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Thread: White chips / powder from returns...

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    White chips / powder from returns...

    Hi all. I've discovered a white powder in the pool coming from my returns. It looks almost like soap flakes or snow and disolves into a fine white powder when touched. Maybe a cup or 2 total.The pool was just converted to SWG, is 28k and ph and FC are normal, CH is still high at 700 and CYA is 75-80. Also the solar started running only a week or so ago.

    I'll try to upload the photos I took later. Any ideas?

    Thanks!

    Florida Pool Service Guy
    15k Kidney Diamond Brite
    Hayward C-1200 Cartridge Filter
    Sta-Rite Dura-Glass 1.5hp Pump
    Pentair Rainbow 320 Chlorinator
    Heliocol Solar Panels

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    gordyjamz's Avatar
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    Aug 2007
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    Illinois
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    Re: White chips / powder from returns...

    I don't have any experience with SWG's, but if this was a pool without one here some ideas off the top of my head. What kind of filter is it? If its DE, then I would check the grids for holes or damage. If sand, then maybe a broken lateral or gasket tear. If cartridge, then maybe a hole in the element. Then there's the issue of the 700 CH reading. You didn't post a full set of numbers, but if your TA/PH is too high you could be precipitating calcium onto your pipes or filter, etc. This could be breaking off and coming through the returns. Like I said, I don't know about the SWG, but many here do, so they may have a few other ideas. Hope this helps.
    20x40 24,000 gal IG plaster/CircuPool RJ45 SWG/2 skimmer/2sp 2.5hp Jandy Stealth/340sq ft cart filter/600sqftHeliocol Solar Panels/6ft semi circlr tanning ledge/25ft deep end bench/5ft sheer descent/2 lion head water features/1300sqft travertine paver/2 Colorlogic lights/Hayward Navigator/3step 2ft raised bond beam

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    May 2007
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    Silver Spring, MD
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    37,879

    Re: White chips / powder from returns...

    Those are calcium flakes that are forming on the SWG cell plates. The SWG has a cleaning mode that causes them to lift off the cell plates and wash away every couple of hours.

    You really need to get your calcium saturation under control. This is affected by several things, mostly PH, TA, and CH levels. The best thing to do would be to lower your CH level, but if that is impractical you can compensate by lowering PH and/or TA. If you post a full set of water test results we can give you much more specific advice.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: White chips / powder from returns...

    I should have also mentioned that the pool guy started us with too much salt. Intellichlor says 4750PPM. Not much I can do about that without draining it - which I'm not doing until the end of the season.

    All the equipment is brand new, including the cartridge filter.

    Here's a full set of #s:

    FC=5
    PH=7.4
    TA=130
    CH=700
    CYA=75-80

    I'm sure you're right about the SWCG buildup being released. These chips just showed up all of a sudden. At least I know the cleaning mode works. And the chips look like I'd think calcium would.

    I'll read up on getting the CH down.

    Florida Pool Service Guy
    15k Kidney Diamond Brite
    Hayward C-1200 Cartridge Filter
    Sta-Rite Dura-Glass 1.5hp Pump
    Pentair Rainbow 320 Chlorinator
    Heliocol Solar Panels

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    May 2007
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    Silver Spring, MD
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    37,879

    Re: White chips / powder from returns...

    Unless you are willing to replace a lot of water or get a reverse osmosis treatment, the best approach is to get the TA level down to around 70. Take a look at How To Lower Total Alkalinity.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: White chips / powder from returns...

    Thanks - FYI here are the photos:


    adult image hosting


    image hosting service

    Florida Pool Service Guy
    15k Kidney Diamond Brite
    Hayward C-1200 Cartridge Filter
    Sta-Rite Dura-Glass 1.5hp Pump
    Pentair Rainbow 320 Chlorinator
    Heliocol Solar Panels

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    Re: White chips / powder from returns...

    Is it possible to hire someone with some equipment to treat our water with a reverse osmosis equipment? Bring a trailer or something? We live in San Jose, CA.

    Florida Pool Service Guy
    15k Kidney Diamond Brite
    Hayward C-1200 Cartridge Filter
    Sta-Rite Dura-Glass 1.5hp Pump
    Pentair Rainbow 320 Chlorinator
    Heliocol Solar Panels

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    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    San Diego, CA
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    25

    Re: White chips / powder from returns...

    It is available in some areas, but I do not know about San Jose.

    Due to hard water in San Diego and replacement of evaporated water, in the course of less than 2 years, my CH went from 500 to 1100.

    I am very familiar with those calcium chips you show in your pictures. Until I got the reverse osmosis treatment, I had to acid clean the SWG every 4 to 6 weeks, and be very aggressive about keeping the pH in the 7.2 to 7.4 range. Anything higher would start scaling, and if I let it drift to 7.8, scaling was a sure thing. I kept my TA around 60, I added a bit of acid every other day to keep the pH in control. With the SWG pushing pH up, it was a constant battle.

    No after Reverse Osmosis, I can relax again. Adding acid only once a week now as the pH settles in the 7.6 range wtih TA 70. After RO, CH was 200. I will slowly let this creep up again, realizing ideal is to be at 250. But I am not about to add Calcium unless someone tells me I am in real danger at 200 and watching the numbers as it will inevitably drift up again. If you can find Pool RO in your area, go for it. In the meantime, get your TA down, and keep the pH aggressively controlled. Your only other alternative is to drain and refill. (of course you could hope for lots of rain, but we both know what that chance of that is in San Jose (or San Diego) June through October).
    35x19 15,000 gal, SWG, Pentair equip, 100% solar coverage, 400K heater, 9x7 spa Inground 3M Bora Bora with Dark Gray plaster

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