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Thread: Problem with white flaky stuff floating in the water

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    Join Date
    May 2014
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    Buckingham, United Kingdom (50 miles WNW of London)
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    Problem with white flaky stuff floating in the water

    I have been reading with great interest the valuable information available on this site and am gradually learning a bit about looking after water. I recently thought I'd found the solution to my problem in a thread from last year about recurring white water mold only to read that the ultimate issue was degenerating pipework (which I'm pretty sure is not my issue).

    I've had my hydropool up and running for nearly 18 months, started with chlorine, had occasional issues with cloudiness but overall managed ok except for the odours (the pool is indoor and accessed directly from the house). After discussions with my chemical supplier I was advised to switch to bromine. I also had (still have) an issue with high CYA because I started with stabilised chlorine tabs (as instructed by Hydropool) and didn't know anything about CYA and that it isn't desirable in indoor pools. So I've been on bromine for about 6 weeks but it has taken all that time to establish good levels so I've been supplementing with a calcium hypochlorite shock and clarifier that I had left from chlorine days (no CYA) and shocking with a non chlorine shock about weekly. That's the brief history.

    The problem I have may have started after cleaning the pool cover to remove limescale - I used a domestic limescale remover and mains water through a clean garden hose. The cover is just blue bubble-wrap laser cut to size and floats on top of the water.

    The white stuff seems to keep returning no matter what I do. It is not limescale as it is a filmy, organic type material that when collected on mass is actually a kind of light olive green sludge that just looks white in the water. When the filtration is not on it mostly sinks to the bottom but some remains floating on the surface. I have a photo but couldn't seem to include it in my post.

    Initially I'm really trying to find out if anyone knows what this stuff is and then of course any ideas about how to get rid of it for good.

    Test results are as follows: (I'm afraid I only have Aquacheck strips, which I'm sure you're all going to tell me are rubbish and I need one of those expensive kits)
    Total hardness - 500
    Total bromine - 10
    Free chlorine - 2 (I have supplemented the bromine with calcium hypochlorite on the advice of chemical supplier)
    pH - 7.4
    Total alkalinity - 120
    CYA - 100

    I look forward to any help you can give.
    17' Hydropool Aquatrainer Swimspa, 9000 litres, cartridge filter, indoor and in ground, fibre glass (self-cleaning????) shell. Bromine!

    Got a 'U' [ungraded] in chemistry at school - why did I ever think I could manage a pool?

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    May 2014
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    Buckingham, United Kingdom (50 miles WNW of London)
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    Re: Problem with white flaky stuff floating in the water

    I've had another go at adding some pictures. The first is the stuff I managed to collect in a fine mesh net and the second is how it looks floating (although this is in a bucket and much higher concentration than in the pool).

    pool1.jpg
    pool2.jpg
    17' Hydropool Aquatrainer Swimspa, 9000 litres, cartridge filter, indoor and in ground, fibre glass (self-cleaning????) shell. Bromine!

    Got a 'U' [ungraded] in chemistry at school - why did I ever think I could manage a pool?

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    Beens's Avatar
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    Jul 2013
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    Virginia Beach, Va
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    Re: Problem with white flaky stuff floating in the water

    I don't know anything about the bromine/vs chlorine indoor pool stuff so I'll let someone else help with that but just since I'm here and reading, I see you mentioned clarifier and what that does is theoretically clump tiny stuff together so your filter can catch it better and again, in theory, helps to clear cloudy water. (Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.)

    I'm wondering if that goop could be a result of the clarifier you added.

    Wait for the experts to comment though! That's just my first thought.
    18' x 48" (42" water depth) Intex Metal Frame 6,700 Gallons
    Hayward Power-Flo LX 1.0 HP pump
    Hayward Pro Series S166T Sand Filter
    Original Intex Floating Skimmer

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    Join Date
    May 2014
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    Buckingham, United Kingdom (50 miles WNW of London)
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    Re: Problem with white flaky stuff floating in the water

    Thanks. I appreciate any wisdom and will happily try any suggestions to get rid of this stuff. The filter doesn't seem very effective with this stuff, I managed to catch this lot (and more) by removing the filter and brominator (which sits inside and seals over the top of the filter housing) and using the plastic screw fixing collar to fix the net in place, then turn on all pumps and air and everything which pushes the water up through the filter housing and through the net (after which it runs back into the pool). It's probably a bit hard to picture unless you're familiar with these types of pool/spa.
    17' Hydropool Aquatrainer Swimspa, 9000 litres, cartridge filter, indoor and in ground, fibre glass (self-cleaning????) shell. Bromine!

    Got a 'U' [ungraded] in chemistry at school - why did I ever think I could manage a pool?

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    JesseWV's Avatar
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    Apr 2011
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    North Central WV
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    526

    Re: Problem with white flaky stuff floating in the water

    A properly maintained chlorine pool produces little to no odor, especially with low bather loads. The odor is caused by combined chloramines. Being indoors you might have to occasionally SLAM the pool to get rid of any of these built up CCs, or use a non-chlorine shock product if you prefer.

    If you were here asking us to fix the problems you initially had, instead of your chemical supplier, we probably would not have recommended switching to Bromine. We would have surely told you to drain at least 1/2 of the pool and refill, then perform the SLAM process.

    As for what the flakes are, I notice they have a green tint mixed in with them. Unless there's somewhere else the color could be coming from that makes me think you have some latent algae.

    Without knowing your CH it's hard to tell if the flakes themselves could be calcium precipitates.

    If you want to take control of your pool and stop guessing, you're right, you need to get a proper test kit. It's not that expensive and in the long run it will not only save you money but frustration and headaches. You will also gain knowledge that will last you a lifetime.
    16k gal, 28'x3.5', Vinyl A/G, 1hp Pentair Dynamo 2-speed Pump, Hayward S160T Sand Filter, Intermatic HB800RCL Digital Timer, Intex 8110 SWG, TF-100 Test Kit, SpeedStir Author: Jesse's Graphical Pool Testing Log

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