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Thread: Unusual Gummy Residue

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    Unusual Gummy Residue

    Ok guys, I need expert advice. I have been maintaining my concrete painted pool for 10 years. Not a newbie. Been very successful with BBB and monitor CYA closely. Have only had one semi-algae outbreak in all that time. Sometimes do a Vitamin C wash for stains, but not every season. Try to closely maintain Chlorine so that I do not do many shocks during the season as it degrades the paint more quickly. Had the surface redone about 4 years ago. Of course the surface is chalking and failing already, but I do not think it matters in this issue. I have experienced the chalking before and did not leave sludge along the skimmer.

    So, no real changes to trees or foliage. We have pine and oak that blow into the pool. We have a tulip tree that drops leaves and nuts. But nothing has changed in 10 years. I don't leave that stuff in for long. This season, I have been getting an unusual "sludge" around the top of the skimmer basket (only in the basket) at the water line. It looks like gray clay and is actually sticky. If you get it on your hands and it dries, you have to scrub it off. It sticks-like clay! It collects almost every day and I wipe it off. I have NEVER had anything like this. I am in NJ and we have orange clay soil and our pool opened this year with a hole in the cover, so there was a dirt cloud in the pool, but not like this, not gray, not sticky. It is sticky and a little greasy.

    I did buy a Dolphin Active 30 and I run it more than I EVER manually cleaned the pool in the past. The pool is cleaner this season than ever, ever! It's great. We have only had one swim party and people swam a few other times. I do not think that it is lotion or body oils due to the limited swimming. At the beginning of the season (end of May), I did use 2 bottles of clarifier and Floc to help get the dirt out, but that was a long time ago. In addition, we have had so much rain this season, I have pumped out no less than 10-12 inches of water out of this pool. Has anyone EVER seen this before? Could the Active 30 be putting grease from the motor into the pool? Any thoughts are welcomed. Thanks, Lalain

    FC: 7 CC 0 PH 7.6 Alk 110 CH 250 CYA 50

    WP_20160827_12_26_36_Pro.jpg
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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Unusual Gummy Residue

    What kind of filter do you have? How are you adding chlorine? It would be helpful if you filled out your pool info in your signature so we know what your base line is.(settings-upper right, edit signature-middle left).

    What test kit are you using?

    Does that stuff smell? It DOES look just like clay! This will be interesting to figure out!

    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: Unusual Gummy Residue

    Just guessing wildly. Could the paint be releasing something that combines with something else to form the goop?

    Clarifier and floc worry me when I hear of anyone using them. the results can often be very unwanted. As you say, that was a long time ago.

    I guess the paint would be my first suspect but I don't think it is paint by itself.....something else is combining.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: Unusual Gummy Residue

    I placed that info in my signature. It used to be there on the old forum, but I guess it was dumped when the forum changed. I use a full Taylor kit that is recommended on here. The gummy stuff does not smell, other than maybe earthy or dirt-like, but it is very subtle. I just looked at the paper towel and it definitely has a gummy consistency. I add liquid chlorine via a trickle through the skimmer where this stuff collects. Sometimes, I use pucks in the in-line chlorinator, if I will be away for a day or 2. .

    Thanks, Lalain
    20,000 Gallon Original Sylvan free-form Concrete Painted pool. Hayward DE filter. 2hp. In-line Hayward chlorinator for pucks, but generally use 6%-10% bleach via skimmer.

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Unusual Gummy Residue

    So when was the last time you cleaned your filter?
    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: Unusual Gummy Residue

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh View Post
    Just guessing wildly. Could the paint be releasing something that combines with something else to form the goop?

    Clarifier and floc worry me when I hear of anyone using them. the results can often be very unwanted. As you say, that was a long time ago.

    I guess the paint would be my first suspect but I don't think it is paint by itself.....something else is combining.
    What kinds of negatives can be caused by clarifier or floc? Like I said, this is our second go around with pool paint. The chalking makes the pool cloudy, and that usually gets caught in the filter or in the bot's filter, but it didn't make the goop the last time. This is like a scum, almost like a byproduct from a machine. I asked my husband if there was any type of product used on the fittings that could come off and float on the water to attach to the skimmer. I was wondering about any type of oil or machine parts. I don't know why, but I have a feeling that it is something like that. Maybe you are correct. Maybe it is some type of oily substance combining with the chalking paint to create this sludge? The paint is white so perhaps this substance is actually a black oil (from wherever) combining with the white chalk thereby making it gray? I don't know, but I have never experienced it before. We do have a lot of tree overhang, pines and oak. I wonder if pines emit any type of oil?

    Thanks, Lalain

    - - - Updated - - -

    Filter gets completely cleaned at closing. The internal metal taken out and all that. Backwashed once at beginning of summer because of the dirt from over the winter at opening. No need to do it again because the pressure has not changed at all over the summer and we are closing tomorrow. I do clean the filters for the bot daily, because that goes around for several hours every day and it picks up a lot of the fine debris that normally I would brush for the main filter.
    20,000 Gallon Original Sylvan free-form Concrete Painted pool. Hayward DE filter. 2hp. In-line Hayward chlorinator for pucks, but generally use 6%-10% bleach via skimmer.

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    Re: Unusual Gummy Residue

    Out of the box thinking, if it looks like clay, feels like clay and smells earthy, then could it be clay??
    You mentioned that you had a lot of rain this year, which would bring in debris/dust or maybe it is coming from a crack in your plumbing (oh geezz I hope not). Clay is really superfine and will stay suspended for months, although a DE filter should catch it
    Maybe let a sample dry out and see what it looks like then
    6000 gal, AG vinyl, Intex ultra frame 16ft, 1200 Gallon Sand Filter, DIY Solar, Clear Choice Labs Testing Kit

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    Re: Unusual Gummy Residue

    Quote Originally Posted by Caco View Post
    Out of the box thinking, if it looks like clay, feels like clay and smells earthy, then could it be clay??
    You mentioned that you had a lot of rain this year, which would bring in debris/dust or maybe it is coming from a crack in your plumbing (oh geezz I hope not). Clay is really superfine and will stay suspended for months, although a DE filter should catch it
    Maybe let a sample dry out and see what it looks like then
    So, I dug that paper towel out of the trash and I touched the stuff and I think that clay is probably not the best descriptor. It looks clay like, but actually feels more like gum or a really thick, sticky, caramel or taffy. It is very sticky and doesn't really appear to dry, unless it is very thinly spread. As you can see on my finger, it holds it's shape. If you wipe off most, it will leave a residue that you cannot wipe off without soap and a scrubby sponge from the kitchen. I am really flummoxed because I have never had this before in the 10 seasons of this pool. That doesn't rule out a break in a line, but there are no other indicators. No air in the pump intake, or other observable signs of dirt. The dirt here is more orangey, and we had dirt cascade into the pool during torrential rains and it makes my pool look greenish because of the color. If oil (like for a machine) gets into pool water, I wonder how it would react? It would float on the surface, I think. I wonder if the pump is leaking oil into the water. I don't even know if this is possible, the way the pump motor is set up.

    WP_20160827_19_04_01_Pro.jpg

    WP_20160827_19_04_30_Pro.jpg
    20,000 Gallon Original Sylvan free-form Concrete Painted pool. Hayward DE filter. 2hp. In-line Hayward chlorinator for pucks, but generally use 6%-10% bleach via skimmer.

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    Re: Unusual Gummy Residue

    If its oil based then wouldnt it float/seperate in water?
    Grab a disposable container with some warmish water and try to get a bit dissolve in there and see if it acts "oily" and separates in a layer from the water

    disclaimer
    I really have no idea, just trying to help figure out what it is
    6000 gal, AG vinyl, Intex ultra frame 16ft, 1200 Gallon Sand Filter, DIY Solar, Clear Choice Labs Testing Kit

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    Re: Unusual Gummy Residue

    Do you have an auto cover? Anything that needs to be greased/lubed? My pump does not have any thing like that that I know of.

    Is there any on the side of the pool? Main drain cover?

    I am doing like Caco.........trying to figure it out and looking for clues.

    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: Unusual Gummy Residue

    Quote Originally Posted by kimkats View Post
    Do you have an auto cover? Anything that needs to be greased/lubed? My pump does not have any thing like that that I know of.

    Is there any on the side of the pool? Main drain cover?

    I am doing like Caco.........trying to figure it out and looking for clues.

    Nope, no auto cover (I wish). None on the main drain that I can see (it is 8 feet down). None on the water line of the walls, none on the steps, none on the metal ladder. Only in the plastic skimmer basket. My husband looked at the stuff and he thinks it is oils or pitch/tar from the pine trees. I guess that they give off oils or tar. Not sure. The tree has always been there, I don't understand why now. I would like to get every tree limbed off the pool next season. Maybe that would solve the issue. We get a load of tree debris. This pool was built in 1961 and the trees were either existing or planted around that time. So, at the minimum the trees are 55 years old. They are tall and all around my pool. They look nice, but it is a constant battle with the pool. Thanks for all the thoughts.
    20,000 Gallon Original Sylvan free-form Concrete Painted pool. Hayward DE filter. 2hp. In-line Hayward chlorinator for pucks, but generally use 6%-10% bleach via skimmer.

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Unusual Gummy Residue

    What your hubby says makes sense......something coming off the trees drops into the pool. The pump sends it around the pool with the circulation.........it collects in the skimmer and glups together for you to clean up. I would think about taking the filter apart just in case there is some of it in there.

    How does the skimmer basket look? look on the underside of it as well.

    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: Unusual Gummy Residue

    Let's see...you have had your pool for years with no similar issues...the only change has been the 'bot....have you talked to the dealer to see if there is any lubricant inside that might have escaped from a seal? I would expect that any lube would be food grade and somewhat miscible in water.
    16X32 AB, Pentair SD filter, 3/4hp Pentair Optiflo, CircuPool RJ30+ swg, TF 100

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    Re: Unusual Gummy Residue

    Take the robot out and over a few days see if the sludge decreases?
    My Amazon Smile for November12K Fiberglass IG, Infinity 4000 automatic cover, SWCG, Hayward Sand Filter, Hayward 1.5 Pump, Doheny Discovery Robot, Savi Melody LED pool lights, outdoor speakers and other assorted doo-dads. Sundance Altamar Hot Tub.
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    Re: Unusual Gummy Residue

    Quote Originally Posted by kimkats View Post
    What your hubby says makes sense......something coming off the trees drops into the pool. The pump sends it around the pool with the circulation.........it collects in the skimmer and glups together for you to clean up. I would think about taking the filter apart just in case there is some of it in there.

    How does the skimmer basket look? look on the underside of it as well.

    Skimmer basket is pretty clean except for staining from the bleach of course. I rotate two baskets and most of the sludge collects on the back side where the water hits against the wall. There is nothing on the underside of the basket and just a tiny bit of the sludge here and there on the basket, but I think it is because I hit the sludge pulling the basket out. The picture below is from about 7 hours of the pump on and then it sits overnight.
    I think that there are tiny bits of sludge on the numbers on the skimmer and a few other places I hadn't noticed before.

    WP_20160828_09_05_28_Pro.jpg
    20,000 Gallon Original Sylvan free-form Concrete Painted pool. Hayward DE filter. 2hp. In-line Hayward chlorinator for pucks, but generally use 6%-10% bleach via skimmer.

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    Re: Unusual Gummy Residue

    Quote Originally Posted by Vickery View Post
    Let's see...you have had your pool for years with no similar issues...the only change has been the 'bot....have you talked to the dealer to see if there is any lubricant inside that might have escaped from a seal? I would expect that any lube would be food grade and somewhat miscible in water.
    I wondered about that myself. My husband believes that if the motor had a break in the seal that it would short out and not work submerged. I actually think it started before the bot, but I cannot remember precisely. It seems to be more NOW than earlier in the summer. There would be a little bit, I would wipe it out and move on, but not nearly as much as right now.

    I had more pics, but I think that I hit my limit and it won't let me upload. However, I wiped off the sludge this AM and it is like a dime sized glob. I took a small piece and put it in cold water. It sinks and does not dissolve. Put it in hot water. Same thing, sinks, does not dissolve. Put it in hot, soapy water, it broke up a bit into smaller pieces with agitation, but did not dissolve. I drained the hot soapy water and was able to scrape it back together. We are closing the pool today, so my husband will do a close inspection of the inside of the filter and the bot. I hope it is the bot because it is still under warranty. Thanks for all the questions. The mystery continues! Lalain

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Caco View Post
    If its oil based then wouldnt it float/seperate in water?
    Grab a disposable container with some warmish water and try to get a bit dissolve in there and see if it acts "oily" and separates in a layer from the water

    disclaimer
    I really have no idea, just trying to help figure out what it is
    I detailed that in my latest post. See those comments. It does not separate like an oil that is liquid at room temp, but that doesn't mean that it isn't oil based. (perhaps).
    20,000 Gallon Original Sylvan free-form Concrete Painted pool. Hayward DE filter. 2hp. In-line Hayward chlorinator for pucks, but generally use 6%-10% bleach via skimmer.

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    Re: Unusual Gummy Residue

    I don't have a DE filter, but could it possibly be dirty DE?
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    Re: Unusual Gummy Residue

    You can use photo bucket or such to add more pics. Use the IMG code. OR you could become a supporting member and help us keep the lights on.

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    Re: Unusual Gummy Residue

    Quote Originally Posted by PAGirl View Post
    I don't have a DE filter, but could it possibly be dirty DE?
    I really don't think so. I just backwashed it, it really wasn't that dirty.
    20,000 Gallon Original Sylvan free-form Concrete Painted pool. Hayward DE filter. 2hp. In-line Hayward chlorinator for pucks, but generally use 6%-10% bleach via skimmer.

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    Re: Unusual Gummy Residue

    We are currently closing the pool and I noted that the our drain in the deep end (one of those ones that is a wide cover-like the size of a paint can lid-that has a slight rise to the center with a bunch of holes so that a person or a child cannot get their hair caught into and stuck in the deep end) has a dark line around one side. I am thinking that the sludge is also collecting in this spot as well. I tried to scrub it with a brush, nothing doing. It is a dark line, I thought it was a shadow, but the pool water is still and very clear, so I don't think so anymore.
    20,000 Gallon Original Sylvan free-form Concrete Painted pool. Hayward DE filter. 2hp. In-line Hayward chlorinator for pucks, but generally use 6%-10% bleach via skimmer.

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