Calcium scale and negative CSI in fiberglass pools

May 30, 2018
12
Pittsboro, NC
#43
Hi seribus,
Sorry, I didn't get notification of this update. I hope you survived the hurricane OK. We had to dump the pool 3 times. We just got the rain and a little bit of wind, but so lucky compared to the rest of the state. I finally heard from someone today after getting in contact with Cool Pools. Rachal from Tallman Pools called and asked for some pictures of the pool. That's all I've heard so far. Have you heard anything? If not, call Tallman and ask for Rachal. She seems new. Maybe she's been hired to take care of this issue.
 

al27

Well-known member
Sep 11, 2017
53
Franklin, TN
#44
Hi drseuss, I've thought calcium scale of both kinds until recently I started thinking oxidation. Tallman at first pointed me to swg causing it and had me pour in Jack's magic. This past visit they balked at oxidation and said it was something on the surface due to chemistry. I even went as far to call pentair about my swg and they sent brand new one out. Using it now. Going back to chlorinator didn't help either. I can see a slight water line where I brought down pool water level for winter and to be honest it may be better above that level but not 100% sure. Maybe winterizing chems are doing something. I used 'In The Swim' non chlorine winterizing kit to close each year. Chalky look has covered most everywhere and although it's still blue it's not the nice shiny Pacific blue it was in year 1. I hope one of us figures it out. Brushing doesn't help. Nothing wipes off. I can sand it and see the white dust trail. Sometimes on the sandpaper I see a faint light blue residue which makes me think oxidation. Imay push Tallman to come out in fall and buff it.
I have a similar problem with my fiberglass pool but mine is a Sun Fiberglass pool instead of a Tallman. I was told by a fiberglass pool pro that very low calcium levels and high PH probably caused it. I turned off the salt water generator which lower the PH and the chalky substance on the walls is not as bad now. I have a much older pool than yours so it is possible that there is some calcium in the gelcoat that is breaking down because of high PH since it seems to be getting better after PH was lowered. I was told to increase calcium to 300 which I intend to do soon to see if it helps. Please post an update if you are able to get rid of your problem so other fiberglass pool owners can learn from your experience.
 

domct203

Bronze Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 3, 2015
3,959
CT
#45
I have a similar problem with my fiberglass pool but mine is a Sun Fiberglass pool instead of a Tallman. I was told by a fiberglass pool pro that very low calcium levels and high PH probably caused it. I turned off the salt water generator which lower the PH and the chalky substance on the walls is not as bad now. I have a much older pool than yours so it is possible that there is some calcium in the gelcoat that is breaking down because of high PH since it seems to be getting better after PH was lowered. I was told to increase calcium to 300 which I intend to do soon to see if it helps. Please post an update if you are able to get rid of your problem so other fiberglass pool owners can learn from your experience.
No need to turn off the SWG, just properly manage pH and CSI. pH is only part of the equation.

BTW- SWG tend to raise pH, while Trichlor/Dichlor tend to lower pH.
 

seribus

Active member
Jun 9, 2016
31
Spring Lake, NC
#46
I just called Tallman. The girl Brittany I had dealt with in July is no longer there and I asked for Rachal and left my contact info. The guy that answered tried to direct me to Jack's Magic again. I hope this is not the beginning of a run-around after they told us this was a known gelcoat issue with gelcoat manufacturer. I will update you once I hear something.
 

seribus

Active member
Jun 9, 2016
31
Spring Lake, NC
#47
Hi Drseuss, Almost exact same thing for me. Sent pics and info. I've since closed the pool. When draining below the skimmer I was able to really see and get to the chalky residue once it dried on walls and steps. I could scratch it with my finger nail and get a light blue colored residue under my nail of the dark blue. Similiar to what we use to see with oxidized car paint before clear coats. I poured some muratic acid directly on a step and had no affect at all. Just covering bases in case they ask again. I think Texas mentioned way back oxidation and IMO he nailed it. I sure hope this identified gelcoat issue we were told about gets resolved. Let me know what you find out. I have no doubt it's eventually going to need to be drained and buffed out. That shouldn't be on our dime IMO either.
 
May 30, 2018
12
Pittsboro, NC
#48
Hi seribus, I'll be driving through Spring Lake on Thursday. I'll wave as we drive through. We don't close our pool in the winter, however I do see the specks of blue gelcoat in our vacuums. Rachal asked me if I had tried Jack's Magic and I said I did with no change. I then told her that Brittany had assured me that our gelcoat would be replaced. Her response was that it was still the plan. She said they hadn't gotten the answers and were waiting but hoped it wouldn't be much longer. This was on October 9. I'm planning to send her an email once a month to check on the status. I'll keep you posted.
 

seribus

Active member
Jun 9, 2016
31
Spring Lake, NC
#49
Hi Seuss,

I will try to remember to send an email as well tomorrow. I haven't heard anything from Tallman. I closed pool later this year while water temp was a good bit under 65. This year I didn't use a closing kit and opted to just shock it a couple days before closing. I was getting the feeling the last time Tallman sent their guys out to look at pool before the gelcoat issue was uncovered that what I was using to close the pool (In The Swim closing kit) might be an issue. I will keep you updated.
 
May 30, 2018
12
Pittsboro, NC
#51
Hi Seuss,

Have you heard anything from Tallman? Any progress? Nothing on this end.

Seribus
Hi seribus,
I just got the call. It's kind of a long story, but in the end, they are using ecofinish. I guess you can also have them gel coat, but you are not guaranteed that it won't do it again. With ecofinish it's a 10 year warranty. So, we are going with ecofinish. The website is ecopoolfinish.com. Apparently, it's a superior product to gel coat and about 3 times as expensive. They are going to be in North Carolina soon so we will hopefully get this taken care of before we open the pool for the summer. The only thing we have to pay for is the water. I hope you get your call soon if you haven't already.
 

seribus

Active member
Jun 9, 2016
31
Spring Lake, NC
#52
Hi seribus,
I just got the call. It's kind of a long story, but in the end, they are using ecofinish. I guess you can also have them gel coat, but you are not guaranteed that it won't do it again. With ecofinish it's a 10 year warranty. So, we are going with ecofinish. The website is ecopoolfinish.com. Apparently, it's a superior product to gel coat and about 3 times as expensive. They are going to be in North Carolina soon so we will hopefully get this taken care of before we open the pool for the summer. The only thing we have to pay for is the water. I hope you get your call soon if you haven't already.
Hi Seuss,

Yeah I talked to Tallman yesterday. Same choices for me. Sand, re-do gelcoat or go with EcoFinish. Sounds like the EcoFinish in theory is the way to go and the way I am leaning. Waiting now to hear from EcoFinish installer. Trying to do some research on it and how it stacks up being put on our fiberglass pool shell. I have the Pacific Blue color with the glitter like specs in the finish. Was told the specs may have had some cause of the oxidation but not sure. Anyway, I will go with a color close to my original when it was right. Sounds like they are going to tackle both our jobs at same time. Let's stick close on this if you don't mind to make sure it's a wise choice. I'm nervous about putting something on that will make matters worse but I am out of my expertise with this. From my quick reading on the forum it sounds like if the install is solid then its a great choice.
 

seribus

Active member
Jun 9, 2016
31
Spring Lake, NC
#56
So do we, Seribus! Will you be there and can take pics?? Has the pool already been emptied?

Maddie :flower:
Hi Maddie,

I will be home and will get pics. Pool is still covered and full. Installers are supposed to do it all. Kinda nervous about it. I think it's raining too. Should be interesting day. My original color is Pacific Blue and going with color of same name for EcoFinish. I will keep you posted.
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
#59
Interesting. That is much different than the chalkiness I'm experencing. My chalkiness is consistant throughout (side to side, top to bottom) without the dripping/running appearance I see in yours. I imagine these are differences attrubutable to the type of, or reason for, the defects we each have in our individual pool (i.e. gelcoat application versus overall chemical oxidation, etc). It will be nice to see how your project unfolds.