First step is to drain the pool & spa. Proper method is to use a sump pump. This one has a float that shuts off the pump when the water is gone.
Here are some signs of “copper plating” on the plaster. This is caused by metals in the water generally from using a copper or silver algaecide (not recommended for in ground gunite pools with plaster) or from low ph over a long period of time breaking down the copper heat exchanger in the heater. Another culprit could be an automatic chlorinator that’s plumbed into the equipment with a faulty check valve. This would allow concentrated chlorine to flow back into the copper heat exchanger.
In this pool, the plaster was so old that it had bare spots exposing the concrete underneath. It wasn’t losing water but was an “eye sore” and extremely rough.
Next step is to remove the old tile. We cut under the old tile with a 4″ grinder and a diamond blade, then we used a chipping hammer with a wide chisel bit to remove the tile.
Then we add a bed of fortified mortar to provide a smooth surface for the new tile. This will also raise the new tile enough to give room for the new plaster to come up flush to it.
After the mortar dries, we use thin set fortified with acrylic mortar admix to set the tile. Then we grout it with sanded grout. The next step is to prep the pool for the new plaster.
We completely break out and remove all the “bubbles” in the old plaster & all loose concrete. We break out and remove any “spotter” tiles on the floor & steps. We chip around all fixtures in the pool and spa so the new plaster can come up flush and still be thick.
Then we apply a “bond coat” for the new plaster to grab onto.
Next step is to re-plaster. There’s many things to consider and watch for, but we will wait for another time to cover.
We immediately fill the spa first making sure it doesn’t spill over into the pool (or there will be streaks). Usually takes from 30 to 45 minutes for the spa to fill. Then we fill the pool using empty water bottles to keep the hose from sitting in one spot on the floor and tie a small towel to the end of the hose. We try to run 2 hoses to speed up the filling process. It still takes about anywhere from 12 to 40 hours depending on the water pressure and the size of the pool.
Once the pool and spa are full, we start up the equipment. It’s important to run the pump and filter for 24 – 72 hours. We then brush the plaster down daily for 10-14 days with a new brush and balance the water chemistry accordingly.
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