticeably streaky in daylight, I'll try to post pics of that tomorrow. But I've keep the water pH slightly below normal, but still no change in the plaster streaks with considerable brushing. I'm thinking of lowering the pH (BUT TO WHAT LEVEL- 7.0- how much less? 26K gallons- how much acid?) then brushing some more. I'd like to make the PB do it, but not much likelihood there.

Here are picks after acid wash and starting fill of water to see the same streaks that are there now. I'll post filled pool pics of the areas of concern tomorrow.

Thanks all!!

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Rack Etear

I have never actually had a no drain acid wash work. I have thrown that Hail mary many times, and it never gets caught.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2007 at 1:29AM
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It worked really well for me. Sorry I'm not sure exactly how much acid they used or what the pH was during it. I would guess they used about 10 gallons of acid for my 20k gallon pool. I'm actually not even sure exactly how big my pool is, so 20k gallons is just a guess as well.

Here are some before and after photos. Most of the results were seen after 24 hours, but it sat in the acid bath for 5 days. I think eimea had good results as well.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2007 at 2:34AM
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I didn't know what it was called, but they did a pretty serious acid job on mine, and it changed the appearance greatly... diamondbrite. The finish is still not perfect, but pretty darn close.

They dumped 12 gallons of acid in my 18000 gallon pool...

The ph was too low to measure on my drop test at the time.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2007 at 7:28AM
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Lowering the PH works well in a lot of cases where peeble finishes are not exposed evenly or on color finishes.
Use 1 gallon of acid per 1500 gallons of water. Brush and do not filter or run pumps. May take 3-5 days for results.
Rebalance chemicals paying close attention to TA, which will be very low. Good luck.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2007 at 9:45AM
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We have the same problem. Pool was filled 2 weeks ago and they started with an acid wash 5 days then we had to bring the ph up. Pool is balanced now but the pebblesheen is not exposed in multiple places--should be prism blue but lots of plaster and dark grey look. When you look closely with a mask underwater you can see that the pebbles just aren't exposed in places.

Kids are loving the pool but we are not loving the finish. Don't know about 5 days of acid again and no swimming for 5-7 in this 98 degree heat though...

Would we have to do another acid wash now or could we wait until the fall? Any other options?

Osorry1 and cheifneil what color do you both have? I'll take pics tomorrow and post.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2007 at 12:09AM
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I have Stonescapes Midnight Blue Mini pebble- but plaster guys added black pigment to the plaster to more closely match Cheifneil's Ocean Blue Pebble sheen (which is what I wanted but PB didn't use Pebble sheen products.)

I would rather just keep the pH slightly lower for now, then if that doesn't work wait until late fall for no drain or drain if necessary. They did a much better job in the spa than they did in the pool.

I'm planning to keep the pH just above readable (6.8-7.2) with the test kit and brush the mess out of it in the next weeks. I'll be out of town some and will have a pool guy try to work on it. We'll see. I'll post photos tomorrow showing the plastery spots.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2007 at 1:55AM
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Here are some photos in full sun so you can get an idea of the plaster issues. All help is appreciated. Right now I'm keeping the pH about 6.8-7.0, slightly low. I'm noting though that I'm having to add about 1 gallon of muriatic acid a week, as every 2 days the pH is back up to 8.0-8.2. I put in 1/2 gallon this morning and I had just put in the other half gallon on Thursday. Thanks.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2007 at 2:27PM
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This issue is simple. You paid for a pebble finish, and your pool looks great other than the pebble finish. It is not your responsibility to be do work on your pool that only professionals should be doing. Your words were well chosen when you said, "When they half-acid washed it in the first place." Tell them to get their half-acidÂs out there and do it right. This is a normal situation with pebble installers. They send out unseasoned labor to finish the pool off for fill. High acid take offs are great, however you pool finish is 95% stone. The pool needs a manual acid wash done right. Trust me these people are well use to coming back and getting right. Have them deliver the product they sell and you paid for.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2007 at 2:45PM
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To add to what Stash said --

... and if your pool builder gives you any grief about taking care of this, contact a Pebble Technology, Inc., Customer Service Manager at (800) 937-5058.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2007 at 2:55PM
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I have this problem on a beadcrete pool and posted a sketch of my thoughts on this issue at the URL below.

My pool is inconsistent in excess plaster so I have decided on a regular manual acid wash requiring draining the pool since more acid and more plaster removal can be concentrated on the areas with excess plaster avoiding over etching the other areas.

Here is a link that might be useful: No drain acid wash problem

    Bookmark   August 9, 2009 at 5:22PM
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hanging a sump pump with a rope across pool to circulate the water on a no drain works get acid is heavier than water and will settle on the lowest spot for a more even job

    Bookmark   July 4, 2010 at 12:27AM
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Welcome plasterman.

Where do hail from?

What finishing products have you been applying?


    Bookmark   July 4, 2010 at 9:01AM
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Like plasterman suggested a sump pump on a rope works great. Hang the pump about 2 feet above the main drain. I then put a piece on pipe extending up to water level with an elbow or a T depending on pool shape. This method pulls the acid from the floor returns it to the top of the water and bathes the entire pool surface evenly.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2010 at 11:43PM
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I think plasterman either didn't realize this thread's age or though it was a good place to start here as a welcomed contributor. I think it demonstrates he has some experience others can benefit from without risk.


    Bookmark   July 4, 2010 at 11:59PM
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norcal 30 years plaster, pebble, 3m if it's a surface of a pool I've done it but there are so many now I lose track plaster some mostly repairs, VGB's, underwater repair don't plaster much at all, big jobs Legoland a mounth ago yea date is way off. sorry

    Bookmark   July 9, 2010 at 8:12AM
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how do you actually acid wash the pool w/out draining??

    Bookmark   June 20, 2011 at 1:29PM
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wow old thread revival! Its not an acid wash, more of a acid bath. They add large amounts of acid to the full pool and brush and wait 3-5 days. As this thread shows, sometimes it works other times, YUCK.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2011 at 4:42PM
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The proper method:

Check the TA and calcium levels.

Add acid to lower TA to 0

Brush vigorously a minimum of twice a day, monitoring calcium level.

When calcium starts to rise, raise TA/pH to proper levels.

I've had mixed results, but that's the proper way to do this.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2011 at 10:00AM
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