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Thread: White scale in new fiberglass pool! HELP!

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    poolnewbies5874's Avatar
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    White scale in new fiberglass pool! HELP!

    Our pool was just cleaned by the PB this week and we were given clearance to get in and swim. I noticed quickly as the water started to clear from the dirt that he stirred up that there was a white line around the pool. After reading a bunch, I'm assuming this is calcium buildup from the concrete (since it is so alkaline) that sat in our pool for days before it was cleaned and water was balanced, as the ph was through the roof and we added quite a bit of acid to get it lowered back down. (chlorine and ph were in check before concrete happened as I checked levels everyday to make sure we didn't get algae)

    I've tried scrubbing with a stiff nylon bristle brush and was able to get SOME of it off, but I'm pretty sure the whole area below the water line is covered in it, as when I run my hand down the side of the pool it is smooth until I hit the water line and then it is rough. What is safe to use on fiberglass pools besides nylon brushes?

    CH tested at 450. PB trucked water in and I don't know what the CH of that water was. I know it's recommended to remove and add new water with low CH but how can I get what's already formed in there removed? I've read about things like Caltreat and Beautec scale remover. Has anyone here used these and had any success? I would like to try to get this removed before we close it for winter and it gets worse. It's only been 4 days and I feel like our brand new pool is ruined already!

    Any suggestions? If you need more info. let me know, I was trying not to ramble...
    12,000 gallon Blue Hawaiian 'Hamilton' fiberglass IG 15x34 freeform, Pebble Beach finish, Pentair Clean & Clear 100 filter cartridge, Pentair SuperFlo 1.5HP pump, Stenner pump, Raypak 266k heater
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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: White scale in new fiberglass pool! HELP!

    I just have to ask for others that may have a thought or two about your situation, but was this water that is in your pool just added only about 4 days ago? That's not all that long ago, so I have my concerns that calcium would generate and/or adhere so quickly to the FB surface. Is there any chance any other chemicals were added by the installer other than stabilizer/conditioner, acid, or bleach (liquid pool shock)?

    Also important,, can you post a full set of test results for us please?
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
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    Re: White scale in new fiberglass pool! HELP!

    The water has been in the pool since 8/27 install with no water circulating except for with a sump pump.

    I brushed the pool daily and added 1/2 gallon of bleach per recs here to keep algae at a minimum.

    I did not see this line while I did this but when concrete work was supposed to be done we removed pump and water sat stagnant for a little less than a week.

    Will correct tomorrow once I look at log but off the top of my head results yesterday were:

    FC 6
    CC 0
    TC 6
    PH 7.6
    TA 170
    CH 450
    CYA 0

    I added 3lb CYA with skimmer sock method yesterday.

    Today when I tested (both morning and evening) FC was 6 and PH was 7.2.

    12,000 gallon Blue Hawaiian 'Hamilton' fiberglass IG 15x34 freeform, Pebble Beach finish, Pentair Clean & Clear 100 filter cartridge, Pentair SuperFlo 1.5HP pump, Stenner pump, Raypak 266k heater
    8/2015 pool build photos TFT-100 test kit

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    Re: White scale in new fiberglass pool! HELP!

    Also PB did not add anything. He gave me test strips and told me to take water to pool store to get needed chemicals...which I politley declined

    12,000 gallon Blue Hawaiian 'Hamilton' fiberglass IG 15x34 freeform, Pebble Beach finish, Pentair Clean & Clear 100 filter cartridge, Pentair SuperFlo 1.5HP pump, Stenner pump, Raypak 266k heater
    8/2015 pool build photos TFT-100 test kit

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    Re: White scale in new fiberglass pool! HELP!

    When you say concrete work, what are you referring to? Coping? Deck?
    Was there a lot of dust or anything?
    26' X 52" Intex Ultra Frame. Intex Sand Filter
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    Re: White scale in new fiberglass pool! HELP!

    I'm going to bump this thread for additional visibility. Even with a CH of 450, but only for a couple weeks, CH scaling just seems odd to me. Maybe it's just me. I'd like for some others to review this thread as well. As a FB owner myself, I'm a bit curious to all the possibilities. Not sure what else you could use other than nylon on the gelcoat. While the manufactures claim it is extremely tolerant, you certainly don't want to compromise the shell. Have you contacted the manufacture by any chance to see if they had any thoughts?
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
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    Re: White scale in new fiberglass pool! HELP!

    Yes PAgirl. We had cantilever coping and 3ft of deck poured around...which was done very sloppy by the landscape company that the PB recommended. There was a ton of dust, dirt and large concrete chunks sitting in the bottom of the pool.

    Haven't contacted manufacturer yet. Wanted to check here first for advice....

    12,000 gallon Blue Hawaiian 'Hamilton' fiberglass IG 15x34 freeform, Pebble Beach finish, Pentair Clean & Clear 100 filter cartridge, Pentair SuperFlo 1.5HP pump, Stenner pump, Raypak 266k heater
    8/2015 pool build photos TFT-100 test kit

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    Re: White scale in new fiberglass pool! HELP!

    If it is calcium then it would fizz if you put muriatic acid on it. Can you scrape any of it off and collect it to test?
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    Re: White scale in new fiberglass pool! HELP!

    The CSI works out to about 0.14, that's not really a scaling value.

    I think the obvious answer is the deck installer's lousy/messy concrete job. If they got cement dust in the pool during the deck/coping pour, then it's entirely possible for it to stick to the fiberglass shell.

    Since the cement has lots of calcium in it, your best bet might be to use a nylon brush and dilute muriatic acid to try to dissolve it off.


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    Re: White scale in new fiberglass pool! HELP!

    Thanks. We added a tad more water to go above the line and try to keep it wet so I could scrub the heck out of it but 72°water and dropping isn't my cup of tea! So unfortunately I can't scrape any off to collect it.

    We will end up draining some at closing in a few weeks and then my husband can get it with his wetsuit on and spray and scrub with MA to see if he can at least get the waterline marks gone. Lower down the walls isn't as noticeable except to the touch so it'll probably sit over winter and be that much harder to tackle in the spring. Not ideal...but probably what will happen at this point

    Just hoping it doesn't get worse but if we close correctly it shouldn't right?

    12,000 gallon Blue Hawaiian 'Hamilton' fiberglass IG 15x34 freeform, Pebble Beach finish, Pentair Clean & Clear 100 filter cartridge, Pentair SuperFlo 1.5HP pump, Stenner pump, Raypak 266k heater
    8/2015 pool build photos TFT-100 test kit

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    Re: White scale in new fiberglass pool! HELP!

    Poolnewbies, take a look at this thread: White scale in fibreglass pool - Page 2. See the pic on post #35. Is that what yours looks like? That thread has 3 pages of discussions, but a bit interesting I thought.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
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    Re: White scale in new fiberglass pool! HELP!

    Here was a another interesting discussion: White chalky residue on fiberglass pool - Page 2
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
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    Re: White scale in new fiberglass pool! HELP!

    Our white line is a little more solid at the waterline than post #35but I would venture to say it probably looks similar down the walls.

    Wonder if a magic eraser would work?

    Or,is it safe to use a pressure washer? I'm finding conflicting information on that. Just thinking out loud....

    I appreciate everyone's advice! Thanks!

    12,000 gallon Blue Hawaiian 'Hamilton' fiberglass IG 15x34 freeform, Pebble Beach finish, Pentair Clean & Clear 100 filter cartridge, Pentair SuperFlo 1.5HP pump, Stenner pump, Raypak 266k heater
    8/2015 pool build photos TFT-100 test kit

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    Re: White scale in new fiberglass pool! HELP!

    Many people use Magic Eraser and find it useful for stains. Not sure yet if it hold-up against scale, but you can certainly try in an inconspicuous area. I might do the same for some chalk areas I'm finding as well. Only problem I can see with that method is that with pools as big as ours, that's a LOT of scrubbing. Uhg. In my case, I've adjusted my CSI down to -.6 by adjusting the pH and TA in-concert with my existing CH level. I may go slightly lower than that (-.8) when the water temp gets too cold to swim and see if I can supplement my situation with a chemicals additive to help break-up the chalky scale. I can tell it ants to come-off, but I need some chemistry help. Once I get to that point, I'll post an update here as well so perhaps we can learn from each other.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
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    Re: White scale in new fiberglass pool! HELP!

    Tried the magic eraser...didn't touch it.

    Called PB..he said to try a plastic paint scraper and if my chemicals were balanced correctly over time it would fade away. But this is my brand new pool I'm not wanting to wait for the glacially slow fade away that he told me about and I've read about.

    So I got a plastic paint scraper and some 220 wet dry sand paper. Seemed to work with a lot of elbow grease as far as I could reach. However, this just cleared the thick waterline scale up...I'll be looking for something else to clear the whole pool because hand scrubbing a 12k gallon pool is not going to happen!

    12,000 gallon Blue Hawaiian 'Hamilton' fiberglass IG 15x34 freeform, Pebble Beach finish, Pentair Clean & Clear 100 filter cartridge, Pentair SuperFlo 1.5HP pump, Stenner pump, Raypak 266k heater
    8/2015 pool build photos TFT-100 test kit

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    Re: White scale in new fiberglass pool! HELP!

    I'm currently playing the waiting game. I did add a gallon of Scaletec as a test to see if it does anything, but it's only been about 3 days. Either way, it's a slow process. I tried sandpaper as a test in a couple areas, but it was 1000 wet/dry. I'd be carefull about anything too abrasive. I agree, I don't have enough elbow grease to do my whole pool. I'm tracking my CSI progress and will update a couple of these threads as I see change. Big lessoned learned for me.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
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