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Thread: White bits in pool, probably from Chlorinator?

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    White bits in pool, probably from Chlorinator?

    Hey folks, this is my first post here. I've owned pools now for about 5 years - in that time I've had 2 saltwater pools in 2 different houses. I'm no expert, but I've picked up a few things along the way.

    One thing that has contantly bugged me in both properties is that I almost always havewhite flakey bits in our pool looks virtually identical to the stuff that you get on the chlorinator when you clean it.

    Basically, I will check the pool and there are loads of these bits lying at the bottom of the pool underneath the 2 jets that are coming from the pump. The bits range from small (pin head sized) right up to the size of a 5c coin. I would estimate there is enough in the pool to fill a coffee mug after just a few days. I vacuum all the bits up, but a few days later they are back to the same levels. It's an ongoing struggle.


    Worse still, if I get into the pool with goggles I can see that there are loads more of these bits in motion within the water floating around, I guess these bits are too small to have enough mass to sink to the bottom. If you look through the pool it looks like there is 1000s of the little bits and the pool isn't quite crystal clear as a result.


    Its very frustrating.


    Doesn't seem to be linked at all to how clean my chlorinator is in other words, I get the same amount appearing straight after a throrough clean of the chlorinator as I do when the chlorinator is caked in the same white stuff.

    So, I'm confused as to (a) what causes these bits and (b) why the sand filter doesn't take alot out of the water.


    I'm wondering if my cell is passed it's best and needing replacement. However, I seem to recall the previous property had the same issue immediately after a cell replacement, so I suspect this isn't the issue (but my memory may be wrong)

    Or maybe the salt levels aren't correct? (I'm getting an report on the LCD display with 2 green lights and 104 reading, so all seems good!!).

    Thanks in advance for any input.

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: White bits in pool, probably from Chlorinator?

    It's calcium scaling caused by water that is not chemically balanced. The chemical environment inside the cell is much higher pH than the bulk pool water and therefore scaling is occurring. As the cell reverses potential to "self clean", the scale flakes off and comes out into your pool. Please post a set of water test results using a proper test kit and we can advise you on how best to balance your water.

    Since you're down-under, you can not easily get the standard Taylor test kits we use here in the US. Please see your fellow aussie friends in this thread - Australian Test Kit and PM on what they use. I believe Clear Choice Labs in Australia provides the proper test kits.
    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: White bits in pool, probably from Chlorinator?

    Welcome to the forum stube40

    Please add your pool and equipment info to your signature as outlined here - > Pool School - Getting Started
    '70s IG Vinyl 32K gal, Lazy L, Hayward SuperPump 1.5hp 120V, S240 Sand Filter W/DE
    Solar Blanket, Well Water, Borax Added, TF-100 tester. ? too cold
    1979, 275gal Conway Emerald Spa P-100-2, ES-2 Spa Pack, bromine floater, indoor
    TF-100, Best test kit - TFTestkits.net
    Please help keep the lights on, become a TFP Supporter!

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    Re: White bits in pool, probably from Chlorinator?

    Thanks Kiss4aFrog - I've started my signature but as you can see, I've got to fill in the dots once I get home and check out the equipment.

    Thanks JoyfulNoise - I've read a good portion of the Australian Test Kit discussion you pointed me to. Looks like the Clear Choice Labs option is my only reasonable one at the moment, although there were some question over the reliability of it's pH and salt level measurement. A bit confusing.

    In the meantime, I will take a sample to two pool shops at the weekend and get a print out from both to see how well aligned those results are and report back.
    35,000L (9000 US Gal), IG, Fibreglass, Monarch Sand Filter, ???? pump, Chloromatic ???? SWG, ???? Solar Cover,

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    Re: White bits in pool, probably from Chlorinator?

    I had the same flakes in the pool. Then I found TFP and found out how to balance my pool chemistry, learned how to use PoolMath and started keeping a very close watch on my CSI. Keep your water in balance and those flakes will go away.
    chiefwej
    Tucson, AZ
    16x36 rectangular (19k) Pebble Tec play pool/spa, Pentair Intelliflo VS 011018, Super II 2hp (spa), Aqua Rite T-15 SWG, Pro Grid 60 DE, Hayward H400 & Heliocol Solar heating, A&A infloor system, fill water w/high CH and TA, 50 ppm borates,TF-100 test kit

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    Re: White bits in pool, probably from Chlorinator?

    Please do not waste your time going to the pool store to test your water We have seen over and over how unreliable they are. I took my water to 3 different stores and got 3 different results. All wrong and costing from $50 to $150 to "fix" my water which was PURRFECT according to my tests. I did this just to see what they would say as an experiment.

    Work on getting your own test kit asap and your will LOVE just how clear you pool will be AND it will be cheaper in the end!

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: White bits in pool, probably from Chlorinator?

    I agree with Kimkats on avoiding pool store chemicals and fixes. Especially when they try to sell you a $25-50 dollar bottle of "Try This" !!
    Getting a good test kit and doing it yourself really is the best way to go and it's cheaper in the long run. You'll also have water that looks cleaner but more importantly IS cleaner.
    What you spend on a good kit (TF-100 or K2006) you'll save many times over by knowing what to add and only adding what your pool needs and being able to maintain it with common chemicals you can pick up at the grocery store, walmart or a big box store.

    Here is something to start you off reading Pool School - Pool School

    If you've been going to a pool store for the last five years it's likely the reason you can't get the water clear of those specs. We can help if you give us a try.
    '70s IG Vinyl 32K gal, Lazy L, Hayward SuperPump 1.5hp 120V, S240 Sand Filter W/DE
    Solar Blanket, Well Water, Borax Added, TF-100 tester. ? too cold
    1979, 275gal Conway Emerald Spa P-100-2, ES-2 Spa Pack, bromine floater, indoor
    TF-100, Best test kit - TFTestkits.net
    Please help keep the lights on, become a TFP Supporter!

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    Re: White bits in pool, probably from Chlorinator?

    Ooops. I've just seen all your replies saying don't go to the pool store, just AFTER I got back from the pool store!! Actually, I went to 2 to get two separate test results and they appear to confirm what you told me. Results below.

    The good news is that it didn't cost me anything. One of the stores reckons my water is perfect, except for high chlorine. The other ship said to add 300ml acid and a bag of salt.

    Think it's time I ordered my own kit, but trouble is I wont receive it for a while over here in WA - could be up to 2 weeks delivery if it's coming from over east in Australia. Could easily be a month if I choose to get one from the US.

    Here are the 2 results from the 2 stores:

    Salt:4900 / 4600
    Free Chlorine: 7.2 / 8.0
    Total Chlorine: 7.2 / 8.0
    pH: 7.7 / 7.6
    Calcium Hardness: 272 / 194
    Alkalinity: 114 / 126
    Cyanuric Acid: 41 / 42

    Then I have two misc results - Copper = 0.1ppm and Phosphate = 0.0
    35,000L (9000 US Gal), IG, Fibreglass, Monarch Sand Filter, ???? pump, Chloromatic ???? SWG, ???? Solar Cover,

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    Re: White bits in pool, probably from Chlorinator?

    Welcome to the forum!!!

    Check this out: Total Pool Water Testing Kit, Fresh Water Clear Choice Labs

    It is one of the Aussie options.

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    Re: White bits in pool, probably from Chlorinator?

    Worth the wait for the test kit stube40. If you get the K2006 the most important thing is to make sure you get extra reagents while your at it. Clearchoice is a good option though, and I have been ordering some refills from them for my K2006 and they seem to work fine. If your ordering from Clearchoice, I would order the freshwater test kit and bypass the salt test version (without the salt test). I don't even test for salt but make sure my SWG is happy. Someday I may get the Taylor salt test!

    I had exactly the same problem you did a couple of years ago, and the key to sorting my problem was to drop the TA to the TFP recommended level and keeping the CSI to the slightly negative side of '0'. But you want to get the test kit to confirm results first.
    11 000 gallons, IG, Fibreglass, Monarch Sand Filter, Davey Typhoon C100M 1HP pump, Davey Chloromatic Mc16CTO ESR SWG, Davey Pool Wall Climba Robot, Daisy Solar Cover,
    K-2006

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    Re: White bits in pool, probably from Chlorinator?

    Geday stube40,
    Getting a good test kit and some regular testing is essential. Even if you could find a pool shop you could trust they encourage you to test monthly which is just not enough. And when you tell them you want to target water parameters other than what they suggest they look at you like you've got two heads. I really enjoy messing with their heads with a bit of good chemistry.

    Having said that I still get my acid, chlorine and salt from one of my local pool shops. The acid and chlorine is the cheapest around for me, I see no point in driving farther and paying more at the hardware. The salt from the pool shop costs me about $2-3 more a bag but it's good quality and dissolves almost instantly. I will never buy the cheaper salt again.

    The advise you got from the pool shop wasn't that bad, pH in a SWCG pool tends to creep up and they need a little acid sometimes, plus a little excess will help to bring your TA down a bit. And a bag of salt won't hurt depending on what chlorinator you have. 0 phosphates is good but a bit useless to test for since your using chlorine as a sanitiser. The coper is nothing to worry about and could come from you tap water or a previous algae treatment.

    [edit]oops, just revisited your pool store results and your pH looks good to me so why did they say to add acid? I would add the acid to reduce your TA a little though.[end edit]


    I used to have the same calcium deposits but now run a lower TA (75ppm) and higher CYA (70ppm) as per the TFP recommendations and love the PoolMath.




    Pool School - Water Balance for SWGs

    Pool School - Chlorine / CYA Chart
    Last edited by AUSpool; 02-09-2016 at 04:50 AM. Reason: oops pH
    Steve.
    30,000L (8,000g) Pebblecrete | Davey 3sp Eco pump | Poolrite sand filter & SWCG |
    Waterco solar panels & Astral E140 pump| K2006, CCL reagents, BlueDevil pH, Salt meter & K1766 | Town water - pH 7.2, TA 50, CH 60 | Esky full of coldies |

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    Re: White bits in pool, probably from Chlorinator?

    Even though I have my TA at 80, PH in the low 7's I still get the flakes. My CH is about 390. From my experience over the last 4 years, there will always be some amount, it does vary based on the % you have the SWG set to. It does sound like you have more small particles than I do. My pool sweep does pretty good picking them up. For people who have fiberglass or vinyl lined pools there is no need for CH so the lower it is the better.
    DONE, 20 x 40, inground gunite, 30" raised bond beam with 3 12" sheer descents, 8' diving board, pentair 420 cartridge filter, vs-3050 pump, intellechlor ic-40, auto cvr, Tahoe blue pebble tech, 6ea 4' x 12.5' & 2ea 1' x 12.5' helicol solar panels, legend robotic cleaner.

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: White bits in pool, probably from Chlorinator?

    This may not be possible in Oz, but one thing that can help to control calcium scale inside an SWG is to add 50ppm borates to your pool water. Borates act as a secondary buffer system in water. Also, the presences of borates can cut down the pH rise inside the SWG by almost half. Even with normal pH and normal levels of TA in the pool water, the water inside the cell when it is generating chlorine is very different. The pH is A LOT higher (can be well within the mid 10 range) and there is excessive aeration of the water from all of the gas bubble generation. All of this can easily lead to scaling inside the cell and white flakes coming out. If you are experiencing lots of white flaking, be sure to regularly remove the cell and inspect it for excess calcium build up.
    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: White bits in pool, probably from Chlorinator?

    Here is a how to on adding borax to your pool.

    So you want to add borates to your pool--Why and How
    Attached Images Attached Images
    '70s IG Vinyl 32K gal, Lazy L, Hayward SuperPump 1.5hp 120V, S240 Sand Filter W/DE
    Solar Blanket, Well Water, Borax Added, TF-100 tester. ? too cold
    1979, 275gal Conway Emerald Spa P-100-2, ES-2 Spa Pack, bromine floater, indoor
    TF-100, Best test kit - TFTestkits.net
    Please help keep the lights on, become a TFP Supporter!

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    Re: White bits in pool, probably from Chlorinator?

    I think you need to search for boric acid in Australia.

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    Re: White bits in pool, probably from Chlorinator?

    Until I read through this thread I hadn't really thought about my calcium flakes in the pool but they had always been there. I haven't vacuumed for about two weeks and there not there now or at least I don't have the large flakes like I used to. My water is clear but I do stir up some sediment when we swim so it is possible I still have fine calcium flakes that settle out and are stirred up when we swim.

    I have recently reduced my TA from just over 100ppm to 70ppm and am working on raising my CYA a little. My CSI is -0.09 but with 5 years of historical data my CSI has always been around -0.15. Assuming stube40's results are ball park accurate and using the average for CH, pH and salt the CSI is -0.1.

    I think Matt's on the money again. I have recently added 50ppm of borate, another unexpected benifit of borates. I asked at my local pool shop if they could test for borates and was told that they used to, borates used to be used as a water conditioner in Oz and they never thought about their buffering capacity.

    Another possibility is that the self clean function of my SWCG could have reciently stopped working and I'll be keeping a close eye on that.
    Steve.
    30,000L (8,000g) Pebblecrete | Davey 3sp Eco pump | Poolrite sand filter & SWCG |
    Waterco solar panels & Astral E140 pump| K2006, CCL reagents, BlueDevil pH, Salt meter & K1766 | Town water - pH 7.2, TA 50, CH 60 | Esky full of coldies |

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    Re: White bits in pool, probably from Chlorinator?

    Quote Originally Posted by MarianParoo View Post
    I think you need to search for boric acid in Australia.
    You and Kiss4aFrog are on to it. We can get borax from Bunnings for $10 a kilo. I got my boric acid from boricacid.net.au via eBay. In the absence of a cheep effective test kit it's probably a good idea that stube40 gets some experience with the test kit and PoolMath before adding borate mathematically like I did.
    Steve.
    30,000L (8,000g) Pebblecrete | Davey 3sp Eco pump | Poolrite sand filter & SWCG |
    Waterco solar panels & Astral E140 pump| K2006, CCL reagents, BlueDevil pH, Salt meter & K1766 | Town water - pH 7.2, TA 50, CH 60 | Esky full of coldies |

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    Re: White bits in pool, probably from Chlorinator?

    Oh, goodness, you are right, Steve! I hadn't read back in this thread for a while.
    Stu: Please don't add borates yet. Make sure your chemistry is stable and your testing reliable before you do it! My bad, sorry!!!
    Last edited by MarianParoo; 02-09-2016 at 07:04 PM. Reason: Wrong Aussie...

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