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Thread: New to this - White flakes around returns

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    Join Date
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    New to this - White flakes around returns

    Hi, I'm a new pool owner and still learning.

    Over the last month I've noticed that small white flakes accumulate around my returns, more or less every time I run the pump.

    White Spots.jpg

    Initially I didn't notice any other problems in the pool, and the water has always been clear, but now I see that more of these small, soft white flakes are accumulating around the pool floor. Seems like a calcium hardness issue. All these flakes brush away easily, by the way.

    All measurements taken with TFT-100.

    pH >8.2
    FC 3.5
    TC 4.0
    CH 400
    TA 110
    CYA 20-30
    Salt 3,200

    Using Pool Math, it looks like my CSI is out of range, my CYA is way too low, and my pH is too high. My question: Where do I start making adjustments? Do I begin with stabilizer to increase CYA? Do I start with pH? Both at the same time?

    Thanks.
    34K, IG, Charcoal Marquis aggregate finish, Jandy stealth pump, cartridge filter, Built '07, TFT-100, Aquapure SWG, Solar heating with Goldline controller, Polaris 380 Blackmax

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    May 2007
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    Re: New to this - White flakes around returns

    The white flakes are calcium scaling coming off the SWG plates when it goes into self clean mode.

    The first priority is to get the PH down. I would lower PH to 7.2, which will also give you a start on lowering TA. Then work on raising CYA.

    CH isn't high enough to be worth worrying about. If it continues going up you will eventually have to deal with it.
    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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    Re: New to this - White flakes around returns

    Thank you, I will do that.
    34K, IG, Charcoal Marquis aggregate finish, Jandy stealth pump, cartridge filter, Built '07, TFT-100, Aquapure SWG, Solar heating with Goldline controller, Polaris 380 Blackmax

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    Re: New to this - White flakes around returns

    I have begun the process to get the pH down and then I'll work on CYA. At this point my pool has a lot of white dust in it. It settles on the bottom and I can move it with the brush, but I can't seem to get it to go away. Will it go away in the course of re-balancing my pool, and if so, at what point would I expect to see that? If it won't go away by re-balancing, is there something else I should be doing to get rid of it?

    Finally, is it inadvisable to swim in the pool with all this dust? The pool water itself is clear and the FC is fine.
    34K, IG, Charcoal Marquis aggregate finish, Jandy stealth pump, cartridge filter, Built '07, TFT-100, Aquapure SWG, Solar heating with Goldline controller, Polaris 380 Blackmax

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Jan 2010
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    San Dimas, CA (LA County)
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    Re: New to this - White flakes around returns

    Quote Originally Posted by kr8434 View Post
    I have begun the process to get the pH down and then I'll work on CYA. At this point my pool has a lot of white dust in it. It settles on the bottom and I can move it with the brush, but I can't seem to get it to go away. Will it go away in the course of re-balancing my pool, and if so, at what point would I expect to see that? If it won't go away by re-balancing, is there something else I should be doing to get rid of it?

    Finally, is it inadvisable to swim in the pool with all this dust? The pool water itself is clear and the FC is fine.
    Vacuum it up.

    If the pH is good, there is adequate FC, and the water is clear, why wouldn't you swim in it? It could just be dust dust.
    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: New to this - White flakes around returns

    I read on another forum that high CH combined with high pH can cause calcium to precipitate in the form of fine white powder that settles to the bottom of the pool. If this is the case, you can probably vacuum it to waste to get rid of it, which in turn will help lower the CH. It should be fine to swim in.

    Tad
    33K gal vinyl IG, 1.5 HP SuperFlo pump, Hayward S244T sand filter (62GPM)

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    Re: New to this - White flakes around returns

    Just to follow up, I took the advice above and the initial problem with white flakes is now gone. I also vacuumed up a bunch of the white powder. Still working on getting TA down, keeping pH down, and increasing CYA, but that's for another thread.
    34K, IG, Charcoal Marquis aggregate finish, Jandy stealth pump, cartridge filter, Built '07, TFT-100, Aquapure SWG, Solar heating with Goldline controller, Polaris 380 Blackmax

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