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Acid Bath vs. Acid Wash

Posted by goldenbeach (My Page) on
Fri, Aug 28, 09 at 19:23

My PB does not acid wash a pebble finish before filling the pool with water. Instead, he adds acid after the pool is filled with water calling it an acid bath. I have been brushing for two weeks now and have not been able to use the pool at all. At this point, all I do is brush and I am seeing minimal results. When is it too late to drain the pool and do an acid wash? How long should I have to brush?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Acid Bath vs. Acid Wash

Acid baths do no work, and you can brush forever, its not going to expose the pebble, until you move out of the house.


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RE: Acid Bath vs. Acid Wash

Low PH startups are good for alot of plaster materials, but for pebble, it has to be acid washed to expose the agg.


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RE: Acid Bath vs. Acid Wash

just is right - i did low ph startup for diamonbrite - worked beautifully - nice smooth plaster. but pebbles need a wash. pb should do it immediately.


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RE: Acid Bath vs. Acid Wash

That stinks. I was swimming the day after acid wash and haven't stopped since then. MY PT turned out great even though most members on here say that they added salt too soon.


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RE: Acid Bath vs. Acid Wash

GoldenBeach,

If you truly have PebbleTec or PebbleSheen, and not a knock-off brand, the pool builder absolutely should have done an acid wash before filling the pool. Contact Pebble Technologies, Inc., and they'll make your PB do it.


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RE: Acid Bath vs. Acid Wash

Thanks for the comments. I do not have the PebbleTec brand but a different mini pebble aggregate by Magic Marcite. But if it takes an acid wash to expose pebble aggregate, wouldn't the acid wash be required on all brands, not just the PebbleTec brand? They keep wanting me to brush the "butter" off the plaster saying the brushing will eventually expose the aggregate. Will it?


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RE: Acid Bath vs. Acid Wash

An acid bath is really hard to pull off and requires constant attention. Hopefully, your PB has done this before.

For an acid bath to work, TA has to be kept near 0 and PH very low so constant addition of acid is required. If not, it will never work. Also, don't run the pump while the PH/TA is that low or you risk damage to the equipment.


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RE: Acid Bath vs. Acid Wash

PB says this is the way he does it and it will look fine in about a year. He says he doesn't acid wash because it makes it streaky. He has added a gallon of acid twice in two weeks for approx 15,000 gallon pool. Don't think he is testing the water. Also, the 4x160 pump and cartridge filter have been running on speed 3 constantly since it was filled. What should I do at this point?


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RE: Acid Bath vs. Acid Wash

It sounds like he really isn't doing a true acid bath but occasionally is lowering PH and TA to make the water slightly aggressive. After addition of the acid is probably the best time to brush the sides. This may not be damaging to the equipment but it could be depending on the levels and length of time. Do you have a heater? What type of filter do you have?

Also, post a set of test results now and a set soon after he adds the acid.

PH TA CH CYA


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RE: Acid Bath vs. Acid Wash

Our PB did an acid wash after putting the Pebble finish plaster. Look at out thread " Our new Pool build in Jacksonville, FL" We went swimming while the pool was being filled and we have been keeping the PH very low while scrubbing daily. You can see that our pebbles are comming out the more we scrub. We will be turning to salt the end of next week. It will be 28 or 29 days and our PB says that that is close enough to 30 days which is needed to fully cure the plaster. I hope this helps, our pool looks better every day. I have not posted any up to date pics but you can see what it looked like a week later. Hope this helps.


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RE: Acid Bath vs. Acid Wash

Mas,
PB gave me a basic chlorine/ph test kit so I am not able to test the levels as you suggest. I will try to get the appropriate test kit this week. Heater is not yet connected and filter is Pentair Clean & Clear Plus 520. Thanks for your help. I am considering requesting/demanding PB drain the pool and acid wash but I don't want to ruin the plaster by using a different acid method than was started. Is it too late to switch from acid bath to acid wash?


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RE: Acid Bath vs. Acid Wash

goldenbeach, it is my understanding that you can acid wash as many times as you wish. We had little foot prints from bathing in the pool while it was being filled up and he said that we would just acid wash to get rid of them, however they have gradually disappeared as we continue to brush it. My PB says that if we want more pebbles to show he would acid wash again, however he recommends that we give the pool 6mths or so for it to settle. I hope this helps.


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RE: Acid Bath vs. Acid Wash

PB says this is the way he does it and it will look fine in about a year.

Are you going to have to wait a year before it looks OK. Thats insane. Any pics of the finish.


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RE: Acid Bath vs. Acid Wash

Well it's been three weeks since plastering and we haven't been able to swim at all. We only get to brush and it's not too productive. Someone did come by this week to test the water and it was TA zero, PH 7, CA 80. What does this mean?


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RE: Acid Bath vs. Acid Wash

It means that he has enough acid to do a true acid bath. Although I am a bit suspicious that the PH is so high with a TA of 0. I suspect that the TA isn't 0. Did they use a test kit or strips?

If the test results are correct, the water is fairly corrosive at this point which is what you want to dissolve the plaster. It just may take a while and a lot of acid to get the results you want.

I hope the PB doesn't intend to run the pool for a year this way. When does he plan on balancing the water so you can actually swim, now that the swim season is almost over?


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RE: Acid Bath vs. Acid Wash

I saw him use a test kit. Is this corrosive enough to be harming the pump and filter? He hasn't said when he plans to balance the water. But when the water is finally balanced, does balanced water mean the acid bath is over and the plaster is as dissolved as it will ever be and the pebbles as exposed as they will ever be?


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RE: Acid Bath vs. Acid Wash

If the PH is too low for too long it can affect the pump seals and even the PVC although PVC has some resistance to acidic conditions. Some valves with rubber seals might have a problem as well. A PH of 7 is fine but I suspect it gets much lower than that when the acid is added. The filter should be ok as long as there isn't any suntain oil in the water. It hardens in acidic conditions on the filter. BTW, what type of filter do you have?

Also, once he balances the water, it will pretty much be as good as it gets although over time, a bit more of the stone may be exposed.

Anyway, I think your PB is taking a big risk running the pool that way for too long. The problem is that it may shorten the life of some of the pump seals but you won't see that for several years down the road when the PB is long gone. Luckily it is not too difficult to replace them if it becomes a problem. He may have done this many times before but I doubt he has had to deal with the aftermath that this may have caused.

I would get a detailed schedule from him when he plans on balancing the water and installing the heater.


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RE: Acid Bath vs. Acid Wash

Have you called "Magic Marcite" to see what their recomendations are. If this is truly a pebble/cement mixture then you can brush till your blue and not burn off that cream.


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RE: Acid Bath vs. Acid Wash

I have been following this thread as we have yet to have our pebble finish applied. The product our PB's plaster company uses is what I believe to be a "true pebble finish" as it is a brand name product from CLI called CrystalStones - Natural (http://www.clindustries.com/pool_finishes/crystalstones.php) . This manufacturer specifies an "acid bath" start-up procedure (http://www.aquavations.com/docs/CLI-Aquavations-SU.pdf). Do any PBs out there have experience doing a start-up with this product using the acid bath method with good results? I am concerned because of "just-a-pb's" last post. Is there a conflict here with this product's methods vs. others' pebble products out there? Is there anything I can do to ensure the best end result possible? Thanks.


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RE: Acid Bath vs. Acid Wash

When I do an acid bath, the pool equipment is off. I use a couple pool poles stretched across the deep end. I tie a cheap above ground pool cover pump to the middle and let it drop to about 18" from the bottom and turn it on.

It tends to spin in a circle, circulating the low pH water and brush daily. This usually works well for plaster cures, Diamond Brite, and other non pebble aggregate finishes and also removes many stubborn stains. I will do this for up to two weeks before rebalancing and restarting the pool.

Scott


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RE: Acid Bath vs. Acid Wash

I have called the company and they have stated that some PBs do prefer an acid bath to an acid wash. If I had known then what I know now, I would have requested the acid wash rather than the acid bath. The acid bath takes daily monitoring and chemical adjustment by the homeowner or PB. At the point of plastering, the homeowner doesn't know enough about pool chemistry to monitor an acid bath and the PB is not going to come to the pool on a daily basis to do the monitoring and adjustment. Further, I believe the lack of a proper acid bath has caused my plaster to turn dark. What was once bright blue has now turned a dull blue/grey and doesn't even look like the sample piece. I have yet to get any chlorine (been 3 weeks) so I don't know if the chlorine will take the drab, dark gray look from the plaster. Although I can do an acid wash now, will it restore the blue color plaster base I had in the first few days or has the color change soaked into the plaster? Further, I can only hope my equipment has not been damaged. I would not recommend the acid bath if you have a choice.


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RE: Acid Bath vs. Acid Wash

Hi Goldenbeach--

I would like to follow-up directly with you and compare notes, so to speak, as I am having similar exposure issues with my CLI Crystal Stones finish. Would you be willing to e-mail me off-forum at NJFolks4@gmail.com. I was told I was getting an acid wash--but the I'm not sure if it was a true acid wash since the PB still wanted me to add 5 gallons of Muriatic Acid afterwards (25,000 gallon pool). I have a contact at CLI and perhaps together we can get some advice as to the best way to proceed post application so that we can get the PB/Application to do a best fix in our situations. I hoping if the company realized that PBs/applicators are not doing their product justice it will hurt their product's reputation and their business.

Also, you mention your plaster color changing . . . what color plaster did you choose? Mine is also darkening, but I assumed this was normal due to the curing process.


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RE: Acid Bath vs. Acid Wash

Hey njfolks--
The link you posted earlier is basically the start-up procedure recommended by the National Plaster Council for plaster. It is no where near this so-called "acid bath." I wonder what the Council recommends for plaster which requires the exposing of aggregate. My guess is that pebble finishes are supposed to be acid washed with the aggregate exposed prior to water filling, and then follow the NPC guidelines after that. But since pre-fill acid washing requires a certain degree of skill and the outcome is totally applicator dependent, PBs don't want to take any chances; they just throw alot of acid into the filled pool, and call it an "acid bath" start-up. It does expose the aggregate to a certain degree, but who knows what else it is doing to the plaster and the equipment. And who knows what the finish would have looked like had it been properly acid washed and started up according to the guidelines. Until I see some NPC or manufacturer recommended guidelines specifically for exposing the aggregate of pebble finishes, it is my opinion that PBs are pretty much just making up their own start-up procedure when it comes to pebble finishes.


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RE: Acid Bath vs. Acid Wash

"but who knows what else it is doing to the plaster and the equipment"

This is a big one, I am not concerned so much with the equipment, but I feel that these "acid baths" tend to degrade the cement much more than a acid wash.


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RE: Acid Bath vs. Acid Wash

Hi Goldenbeach--

Yeah-- they're pretty much making it up. While this may be an industry practice, it is not the manufacturer's recommended procedure. Check this out. I found similar instructions online for your product, coincidently when I did the search for mine. Again, recommending acid wash and some other very specific instructions during the application process. I will go back and see if I can find that link and post it for you if you don't already have that info.

Here's for the product we used: http://www.aquavations.com/docs/CS Product Data.pdf

I previously read this but had to research it again to find the document. I asked the construction manager if they were going to do an acid wash, and was under the impression they were going to do it per manufacturer's recommendation as stated in the document in the above link.

I knew I would have to "gently brush" for "about 2 weeks" and was also told I couldn't use the heater during that time. No problem considering we were doing this in mid-September due to many (unnecessary) delays.

If I were a violent type (which I definitely am not) I would say something like "I am just about ready to wring someone's neck!" I am approaching the end of the 28 days and the pebble exposure is still less than ideal. But then again, my I can barely type and lifting my arms is painful, particularly my right one after another daily routine of 4 hours + of rigorous brushing!

The reason I am making to effort tonight again is because I realize there is very little recourse from the manufacturer if your plaster company is not a "factory trained & authorized" installer. Even if they are there is too much if a chance that your PB or mine won't do anything to make it better as this would involve additional cost on their part--probably the incentive for them not to do it the manufacturer's recommended way the first time around. The product (no matter how good it is itself) is going to suffer from this type of exposure technique IMHO. I was totally caught off-guard on this one thinking I had asked and gotten the answer I needed that it was going to be "acid-washed". I would have never agreed to this alternative procedure due to my age and health condition it has been a real pain in the neck . . . and every other body part --literally!!!

I addressed this disappointment with the plaster applicator at about the 2 week mark and was told they might be able to do something about it in the Spring (he would check with his boss). So far, no update on that. I am not holding my breath-- neither am I waiting for anyone to take any action to improve the situation and have just continued to do what I have figured out results in some improvement. Again, E-mail me if you wish to compare notes. I try to do my homework ahead of time and I hate being blind-sided. I feel mislead about the process by the PB and will be letting them know that again I expect on day 29!. The day of the plastering I was told by the sub that he wasn't going to do the full exposure with acid because it would streak the darker blue colored plaster. I don't know if there is any credence to this, but there are no caveats in the manufacturer's instructions. I did notice a change in the color of the plaster anyway as it is curing it is getting darker and often appears grayer. This is not so much of an issue for me but the inability to even get in the sub 60 degree water and trying to get to the bare or under-exposed spots in virtually unreachable locations is killing me (almost literally)!!!


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