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Thread: white flakes in pool

  1. Back To Top    #1
    Guest

    white flakes in pool

    I apologize for the long post, but I will try to give you as much information as I can because we are desperately seeking help! We just had our pool installed two weeks ago and I am already regretting our decision to go with a SWG! I have posted my numbers and what we did below. The first few days we took a sample to a local pool store. The store where we purchased to pool is about 45 minutes away. Within a few days of start up we started noticing white flakes in the bottom of the pool. We finally figured out it was coming out of the return jet. We took a sample of the flakes to the pool store where we bought the pool and the tech guy said it was caused by salt additives from the salt we added (we did not get our salt from them). He then went into a speech on how much better their salt was than the other guys. Our chlorine level was also at 0. This is after running the SWG 12 hrs. a day at 100% for almost two weeks. He told us to take a sample straight from the return jet and test for chlorine. Sample showed 0. He then told us to clean the cell and add 9 lbs. of shock and a qt. of muriatic acid. We checked the cell and realized that is where the white flakes are coming from. It was plugged up almost solid. We cleaned the cell in the muriatic acid solution and put in the recommended chemicals. Today, the pool is no longer green, but it is very cloudy and the cell is coated with white flakes again. Here are my water test results and what we have added to the pool since day one:

    6/10 (local pool store)
    FC 0
    TC 0
    CC 0
    pH 7.4
    Hardness 0
    Alkalinity 170
    CYA 5
    Copper 0
    Iron 0

    Instructed to add: 13 lbs. CYA, 8 bags of salt, 50 lbs. Calcium Chloride

    6/11 (local pool store)
    FC 0
    TC 0
    CC 0
    pH not run
    Hardness 180
    Alkalinity 140
    CYA 50
    Copper 0
    Iron 0
    Salt 3200
    Phosphates 1400

    Instructed to add: 3 lbs. shock, 17 lbs. calcium chloride, 3 liters PhosFree

    6/12 (local pool store)
    FC .3
    TC 1.4
    CC 1.1
    pH 7.6
    Hardness 280 ppm
    Alkalinity 180
    CYA 50
    Copper 0
    Iron 0

    Was told numbers where good, turn SWG up to 100% output.

    6/21 (pool store where we purchased pool) (same day I showed him the flakes)
    Alkalinity 161
    pH 7.6
    Calcium Hardness 272
    CYA 50
    FC 0
    Salt 2700

    Instructed to add 9 lbs. shock, 1 qt. muriatic acid, 20 lbs. salt (I did not add the salt since other pool store and my tests showed 3200).

    I would appreciate any help you guys can give me. Thank you in advance!

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Fayetteville, Arkansas
    Posts
    220

    Re: white flakes in pool

    Hey marf -

    I'm not that familiar with SWG set-ups, but I'm sure someone will come along to help you out. One thing I can tell you is pool owners always have to liberally add plenty of POP (pool owner patience) to the mix!

    Glad you're here . . don't panic!!
    20x40 30,000 gal IG Liner, Pentair II Sand

  3. Back To Top    #3
    Guest

    Re: white flakes in pool

    Your pool water had to have very high calcium hardness for the cell to be clogged up so quickly with calcium scale (that is what the white flakes are) so I find the test results of hardness 0 suspect! What kind of SWG do you have, btw. Your final CH of almost 300 is ok but your TA is WAY too high and your CYA is still too low at 50 ppm. Don't waste your money on phosphate remover, it's a scam 99% of the time! How are you testing your salt level? If you are relying on the display on your SWG don't. Get a chemical test for chloride like the AquaChek salt test strips.

    The 'my salt is better than their salt' is pure hogwash! Plain solar salt for water softeners that is at least 99.5% pure is your most cost effective salt for a SWG. Our main salt manufacturer where I work just grinds their solar salt into a finer crystal to make their 'pool salt' that sells for twice the price! (This info comes from their literature and website, btw).

    The first thing you need to do is get a GOOD testkit and start testing your own water. You want a kit that uses the FAS-DPD chlorine testing method and also tests pH, TA, CH, and CYA. There are really only two that fit this description, Taylor K-2006 (not the K-2006 ) and the TF Test Kit's TF100 category/pool-school/pool_test_kit_comparison For testing your salt level use AquaChek salt test strips.

    Next step is to read category/pool-school/water_balance_saltwater_generator and water-balance-tips-for-a-swg-t3663.html
    You need to take control of your pool and stop being 'pool stored'. Once you do you will LOVE your SWG and we are here to help you.

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Ft Lauderdale, Florida
    Posts
    1,455

    Re: white flakes in pool

    What did you shock with? I've learned that shocking with calcium hypochlorite, while the cell is energized, will accelerate scale formation on the cell.

    Also, if the swg system is not a self cleaning system, the cell can get plugged up in about a week. I don't know if Compupool's salt system is self cleaning or not, but I would think that it is. Hardly any of the swg manufacturers offering units in the US are selling their non-self cleaning systems in the states.
    Sean Assam - Sean@teamhorner.com
    National Accounts and Commercial Products Manager
    AquaCal Heat Pumps www.aquacal.com
    AutoPilot Salt Chlorine Generators www.autopilot.com

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Brisbane, Australia
    Posts
    874

    Re: white flakes in pool

    According to this manual it is self cleaning.

    Ignore your pool shop's advice about adding calcium, you have above ground pool, so your CH is really irrelevant. If anything you should try and minimize it to get rid of scaling.

    What kind of salt did you use?

    Also it seems to be a bit too low for your pool, since it's rated for 25000 litres. But that may be because they used Australian rating with only 8-12hours/day runnning time.

  6. Back To Top    #6
    Guest

    Re: white flakes in pool

    Thank you all for the quick response!

    waterbear - I am using the AquaChek salt test strips and will be ordering a test kit today.

    Poolsean - I did shock with calcium hypochlorite and the cell was running at the time. I will remember not to do this in the future.

    Strannik - I don't remember the brand of salt I used, but it came from a pool store and said "Pool Salt" on the bag.

    How much muriatic acid should I had today to lower my TA?

  7. Back To Top    #7
    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Silver Spring, MD
    Posts
    37,879

    Re: white flakes in pool

    To lower TA you should follow the procedure in this Pool School article. The amount of acid you need to add at one time depends on the current PH. You need to have a PH test to lower TA, though any of the drop based PH tests will be fine.
    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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