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Thread: Recuurent surface film - and it is NOT oil/suncreen

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    Recuurent surface film - and it is NOT oil/suncreen

    Ok, pool pros, please help this rank amateur.

    Back story -- 32,000 gal in-ground pool. Used Trichlor tabs exclusively for 18 months. (I had no idea tablets were any different from Chem Tek chlorine)
    Finally, swimmers' blonde hair and skin began showing a green tint. Yecch!
    Water test (then)
    PH - zero.
    Chlorine - normal

    Pool store guy said CYA level was 100+. His advice: to add a 5lb box of soda ash AND a 5lb box of bicarbonate - simultaneously - thru the skimmer. I did.

    Next day, pool was green and cloudy. A mess.

    At bottom of filter was thick, turquoise-colored gunk, consistency of wet powder. (not algae) Many pounds of it. Flushed it all out.

    I drained and refilled about 50-60% of the pool water. CYA is still high but chlorine is normal and PH is close to normal. (Adding soda ash nightly).
    Water is pretty clear. BUT --
    there is a constant film on the water - definitely NOT sunscreen or baby oil. The film resembles the tint of the turquoise gunk I took out of the filter.

    What is that gunk and how do I eliminate it? I seems to re-generate, as filtering does not remove it.

    Any help will be greatly appreciated.

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Recuurent surface film - and it is NOT oil/suncreen

    Hi, welcome to TFP! We need to know the actual numbers from your latest test results, and where you obtained the test results to be able to evaluate your situation. Also, please edit your signature to include information about the pool such as pool type (above ground or in ground), surface (vinyl, plaster, or fiberglass), size in gallons, pump brand and horsepower, filter type (sand, DE, or cartridge), filter brand and size, and any water features, cleaning systems, and if there is a spa (attached or detached). It will show up at the bottom of everything you post and it is easier for us to help you if we don't have to search the thread for this information.
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    bridgman's Avatar
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    Re: Recuurent surface film - and it is NOT oil/suncreen

    I didn't know it was possible for pH to be zero unless you were swimming in something like battery acid.
    Cedar hot tub, 680 US gallons - Snorkel wood-burning heater, canoe paddle, "offline" Intex 1000 GPH pump/filter with skimmer

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Recuurent surface film - and it is NOT oil/suncreen

    The turquoise color points to copper. The pucks you were shovelling in may have added some. More likely the acidity of the pucks got your water so acidic it started dissolving the copper heat exchanger in your heater. And if the pool was plumbed with copper, or you have one of those old bronze Purex pumps, it could have been eating that away, too.

    The copper is probably reacting with all the alkaline powders you've been pouring in the pool -- this guy managed to create jello when he tried to run the CH test after he added a whole bunch of stuff.

    Getting rid of it starts with getting the water properly balanced. To do that, you need your own test kit. You probably won't find the recommended kit in stock anywhere locally. They'll sell you a DPD test kit and assure you it's the FAS-DPD kit, but it's not. And then you'll need to order the add-on stuff to fix it, which will push the cost even higher.

    If the stuff feels at all oily, try a scumball and see if that soaks it up.

    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
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    Re: Recuurent surface film - and it is NOT oil/suncreen

    Wow - sounds bad. Does the water automatically channel through the heater (a big Hayward)? (I never use the heater)

    Is the piping in the heater ruined? How can I ***** the damage level? Does the copper dissolving cease once the water is properly balanced?

    Thanks for your advice.

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Recuurent surface film - and it is NOT oil/suncreen

    Quote Originally Posted by larrypool View Post
    Wow - sounds bad. Does the water automatically channel through the heater (a big Hayward)? (I never use the heater)

    Is the piping in the heater ruined? How can I ***** the damage level? Does the copper dissolving cease once the water is properly balanced?

    Thanks for your advice.
    You'd have to look at your plumbing. Mine leaves the filter and goes through the heater and then to a three-way valve to split the return between the spa and the pool.

    You can't check the heater until it springs a leak. And yes, one the pH is adjusted, the metal stops dissolving. Here's a thread with some pictures http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...cals-correctly
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: Recuurent surface film - and it is NOT oil/suncreen

    Thank you very much for your advice. The PH and chlorine levels are now where they should be. The surface film has mostly disappeared as well.

    However, there is still a recurring sediment formation on the pool bottom. At first, it was gray-ish green color. Now, its darker - almost a navy blue. When I say it forms fast - it's incredible. I can completely vacuum the bottom clean, then disconnect the vacuum hose, run the filter pump and within 30 minutes, the sediment returns.
    How much? enough to cover maybe 40-60% of the pool bottom in cloud-like formations.

    Any advice about this will as always, be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

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    Can someone solve this mystery?

    Pool floor.jpgsediment close up.jpgHi -
    My CYA level was 100+. I drained and refilled half the pool.

    Added soda ash until PH was acceptable level. Chlorine is also ok.

    BUT - 3x per day I'm vacuuming blue, granular sediment off the floor. A LOT Of it. Attached are pictures.

    Can anyone tell me what this gunk is -- and why it constantly forms? I have cleaned the filter and added fresh DE twice .

    But the sediment re-appears - within hours. Any ideas?

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    Mod Squad YippeeSkippy's Avatar
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    Re: Can someone solve this mystery?

    What are your complete test results and how are you getting them?
    My Amazon Smile for November12K Fiberglass IG, Infinity 4000 automatic cover, SWCG, Hayward Sand Filter, Hayward 1.5 Pump, Doheny Discovery Robot, Savi Melody LED pool lights, outdoor speakers and other assorted doo-dads. Sundance Altamar Hot Tub.
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    Re: Can someone solve this mystery?

    Quote Originally Posted by YippeeSkippy View Post
    What are you complete test results and how are you getting them?
    ^^^yep, need test results

    Can you place a coin by the gunk for size and take another pic for us?

    Can you squish the stuff between your fingers? If yes, what does it feel like? Gritty, slimy, squishy ?

    When you said "blue", I instantly thought of pool noodles.
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    Re: Can someone solve this mystery?

    Can you also, along with test results, list a full and complete list of pool ingredients added to the pool by you and anyone else in charge of it since opening this Spring/Summer. It will and can help in identifying this blue *stuff*
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

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    Re: Can someone solve this mystery?

    The only test results I have are these: (per the local pool supply store)

    CYA: 100+
    Chlorine: Normal
    PH: Normal

    The pool had been overdosed on TriChlor (exclusively) for 18 months. PH was always low and nearly impossible to raise. When my kids' hair turned green, I knew something was way off.
    When I learned about CYA, I drained and refilled about 60% of the pool, flushed out the filter, added fresh DE.

    Since the drain and flush, the only substances put in the water have been soda ash, bicarbonate and Chem Tek liquid chlorine. (No TriChlor) tablets whatsoever.

    The wad of blue gink in the photo is next to a table spoon - that should offer some size perspective.

    The blue gunk is usually in a granular form - many of the granules have a triangular shape. The granules are easily crushed between fingers. It has a slimy/powdery feel with occasional patches of grittiness.

    We have no pool noodles.

    It appears there is an ongoing chemical reaction. Something is coming out of suspension and solidifying at a fast rate. If I vacuum the blue gunk off the floor, in a few hours, it re-forms. I've done an additional filter flush and DE change, but the blue gunk returns.

    Thank you for your help.




    Quote Originally Posted by Butterfly View Post
    ^^^yep, need test results

    Can you place a coin by the gunk for size and take another pic for us?

    Can you squish the stuff between your fingers? If yes, what does it feel like? Gritty, slimy, squishy ?

    When you said "blue", I instantly thought of pool noodles.

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    Mod Squad YippeeSkippy's Avatar
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    Re: Can someone solve this mystery?

    You don't suppose this was once a Bacquagoo pool that wasn't properly converted, do you?
    My Amazon Smile for November12K Fiberglass IG, Infinity 4000 automatic cover, SWCG, Hayward Sand Filter, Hayward 1.5 Pump, Doheny Discovery Robot, Savi Melody LED pool lights, outdoor speakers and other assorted doo-dads. Sundance Altamar Hot Tub.
    Our pool build--> Our Pool Solved Our Sloping Yard Skippy's Cheap Pool Cooler -->Skippy's New Fountain

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