High pH and white flakes and...

Slaru

Bronze Supporter
May 18, 2020
54
Atlanta, GA
Hi, all!

Our pool was completed and startup began a little over a month ago. The salt cell was installed by the PB after the first 30 days.
I've been using the recommended test kit and getting the hang of what to add. I've noticed, however, that the pH is always high and I add MA pretty much daily. pH usually bouncing around 7.8 to 8.2 (or more?).

My most recents results are as follows:

FC 5.0 --> 4.5 -->6.5
pH 7.8 --> 8.2 -->8.0
TA 80 --> 80
CH 375 --> 400
CYA 50 --> 60
Salt 2800

Looking back, the salt cell was added on April 10th and 3 days later, I added a 4# bag of CYA to a sock and placed in the skimmer basket because my level was down to 30 from 60 a few weeks earlier. We still brush and skim about everyday. A little disappointed in the performance of my two skimmers. They don't appear to keep the surface free of small debris and there's usually a "tub ring" of debris along the waterline tile. That's why we brush so much. We run our VSP at 80% for 3 hours and 50% for 12 hours. One skimmer basket typically has more junk in it than the other.

So my third issue is the presence of white flakes floating on the surface of the water. I've read a few posts and some speculate as to whether it's calcium, pollen, residue for the salt cell, undissolved CYA, or even white mold. This is more recent and I can't seem to time it in relation to the salt cell installation or the addition of CYA. We just noticed it sometime after both. When we skim it off with the fine net, the flakes look brown. Hopefully, they show up in the pics below.

My last issue is topping of the water level. Seems that were adding an 1-2 inches of water every 4 days or so to bring the level midway up the waterline tile. We asked our PB about autofill while the pool was being built and he said they hardly ever add them to their pools, but when I asked my PB if filling it up this frequently was cause for concern, he said it was likely normal evaporation. I thought this was odd, because had we known we'd be dropping a hose in once or twice a week, it would've made more sense to install an autofill? Well, our landscaper was installing sod and lights yesterday, so we asked him what he thought about it since he works for another PB company. He said they don't install autofill either because they had nothing but problems with them in the past. He seems to think it might be evaporation also, but mainly because of our spa spillover. It's set to where it always spills over as long as the main pool pump is on. He asked if we could cut off the spillover and we said no. We've noticed that when the pump is on 50%, there is a lot more splashing against the stone wall of the spa. Could that be our source of evaporation?

Sorry this is so convoluted. But my main questions are these:

1. Why does my pH stay so high, requiring MA daily?
2. What can we do to improve our skimmer action? Increase pump speed? Re-direct the returns?
3. What can we do about these white flakes?
4. Should we be concerned about a leak?
5. Can the PB change the valve settings so we can turn off the spillover?

Thank you in advance!

 

wireform

Silver Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 15, 2017
3,294
Spring Valley, NY
Hi, to start good pictures of your equipment pad can give us an idea of how to setup your pool. Not sure if you have a main drain in the pool and if it has its own valve to limit its suction and give the skimmers most of the suction. Sounds like you need to balance the piping what goes where.
The MA issue you're having is normal for a new pool but it's be exasperated by the spa spill over which should be limited and causing a major spike in the PH.
I'm not sure if losing CYA already is normal if your are losing water to evaporation as CYA stays in the water and doesn't evaporate. Possibly you have a leak and are losing water and chemicals with it. Time to do the bucket test to see which one you're experiencing.
Auto fill is very common but best would be to fill back lost water with softener water as not to raise the CH through the roof.
 
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Slaru

Bronze Supporter
May 18, 2020
54
Atlanta, GA
Hi, to start good pictures of your equipment pad can give us an idea of how to setup your pool. Not sure if you have a main drain in the pool and if it has its own valve to limit its suction and give the skimmers most of the suction. Sounds like you need to balance the piping what goes where.
The MA issue you're having is normal for a new pool but it's be exasperated by the spa spill over which should be limited and causing a major spike in the PH.
I'm not sure if losing CYA already is normal if your are losing water to evaporation as CYA stays in the water and doesn't evaporate. Possibly you have a leak and are losing water and chemicals with it. Time to do the bucket test to see which one you're experiencing.
Auto fill is very common but best would be to fill back lost water with softener water as not to raise the CH through the roof.
Thanks for the input. Here’s my equipment pad. I’m hoping it’s just a valve adjustment thing and not a major issue with the way things were piped.

 

Slaru

Bronze Supporter
May 18, 2020
54
Atlanta, GA
I’m not sure if the photos of the equipment pad show up, but please tell me what you think.
I have since gotten a response from my PB and they are sending someone out to adjust the settings so we’ll be able to turn off the spillover from the spa. They also recommend doing the bucket test, but they didn’t describe it well at all. From the forum, I get the idea how to do it. We’ll set it up tomorrow since we plan to swim today.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
44,826
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
I’m not sure if the photos of the equipment pad show up, but please tell me what you think.
We prefer you post the pictures directly to the forum. Most of us are hesitant to click on links to cloud accounts, etc.
 
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Kevinr14

Silver Supporter
Mar 8, 2021
296
Chandler, AZ
Pool Size
15000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Sorry about posting the pics. Sometimes I get it right, but others...

Here is the equipment pad.


I also noticed a lot fewer “flakes” on the surface today. We turned up the speed on the pump to 80% for 7 hours and have it at 50% for 4 hours.

To post a picture directly from the forum, press the "attach files" button near the bottom of your draft post. You can then press "insert" to embed it in your post. It will look like this:

20210410_203857.jpg
 
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