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Thread: Rough Plaster- Major buildup upon opening

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    Rough Plaster- Major buildup upon opening

    Sure wish I had found this forum earlier!!!

    We followed the advice of a "friend" and semi-closed the pool in December. (N FL) We covered it and ran the SWG & pump several hours a day. Water temps were about 50. I did not test the water while covered upon said friend's advice.

    Last weekend I took the cover off. Water was clear, looked great.....then I noticed the build up on the plaster. It is a white, hard deposit in large patches & feels very rough. (this is a new pool put in last June. Super smooth when we closed it).

    Here are my numbers at opening: pH 8.0+
    Cl 0.5
    TA 100
    CH 570 (CH fill water is 200)
    CYA 80
    Water Temp 67

    I dropped the pH to 7.0 -7.2 & Cl up to about 2.0 and have been brushing like crazy. TA is down to 60 with the lower pH. I can scrape the build up off with my fingernail but the brush isn't really getting it.

    Is what I'm doing going to work or do I need to add something/ do something else? I have fought rising pH and high CH since we started but I attributed that to the pool curing.

    Another weird thing, I pulled the salt cell to check and clean and it was in good shape!
    HELP!!!
    19K gal, gunite, mini-pebble
    2.5 HP Jandy Stealth pump (circulation),
    2.5 HP Jandy Stealth pump (waterfall),
    1 HP Polaris Halcyon booster pump (Polaris),
    60 sq.ft. Jandy DEL60 Filter
    Jandy PureLink w/ AquaPure 1400

  2. Back To Top    #2
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Your PH went up and that caused calcium scaling. SWGs tend to cause the PH to rise, and even though a cover would slow that process down it wouldn't stop it completely. At high PH levels the calcium in the water will deposit on the pool surface. If the calcium is soft enough to get off with your fingernail you are lucky, it will usually harden and become very difficult to get off.

    If you leave the pump and SWG running you need to continue monitoring the chemistry all winter. If you turn everything off you can usually leave things without monitoring the water, though the chances of getting algae increase.

    There are several approaches to fixing things. They go from easy to do but not so likely to work to difficult to do and sure to work. The simplest thing is to keep the PH and TA low (PH between 7.0 and 7.2 and TA around 50-60) and brush daily. The low PH/TA will hopefully further soften up the calcium and with a little luck it will eventually start brushing off. If you aren't already, you can use a mixed wire bristle and poly bristle brush. That will be more effective than a plain poly brush. You will also want to do some water replacement to get the CH level down while this is happening. Lower CH levels in the water will speed the process and you need to lower CH anyway.

    If that doesn't work you can try a scale treatment, or go all the way to a drain and acid wash, either of which is significantly more work.
    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

  3. Back To Top    #3
    Thanks for a reply. I guess I spoke too soon. I can chip the scale off with my fingernail in a few place while in other places it is hard as can be....maybe a thicker build up there?

    If I have to do the scale remover what is recommended?
    19K gal, gunite, mini-pebble
    2.5 HP Jandy Stealth pump (circulation),
    2.5 HP Jandy Stealth pump (waterfall),
    1 HP Polaris Halcyon booster pump (Polaris),
    60 sq.ft. Jandy DEL60 Filter
    Jandy PureLink w/ AquaPure 1400

  4. Back To Top    #4
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Jack's Magic the Copper and Scale Stuff would be one brand. Several other companies make similar products. The process is rather complex. Read their directions here. Some of the competition is less expensive but the process is similar in all cases. The annoying part is that you need to bypass your heater, if you have one, and it can take weeks.
    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

  5. Back To Top    #5
    Guest
    Often times the only solution is to drain and acid wash the pool. The Jack's Magic product is essentially a no drain acid wash procesure. United Chemical has a no drain acid wash product also.

    What kind of brush are you using? If it is a plain nylon brush that won't do anything, you need a combo brush (nylon and stainless) but don't use a brush like this if your plaster is less than about 6-8 months old.. How old is the plaster? Calcium can and will leach into the water for the first year, approximately. Where in N. FL and are you using well water? I have seen some wells in N FL shoot up in calcium hardness during the winter (dry season) so if you were adding any water to the pool doing this time then it is possible that your fill water has very high calcium then.
    Finally, even though you 'semi closed' the pool you still need to be testing and adjusting the water, just not as often when the water temp is very low. Monthly is probably often enough as long as the temperature is staying low but if you get a warm day or two it is a good idea to test your water and balance as needed. If you are going to run the SWG then reduce your pump run time by a few hours or turn your cell output down since the chlorine demand in winter goes way down, especially if the pool is covered. My pool is uncovered and heated and I still need to turn my SWG output to about half of what it is during the summer AND cut my pump run time down by about 2 hours.
    BTW, how are you testing your water? Some testigt procedures (mostly colorimeters) have limitations in how high they can read the calcium hardness tests and tend to give low results when the CH is actually very high. If you are titrating then this is not an issue.

    Running your TA at 60-80 in normal use is actually going to give you a better ph stability, expecially if you keep you pH at 7.6 normally and not any lower and when it climbs to 7.8 lower it back down to 7.6. If you want an explaination then read this sticky.

  6. Back To Top    #6
    Waterbear,

    Thanks for the reply.

    I am using a nylon brush but am going to purchase a combo brush today. You're right, the nylon brush does nothing and I can chip the calcium off with a fingernail so I know it will dislodge. The plaster under the areas I've been able to clean is very smooth so I don't think there is much/ any pitting going on yet. Hopefully the combo brush will help. The pool is about 10 months old so I think I'd be OK with a combo brush so long as I don't get too agressive with it.

    I am on Amelia Island, north of Jacksonville. We're on municipal water but it is VERY hard. Had to set the water softener to 27 or 28 grains. The fill water CH measures 200. We battled high CH all summer. Even saw 800-900. We did a partial drain but not a full one as the city was really pushing water conservation measures. It stayed t about 500 from there and is pushing 600 now.

    I'm using a Taylor drop test kit. I've been running the CH with the diluted test so that I don't have to use so much of the titrate. I've never had a low result on CH!!

    Thanks for your reply and the link for the sticky. I'm going to have to brush up on my Chemisrty!
    19K gal, gunite, mini-pebble
    2.5 HP Jandy Stealth pump (circulation),
    2.5 HP Jandy Stealth pump (waterfall),
    1 HP Polaris Halcyon booster pump (Polaris),
    60 sq.ft. Jandy DEL60 Filter
    Jandy PureLink w/ AquaPure 1400

  7. Back To Top    #7
    Guest
    Welcome to TFP. I'm just a bit south of you in North Beach (between Ponte Vedra and Vilano Beach) just off A1A on the barrier island. I fill my pool with water from the softener and then add calcium as needed because of the hardness issues here. (To be expected since Florida is just a big piece of coral rock after all!)
    Once you get everything under control the other thing I would suggest is adding borates to 50 ppm.
    Which Taylor kit? If it's a K-2005 or any other Taylor kit that does not have an FAS-DPD test but only uses DPD I would strongly suggest picking up a K-1515A (or the TFtestkit FAS-DPD test). The TFtestkit is actually a bit cheaper in price than the Taylor and it DOES use Taylor reagents! The TFtestkits were put togehter by one of our members who saw a need for a good home testkit with ENOUGH reagents to test properly. As you know your Taylor kit gave you very little CYA reagent and you needed to buy more after only 5 tests unless you got the kit with 2 oz reagents, which will have many of the reagents going bad before they can be used up if it's only being used to test one pool.

    Finally, go to ACE hardware and buy some of the O Ace Sis Calcium hardness reducer. Add a double dose for your size pool. You might need to add another dose in abut 3 weeks but this can help with the scale and will also help chelate the calcium in your water. I know the Hagan Ace hardwares in Jax and St. Augustine with pool departments carry it. Don't know about the other Ace hardwares, though. I've seen this product work in many of my customer's pools.

    In addition to the brush you can also get a pumice stone that fits on the end of your pole. Just be careful as they can damage the plaster if you are too aggressive with them.

  8. Back To Top    #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by waterbear

    Finally, go to ACE hardware and buy some of the O Ace Sis Calcium hardness reducer. Add a double dose for your size pool. You might need to add another dose in abut 3 weeks but this can help with the scale and will also help chelate the calcium in your water. I know the Hagan Ace hardwares in Jax and St. Augustine with pool departments carry it. Don't know about the other Ace hardwares, though. I've seen this product work in many of my customer's pools.

    In addition to the brush you can also get a pumice stone that fits on the end of your pole. Just be careful as they can damage the plaster if you are too aggressive with them.
    HI waterbear,

    few questions:

    would you call the o ace sis product a method to reduce CH without partial draining?

    I'm curious because i'm battling a scale problem too, and my CH is 340 - i suspect my scale problem would be easier to get rid of if my CH was lower, right???

    Is there a calculation for "quantity of o ace sis needed" to reduce CH by 100 ?

    I read that o ace sis is a 'clarifier' - will any clarifier product work to reduce CH ( i only ask this b/c my local ace store doesn't have it)

    i've been wanting a pumice stone to attach to a my pool brush handle - i can't keep my arm in 44 degree icey water for more than a minute to pumice the step! any links as to where to get one? the LPS only have them for hand held usage.

    thanks

    bob
    Thank you in advance for your help.

    Noctiss

  9. Back To Top    #9
    SeanB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pairadocs
    i've been wanting a pumice stone to attach to a my pool brush handle - i can't keep my arm in 44 degree icey water for more than a minute to pumice the step! any links as to where to get one? the LPS only have them for hand held usage.

    thanks

    bob
    I did a simple search for "pumice stone pole"

    Google is your friend.

    http://www.poolsaz.com/Pool-Blok-Pumice ... /pb-86.htm
    TFP Founder

    My Pool: 13K gal IG gunite with 7' spa, Pentair Cartridge Filter, Intellichlor IC40 SWG, Polaris 280 Cleaner, TF-100 Test Kit w/ salt test.

  10. Back To Top    #10

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    thanks for the link, i tried to google something like that but no luck.

    i was looking for something wide, like my pool brush that is 2 feet long that i'm brushing scale with...

    thanks again
    Thank you in advance for your help.

    Noctiss

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