Frequently Asked Questions
Why does my plaster have stains?
You can expect some minor discoloration with plaster. However, actual staining often happens for the following reasons: the pH is too low; the total alkalinity level is too low; the calcium hardness level is too low; the level of total dissolved solids is too high; there are high levels of metals in your water.
We also see stains because of the occasional debris left in the pool. Usually, metals escaping from this debris create a deposit on the pool plaster, creating discoloration. If left long enough on the pool floor, items such as a leaf from a tree can stain your plaster.
How do I eliminate plaster stains?
Stain removers and acid washing are two ways to remove plaster stains. However, it's best to consult with a pool service professional before any stain removal attempts. The use of a stain remover and acid washing should always be performed by a pool service professional. The damage that can be done to your pool surface (plaster) by stain removers and acid washing is far more costly than the cost of a pool service professional.
How do I stop getting plaster stains?
Proper water chemistry is one essential factor in eliminating plaster stains. Also, make sure to remove all debris from your swimming pool promptly.
Why is my plaster rough?
Rough plaster or sensitive areas in your pool that can hurt your feet are often due to insufficient water chemistry. Poor water chemistry can cause etching or pitting, and both can be unsightly and irritating to swimmers. Etching, scaling, or plaster roughness can be due to low pH or alkalinity. Either way, we are back to water chemistry.
How do I eliminate rough plaster?
Many times, rough plaster must need a hand-sanding with a circular sander with fine paper. An acid wash may also be necessary and, in many instances, is recommended by pool service professionals when a pool is sanded.
Always check with a pool service professional before any attempt at using any pool service chemical, and always follow the directions on the container.
How do I stop getting rough plaster?
Make sure to balance your water chemistry at least once per week. While this will go a long way in helping to eliminate rough plaster, it may not be enough. Sometimes rough plaster is a by-product of a poor plaster job, and the roughness eventually works its way out from the gunite to the exterior of the plaster.
Why do I have little rust stains on my plaster?
Rust stains can again be due to improper chemical treatment, but in most cases, rust-like stains are due to debris left undisturbed in the swimming pool. If the colors are on the bottom of the pool, it is often due to plant life or some other debris left by a swimmer. If the stains are on the pool walls, the stains are often due to insufficient water chemistry.
Why are there white, rock-like deposits on my tile?
They are called calcium deposits or calcium buildup.
What is calcium buildup?
Calcium buildup is caused by too much calcium in your swimming pool water.
Why do I have calcium buildup?
There is too much calcium in your water. Calcium levels should be between 250-350 parts per million. Again, improper water chemistry is the culprit.
How do I get rid of calcium buildup?
A few ways to remove calcium deposits from your swimming pool tile are by acid washing the pool, using a pumice stone on the calcium deposit, or using a bead blaster to remove the deposits. Bead blasters shoot pressurized glass beads at the deposits, removing them from your tile. The beads are then vacuumed up by the bead blasting company. If your pool plaster is in good shape, with no roughness or stains, you may want to check into bead blasting as an alternative to acid washing.
Chlorine... its purpose and application?
Disinfection is the most important single factor in maintaining a swimming pool and keeping it safe and healthy. Chlorine is the most widely applied disinfecting agent and is used to disinfect residential swimming pool water.
What is conditioner?
Conditioner or stabilizer is an essential chemical used in the proper disinfection of swimming pools. Its chemical name is cyanuric acid, and it forms a protective bond around the chlorine, making it more resistant to being burned off by the sun. This chemical is typically added during the spring months, but pools with high water loss will also need to be reconditioned throughout the summer.
Chlorine is a very expensive chemical, and we ask that you DO NOT backwash or clean your filter for five days after this chemical has been added. Pools should also be stabilized whenever large amounts of fresh water are added. It will sometimes appear as a white powdered substance on the bottom of the swimming pool but will dissipate after a few days (brushing helps).
Algae... what causes it?
Blue Crystal Pool Service's water treatment system guarantees a crystal-clear, algae-free swimming pool. However, even when chemical levels are properly balanced, algae will occasionally appear in a customer's swimming pool. Algae come in a variety of forms and occur for various reasons.
Algae spores are everywhere: these microscopic single-cell structures are blown into the pool by the wind, washed into the pool by rainfall, or carried into the pool on swimmers' skin or bathing suits. Under the right conditions, tiny spores will bloom into those dreaded bright green, mustard yellow, or black discolorations. Inadequate filtration will often lead to algae growth.
Water clarity depends on daily circulation and filtration. Anything that impedes water flows from the pool to the filter — clogged skimmer baskets, a dirty or damaged filter, a defective pump motor, or a failure to run the pump for an adequate amount of time each day — will encourage algae growth.
The first warning sign of a filtration problem is hazy or cloudy water. Left unchecked, cloudy water can quickly lead to a full-fledged algae bloom. Algae can develop when little or no chlorine is present.
Sunlight, rainfall, temperature, number of swimmers, and frequency of pool use affect the rate of chlorine loss. The lower the chlorine level, the more likely algae will bloom. Weekly super-chlorination, coupled with the application of conditioner or stabilizer designed to shield residual chlorine from the effects of heat and sunlight, helps ensure that there is always sufficient chlorine in the pool. Spas, which are often heated to temperatures well above 100 degrees, are especially susceptible to algae growth.
Algae love a dirty pool!
Leaves and dirt left on the bottom of the pool for an extended period of time not only promote algae but also cause pool staining. The longer you allow leaves and other debris to sit on your pool floor, the more likely that you'll see algae along with staining. In an extremely dirty pool, algae will continue to bloom, even when the water chemistry is properly balanced.
What can you do to prevent algae?
Immediately after using the spa, adjust the valves so that the pool water will flow through the spa when the filtration system is running. This will replenish chlorine-dissipated spa water with chlorinated water from the main part of the swimming pool.
Remove your pool cover one day per week to allow the water to "breathe." For best results, uncover the swimming pool on your regular scheduled service day. Periodically check to make sure the water is circulating adequately. Clean or backwash your filter if necessary.
Ensure the pump timer is set to run for at least four to five hours each day in the winter, and ten or more hours daily during the summer months. Then, contact Blue Crystal Pool Service customer service department — we'll dispatch a service technician to double-check chemical levels and, if necessary, re-treat the pool! There is never a charge for this service!
Make sure your filter is clean and your return lines have a strong water flow.
Some spots of dead algae may remain on your pool walls, even after chemical treatment. Brushing the pool walls with a nylon bristle pool brush will remove dead algae and help keep live algae from forming. Try to use a stainless steel brush when dealing with black algae; it is made for this purpose and works great!
How often should I run and clean my filter?
Water clarity depends on three factors: proper chemical balance, adequate daily circulation, and quality filtration. Your swimming pool water needs the combination of these three variables to stay crystal clear, algae-free, and ready for your swimming enjoyment. The filter is designed to trap small particles suspended in the pool water. These tiny particles are what make inadequately filtered pool water look hazy or milky.
A dirty filter can have a dramatic effect on circulation. As water passes through the filter, millions of tiny particles cling to the filtration elements. Eventually, these accumulated particles make it difficult for water to pass through the filter. As a result, a dirty filter can reduce pump efficiency by up to 80 percent.
In other words, circulating your water for 10 hours a day when the filter is dirty is the equivalent of circulating the water for 2 hours a day when the filter is clean. As a result, a homeowner will often find their water is cloudy and greenish even though the chemical levels are normal and the pump is running for an adequate amount of time each day. A dirty or damaged filter is usually the source of the problem.
Since filtration and circulation play an essential role in keeping your swimming pool water clear and properly maintained, we have included the following standard instruction for the three types of filter systems.