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Thread: Scale? Picture attached

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    Scale? Picture attached

    Sorry if this is a dumb question....

    This is "scale", correct? I just bought a Taylor test kit that can measure calcium hardness. It looks like mine CH is around 625ppm. The local pool shop who has tested my water this year didn't feel I had a problem with CH. I also have a salt system and I don't know if that'll affect test results in relation to CH like it does with total dissolved solids.

    So... Is it safe to assume the white build-up is a direct result of my higher than normal CH? If so, I have to drain the pool a bit and refill?

    Thanks!
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    Shelley
    Denver, CO

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    Nope, not scale. In a pool, scale is generally referred to as calcium precipitating out of your water onto the surrounding surface (pool walls)

    Precipitate above the water line would not usually be called scale. So, what've you got? Not sure. It could be salt deposits but I doubt it. More than likely it is minerals leaving the rocks or the masonry that holds them together......often called "spalling".

    The minerals come from within the rock/masonry suspended in solution and then, as the water evaporates, they are deposited on surface.

    A little muriatic acid will usually remove it. Start with a 5/1 solution and than only make it stronger if it fails to remove the stain. The acid will "foam up" when you've got it strong enough to work.
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    It's not scale even though it seems to only occur where water runs down from my water fall into the pool? If it was scale it would be occurring in other places too?

    Thanks man.
    Shelley
    Denver, CO

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    SeanB's Avatar
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    Dave, I've got a little of the same thing on my spillway from the spa into the pool.

    When applying the muratic solution, do you just pour it on or does it need to be scrubbed at all?
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    Aha! I misinterpreted your pic. I didn't see the waterfall....i thought that was runoff from the retaining wall above.

    Afer all that, I still would not say that's scale in the way most pool folks think of it. Scale precipitates out of your water underwater. That looks like an evaporative process.

    I believe it is mineral deposits (mostly calcium) that are coming from your pool water evaporating as it travels down the waterfall. It probably is calcium and the fix is still the same....muriatic.

    The good news is that once you get the CH lowered in your pool, that depositing will probably minimize or go away completely. The bad news is that's it's not easy to lower CH, as you probably know. A water softener (big one) or a series of drains and refills are about the only two ways.
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    That looks like concrete efflorescence to me. It comes out of concrete as opposed to being deposited there by the water. In the case of the OP, I'm assuming there is concrete behind those stacked stones or the stones are some type of cultured product. Dave's acid cleaning procedure should do the trick though I'd probably start at more like 25-1 (water to muriatic acid). Whatever strength acid mix you use, rinse with fresh water frquently to keep from removing things you don't want to remove.

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    Kurt,

    You might be misinterpreting the pic as I did. Those deposits are in a waterfall of pool water. It still could be efflorescence which I thought at first but I believe it's calcium being deposited as his pool water flows over that area.

    25-1?? Real men drink 25-1!! Put some muscle in it!!

    fyton, you would be probably be well served to take Kurt's 25-1 advice. I tend towards the incautious side.
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    KurtV's Avatar
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    Dave, I still think it's efflorescence unless the OP is seeing scale deposited elsewhere. I get it on the outside of my negative edge; it comes right through the tile grout. As I have pretty low CH (200 ppm or so) and don't have any scaling elsewhere, I'm next to positive that the deposits come from the concrete.

    As for the muriatic concentration to use, I actually use it straight now. I'm an old hand at cleaning this stuff off tile/grout though.

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    So is this waterfall more of a trickling type of waterfall? That's what the pic looks like, to me. In that case, I definately agree it looks like efflorescense.

    My old brick basement in the midwest was always sweating in the summer and would get that. If it's kind of crystally powdery when you touch it, that's it, for sure.
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  10. Back To Top    #10
    The waterfall "trickles" down the flag stone. The pump wasn't going at the time I took the pic. Either way, it seems the cure is acid.

    So let me see if I have this correct.

    Use 1 bucket of muriatic acid, undiluted. Hand rub the acid into the the white areas. Blow dry. Repeat.

    Thanks for the knowledge guys.
    Shelley
    Denver, CO

  11. Back To Top    #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by fyton2v
    So let me see if I have this correct.

    Use 1 bucket of muriatic acid, undiluted. Hand rub the acid into the the white areas. Blow dry. Repeat.
    Don't blow dry. Set it on rollers and dry under a hood dryer then comb it out. It will look much prettier!
    (Sorry, just couldn't resist!)

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    Quote Originally Posted by waterbear

    Don't blow dry. Set it on rollers and dry under a hood dryer then comb it out. It will look much prettier!
    (Sorry, just couldn't resist!)
    You would know!

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    fyton,

    I particularly like the hand application....it will quickly give you an indicator the acid is working.

    And you are correct...regardless if it got there from effloresence or evaporation, the removal techniques are identical. That said, if it's from evaporation, lowering the CH in your pool water will minimize the problem.
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    Mine looks like that after I've added salt.
    Done that lately?
    Debbie

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