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Thread: calcium build up in pop up system

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    calcium build up in pop up system

    I decided to finally figure out what is keeping my pop ups from going back down. Borrowed a removal tool and removed 5 pop ups. What I found freaked me out. Chunks of dark gray stuff came out. I ran the system and more of it came blasting out of the holes. They were very fragile and could break easily, I figured its some calcium build up. I put together some acid and water mix and put one of the mysterious chunks in and it foamed like crazy. Now if this is indeed calcium, how would I get rid of it from the pipes of the pop up system ? how would you prevent it ?
    Pool size 10,000 AG
    Pebble Tec
    Jandy Cartridge Filter
    Build in 2008
    Waterfall, pop ups

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    Guest

    Re: calcium build up in pop up system

    What is your CH level?

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: calcium build up in pop up system

    You probably have, or had, some combination of very high PH, very high TA, and/or very high CH levels. Any one, or worse two or three of those factors can cause calcium scaling. Presumably the calcium scaling happened inside the plumbing at a previous time, and now it is breaking off of the pipes and the broken off chunks are clogging up the system. Preventing it from happening requires keeping all of your chemical levels in balance. Fixing it at this point is trickier, since the calcium scaling is already there and will tend to break up into chunks and clog things while you are in the process of removing it.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: calcium build up in pop up system

    I just did a test. I never had my PH go above 7.6 or lower than 7.2. I check it often even in the winter. I live in AZ and our water is extremely hard. I will admit, I tested for CH and TA a few times, but it seems to be a losing battle since we contantly have well water coming in from the leveler.

    PH 7.4
    FC 3.0
    CC 0
    TA 110
    CH 500

    Checking out the pool calculator now
    Pool size 10,000 AG
    Pebble Tec
    Jandy Cartridge Filter
    Build in 2008
    Waterfall, pop ups

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    Re: calcium build up in pop up system

    Well just checked the pool calculator, I need to get rid of half the volume of our pool. Does that sound right ?
    Pool size 10,000 AG
    Pebble Tec
    Jandy Cartridge Filter
    Build in 2008
    Waterfall, pop ups

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: calcium build up in pop up system

    You should measure the CH level of your fill water. If your fill water is high in CH you are going to need to lower your TA, keep an eye on your PH, and live with relatively high CH levels.
    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: calcium build up in pop up system

    Thanks I will try that tomorrow
    Pool size 10,000 AG
    Pebble Tec
    Jandy Cartridge Filter
    Build in 2008
    Waterfall, pop ups

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    Re: calcium build up in pop up system

    Now this is interesting and something we did not know. We were under the assumption that our pool water leveler was being fed by our well line; it turns out that its running through our water softener line. so the water going to the pool has no calcium at all. Now I remember our pool builder was relieved when we told him that hard water was coming in (we had no idea it was soft). I guess we can't have soft water going in there. I did manage to test the actual well water somewhere else and it was 250, STILL lower than the pools 500. The fact that we had 0 calcium water slowly filling the pool with the leveler, it must have been the products we put in there. Where do I go from here ? As for the soft water going in, should I disconnect it from going in the pool ?
    Pool size 10,000 AG
    Pebble Tec
    Jandy Cartridge Filter
    Build in 2008
    Waterfall, pop ups

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    Re: calcium build up in pop up system

    Softened water usually has salt in it. I would check to see what your salt levels are in the pool to make sure you do not have corrosive levels. I would also check the levels coming from the water softener.

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    Re: calcium build up in pop up system

    You might want to figure out if the water softener can handle the added load of refilling the pool when you decide whether you want to move the fill source. It's possible the softener may need added regeneration cycles to handle the load.

    Given that you said your well has 250 ppm hardness, it's probably not a bad idea, as long as that level is steady and a metals test is negative.

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: calcium build up in pop up system

    Salt is only rarely a problem. If the salt level is over 5000, you probably need to do something, but that is unlikely.

    If the auto fill was installed relatively recently, that could account for why you are having problems now and didn't before.
    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: calcium build up in pop up system

    As for the soft water going in, should I disconnect it from going in the pool ?
    It seems the salt question drifted us away somewhat from the question above.

    Unless I am missing something, why wouldn't OP do a partial drain and refill (maybe twice) to get his CH down around 300 or so (from the 250CH well water) and then certainly keep his autofill hooked up to the water softener to maintain that CH level and possibly even lower it a little over time?

    For that matter, OP could probably maintain CH below 400 simply by occaissional drain and refill, but with an assumed high rate of evaporation out there, the water softener seems like the perfect solution.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: calcium build up in pop up system

    With high CH fill water and a water softener you don't normally want to do too much draining and refilling because of the extra load on the water softener. It can be done, but it may or may not be desirable.

    gsmiley, if you have a DE or sand filter, then backwashing the filter should slowly lower the CH level over time. If you have a cartridge filter you will want to do some water replacement to get the CH level down, since it won't go down on it's own. If you do water replacement, get some extra salt for the water softener and check it occasionally to make sure all is well.

    Just as a reminder: Water replacement in this context means removing water from the pool and replacing it with water from the water softener. Evaporation and refilling doesn't count as water replacement because all of the CH stays in the pool during evaporation. The CH level does up during evaporation, because the CH stays but there is less water. The CH level then goes back down to about where it was before when the auto fill system brings the water level back up. But if you backwash or otherwise pump water out of the pool, it takes CH along with it and the CH level in the pool does not change. Then if you refill with low CH water the overall CH level goes down.
    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: calcium build up in pop up system

    Again thanks for your help
    Pool size 10,000 AG
    Pebble Tec
    Jandy Cartridge Filter
    Build in 2008
    Waterfall, pop ups

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    Re: calcium build up in pop up system

    Well in the process of draining my pool today, I'll put up the results as soon as a I can. Now for the pebble tec calcium ring, thanks to the high CH, any home remedy to solve this without spending tons of money for a company to do it. Since my pool is somewhat drain, thought this would be a good time to considered getting rid of the ring
    Pool size 10,000 AG
    Pebble Tec
    Jandy Cartridge Filter
    Build in 2008
    Waterfall, pop ups

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    Re: calcium build up in pop up system

    Quote Originally Posted by gsmiley
    Well in the process of draining my pool today, I'll put up the results as soon as a I can. Now for the pebble tec calcium ring, thanks to the high CH, any home remedy to solve this without spending tons of money for a company to do it. Since my pool is somewhat drain, thought this would be a good time to considered getting rid of the ring
    You can acid wash PebbleTec. It is pretty strong stuff! Just watch your dilution rate!

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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: calcium build up in pop up system

    If it's just a ring of scale around the water line, it's easy to remove. Turn off your autofiller and let the water evaporate to about 1-1.5" below the scale line, then just use a spritz bottle with diluted acid and a small fingernail brush or toothbrush.
    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
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    Re: calcium build up in pop up system

    Quote Originally Posted by Melt In The Sun
    If it's just a ring of scale around the water line, it's easy to remove. Turn off your autofiller and let the water evaporate to about 1-1.5" below the scale line, then just use a spritz bottle with diluted acid and a small fingernail brush or toothbrush.
    I tried that trick, with a toothbrush and its not even trying to disappear. We are going to call someone to professionally do it. Its too far gone right now
    Pool size 10,000 AG
    Pebble Tec
    Jandy Cartridge Filter
    Build in 2008
    Waterfall, pop ups

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    Re: calcium build up in pop up system

    Alright guys, pool drained and refilled with the info from the pool calculator and noticed the CH went down to 200 from 525 ppm. Now I noitced the recommended for traditional pools is 200 while for trouble free pool its 250. How important is it to add the extra 50 ppm. That would cost $50 using a CH increaser.
    Pool size 10,000 AG
    Pebble Tec
    Jandy Cartridge Filter
    Build in 2008
    Waterfall, pop ups

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    Re: calcium build up in pop up system

    Quote Originally Posted by gsmiley
    Alright guys, pool drained and refilled with the info from the pool calculator and noticed the CH went down to 200 from 525 ppm. Now I noitced the recommended for traditional pools is 200 while for trouble free pool its 250. How important is it to add the extra 50 ppm. That would cost $50 using a CH increaser.
    Personally, I'd leave it down there. It will come up plenty quick on its own!

    National Plasters' Council recommends between 200-400-ppm, so, in my opinion, you are in great shape!

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