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Thread: cleaning stains.

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    cleaning stains.

    after a long battle with my pool, I am beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. My pool was green for almost a month mostly due to the fact that first I had a bad motor that needed replacing, so there was that entire duration that the algae bloom was at its best. I then had a leak that I was able to retro-fit parts until it stopped leaking. And now, I am cloudy but clearing up daily. I can see roughly 4 to 5 feet and most of this reason is because there is river mud at the bottom that I am struggling to get up because it is caked on. My question is, I have a white crust (calcium build up?) on the bottom of the pool. This is a vinyl liner and using a wall brush and a ton of elbow grease, I am able to see this stuff getting pushed around the bottom and the bottom is becoming a little more visible. This pool sat dormant for 2 full seasons so I am really leaning toward calcium build up. Is there a tool that is good for scraping up the build up that wont ruin the liner? Call me lazy, but the wall brush just doesn't have the oomf I need. We are talking most of the bottom is like this and it is a 20 x 40 pool
    32,000 gallon Grecian style I/G 1hp AO Smith replace pump. Hayward sand filter (S-244T).

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    BoDarville's Avatar
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    Re: cleaning stains.



    I'm a little confused...is the river mud caked on relatively evenly on the bottom or is it splotchy? Is the white crust on top, underneath, or isolated from the river mud? Is the white crust hard & rough or does it flake off relatively easily when touched or agitated? Pics would help.

    I'm not aware of a tool that is good for scraping without potentially damaging the liner.
    Gold Supporter, TFP Lifetime Supporter, 26,680 gal Plaster IGP 3.5 - 10' depth / Attached Waterfall Spa, Manually Chlorinated, Triton Sand Filter, 1.5 HP * 1.1 SF = 1.65 SFHP 1-speed Pentair WhisperFlo WF-26 Pump, 400K BTU NG Teledyne Laars Series One Heater, Polaris 360, Test Kit Comparison, Chlorine/CYA Chart, SLAMing Your Pool, OCLT
    A good test kit is an investment, not an expense.

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Re: cleaning stains.

    The mud is splotchy. I have vacuumed a lot of the river silt off the bottom of the shallow end and the white stuff I cant tell without getting in the pool if it is is crusty or soft. The pool is currently at shock levels with the chlorine. I have only tried to use a wall brush to move this white stuff. I am not even 100% it was moving around but man I swear it was...
    32,000 gallon Grecian style I/G 1hp AO Smith replace pump. Hayward sand filter (S-244T).

  4. Back To Top    #4
    BoDarville's Avatar
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    Re: cleaning stains.

    Quote Originally Posted by bobby32x
    The pool is currently at shock levels with the chlorine.
    I have to keep harping on the importance of test results to help you remedy this situation. Do you know what your CYA level is? This is a prerequisite to know what FC level to maintain while shocking the pool (see Shock Process). Your test levels for pH, TA, and CH are also vital to help manage the white crust.

    In the meantime, keep trying to remove as much debris from the pool as possible. Frequent brushing will help dislodge the river mud but it will take some elbow grease as well. Check filter pressure and clean/backwash as needed.

    Once we see some test results (FC, CC, pH, TA, CH, CYA), and the pool is clean up a bit more, then we can proceed on the white crusty stuff. Suggest reading ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry to see why knowing your levels are important.
    Gold Supporter, TFP Lifetime Supporter, 26,680 gal Plaster IGP 3.5 - 10' depth / Attached Waterfall Spa, Manually Chlorinated, Triton Sand Filter, 1.5 HP * 1.1 SF = 1.65 SFHP 1-speed Pentair WhisperFlo WF-26 Pump, 400K BTU NG Teledyne Laars Series One Heater, Polaris 360, Test Kit Comparison, Chlorine/CYA Chart, SLAMing Your Pool, OCLT
    A good test kit is an investment, not an expense.

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Re: cleaning stains.

    yes, cya is 20-30 and FC is 10 ph is 7.6-7.8 c.c. does not show a different number than the FC. I backwash sometimes 4-5 time per day even if the filter is running at a normal pressure. For me normal is between 11-15 psi. I get dirty mud like color in the sight glass and then I rinse. I tried sending my robot in to do some of the heavy lifting and it was working, but maybe a little too good because it stirred the water up so much that I can't see anything anymore. When the robot goes into the deep end, I get all kinds of junk and debris in the filter bag.
    32,000 gallon Grecian style I/G 1hp AO Smith replace pump. Hayward sand filter (S-244T).

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Re: cleaning stains.

    Also, I am doing my best to maintain the suggested levels as read in the abc's and the other helpful posts in this website. Part of the entire process is understanding what everything is and what it does and at first I was lost but I am coming around. I am getting an understanding and like I said earlier, trying to maintain the appropriate levels for safely shocking the water, not the vinyl liner. I brush the walls daily even though I am not seeing a visible collection of algae, the walls don't even feel slick which makes me believe I must be doing something right because algae is not adhering to the walls. I am getting a clearer image of the bottom which tells me that I must be on top of the dead algae too. I replaced the sand filter and it appears to be catching more of this debris. I was more concerned with the white crust than the test levels as I already understand the importance of maintaining the chemicals and test levels. This pool sat dormant for 2 years so what I am coming to, could have already been there for a long time.
    32,000 gallon Grecian style I/G 1hp AO Smith replace pump. Hayward sand filter (S-244T).

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Re: cleaning stains.

    ok, gonna just poke a little more, maybe someone will see this and say they had a similar situation and found an easier fix than what I have come up with, aside from harping on me for proper test results before hearing what they actually are.

    MY pool was closed for more than 2 seasons, that means an entire 2 years plus that it sat, unopened, untreated chemically (to my knowledge) and not cared for in that entire time, maybe even longer. This pool endured a tropical storm flood where the mohawk river flooded over the river banks of a river that normally is about 70 feet across, that had become 400-500 feet across, wiped out major bridges, washed homes away, and much more. I have been struggling with vacuuming the pool because no matter how I do it, the pool looks (in my opinion) like algae is sitting at the very bottom of the deep end. I could see the walls which are about 4 feet down before a gradual degradation to the deepest part of which I can see another foot or 2. Below this, the pool looked green and not being pool knowledgeable, I assumed this was a low spot for moving water and down there was a layer of algae even though I have held my FC at 10ppm for like 2 weeks now. Well, over the past few days, it has rained off and on so much, and coupled with a few hours of vacuuming to waste, the CYA is gone. This is the least of my problems but on my list of pool chores to take care of. Anyway, yesterday evening between thunder showers, I decided I had had enough. I tested the FC because I had used up the last of my on-hand supply the day before which wasn't even a gallons worth and my pool had between .5 and 1ppm. I grabbed a pair of goggles and a few different "pool scrubber tools" that are supposedly ok for all types of pools, even vinyl. Feeling the scrubber on my skin, I thought "pretty abrasive, but not abrasive enough to do damage" and I was right. I can scrub like there is no tomorrow and there is no deep marks of any kind. It just cleans the surface. Here is my problem... 1). The scrub brushes take a ridiculous amount of elbow grease to cut through the scaling and leaf stains. and 2). I can't stay submerged long enough to really get an idea of what to do here.
    I have figured out 1 trick as of yet, and that is to have my son place one of his feet on my back to keep me under long enough to take just the vacuum hose (while on exhausting to waste) and place the very end of the hose flat on the surface and scrap the end back and forth vigorously. This lifts the scaling, leaf stains and any residual left over dirt/dead algae. Has anyone ever encountered this situation with the leaf and calcium?!?! scaling? what did you do to fix this? was there a chemical you put in that assisted you with the removal of these types of stains? Is there a tool that assisted you better than others? Please help, I have a party for my son coming up next weekend, I would like the pool ready for it
    32,000 gallon Grecian style I/G 1hp AO Smith replace pump. Hayward sand filter (S-244T).

  8. Back To Top    #8
    Charlie_R's Avatar
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    Re: cleaning stains.

    Aside from what you are doing with the clean-up of the mud etc, not much else.

    I can give you a bit of my own personable experience with the apparent calcium scaling you have.

    The small pool I have, was given to us by a neighbor that was "pool stored" to put it mildly. We had to replace the liner, due to the extreme scaling. The ladder and other assorted equipment were also encrusted. I couldn't scrape it off. By reducing the TA and CH, and maintaining a reasonably balanced pool, 90% of the scale was returned to the water before season's end. Ladder etc are now totally scale free. What I'm saying is that maybe you should reduce the effort you are putting in to removal of the scale for now. Risking damage to your liner with the aggressive scrubbing could have expensive consequences later.

    There is hope for you! If you and your son can for now overlook the scaling, at least for his party, I'm betting with diligent care of your chemistry your pool with come back to life sans scaling.

    You need to look at the possible and highly probable reason that scaling got there. Exclusive use of cal hypo will increase the CH to the point of extreme scaling. Also remember that pool stores care not what type of pool you have, they will recommend Ch increasers to the point of scaling, just to sell you more expensive products to remove said scaling.
    15'x48" 4500 gallon Intex pool, buried 1.5 ft. Pac-Fab Dynamo 3/4 hp pump. Hayward S180T sand filter, bought used. Taylor K-2006 test kit. Rocket mass heater based wood fired pool heater.

  9. Back To Top    #9

    Re: cleaning stains.

    I haven't used any cal hypo. Our water here is at a pretty hi level for hardness and I assume that the water not moving and being closed for so long gave it time to settle and adhere. Thank you for your suggestion
    32,000 gallon Grecian style I/G 1hp AO Smith replace pump. Hayward sand filter (S-244T).

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Re: cleaning stains.

    I came across this in one of the pool school sections and I am wondering what you experts think about my situation and if it is relative to my situation by any means.
    CSI
    Calcium Saturation Index
    LSI
    Langelier Saturation Index
    CSI and LSI are two similar measures of calcium saturation in the water. LSI is a simplified version designed for manual calculation, while CSI is a more precise version that requires computer assistance to calculate. When the saturation index is too negative the water will try to dissolve calcium out of pool surfaces. A low saturation index is a problem for pools with plaster/pebble/quartz/tile surfaces. When the saturation index is too positive the water will tend to deposit calcium on the pool surfaces. A high saturation index is a problem for any kind of pool.

    I am including pictures of my scaling and I promise that tomorrow, I will post water test results (working nights tonight). I plan to bring it to my local store for a more in-depth test (they have a computer program with a tester hooked on), but in the pics, you will see the calcium streaks and where it is more blue than white, is where I had worked a little with the above mentioned technique of using the very tip of the vacuum hose and scrubbing it vigorously across the surface to lift the scaling.


    32,000 gallon Grecian style I/G 1hp AO Smith replace pump. Hayward sand filter (S-244T).

  11. Back To Top    #11

    Re: cleaning stains.

    Also, is it not recommended to swim in the water during a lowering of the CSI? I am trying to be safe I must first explain my confusing talk here. Trying to learn the lingo. What I mean, is to lower my TA since between all this blasted rain and the water changes due to excess vacuuming to waste. I would assume that my CH will be at an all time low with so much of a water change. Does this all sound right? please help with lingo too lol
    32,000 gallon Grecian style I/G 1hp AO Smith replace pump. Hayward sand filter (S-244T).

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