Too much chemicals too often damage plaster?

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Henry_R
Swimming Pool Pro
Swimming Pool Pro
Posts: 126
Joined: Fri 20 Mar, 2009 21:41
My Pool: HOA Community Swimming pool built approx. 1971.
In-Ground, Plaster 34x18 3.5-6' deep, Sta-rite P2R A5D-120L pump, A.O. Smith centurion 1HP (uprated 1.25HP) motor,Hayward S244S filter(new 2011), Rainbow Lifegard Chlorine/Bomine feeder; new replastered June 2010
Location: Houston, Texas USA

Too much chemicals too often damage plaster?

Postby Henry_R » Fri 20 Mar, 2009 22:16

I live in a condominium and we have a community pool that is about 35-38 years old. It's 6' deep and square in shape. It is gunite I believe with plaster over most of it and tiles along the top 6"-12" or so.

For the past 2 years our HOA board has know there was/is a leak in the pool. We were losing 2-4" per day including normal use and evap. amounts. I and another neighbor filled the pool every couple of days to keep the level sufficient that the skimmer had water. The water level would get below the skimmer and the pump would begin to scream. The pool service mitigated the problem by having the pump be off for longer time and they shocked the pool more often to keep it from turning green.

Our HOA board has changed recently and the community is looking to do maintenance that has been long neglected including the pool leak. But looking at the pool the other day I noticed that the plaster was crumbling more than it had in the past. There are chunks on the floor of the pool and the steps are all, but washed away. The plaster where it abutts the tiles at the top is lifted and will come off at the slightest touch.

Can too much chemical use or using it too often cause the plaster to degrade in this manner?
We've left the pump off and let the water level sink as low as it's going for the off-season and then
we have to have the drain cover replaced per new federal law.

Could letting the water level decrease cause the plaster to degrade and crumble?
The pool service has not been using the pump to clean the pool; they've been using a porta-pump.

Any help will be appreciated.


Money talks!? All it ever says to me is "goodbye!".
Guest

Too much chemicals too often damage plaster?

Postby Guest » Sat 21 Mar, 2009 01:55

There are chunks on the floor of the pool and the steps are all, but washed away. The plaster where it abutts the tiles at the top is lifted and will come off at the slightest touch.

Can too much chemical use or using it too often cause the plaster to degrade in this manner?

Unbalanced water and chemical misuse can cause plaster degradation, but you are describing a plaster breakdown that is indicative of a collapse of the binding between the plaster surface and the pool shell. This is often aggravated by high chemical use, particularly pH reducers (acids), but it seems like the pool starting getting increasing amounts of chemicals AFTER the leaking started. This most likely means that the water was escaping behind the plaster first.

Could letting the water level decrease cause the plaster to degrade and crumble?

There is damage on the steps and floor as well, so the answer is probably not.
Henry_R
Swimming Pool Pro
Swimming Pool Pro
Posts: 126
Joined: Fri 20 Mar, 2009 21:41
My Pool: HOA Community Swimming pool built approx. 1971.
In-Ground, Plaster 34x18 3.5-6' deep, Sta-rite P2R A5D-120L pump, A.O. Smith centurion 1HP (uprated 1.25HP) motor,Hayward S244S filter(new 2011), Rainbow Lifegard Chlorine/Bomine feeder; new replastered June 2010
Location: Houston, Texas USA

Too much chemicals too often damage plaster?

Postby Henry_R » Sat 21 Mar, 2009 09:40

Thank you very much. This is important information. I will forward this to my HOA board.

Another thing. Could anything else speed the plaster degradation?
Money talks!? All it ever says to me is "goodbye!".
Guest

Too much chemicals too often damage plaster?

Postby Guest » Sat 21 Mar, 2009 11:18

a community pool that is about 35-38 years old

Age alone would do it. Once the degradation has begun it tends to gain momentum and the plaster or surface breaks down faster and faster.

The leak also gets worse in most cases and your 2" - 4" could easily double. It's best not to wait till that point which could be mid-season. Early maintenance or resurfacing allows you to control when the job gets done and by who. If it's an urgent rush job in the middle of summer, you get the first contractor available, you often get worse workmanship and you usually don't have the bargaining power so you pay more too.
Henry_R
Swimming Pool Pro
Swimming Pool Pro
Posts: 126
Joined: Fri 20 Mar, 2009 21:41
My Pool: HOA Community Swimming pool built approx. 1971.
In-Ground, Plaster 34x18 3.5-6' deep, Sta-rite P2R A5D-120L pump, A.O. Smith centurion 1HP (uprated 1.25HP) motor,Hayward S244S filter(new 2011), Rainbow Lifegard Chlorine/Bomine feeder; new replastered June 2010
Location: Houston, Texas USA

Too much chemicals too often damage plaster?

Postby Henry_R » Wed 03 Jun, 2009 21:47

Thank you for your reply. The problem is our community is cash poor due to bad management, theft of funds by the former mgmt company, poor oversight of the mgmt company by the HOA board, and a lawsuit that should have been settled and wasn't and the defense ate our funds. We cannot even open the pool this season for these reasons. Even if the leak were slow enough to not be worried of we also have to remedy the main drain to comply with Virginia Graeme Baker Act to get an operating permit from the city before we can use it.

So far we are watching the pool level and it's dropping very slowly with nothing filling it except nominal rainfall. It's staying right below the leaf basket and has been there for a few weeks since the last big rain. Funny thing is we've thought the leak was where the plaster is missing in a large chunk but if that's so it's an extremely slow leak as that spot is below the current water line as described above.
Money talks!? All it ever says to me is "goodbye!".

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