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Thread: Scaling Getting Worse and What's Up with the Bubbles?!

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    Unhappy Scaling Getting Worse and What's Up with the Bubbles?!

    Hi All!
    Well, my pool looks great, but the scaling issue is getting worse. My pH is usually 7.7-7.8 so I've been adding acid every week, but the scaling is just getting worse and worse. I haven't noticed any changes in the plaster, just more flakes, and my robot is saturated with it when I clean it (see pic; this is about 5 days's worth of 1.5 hrs/day). I know I need to drain the pool some and replace with fresh water, but will that really help? If the pool level drops about 6-8 inches a week and I refill it, isn't that kind of the same as draining and adding new water? I need to get a sump pump. I don't know how to use the filter to drain.

    Last week I had the water tested at Leslie's to compare numbers. I had FC of 2.0 and they got 4.0, telling me it was too high. I asked how they calculated the FC and they couldn't explain it. I know this forum says to not trust their numbers, but I got worried because I already added bleach to the water to bring up the FC since I was expecting bathers that day, and they were telling me I needed to lower it. At the bottom of Pool Math in blue for "Suggested FC Levels" it says "SWG: 4, Normal: 7 to 12." Does that mean my FC should be between 7 and 12 ppm? Seem high. Leslie's also said my salt was at 3850, and my wall remote said it was at 3000! Ugh! What's the best way to measure salinity? I don't mind spending a little money.

    Okay one last thing. Sorry, I don't get much time to post on here so trying to get all questions out. I noticed the one of the return jets, the strongest one nearest the pump, now has a pretty consistent stream of bubbles. I read somewhere on this site what that meant, but I can't remember where I saw it. What does that mean? Is it serious?

    This morning's tests: FC = 3.2, CC = 0, pH = 7.7, TA = 110

    Thanks for your time!
    Attached Images Attached Images
    -Noah
    26k IG plaster Pool/Spa; 2 HP Pentair IntelliFlo 2; Pentair Intelli Touch I5; DE filter (Pentair FNSP 60 180009); Goldline AquaRite SWG; Hayward T-Cell-15; Pentair Master Temp Heater (not used); Taylor K-2006 FAS-DPD; Tiger Shark robot vacuum

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    Re: Scaling Getting Worse and What's Up with the Bubbles?!

    What's the CH level? Your level is likely very high in addition to your relatively high TA.

    The salt cells are prone to creating scale when the water parameters are not ideal. The cells reverse polarity to clean the blades and this releases the calcium flakes into the pool for your cleaner to pick up. Lowering your pH and TA will likely fix this problem.

    The bubbles are from chlorine production within the cell and is perfectly normal. Usually this occurs at the return that is the highest and closest to the pump.

    Your chlorine level should be 7.5% of you CYA level. You didn't post that number but with any amount of CYA in the pool, none of the FC numbers you mentioned are too high.
    -Brian-
    33K Pool/Spa, Pentair Equipment
    POOL BUILD
    Davis Custom Construction - Home Page

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    Re: Scaling Getting Worse and What's Up with the Bubbles?!

    Stay out of the pool store, their numbers and advice don't mix with ours.

    Evaporation only removes pure water, all the other minerals in the water stay in the pool, hence the CH raises a bit with each top off.

    The only time to truly worry about the salt level is when you need to add salt because the SWG is saying the level is too low. The SWG might be wearing out and a lot of times it will report a lower salinity level than what it is. All salinity tests are only good for +-400ppm but the Taylor K-1766 salinity test kit seems to be the most reliable. See my signature for the test kits link.

    Brian covered the bubbles and what is causing the flakes. Post a set of complete test results and we will give you some numbers to use for your pool.

    FC
    CC
    CYA
    pH
    TA
    CH

    I have to keep my pool's pH between 7.2-7.5 range now because the CH is getting high and with a TA value around 60 I can prevent scale build up in my pool.
    16k gal plaster with raised spa, Jandy DEV60 filter, 2 HP 2-speed SHPF Jandy Stealth pump
    Hayward Aqua Rite T-15 SWCG, Jandy LXi 400k BTU NG heater, 350 sq.ft. of Sun Star solar panels, TF-100 Test Kit, Dolphin s300i Cleaner
    Test Kits . Pool Math . Chlorine/CYA Chart . The SLAM Process

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    Re: Scaling Getting Worse and What's Up with the Bubbles?!

    Report your CH level so we can help.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Scaling Getting Worse and What's Up with the Bubbles?!

    Hi Noah,
    the scaling is a combination of things, pH, CH and TA. We would need to know what ALL of the test results are in order to be able to give good advice. THis is why we recommend so often to get your own reliable test kit and learn how to use it, such as the TF100 at TFTestkits.net Its the best investment in your pool you could possibly make.

    As for the FC. the proper FC level depens on what your CYA level is. The people in the pool store don't understand this, but we do. Nothng personally against the people in the store, but they are just retail sales folks without any chemistry background and it's highly likely that NONE of them own a swimming pool.
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

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    Re: Scaling Getting Worse and What's Up with the Bubbles?!

    From yesterday, my results are:
    FC = 3.2
    CC = 0
    pH = 7.7
    TA = 110
    CYA = 200 (since it was so high, I used the dilution method as explained on the Taylor site in order to get a reading, so I don't know how accurate this is. Leslie's has it at 90)
    CH = 800
    Tap Water CH = 250

    I live in an area with hard water, for sure. The last few times I've tested my CH I got around 800 - 850. I don't have enough chemicals to complete another test because it takes so many drops.

    All my numbers have been pretty consistent though so yeah, I think I'll stay out of the pool stores. They just make me question everything.

    I did read somewhere in the forums about keeping the pH low around 7.2 to help drop the TA and stabilize the CH so I'll try to stay on top of that.

    I thought about buying one of those electronic salt testers, but it sounds like I don't need that.

    Thanks for the response!

    - - - Updated - - -

    That's an interesting point about the evaporation. Makes more sense now!
    Quote Originally Posted by ping View Post
    Stay out of the pool store, their numbers and advice don't mix with ours.

    Evaporation only removes pure water, all the other minerals in the water stay in the pool, hence the CH raises a bit with each top off.

    The only time to truly worry about the salt level is when you need to add salt because the SWG is saying the level is too low. The SWG might be wearing out and a lot of times it will report a lower salinity level than what it is. All salinity tests are only good for +-400ppm but the Taylor K-1766 salinity test kit seems to be the most reliable. See my signature for the test kits link.

    Brian covered the bubbles and what is causing the flakes. Post a set of complete test results and we will give you some numbers to use for your pool.

    FC
    CC
    CYA
    pH
    TA
    CH

    I have to keep my pool's pH between 7.2-7.5 range now because the CH is getting high and with a TA value around 60 I can prevent scale build up in my pool.
    -Noah
    26k IG plaster Pool/Spa; 2 HP Pentair IntelliFlo 2; Pentair Intelli Touch I5; DE filter (Pentair FNSP 60 180009); Goldline AquaRite SWG; Hayward T-Cell-15; Pentair Master Temp Heater (not used); Taylor K-2006 FAS-DPD; Tiger Shark robot vacuum

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    Re: Scaling Getting Worse and What's Up with the Bubbles?!

    You need to drain about 16,000 gallons from your pool. Your cya is much too high and your calcium level is approaching the point where it's going to become unmanageable. With your TA and CH levels it's no wonder that you're seeing scale.
    -Brian-
    33K Pool/Spa, Pentair Equipment
    POOL BUILD
    Davis Custom Construction - Home Page

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    Re: Scaling Getting Worse and What's Up with the Bubbles?!

    I just read in another thread that the bubbles could be from an air leak in the pump basket seal, or somewhere else. Could that be another possibility? If it's perfectly normal, then great!

    Thanks, Brian
    Quote Originally Posted by bdavis466 View Post
    What's the CH level? Your level is likely very high in addition to your relatively high TA.

    The salt cells are prone to creating scale when the water parameters are not ideal. The cells reverse polarity to clean the blades and this releases the calcium flakes into the pool for your cleaner to pick up. Lowering your pH and TA will likely fix this problem.

    The bubbles are from chlorine production within the cell and is perfectly normal. Usually this occurs at the return that is the highest and closest to the pump.

    Your chlorine level should be 7.5% of you CYA level. You didn't post that number but with any amount of CYA in the pool, none of the FC numbers you mentioned are too high.
    - - - Updated - - -

    That's kind of what I figured.

    What's the easiest way to drain the pool? I've never done it, and was thinking I need to get a sump pump to do it.

    Thanks, Brian
    Quote Originally Posted by bdavis466 View Post
    You need to drain about 16,000 gallons from your pool. Your cya is much too high and your calcium level is approaching the point where it's going to become unmanageable. With your TA and CH levels it's no wonder that you're seeing scale.
    -Noah
    26k IG plaster Pool/Spa; 2 HP Pentair IntelliFlo 2; Pentair Intelli Touch I5; DE filter (Pentair FNSP 60 180009); Goldline AquaRite SWG; Hayward T-Cell-15; Pentair Master Temp Heater (not used); Taylor K-2006 FAS-DPD; Tiger Shark robot vacuum

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    Re: Scaling Getting Worse and What's Up with the Bubbles?!

    That's exactly what most people do.
    -Brian-
    33K Pool/Spa, Pentair Equipment
    POOL BUILD
    Davis Custom Construction - Home Page

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    Re: Scaling Getting Worse and What's Up with the Bubbles?!

    Let me know if I should start a new thread with this question, but once I partially drain and refill with new water, what steps do I take to get it in balance?

    Thanks,
    -Noah
    26k IG plaster Pool/Spa; 2 HP Pentair IntelliFlo 2; Pentair Intelli Touch I5; DE filter (Pentair FNSP 60 180009); Goldline AquaRite SWG; Hayward T-Cell-15; Pentair Master Temp Heater (not used); Taylor K-2006 FAS-DPD; Tiger Shark robot vacuum

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    Re: Scaling Getting Worse and What's Up with the Bubbles?!

    Do not start another thread, this thread will keep everyone informed.

    Test results will tell us what you will need to add to balance the water.
    16k gal plaster with raised spa, Jandy DEV60 filter, 2 HP 2-speed SHPF Jandy Stealth pump
    Hayward Aqua Rite T-15 SWCG, Jandy LXi 400k BTU NG heater, 350 sq.ft. of Sun Star solar panels, TF-100 Test Kit, Dolphin s300i Cleaner
    Test Kits . Pool Math . Chlorine/CYA Chart . The SLAM Process

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