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Thread: Efflorescence v. Calcium build up??

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    Join Date
    Mar 2015
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    Efflorescence v. Calcium build up??

    I have an elevated spa that overflows into the pool via a waterfall. The 6" tiles on the face of the waterfall continue to get a white build up. at first, I thought it was calcium build up but my chems are all in balance and I don't get any build up anywhere else. That is when I read about efflorescence. Either way, I have been eliminating them with an acid/ water mix via spray bottle. The build up does react to the acid. But it comes back so quickly now.

    Any thoughts on whether it is efflorescence or calcium scale?? Also, has anyone tried these tile sealants that claim to prevent efflorescence?? If so, do they work?? Photos attached- if the upload works.

    Thx- Warren

    eff1.jpg
    eff2.jpg
    Warren
    22,400 gallon pool / spa combo with Painted Plaster; 16' x 40' rectangular pool w/ 9' x 9' elevated spa w/ waterfall to pool; Pentair IntelliFlo Variable Speed Pump, Pentair 420 Cartridge Filter, Pentair 4000 BTU heater, Pentair Intellachlor SWG and Clear 03 Ozone System

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Efflorescence v. Calcium build up??

    That looks like "evaporite", which isn't technically either scaling or efflorescence. It comes from water that gets spattered onto the tile from the waterfall and evaporates, leaving behind any minerals it might contain. This is unavoidable when you have a waterfall or spillover and does not depend on your chemical balance. How quickly it happens depends on how much water spatter there is, which you have some control over, but can never completely eliminate.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Efflorescence v. Calcium build up??

    Interesting and thank you very much. I assume that sealant won't help then. Am I correct to use the acid water mix to eliminate when it gets bad? Thanks.
    Warren
    22,400 gallon pool / spa combo with Painted Plaster; 16' x 40' rectangular pool w/ 9' x 9' elevated spa w/ waterfall to pool; Pentair IntelliFlo Variable Speed Pump, Pentair 420 Cartridge Filter, Pentair 4000 BTU heater, Pentair Intellachlor SWG and Clear 03 Ozone System

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Efflorescence v. Calcium build up??

    Correct on both points. Sealant won't help, as the water with minerals comes from outside, and acid/water mixture is the correct treatment.
    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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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    May 2014
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    Re: Efflorescence v. Calcium build up??

    I have similar looking tile and a sheer decent waterfall. The previous owner did nothing about the mineral build up so I have been working on it. Most areas are clear, but several are taking more time. I purchased a Purity Pool OS Out Spot Stain Remover. It fits on the end of your vacuum pole and allows you to target spots you want to hit with acid.

    Some of the thicker areas I have had to use a pumice stone to remove it.
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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