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Thread: Calcium Stearate (white flakes)

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Holland, MI
    Posts
    18

    Calcium Stearate (white flakes)

    I have a Spa that is 9 months old. I've maintained it meticulously. Over the past few months I've noticed white flecks floating in the water. The problem has gotten progressively worse so I looked to this and other forums for a solution. The flecks are squishy when you squeeze them between your fingers so I figured it was white mold. I learned about Ahh-Some jet cleaner on this website and read several posts by people with similar problems. I ran 2 disinfecting procedures with 100 PPM CHL and Ahh-Some. I got a lot of gunk out but continued to see the flakes upon refill. I ran one more cleaning procedure but still had the flakes. I then called the place I purchased the tub from. They were puzzled by the problem and didn't have any advice other than to continue the disinfecting/flushing procedures. Frustrated I decided to contact Unique Solutions who make Ahh-Some. I spoke with Jerry who suggested I do a test where you take some of the flakes in a small water sample and add 4-5 drops bleach. The flakes did not dissolve which indicates that it was not white mold. Jerry told me about a problem thatís developed over the past year or so with the manufactures of the plastic tubing used in spa plumbing. It's called Calcium Stearate. This is caused by a new lubricant used in the manufacturing process. There is not much information available on this and I suspect dealers and manufacturers are keeping it hushed.


    I followed the Ahh-some procedure which is to do a normal Aah-Some treatment with the addition of 2 gallons of vinegar per 100 gal of water. Let it soak over night and then drain and refill. More information is available here on the Ahh-Some website: Ahh-Some for Jetted Baths, Hot Tubs Swim Spas - Ahh-Some Water Cleanser for Your Pool, Hut Tub, Jet Bath, Swim Spa and Washing Machine


    I repeated this procedure a second time and I'm still getting white flakes out of the plumbing. I suspect that I need to raise the acidity even higher to get rid of this stuff. I found this video on how to remove calcium by adding two pounds ph down and running for 24 hrs How to Fix Calcium Buildup | Arctic Spas Tutorial Video - YouTube
    I can't seem to find any other information on this other procedure and I'm a bit worried about damaging something. Does anyone have an opinion on whether this is safe or have another solution?

    I found one reference to using dishwasher jet dry (I suspect this is acidic as well). Here is the link. The photos (view gallery) show the problem very well. Is anyone familiar with tis treatment?
    Trouble Shooting: Is PVC Lube to Blame for Cloudy Spa Water?| Pool Spa News | Maintenance, Chemicals, Manufacturers, Hot Tubs

    Thanks in advance,
    Alexie

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Holland, MI
    Posts
    18

    Re: Calcium Stearate

    Upon refill lots of white flakes 1/8" average coming out of pipes. I'm going to run another cycle. I got sick of running to store for vinegar. Reduced ph to 4 with muratic acid this time.

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Holland, MI
    Posts
    18

    Re: Calcium Stearate (white flakes)

    There is an ongoing discussion at this link if anyone wants to follow.
    Calcium Stearate (White Flakes) - Hot Tub Water Chemistry - Pool and Spa Forum

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