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Thread: White buildup on tile at water line, help!

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    White buildup on tile at water line, help!

    Hi all, I noticed last week a little white line along the water line in the pool figured it was calcium?
    So I didnt add water for a week and let the water get down a bit. The white really became noticeable on the tile once it dried out.

    Any ideas what this is? I tried using muriatic acid and a scotch brite pad and it didn't make a dent.
    The white part is not rough to the touch, its almost like it is a film. When it is wet, you can barely see it.


    Thanks very much for any help.

    chems

    FC 3
    PH 7.4 -- (current, but with SWG its spikes constantly.)
    TA 110
    CH 300
    CYA 30



    [attachment=0:35x2h320]photo(3) (640x476).jpg[/attachment:35x2h320]

    [attachment=1:35x2h320]photo(2) (640x478).jpg[/attachment:35x2h320]

    Thanks much!
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Join Date
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    Re: White buildup on tile at water line, help!

    I've got the same thing in my pool. Similar cleaning results, I have been assuming it's calcium (although my water is nice and balanced, and doesn't have excessive CH...). I've successfully scraped it off with a putty knife, but it was a lot of work and I have smooth tile there so I doubt you could do the same thing without destroying your tile. I'll be watching the thread to see if someone comes up with a good chemical based solution to the problem.
    Foxx Pool Grecian 27000 gallons (vinyl liner)
    Sand Filter w/ 300 #'s of Brand New Sand 6/3/11

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    Re: White buildup on tile at water line, help!

    It is actually scale.

    If it were calcium it would be around the grout lies. Often when builders plaster and grout they add calcium to the plaster mix to speed up the curing process. Although it is not recommended, when the weather is cold it is pretty much the only way to "set" the plaster.

    If it is not built up that much you may be able to remove it with straight muriatic acid. Grab some rubber gloves and a scotch brite scrubbing pad and try it. If not I've also had luck using CLR (Calcium, Lime and Rust remover) which can be purchased at Walmart and most grocery stores.

    Purchase some "stain and scale inhibitor" to prevent it from coming back.

    Joe
    "When your pool is sick, call the doctor, I make house calls"
    One stop pool shop, I do everything but install them. 9+ years of experience.

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: White buildup on tile at water line, help!

    Lower your TA to about 70 or so and keep your pH 7.4 or below. Your TA is one reason your pH keeps going upi so rapidly. Lowering the TA and keeping the pH low will most likely dissolve the deposits over time.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
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    Re: White buildup on tile at water line, help!

    Quote Originally Posted by AquaDoctorLLC
    It is actually scale.

    If it were calcium it would be around the grout lies. Often when builders plaster and grout they add calcium to the plaster mix to speed up the curing process. Although it is not recommended, when the weather is cold it is pretty much the only way to "set" the plaster.
    When someone says "Calcium", they usually mean calcium carbonate, which is a type of scale. Calcium would not be seen by itself even if calcium chloride were added to the plaster or grout mix. I'm not sure I understand why you're referring to "calcium" as if it were something different from scale.

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    Re: White buildup on tile at water line, help!

    If you want to prevent constant PH spikes you will need to reduce your waters ability to rapidly change the PH by lowering your Alk and raising your PH as per Chemgeeks chart found here...

    http://richardfalk.home.comcast.net/...k/pool/CO2.htm

    The more carbon dioxide you have in the water as opposed to in the air the more your water is prone to PH changes. Low ALK and high PH help in slowing down your waters ability to PH change. Chemgeek taught me that after I had constantly battled with high PH's and low Alkalinities.. I now live with it and sure enough the PH changes are slow and I am able to catch them in time and slowly bring them down again.

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    Re: White buildup on tile at water line, help!

    Goyom, were you able to get rid of the white staining on the tile at the waterline? I have an identical situation and would like to know your outcome.

    Aside:
    For me, I mixed 1:4 muriatic acid in a [former] windex bottle and sprayed the calcium-based stain. It does bubble and dissolve the thick deposits, but the hazy-white line remains even after putting a little scrubbing muscle to it. I was excited about the "set TA to 70" suggestion. But I checked my records and my TA has been consistently between 60 and 80 all season. Yet if anything, the white staining has become worse this season.

    Anyways, Goyom, please let us know how things have turned out.
    _________________
    17,000 PebbleTec pool, Intellichlor SWG,
    4 spd pump, cartridge filter,
    8' attached hot tub w/ waterfall

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    Re: White buildup on tile at water line, help!

    best luck I've had is straight muriatic acid in a pump sprayer, I let it sit for about 10-20min then hosed off, and re-applied if I had to

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    Re: White buildup on tile at water line, help!

    Full strength muriatic acid had no effect on this stuff. Muriatic acid works great on the thick white buildup that occurs around my waterfall feature, but it has not effect on this stuff. However, I did use a pumice stone on a couple tiles and with only about 20 seconds of scrubbing per tile, 90% of the white stains are gone.

    Attached is a picture of my "ring around the pool". I'll post an "after" picture after I scrub. My guess is that I'll probably need 5 or 6 pumice stones to complete the job.

    [attachment=0:2qlscwed]RingAroundThePool.jpg[/attachment:2qlscwed]
    Attached Images Attached Images
    _________________
    17,000 PebbleTec pool, Intellichlor SWG,
    4 spd pump, cartridge filter,
    8' attached hot tub w/ waterfall

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    Re: White buildup on tile at water line, help!

    Have the same problem....pool filled with well water very high in calcium. Pumice stone and a bit of elbow grease takes care of the deposits...but they do return. I have not priced water replacement...it would have to come from 200 miles away. Numbers good, pool clear and sparkles. Installation was 4 months ago. Use tabs when we travel and are away more than a few days and BBB when we are home. I try to keep pH around 7.2.
    Last numbers 9/4/11
    Cl 4
    pH 7.5
    TA 80
    CYA 50
    CH 400
    Anything else I can do about high CH?
    Thanks
    Waterbaby

    10'X40', 15,500 gal, inground gunite with plaster
    3/4 hp Challenger pump
    chlorine-Rainbow 320 chlorinator
    Pentair DE filter
    Pentair Legend cleaner
    south central Texas

  11. Back To Top    #11

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    Re: White buildup on tile at water line, help!

    Is reverse osmosis available in your area? That can help high calcium.
    20k gallon IGP
    Plaster over gunite
    3/4 hp Hayward pump
    Purex Triton DE filter
    TF100 test kit w/ speedstir

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    Re: White buildup on tile at water line, help!

    Did you have any luck with this?
    Chris Hartje
    Golden State Pressure Washing
    & Pool Tile Cleaning
    Fresno, Ca

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    Re: White buildup on tile at water line, help!

    As you may have guessed, your calcium hardness is a little high. I had scaling too with CH of 300, adding borates to the pool completely stopped my scaling issue. My pH was all over the place even with TA in the right spot, the borates totally fixed my problem. My pool was trouble-free all summer long. It's even crystal clear right now with a full bed of leaves in the bottom (I have to clear the leaves out weekly at this time of year).
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
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    Re: White buildup on tile at water line, help!

    I have the identical problem (I even have the same color tile). It appeared a few weeks ago following a partial drain/refill to fix my astronomically high CYA level. Does anyone have any ideas/solutions to get rid of the deposit? I've already tried vinegar, baking soda, muriatic acid, and a magic eraser (all separately!) with no luck.

    pH: 7.7
    FC: 6
    TA: 160
    CH: 230
    Temp: 45F
    7,000 Gallon In-ground Plaster Pool, Spa, & Waterfall
    Jandy Stealth Pump, Jandy DEV60 Filter, Jandy LXi400N Heater, 8 Gallon Liquidator, The Pool Cleaner
    Taylor K-2006C

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    Re: White buildup on tile at water line, help!

    I am having the same problem. I have tried everything even straight muriatic acid and scrubbing. I did find a product Bio-Dex 300 that seemed to take the white film off. I left it on for a few minutes and scrubbed with a nylon scrubber, then repeated the process, rinsing after each application. In some places it looks like I scrubbed the finish off the tile and even the color. Is that possible? Will a tile restorer help? Anybody else tried this?

    FC: 4.5
    PH: 7.4
    TA: 70
    CH: 280
    CYA: 40
    water temp. 90
    24,215 gallon, 520 pentair cartridge filter, IG, pebble, Pentair Intelliflo variable speed 3 HP for filter pump, Pentair WhisperFlo 3/4 HP for waterfall, booster pump for cleaner, hot tub with overflow into pool, finished Sept. 2011, Katy, TX

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    Re: White buildup on tile at water line, help!

    I have the same thing, but have low hardness (according to the pool store), but was told not to do anything about it until the pool is 6 months old. I called my builder and he said to try some CLR applied with a soft towel... I picked some up today and hope to get to it this weekend.
    16,250 gal, IG plaster; Jandy Pro Series Equipment: ePump Variable Speed 2.0HP (pool/spa), PlusHP High Head Pump 230/115 VAC .Up-rated 75HP (water feature), Versa Plumb 340 SF filter, & LXI 400KBTU Natural Gas Heater (N) Polymer Headers; Pentair In-line chlorine tablet feeder; Zodiac iAqualink; Clear O3 water purifying system; Polaris 9300 Sport robot, April 2013

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    Re: White buildup on tile at water line, help!

    I had the same issue but my pool is Fiberglass, the tile is grouted in with Silicon grout and there was an additional stain across the top lip of the pool above the tile...we tried a couple different things...Vitamin C, CLR, Magic Eraser...In a moment of genius last night I figured out that I could use the scrub pads designed to clean flat top cooking surfaces and it works awesome...takes a couple minutes of elbow grease for each tile but they look 1000X better. I will get out there this am and take a pic..(only got about 1/4 of the way done before it got dark last night)
    6000 Gal Alagas Malibu Fiberglass, 1HP (I think), 100sq ft pentair cartridge filter, Rainbow 320 (for vacations only)!

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    Re: White buildup on tile at water line, help!

    wolfeman, what was the exact product you used? Nothing I've tried has worked on those stains.
    7,000 Gallon In-ground Plaster Pool, Spa, & Waterfall
    Jandy Stealth Pump, Jandy DEV60 Filter, Jandy LXi400N Heater, 8 Gallon Liquidator, The Pool Cleaner
    Taylor K-2006C

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    Re: White buildup on tile at water line, help!

    This thread is becoming diluted and pointless ( I simply cannot follow who is talking to who) as too many people have hi-jacked on with their own problems instead of addressing OP's issues. If you have a problem and want to ask questions about your pool, please start your own thread.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: White buildup on tile at water line, help!

    Quote Originally Posted by goyom
    Hi all, I noticed last week a little white line along the water line in the pool figured it was calcium?
    So I didnt add water for a week and let the water get down a bit. The white really became noticeable on the tile once it dried out.

    Any ideas what this is? I tried using muriatic acid and a scotch brite pad and it didn't make a dent.
    The white part is not rough to the touch, its almost like it is a film. When it is wet, you can barely see it.


    Thanks very much for any help.

    chems

    FC 3
    PH 7.4 -- (current, but with SWG its spikes constantly.)
    TA 110
    CH 300
    CYA 30



    [attachment=0:3uc1n08d]photo(3) (640x476).jpg[/attachment:3uc1n08d]

    [attachment=1:3uc1n08d]photo(2) (640x478).jpg[/attachment:3uc1n08d]

    Thanks much!
    Did you ever resolve the issue of the white line on your tile? I have it as well. I read all of the posts, but never saw a resolution.
    2009 19k, IG, Quartzscape negative edge w/waterfall, 8' raised spa w/waterfall ,Pentair WF28 2hp, Jandy 1.5hp pump for water fall feature, Polaris 280 cleaner with booster pump,400,000 Jandy LXI heater, Jandy DE 60 filter.

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