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Thread: Return of the Phosphates

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    Return of the Phosphates

    Yes, yes, I know. There's plenty on here already about phosphates and I'm pretty sure I know the answer to this but I needed to ask anyway:

    This was my first year with a pool and a very well-meaning friend of mine who has had a pool for much longer told me to learn from his mistake and be sure to check phosphate levels.
    He states that a few years ago 'pock marks' (small holes) starting appearing in his concrete and after months of pool stores not knowing the answer, they finally realized his phosphate levels were too high and once he lowered them he stopped getting new pock marks but the damage is already done with the old ones.

    There are several things that don't make sense to me about this - least of all how high phosphates can eat away concrete but I thought I'd throw it out there just in case I missed something in my research.
    I of course immediately told him to start testing his water himself, not to rely on pool stores 'knowledge', and referred him to this website!
    Inground Pool Completed April 2015
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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Return of the Phosphates

    Can't really speculate on heresay. Folks around here have high phosphates all the time with little or no real effect to their pool water. Unless there's a definitive description of what those pock marks are, they could be anything from algae spots to calcium nodules. I sincerely doubt phosphates had anything to do with it except as a way for the pool store to sell your friend a very expensive bottle of chemicals.

    Phosphates are algae food and that's about it. If you lower your phosphate levels to close to 0, then you make your water a little less hospitable to algae growth. The only thing that truly stops algae is chlorine so lowering phosphates is, at best, secondary insurance.

    Hopefully your friend took your advice and came here. That way he'll never be sold another bottle of expensive chemicals he does not need.

    I wonder how many expensive bottles of "this'll fix'it this time!" chemicals he was sold before they "magically" realized his phosphates were too high???


    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Return of the Phosphates

    http://www.mcgrayel.com/files/Phosph..._and_Myths.pdf

    As for phosphate attacking concrete, I believe that they actually add phosphates to some mixes to modify hydration.

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    Re: Return of the Phosphates

    Just so we don't get side-tracked, your friend is misinformed. Phosphates causing a "pock mark" in your pool surface simply is not a problem that has never been talked about on this forum in almost a million posts.

    As JYN states, focus on the chlorine content of your pool which is maybe 90+ percent of pool water problems.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Return of the Phosphates

    I agree with the the others, ignore phosphates. If anything "pick marks" may be the result of issues with pH & CH.
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: Return of the Phosphates

    Phosphates are not related to any pock marks in concrete. High sulfate levels can damage concrete, a low CSI especially at lower pH can damage concrete, a high CSI can cause scale. Phosphates are not used to protect concrete. They are used in some water distribution systems to help prevent corrosion in metal pipes in alkaline water (see this link).
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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    Swampwoman's Avatar
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    Re: Return of the Phosphates

    Just confirming that I have higher phosphate levels than likely ten of you combined and have no mythical pock marks If anyone was gonna get em, I would!
    In ground extended Grecian, 22,000 gal, Hayward 220t sand filter, vinyl liner, dolphin m4 supreme.
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    Re: Return of the Phosphates

    Could be confused that black algae left untreated could leave described condition

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