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Thread: Bad Scaling due to water , or something else ?

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    Bad Scaling due to water , or something else ?

    Hi guys, im new to this forum and have been reading a lot of interesting stuff here. We just moved into a house with a pool two months ago and I noticed some bad scaling on my tiles and stones. I have read pool school and chemistry and I think I got all of the numbers right. However I don't know whats causing this severe scaling.. Note that when I moved in we didn't have this, and its only been 1.5 months..

    My water is

    FC - 2.0 (its winter here so water is below 55 F most of the time, so I didn't think it needed more chlorine than that this time of the season)
    CC - 0
    CYA - 40
    CH - 420
    AL - 80
    PH - 7.2 (it was around 7.6, although there were times when it went up to 7.8 to 8 when I moved in, but now its hovering around 7.5-7.8) Reason I dropped it to 7.2 is i'm hoping it'll get rid of some of those scales.
    Salt - 3200ppm

    I do have a SWG. I have tried using a mix of Muriatic acid 1/5 ratio to get rid of the scale, although it helped it was still tough to get it off, the rocks too has some white-ish layer of I don't know what. Maybe from the water ?

    Currently I dropped PH to 7.2 and trying using garden hose to rinse the walls and start scrubbing more often ( i use to scrub the tiles once every two weeks with a nylon brush, but maybe I need steel brush and have to do it three times a week? )

    Also does ScaleTec of scale remover solutions from leslies work ?

    Any input is greatly appreciated. I also included some pics here ... I do get these white stuff on rocks too, and its usually on the part where water barely touches, not the waterline... So is it scale or efflorescence ? What causes this ? and how do i get rid of it
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Re: Bad Scaling due to water , or something else ?

    Well, I would identify it first. put muriatic acid on it at about 2:1........ it should foam up if it is calcium scale.

    If so, a stronger concentration of muriatic than you are currently using will get rid of it.

    Your CH is just a bit high and that, combined with letting the pH get too high, probably caused the scale.

    Keep your pH down in the low 7's like you have been doing. The clean up process will be slow but can be done.

    If the whitish layer on the rocks is salt (doubt it), it should wash off simply by getting the walls wet.

    Doesn't look like efflorescence but the solution for that will be muriatic as well.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Bad Scaling due to water , or something else ?

    Thanks for your input duraleigh, I tried a stronger solution of 2:1 and saw that some white stuff sizzled and dissolved after a couple of sprays and light brushes of steel brush. However there are some thicker ones that doesn't sizzle at all. I don't know why... Should I scrub hard then spray then scrub ? maybe there's a coating of something on top of it ? I tried using pumice stone and it does come off after a lot of rubbing.. My question is if its not sizzling after spraying muriatic acid then what could the white substance be ?

    With my Ph down to 7.2 now, will this make the scaling softer so I can just scrub it and it'll come off after a week or two ? I tried splashing it with water and it didn't take off the white stuff on the rocks, it went away when it was wet then came back after it dried up... also id like to avoid spraying muriatic acid on the rocks since it'll eat through the paint if I do it too often...

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    Re: Bad Scaling due to water , or something else ?

    If it doesn't sizzle (very descriptive), then it isn't calcium. If it doesn't dissolve when it gets wet, then it isn't salt. I don't know what it is. Can you post a pic of JUST the stuff that doesn't sizzle?

    will this make the scaling softer so I can just scrub it and it'll come off after a week or two ?
    Very doubtful. It will prevent new from occurring and will reduce it some but removing the calcium will be a long process between acid and a brush (stainless). I know of no easier way.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Bad Scaling due to water , or something else ?

    Its calcium. If its thick we chip off as much as possible and then use straight acid to clean the remainder.

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    Re: Bad Scaling due to water , or something else ?

    In this case, the reason that the white "stuff" doesn't fizz or foam up is because it (calcium carbonate) is probably "intertwined" with other salts; regular salt (sodium chloride) and possibily calcium sulfate, both of which is non-reactive with acid.
    You could try and warm up the acid (but be careful) and try that. Let the acid sit on the salt/scale as long as possible so that it can be dissolved. This is tricky and can be very odorous (toxic), so be careful.

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    Re: Bad Scaling due to water , or something else ?

    Thanks for the info guys. Duraleigh it looks exactly as the pics i posted. I guess what im trying to say is initially itll sizzle then after it lessens and gets thinner it wont sizzle anymore. But i guess bottom line is its calcium? I dont have a problem acid and scrubbing it as long as it just doesnt come back in a month... From what you guys are saying is its due to ch and high ph so i can keep a close eye on those in the future... Right?

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    Re: Bad Scaling due to water , or something else ?

    From what you guys are saying is its due to ch and high ph so i can keep a close eye on those in the future... Right?
    Yes. Pool School will give you normal ranges and a wealth of other info to help you manage your pool.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Bad Scaling due to water , or something else ?

    Another possible reason for white scale (calcium and other salts) to build up on tiles and rocks is due to evaporation. If that is the case, then changing the water balance isn't going to make much difference whether or not it forms. Either try to prevent the water from flowing down the rocks altogether, or keep the water running over all of the rocks continuously so that there isn't an ongoing wet and drying process.

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    Re: Bad Scaling due to water , or something else ?

    Got it, thanks guys, I will keep ph low (7.2ish), and try acid scrubbing and will let you guys know how it went after couple weeks..

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