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Thread: Metal Stains or Scaling?

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    Metal Stains or Scaling?

    Hello TFP members,

    My original post may have been in the wrong thread.

    Recently Ive been noticing what looks like metal stains getting bigger on my pool floors. I cant tell if it is calcium scaling or some type of metal stain. It is very strange thing because when I look at the bottom of the pool when it is sunny outside, it looks absolutely perfect. I cannot see any stains. When it is cloudy or starting to get dark, I can clearly see the stains. Id say it covers roughly half to three quarters of the surface. It seems to be getting worse, too. Anyone have any idea on what it could be? Its a yellowish type stain and has a lot of coverage (meaning, it is not spotty). It does not come off by scrubbing. I can try to post some pics if I can catch it in the right light (hard to do here with the blazing TX sun).

    In February, I tried to do an ascorbic acid treatment (thinking it was a metal stain). It did not work at all. It says to put the filter on circulate. What does that mean? When I went to clean my filter (cartridge), I noticed a lot of heavy white stuff in there. Almost like wet toothpaste. It took me forever to clean. Im wondering if I need to take out the filter cartridge when doing the ascorbic treatment
    .
    Here is my latest reading:

    FC: 2
    CC: 0
    pH: 7.2
    TA: 120
    CH: 320
    CYA: 50
    Temp: 85

    Appreciate any insight you all may have.

    Thanks,
    Mike
    22,000 gallon - cartridge filter - IG plaster (rock waterfall) - Pentair IntelliFlo VF Variable Flow High Performance 3HP Pool Pump - 16A 230V

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Metal Stains or Scaling?

    Did you try holding a trichlor puck on it and see of that helped?
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: Metal Stains or Scaling?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bama Rambler
    Did you try holding a trichlor puck on it and see of that helped?
    No, I have not tried that. Is that to check if its algae?
    22,000 gallon - cartridge filter - IG plaster (rock waterfall) - Pentair IntelliFlo VF Variable Flow High Performance 3HP Pool Pump - 16A 230V

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Metal Stains or Scaling?

    It's to check to see if it's organic since it didn't appear to be metals (AA didn't work).
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: Metal Stains or Scaling?

    I doubt it, but I will try it tonight. I've scrubbed it before with a hand brush and nothing happened. It's very strange. If you or anyone else has any ideas, please let me know. Thanks, Mike
    22,000 gallon - cartridge filter - IG plaster (rock waterfall) - Pentair IntelliFlo VF Variable Flow High Performance 3HP Pool Pump - 16A 230V

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    Re: Metal Stains or Scaling?

    Scrubbing it only tells you that it is a stain. It doesn't tell you the type of stain. A stain is typically organic (some sort of stain resulting from a life form) or metal. If the chlorine tablet lightens the stain, then chlorine will eventually eliminate it. If the tablet doesn't change the stain, try scratching a vitamin C tablet on it. If the stain lightens from the vitamin C tablet, its a metal stain and you will need to use a sequestrant.

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    Re: Metal Stains or Scaling?

    Quote Originally Posted by 257WbyMag
    Scrubbing it only tells you that it is a stain. It doesn't tell you the type of stain. A stain is typically organic (some sort of stain resulting from a life form) or metal. If the chlorine tablet lightens the stain, then chlorine will eventually eliminate it. If the tablet doesn't change the stain, try scratching a vitamin C tablet on it. If the stain lightens from the vitamin C tablet, its a metal stain and you will need to use a sequestrant.
    Thanks. Seems like you live in the same town as me. Does our fill water have metals in it that we have to worry about? Also, what if neither the chlorine or the vit C tablet lighten it? Does that mean its scaling?

    -Mike
    22,000 gallon - cartridge filter - IG plaster (rock waterfall) - Pentair IntelliFlo VF Variable Flow High Performance 3HP Pool Pump - 16A 230V

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    Re: Metal Stains or Scaling?

    Well, aside from calcium, we have no metals. The CH in our fill water can get high though. Especially in the summer. If it feels rough or raised, it's going to be calcium. What is your CH?

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    Re: Metal Stains or Scaling?

    Last reading last night was 320. I noticed my pH was high all winter, FWIW. Constantly using MA to lower it and TA. My gut is telling me it's a scaling issue.
    22,000 gallon - cartridge filter - IG plaster (rock waterfall) - Pentair IntelliFlo VF Variable Flow High Performance 3HP Pool Pump - 16A 230V

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    Re: Metal Stains or Scaling?

    Quote Originally Posted by mikesig83
    Last reading last night was 320. I noticed my pH was high all winter, FWIW. Constantly using MA to lower it and TA. My gut is telling me it's a scaling issue.
    You are probably correct. We live in an area where scrutinizing CH levels is important. We have hot summers with a lot of evaporation and subsequent water replacement. Because of this, it doesn't take long for CH to rise and start depositing itself on surfaces. We don't have it as bad as the desert SW does, but we can't let it go either. I add acid almost every day and I stay on top of it during the winter too.

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    Re: Metal Stains or Scaling?

    Do you use acid to keep ph down for the csi index.? Ch at 320 isn't too bad right? I guess it could go higher...
    22,000 gallon - cartridge filter - IG plaster (rock waterfall) - Pentair IntelliFlo VF Variable Flow High Performance 3HP Pool Pump - 16A 230V

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    Re: Metal Stains or Scaling?

    Yes, muriatic acid to lower pH. A CH of 320 is good. Some people have CH of over 800, sometimes up to 1000.
    John
    7 year old ~13,500 gal 24' AGP with 1.5 hp Proline pump, 150 sqft Pleatco cartridge, filled with well water with pH of about 4.5.
    Wanda the Whale pool vacuum, home made heater, Taylor K-2006
    Cloudy Pool? 1) Order test kit. 2) Follow SLAM
    New to TFPC? Read Pool School a few times, then post questions. PoolMath will help with chemical additions.

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    Re: Metal Stains or Scaling?

    Is the only fix to calcium scaling a full drain and acid wash? Is there anything I can do to help prevent future stains?
    22,000 gallon - cartridge filter - IG plaster (rock waterfall) - Pentair IntelliFlo VF Variable Flow High Performance 3HP Pool Pump - 16A 230V

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    Re: Metal Stains or Scaling?

    Maintaining a slightly negative CSI can, over years, dissolve scaling. I will let someone with more experience elaborate on that. To prevent scaling, you have to keep your CSI close to zero, and never let it get above +.6. Putting your numbers into the pool calculator will tell you your CSI.
    John
    7 year old ~13,500 gal 24' AGP with 1.5 hp Proline pump, 150 sqft Pleatco cartridge, filled with well water with pH of about 4.5.
    Wanda the Whale pool vacuum, home made heater, Taylor K-2006
    Cloudy Pool? 1) Order test kit. 2) Follow SLAM
    New to TFPC? Read Pool School a few times, then post questions. PoolMath will help with chemical additions.

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Metal Stains or Scaling?

    Take a read through Richard320's threads and you'll see how he has done it.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: Metal Stains or Scaling?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bama Rambler
    Take a read through Richard320's threads and you'll see how he has done it.
    Seems like keeping a low pH and lower TA (thus lower CSI, keeping it under 0) at all times will help remove the stains over time. I will give that a shot. Not sure how much "scrubbing" with a wire brush I can do at 6 feet underwater. I hope just keeping low pH and TA will help stop further scaling and slowly remove the scale deposits that are already there. If anyone else has suggestions, let me know!

    Thanks,
    Mike
    22,000 gallon - cartridge filter - IG plaster (rock waterfall) - Pentair IntelliFlo VF Variable Flow High Performance 3HP Pool Pump - 16A 230V

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