Rust Spots

- there are a number of reasons why rust appears in a pool; its source could be from: -

Mains water

If the mains water to your property contains iron you will probably notice staining, in a small way, on other plumbing fittings around the house but it's dissolved in the water and is largely invisible until it becomes caught up in the pores of  lime-scale, gets exposed to atmospheric oxygen dissolved in the water - and rusts

Well water - there may be iron in the ground water, there may have been some iron fittings used in the construction of the well, or there may be some metal junk at the bottom of the well

Iron/steel components of pool equipment

Not very likely these days, as almost no iron or steel is used in the manufacture of pool-equipment, but some older pumps have a cast-iron body, or even iron pipe-work in old pools, and these can corrode; putting iron into the pool

Angle-grinder usage

If one has been used to cut stone, concrete or, particularly, steel near the pool the sparks given off will settle on the bottom of the pool and corrode. Be very careful about using an angle-grinder near a pool

Steel from the concrete structure of the pool

If the pool has been built from Gunite (or poured concrete) it's possible that one or more of the reinforcing steel bars was placed too close to the surface of the concrete. If this is the case the bars may corrode. As the bars corrode they expand, causing small cracks and fractures within the concrete, allowing more oxygen-bearing water to contact the steel and thus the corrosion accelerates

Coins

It's quite common for people to throw coins into a pool for kids to dive for but some modern coins will corrode in chlorinated water if left lying on the pool bottom - leaving behind unsightly rust-spots

Inappropriate screws

used to install lights, drain-covers, etc., screws should always be stainless steel or bronze - otherwise they will corrode

In the pool iron is reacted upon by Chlorine, corroding it and making it visible as a brown stain

Removal of iron from the water: -

Add a Chelating Agent, also sometimes known as a 'Sequestrant' although the two chemicals are distinct from each other and work in slightly different ways. These chemicals form a stable complex compound with metal ions and 'lock them up'.   Most commonly used are a group of chemicals, usually applied as a liquid, known as 'Amino Polycarboxolic Acids'. These chemicals wrap metal ions in a non-reactive coating. Reaction time is very quick and is typically measured in seconds, not days! 

Chelators have a preference for one metal ion over another - commonly they 'lock up' metals in this order: Iron, Copper, Manganese, Calcium, Magnesium, although there are Chelators that work on Calcium first

Sequestrants, more powerful stain removers than Chelators, react with metal ions in a slightly different way. They usually have several active sites on every molecule, each one attractive to a different metal ion, and can therefore lock away more than one metal at a time. Hence Sequestrants can control, for example, both iron AND copper in a pool

Rust Spot Removal

Ridding the water of iron is essential top prevent further staining but existing rust-spots on the walls or floor will not be removed immediately by either a Sequestrant or a Chelator. They must be dealt with independently of the root cause of the problem.

There are several proprietary chemicals, available from a pool store, all of which are effective to one degree or another.  Hydrochloric acid can also be used to etch away severely rust-stained plaster, but clearly this causes damage to the plaster and so should be used as a last resort

Some stains respond well to being treated with granular chlorine; sprinkle it onto the stain with the pump off. This method is a little more tricky if the stains are on the sides of the pool. I this case, pour the granulated Chlorine into a sock and hang it in the pool so that it is in contact with the stain

Your local pharmacy will certainly sell Vitamin C tablets and they can be used to remove rust stains. Applied directly to the stain, this treatment quickly removes staining without abrasion.  If you don't have Vitamin C tablets to hand you can use half a lemon - it takes a bit longer but it also works well 

 

We supply all plant and equipment featured on this website. All our work is Guaranteed; Parts and Labour

For free and unbiased advice, a site visit or no-obligation Quotation*, please make initial enquiries by email. Tell us a little about your pool problem and include a daytime phone number. Thanks, we look forward to meeting you soon

Note: - Please contact our recommended pool professionals for supply and installation of all pool-related services: - 

Costa del Sol - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Nerja area - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

*We only offer Quotations: - a fixed, agreed price that cannot, and will not, be increased. We do not give 'estimates', as an estimate offers the client no guarantee of final price

Share this website with other Pool Owners and Users,  encourage them to read about Pool Safety, learn CPR and help them to save lives, time and money. Please help us to make every pool a safer place - by sharing this information we can cut the number of pool accidents and deaths.  Please also see our FacebookFacebook page

Ken Walker - MyPoolGuru©

PACELITE INSTALL

Pacelite

- a premixed cement based material, formerly known as 'Marblite' or 'Marbline', that offers a durable, attractive alternative to mosaic tiles. Available in many colours, Pacelite is growing in popularity in both public and private pools.  When applied by a specialised swimming pool contractor, the end result is a smooth, seamless finish which carries a 15-year guarantee

After preparation of the surface, the installers treat each working area with a brush-on bonding coat before applying the Pacelite render by trowel to a minimum thickness of 6mm, then move to the next area, etc. The surface is then allowed to cure before the final job of wet polishing to achieve the final finish

Like all pool-plaster products, Pacelite is usually applied in conjunction with a tile band at the waterline; staining can occur at the waterline, hence a tiled border. Many different patterns of borders are available or you can design your own and have it made-to-measure. (Pool Repair SpainPool Repair Spain can do this inexpensively)

As with any pool, water balance is very important: -

  • pH should be kept between 7.4 and 7.8

It is the decomposition of plant matter on the bottom of the pool that is most likely to cause stains. Leaves, etc., should be removed with a net as
soon as possible to prevent staining and depletion of pool sanitizer. It is recommended that a floating cover and/or winter cover be used to protect a Pacelite pool - or any other pool, come to that - as appropriate to the season. A pool-cover will keep out most leaves and keep the pool warmer

Pacelite Pros

  • Very attractive, alternative finish
  • Versatile and durable
  • Smooth, slip resistant surface
  • Marginally less costly than mosaic tiles
  • No tiles to fall off, break or cut bathers feet
  • Can be applied any time of the year
  • The pool can be filled immediately upon completion - no long curing periods
  • Easy maintenance - if the water balance is correctly maintained and the pool kept clean

Pacelite Cons

  • Application requires a specialist contractor for best results
  • Can stain and be difficult to clean if poorly maintained

We supply all plant and equipment featured on this website. All our work is Guaranteed; Parts and Labour

For free and unbiased advice, a site visit or no-obligation Quotation*, please make initial enquiries by email. Tell us a little about your pool problem and include a daytime phone number. Thanks, we look forward to meeting you soon

Note: - Please contact our recommended pool professionals for supply and installation of all pool-related services: - 

Costa del Sol - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Nerja area - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

*We only offer Quotations: - a fixed, agreed price that cannot, and will not, be increased. We do not give 'estimates', as an estimate offers the client no guarantee of final price

Share this website with other Pool Owners and Users,  encourage them to read about Pool Safety, learn CPR and help them to save lives, time and money. Please help us to make every pool a safer place - by sharing this information we can cut the number of pool accidents and deaths.  Please also see our FacebookFacebook page

Ken Walker - MyPoolGuru©

Plaster

-  is fairly reliable as a pool finish and is the most affordable of all the different finishes on the market.  Although the basic plaster is white in colour the pool, when it is filled the water, appears blue. This is because the water absorbs the red end of the visible light spectrum and reflects the blue end. So the pool looks blue. The reflection of the blue sky of a clear day adds to the overall effect

Plaster is a well-understood, well- tried and time-tested pool and spa surface finish.  It has been in use since the earliest modern swimming pools were built and it has retained its popularity, despite many modern competing products, mainly because of its relatively low costs when compared to other finishes

Plaster is a mixture of simple basic components: - cement, sand, aggregates and additives (mostly water). The hardness of the aggregates is what gives the plaster its durability. Soft aggregates - e.g. marble - will produce a softer plaster which will last a few years before needing to be re-finished whilst a very hard aggregate - e.g. quartz - will produce a very hard, durable plaster that could last decades.  Standard white plaster is applied by trowel or spray and then polished with hand-tools

Plastered pools usually have a tiled border at the waterline to permit easier cleaning of this area. Without a border the plaster at the waterline would rapidly become stained

 

There are 3 main plaster finishes: -

  • White or coloured plaster
  • 'Exposed aggregate' plaster
  • 'Polished aggregate' plaster

 

White or coloured plaster: -

White plaster is as described above but almost any colour can be achieved by adding dye to the mix before it is applied to the pool walls and floor. This gives a finish that is coloured throughout the entire thickness of the plaster, not just a top-coat of colour

White or coloured plaster - Pros: - 

  • Smooth, clean finish and the pool looks blue even with pure white plaster
  • Inexpensive
  • Simple to install
  • Balancing the water is more easily achieved
  • The colours produced by the new LED lights are seen at their best in a white pool

White or coloured plaster - Cons: -

  • Low resistance to attack from by pool chemicals, especially from low pH water
  • Subject to cracking, etching and scaling as it gets older
  • May delaminate with age
  • Both white and coloured plaster are subject to mottling and discolouration
  • Coloured plaster is also affected by sunlight and fades over time
  • Coloured plaster can show streaks if the dye is not thoroughly mixed

Exposed Aggregate : -exposed-agregate-plaster

Stone or quartz aggregates are 'exposed' after the plaster has been applied, by etching the top surface of the cement binder with acid and water, leaving a textured finish. The aggregates used in this sort of plaster are harder than marble, impervious to the effects of pool chemicals and therefore much more durable.  The aggregates used have no sharp edges and the exposed surface is safe and non-slip

A huge range of colours can be achieved by the installer by mixing coloured aggregates with the cement and additives, and/or by the addition of dyes to the mixture. Many pre-mixed plasters are also available

Exposed Aggregate - Pros: -

  • A wide choice of colour and texture available
  • Very good durability
  • Non-slip (this isimportant on the steps)

Exposed Aggregate - Cons: -

  • Expense - more costly than white or coloured plaster

Polished Aggregate

This is the most expensive choice of pool plaster but also the most durable and, arguably, the most attractive. The pool is plastered as normal and then the aggregate is polished with diamond tools and water to give a finish like a stone kitchen worktop. This process is very labour intensive and uses expensive tools so, not surprisingly, Polished Aggregate is the most expensive form of pool plaster. Polishing makes the surface very smooth and therefore potentially slippery. Frequently, the steps are  plastered and finished in exposed aggregate and the rest of the pool is polished

Polished Aggregate - Pros: -

  • It looks good - and there are so many variations in available colours
  • Extremely durable
  • Very smooth finish

Polished Aggregate - Cons: -

  • Cost - hand finishing is time-consuming and that costs money
  • Specialised tools and expertise needed for installation

 

We supply all plant and equipment featured on this website. All our work is Guaranteed; Parts and Labour

For free and unbiased advice, a site visit or no-obligation Quotation*, please make initial enquiries by email. Tell us a little about your pool problem and include a daytime phone number. Thanks, we look forward to meeting you soon

Note: - Please contact our recommended pool professionals for supply and installation of all pool-related services: - 

Costa del Sol - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Nerja area - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

*We only offer Quotations: - a fixed, agreed price that cannot, and will not, be increased. We do not give 'estimates', as an estimate offers the client no guarantee of final price

Share this website with other Pool Owners and Users,  encourage them to read about Pool Safety, learn CPR and help them to save lives, time and money. Please help us to make every pool a safer place - by sharing this information we can cut the number of pool accidents and deaths.  Please also see our FacebookFacebook page

Ken Walker - MyPoolGuru©

Fibreglass Pools

 

- have been around for a long time - well over half a century - so they are not new technology and most of the problems associated with this type of pool were identified, and solved, long ago. 

Nevertheless, there are several issues that apply only to fibreglass pools and these should be carefully noted to avoid damage to the structure, finish and general good-looks of the pool. They are also known as Glass-Reinforced-Plastic, or GRP, pools

Manufacture

Fibreglass pools are moulded using resin and glass fibres, usually pre-formed over a reinforcing structure of stiffening 'ribs', and finished with a Gel Coat - an impermeable, non-porous coloured top layer that is typically 30 mils (thousandths of an inch) or 0.75mm thick. You might think that this is a little too thin but any thicker than that and the Gel Coat would be more prone to cracking 

OK, now we make it level and add water!  

Water level

Maintain the water level halfway up the entrance to the skimmer for the most efficient operation of pump, skimmer and filter

Draining the pool

Fibreglass pools are designed to be kept full of water, they have been installed and the space between the outside of the pool and the inside of the excavation have been back-filled. The pressure of water inside the pool counteracts the pressure of the backfilled soil and aggregate and any ground water that accumulates on the outside of the pool shell. Thus there is no strain on the shell of the pool

Do not drain your fibreglass pool until you have spoken with either the original installer or the manufacturer for their professional advice.  If the pool is drained there is a possibility that ground pressure (hydrostatic pressure) could force the sides of the pool inwards, causing it to distort, buckle or even crack

Additionally, if there is ground water present (around the outside of the pool) an emptied fibreglass pool can easily float up out of the ground. Getting it back down again requires complete removal of the pool-shell and re-excavation of the hole

Pool surface care

It's only the Gel Coat that is visible and that's the part that has to be cared for. All pools get a 'bathtub ring' at the waterline from body oils, suntan creams and lotions, etc., and fibreglass pools are no exception. This ring can be removed without effort by using pool tile cleaner, available from your local pool shop. Do not use any abrasive tools or products as these will damage the Gel Coat and, at the very least, take the shine off

If the Gel Coat loses its shine and becomes dull it can be brought back to life using a colour restorer polishing product as used in the automotive trade. T-cut is one brand and there are many others. After buffing the surface back to its original shine a coat of wax should be applied to protect the surface

Fibreglass pool tools

Like most shiny surfaces, Gel Coat can be scratched. Ensure that the tools you buy to clean your pool are correct for fibreglass pools. The heavy vacuum head used in a tiled pool, for instance, will damage the surface of a fibreglass pool. Your local pool shop will have the correct tools - so you can clean the pool without damaging it

Surface cracking and crazing

It is not uncommon for hairline cracks to appear in a fibreglass pool. The cracks only affect the Gel Coat and do not penetrate to the structure of the pool, nor do they cause leaks. Hairline cracks can be repaired by a specialist but they will probably reappear at some point in the future

Pool Chemistry

Correct procedures for care and maintenance of a fibreglass pool will extend its life.  Follow these simple rules to get the best results

Control the Water Balance and keep values within these parameters: -

pH  7.2 - 7.6 - Free Chlorine 1 - 3 ppm - Total Alkalinity 60 - 100 ppm - Calcium Hardness 250 - 350 ppm

pH  - Do not allow the pH to fall below 7.0 as the water will then be acidic and cause the Gel Coat to age prematurely. Also, do not allow the pH to rise above 7.8 as lime-scale may appear in the least turbulent areas of the pool

Free Chlorine - The main culprit for causing fading is the Chlorine used to sanitize the pool. High concentrations of Chlorine will attack the Gel Coat and bleach the colour from it. It will age prematurely and may deteriorate swiftly. For this reason, Chlorine should never be allowed to come into contact with the surface of a fibreglass pool in a concentrated state.  Chlorine should be applied with the pump/filter running. Application varies according to the form of Chlorine being used: -

Granulated Chlorine - dissolve in water before trickling it into the skimmer with the pump running, and NEVER throw it directly into the pool. It will bleach the surface at the point of contact

Chlorine Tablets - should be placed in a feeder. NEVER throw them into the pool as they will bleach the surface of the pool at the point of contact, leaving unsightly circular, bleached patches

Liquid Chlorine (Sodium Hypochlorite) - should be poured into the pool at the jets with the pump/filter running. This ensures rapid dilution and dispersion of the sanitizer

Note: -H²O² - Hydrogen Peroxide sanitation , coupled with a UV Ionizer is a very good system for a GRP pool and will mean that you neverhave to put chlorine in the pool

Leave the pump running for 4 hours after adding chemicals

Pros

  • No need to resurface, or replace liners, or re-grout, or replace missing tiles
  • Fast installation; typically 2 - 4 weeks but can be less
  • Smooth surfaces make for easier cleaning
  • Unlikely to sustain damage due to ground heave or minor earthquakes
  • Less chemicals needed to maintain the pool
  • If installed above-ground may not need planning permission - check before you buy!

Cons

  • Costly to install when compared to some other types of pools
  • Limited sizes and shapes
  • Too shallow for diving
  • Colours fade over time, especially the darker shades
  • Cannot be drained for maintenance

We supply all plant and equipment featured on this website. All our work is Guaranteed; Parts and Labour

For free and unbiased advice, a site visit or no-obligation Quotation*, please make initial enquiries by email. Tell us a little about your pool problem and include a daytime phone number. Thanks, we look forward to meeting you soon

Note: - Please contact our recommended pool professionals for supply and installation of all pool-related services: - 

Costa del Sol - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Nerja area - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

*We only offer Quotations: - a fixed, agreed price that cannot, and will not, be increased. We do not give 'estimates', as an estimate offers the client no guarantee of final price

Share this website with other Pool Owners and Users,  encourage them to read about Pool Safety, learn CPR and help them to save lives, time and money. Please help us to make every pool a safer place - by sharing this information we can cut the number of pool accidents and deaths.  Please also see our FacebookFacebook page

Ken Walker - MyPoolGuru©

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