Plastic deposits in chlorination cell

Charles Bezzina

Well-known member
Jul 10, 2021
66
Sydney Australia
Pool Size
38000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-9)
Hello.

I'm new to maintaining a pool and have pulled out my chlorination cell for the first time to inspect it. Surprisingly I have found a plastic like deposit all over the plates on the intake side. Has anybody ever seen this before? Is this a pool chemistry problem? As far as I can tell this stuff isn't calcium.

I have up untill now thought that I have been doing an good job maintaining the pool, but this probably indicates otherwise ☹️

A little more info, The cell (including pool and all other equipment) is fairly new, it was completed in June this year (2021).

The plastic stuff only appears at the intake side and does not appear to have gotten too far into the cell plates. It seems to come out in stringy pieces with lots of fibres???
 

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Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
22,856
Bedford, TX
Charles,

You are correct, that is not calcium..

The question is what is it???

I can't see it getting through your filter, so maybe something that was in your filter or construction debris of some type... :scratch:

I'd clean it out and then run for a month and check it again.

Unless something is really wrong somewhere, I doubt it will be coming back.

Let's see what @JamesW has to say about it...

Thanks,

Jim R.
 
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JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
27,807
Do you have a picture of the entire system?

Do you ever run the system with the multiport on recirculate?
 

Charles Bezzina

Well-known member
Jul 10, 2021
66
Sydney Australia
Pool Size
38000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-9)
I scraped as much of it loose as I could using a barbeque skewer then I put the cell back in and used the pressure of the pump at high speed to blow all the bits out.

I put the filter on recirculate to get maximum flow through the cell to blow out the rubbish, but otherwise this is actually the very first time I have ever run the filter on recirculate.

can you please confirm just so it's clear to me, other than calcium buildup there should be no other deposits clogging up my cell right?
 

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JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
27,807
other than calcium buildup there should be no other deposits clogging up my cell right?
Correct, everything should be filtered.

I don't see any place where debris could get in past the filter or through the filter.

Check the cell every few days to see if the stuff continues to accumulate.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
27,807
Where does the filter waste line go?

Try to filter the backwash water through a knee-hi stocking to catch any debris in the effluent to see if there is any similar debris being backwashed.
 

Mdragger88

Bronze Supporter
Jun 1, 2018
2,999
Hernando, Ms
Pool Size
26000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Intex Krystal Clear
I was thinking maybe pvc shavings / globs of glue left over from installation but there’s just so much of it 🤷‍♀️
 
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Charles Bezzina

Well-known member
Jul 10, 2021
66
Sydney Australia
Pool Size
38000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-9)
The waste goes out the back of the shed. I'll stick a sock on it and see what I collect.
 

Charles Bezzina

Well-known member
Jul 10, 2021
66
Sydney Australia
Pool Size
38000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-9)
PVC pipe glue seems to be the most likely explanation. I might need to call the pool builder about this.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
27,807
You have two unions that you can undo to look in the pipe.

Take off the cell and then undo the union at the filter and look into the pipe with a flashlight.

1633751435868.png
 
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JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
27,807
It might be PVC glue.

Maybe look in the pipe for other similar stuff.

Check the cell periodically to see if more accumulates.
 
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Mdragger88

Bronze Supporter
Jun 1, 2018
2,999
Hernando, Ms
Pool Size
26000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Intex Krystal Clear
There should only be so much considering the run between the filter & the swg is so short- so hopefully that is all of it.
I guess they were in a hurry & didn’t rheam the pipes & apparently globbed the glue. Although the outside of the pipes look nice (not messy) so it’s surprising. Shame, shame installers ☹️
 

Phookinl

Member
Oct 11, 2021
16
NSW Australia
I think you're on the right track with it being PVC glue. The PVC pipes themselves wouldn't usually produce stringy material like that when cut. If the glue dribbles inside the pipe when they're fastening it and to some extent it often will when they squeeze the pipe into the socket that glue then flows over unprimed pipe and it doesn't stick very well to that. so it will come off relatively quickly and the plates of the SWG make a decent primary screening device it appears. Shouldn't cause any damage. It shouldn't continue over time either. It's likely that anything that was going to come off already has.

I've seen material similar in appearance in baskets, where it's usually fibres from sacks of salt that have been cut open carelessly and have gone in the pool, but none of that should be reaching the chlorinator. Most of it should get caught in the skimmer basket or the pump basket or the filter.
 

Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
10,892
NY
Aiiiight. I had thoughts but gave it a few days for someone to have seen this before, but it seems new to us so here goes.

we’ve seen sloppy plumbing before heavy on glue but usually it just makes it a few inches and welds the unions shut. To have that much breaking off, the installers would have looked like The Blob.

So I have 2 thoughts. Either cellulose fiber at the bottom of the sand filter, or packing material inside the filter wasn’t taken out (looks kinda like the stuff a new TV is wrapped in). The stand pipe is either a factory defect or not seated correctly and whatever is in the bottom of the filter is being forced through a small hole/crack, making it stringy.

Anything upstream of the filter would end up in the filter and even if the standpipe was busted, it wouldn’t make it through all the filter material to get to the stand pipe. It would be collected on top of the filter material. Unless it’s below all that.

I’d empty the filter to see what’s in there and getting through.
 
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Phookinl

Member
Oct 11, 2021
16
NSW Australia
Valid thoughts, but I'd probably wait and see if it happens again before I went to the trouble of emptying the filter. If it's just stray detritus from the install and it's all gone through it's not going to recur. If it happens again, then I'd be calling the installers back and talking warranty. It's a new install, you don't want to do anything that muddies the water with respect to warranty.