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Thread: Scaling - does it help to add additional chemicals beyond controlling chemistry?

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    Scaling - does it help to add additional chemicals beyond controlling chemistry?

    I live in Philly and I have a reasonably new, dark pebbletec finish. I didn't see any way that over the winter I can control my pool chemistry, and this year I have opened the pool to some hazy bathtub ring like scaling on the walls. Haze, not patches of splotchy chunks.

    Needless to say, my chemistry upon opening was totally whacked, and was a scale lovers dream --- and I am bringing that under control.

    My questions are:

    1. I see lots of additives on the pool store shelves that are available for de-scaling - do they have any benefit of speeding up the dissolution of the scale beyond controlling chemistry?

    2. Other than running the pump through the winter which I can't see happening, is there no way to prevent this every spring? I wanted to add FC and MA over the winter, but I didn't have a satisfactory way of circulating them to my comfort level.

    Oh, and the pool is still leaking. Glad I renovated

    Thanks for the help in advance!
    19000 gal in ground, pebble tec. Sta-rite system 3 DE filter, Aquarite SWG, raypak 406A heater

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Scaling - does it help to add additional chemicals beyond controlling chemistry?

    1) Some of them can help a little. None of them will resolve anything but very light scaling on their own.
    2) This is only an issue if fresh plaster is applied in the preceding fall. In any other situation the chemistry just won't shift that much. It can be avoided by closing really late and opening really early. But it is too late for that now.
    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: Scaling - does it help to add additional chemicals beyond controlling chemistry?

    Thank you.

    Interesting to hear you say that Jason, because that has not been my experience. I wonder why. Every spring, like clockwork - my stabilizer is zero (keep about 60 for my SWG) and my pH and TA is very high. The new pebbletec surface was applied summer of 2013, and this year upon opening was much worse than the year right after. I have tried to have a pool service come add chemicals with a circulator - but it's once a month and often they missed it because of freeze. It made no difference, except to my wallet.

    As far as anti-scalers. Any one in particular known to be decent? Unlike food and medicines, they don't seem to say what EXACTLY is in them.
    19000 gal in ground, pebble tec. Sta-rite system 3 DE filter, Aquarite SWG, raypak 406A heater

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Scaling - does it help to add additional chemicals beyond controlling chemistry?

    Scaletec plus is one of the better ones for calcium scaling.
    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: Scaling - does it help to add additional chemicals beyond controlling chemistry?

    So the pool is now very clear, and I can see that the issue is essentially a ring around the bathtub sort of phenomenon. Below the line all is well, as it is above.

    I have attached a picture, in the hopes of trying to find out what may have happened and how to avoid it again. There are many reflections, so I added the arrows so you can see the line that extends all the way around the pool. That is the level at which the pool was closed, and as the water level rose over winter (mesh cover), the ring did not lengthen all the way up. I know it looks a bit blue but the bottom below the ring is fine.

    I suspect that the pool service may have added chemicals that rapidly promoted this precipitation. I will no longer allow this, as they will no longer 'test and balance' automatically, but at opening and closing they wound up raising the pH and TA above where I want it for my dark finish. Why the scale only at the initial waterline I am not sure. That's why I figured I would ask here. I am sure the answer is clear to some!

    IMG_4661.jpg
    19000 gal in ground, pebble tec. Sta-rite system 3 DE filter, Aquarite SWG, raypak 406A heater

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Scaling - does it help to add additional chemicals beyond controlling chemistry?

    Some white "haze" will always show up above the waterline. You can slow down how quickly it builds up by keeping CSI low, but some will occur regardless. The white buildup comes from water splashing above the waterline and then evaporating, leaving behind all of the dissolved solids in the water (mostly salt and calcium).
    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: Scaling - does it help to add additional chemicals beyond controlling chemistry?

    Thanks, Jason. So why wouldn't it go all the way up the side as the water level rises over the winter? When I opened the pool the water level was way higher but the wall was otherwise unscathed.
    19000 gal in ground, pebble tec. Sta-rite system 3 DE filter, Aquarite SWG, raypak 406A heater

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    PoolESQ's Avatar
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    Re: Scaling - does it help to add additional chemicals beyond controlling chemistry?

    I can't exactly tell from your picture, but it looks like the line is uniform in size and it is at the plaster level and not at the tile level. Did the company that closed your pool lower the water level below the plaster line initially (before winter water got in there)? If so, I've read on other threads here that permanent discoloration can occur from the plaster drying out before it's completely cured on new plaster jobs.
    Replastered 2015: Sunstone Quartz Midnight Blue 16x32 rectangular gunite with in-pool spa....18,000 gallons. Autopilot Total Control System with SWG and acid pump. Pentair Clean & Clear 420. Auto cover. TF-100.

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    Re: Scaling - does it help to add additional chemicals beyond controlling chemistry?

    The white line is along the pebbletec, yes. I lower the water below the returns in preparation for full winterization here in Philadelphia.

    The surface is not new however, it was installed in 2013 and i didn't have an issue upon opening last spring.
    19000 gal in ground, pebble tec. Sta-rite system 3 DE filter, Aquarite SWG, raypak 406A heater

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    Re: Scaling - does it help to add additional chemicals beyond controlling chemistry?

    UPDATE: A couple of months later, it is still pretty much the same. My Ta is 80, CH 250, pH 7.2/7.3 and all are fairly steady. I added 2 bottles of scaletec 2 weeks apart to help (or not).

    Anyone who has had light scale like this ---- will this will EVENTUALLY clear -- can this take years?? The bathtub ring at the lower winter line is most evident, but the whole pool below that winter line is a bit hazy too. Above the winter water line it's perfect. I won't acid wash this early in the plaster's life unless it gets much worse which I am hopeful it won't.

    I am confident that the winter chemistry that caused it will no longer be my enemy. I have told the pool folks to never test and balance my water again, and I have a great circulation pump to use in the winter for occasional chemistry tinkering.
    19000 gal in ground, pebble tec. Sta-rite system 3 DE filter, Aquarite SWG, raypak 406A heater

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