Tiny white flakes in Pool

Paulo88

Active member
Jun 29, 2021
28
Westchester, CA
Pool Size
13500
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Jandy Truclear / Ei
Hi All,
I've been hovering around in the forums for a little while now and this is my first post ;)
I'm hoping someone can help with a small problem I'm having.
I've had a new salt pool for about 4 months now and ever since we added the salt I've had tiny little white flakes in the pool and spa. At first we thought it was salt from the salt bags so didn't think much of it.
I've since worked out that these flakes are coming off of the Jandy SWG (photo attached).
We asked our first pool guy what it was and he didn't seem know so we replaced him. The new pool guy agrees that its from the SWG but he too hasn't been unable to get them under control. He tested the water and he informs me that everything seems to be within the correct values. I've ordered a test kit so I can test it myself.
The build up is super quick too, I've even reduced the polarity switch on the SWG to 3 hours to try to reduce the build up.

I'm afraid I can't share any water test readings as my test kit hasn't arrived yet. But any advice on what to test for or any setup advice would be greatly appreciated.

If you need anymore information I will gladly share.

IMG_5276[1].JPG IMG_5278[1].JPG
 
Last edited:

Texas Splash

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TFP Expert
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Jun 22, 2014
33,447
Texas, San Antonio/Marion, South-Central Area
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SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-45 Plus
I've ordered a test kit so I can test it myself.
That's step #! for sure. :goodjob: I suspect the flakes you are seeing are calcium flakes from the SWG. When you get your test kit, be sure to load your results in the PoolMath APP and share your testing to TFP (under settings). I suspect your CSI is a bit elevated which is why you are seeing those flakes. Keep the CSI slightly negative and those should go away.

 
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Paulo88

Active member
Jun 29, 2021
28
Westchester, CA
Pool Size
13500
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Jandy Truclear / Ei
Thanks for the quick response :)
My salt test strips will be here Sunday and the Taylor K2005 test kit will be here Monday. In the meantime I was wondering if the pool heat could effect these ?
I live in California and the pool has a cover. I don't think the pool as ever been below 87 degree.
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
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Jun 22, 2014
33,447
Texas, San Antonio/Marion, South-Central Area
Pool Size
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Yes, heat is one of the factors that impacts CSI. The higher the water temp, the more critical it is to watch pH very closely, especially if you have hard water.

As for the K-2005, it is okay, but is missing a very important test. You'll want to order the FAS-DPD which essentially converts your K-2005 to a K-2006.
 

Paulo88

Active member
Jun 29, 2021
28
Westchester, CA
Pool Size
13500
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Jandy Truclear / Ei
Again, thankyou for your continued help. Its greatly appreciated.

So today my salt test strips arrived and I carried out my first water test. The results shocked me. The first strip came back with a 5.9 reading which according to the chart is a salt level of 4580 !!
I was so shocked I placed a 2nd strip into the sample and that came back even higher of around 6.4 = 5780.

As far as I've read this is way too high if I should be aiming for somewhere between 2700 / 3400.

So my next question are :
* How accurate are these strips ?
* Is there a more accurate way, perhaps with an electronic reader ?
* If this amount is correct, could this be the cause of the white flakes ?

The full test kit arrives tomorrow so I will be able to post other values then.

IMG_5287[1].JPG
 

brendio

Active member
May 18, 2020
35
Queensland, Australia
I second TS that the white flakes are calcium salt precipitated out from you SWG cell, and the culprit is your CSI ratio being too high. When I see them in my pool, it is an indication that I become slack in my testing the pH has drifted too high and it's time to test and add acid.
 

gingrbredman

Gold Supporter
Jun 10, 2020
387
Chicagoland
Pool Size
11200
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
As already mentioned, the likely culprit of your white flakes is a elevated CSI (Calcium Saturation Index). I had the same issue earlier in the year, and have read about it here a few times. A balanced TA and PH will greatly reduce these. Here is a bit of reading on what CSI is and why it matters to keeping it slightly negative.


There is a mathematical formulation for CSI, but I just use the Pool Math app to let it calculate it for me. As long as you have a good test kit, and can accurately measure your TA, PH, CH, CYA, and know your pool water temps, the app will do the math for you.

How accurate are these strips ?
On a scale of 1 - 10, I would say they would be less than 1, just about where you want your CSI value to be.

* If this amount is correct, could this be the cause of the white flakes ?
If you do actually have a high salt level, but everything else in balance, the salt would be suspended in the water, so no, a high salt value is not THE culprit for white flakes usually.

For me, I had a hard time early in the year understanding the TA and PH balance, and never addressed it properly, but once I got all my numbers within the recommended ranges for TFP, the white flakes were gone and never came back. I did take my SWCG out as well and did a good rinse, as well as clean my filters as I suspect some of those flakes went right in there. Once I had a clean slate in the SWCG and the filters, and balanced water, I haven't seen any flakes since.

No surprise a pool service would not know how to fix this, or really know what it is. They don't usually have the tools to do proper testing, and just guess how the water is doing with test strips. Guessing just will not give you an accurate CSI number, and therefore never really solve the issue or get your water in order.

As mentioned here, and widely around TFP, one of the recommended test kits here is the first tool any pool owner needs to get in order to have a TFP. Good luck with the testing and plan. As mentioned, posting your results in Pool Math and sharing will allow a lot of people here to help you correct just about anything.
 

Paulo88

Active member
Jun 29, 2021
28
Westchester, CA
Pool Size
13500
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Jandy Truclear / Ei
Thankyou all for these answers and information. I will read the documentation you posted and I will be certain to post my test results as soon as I have them.
 

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Paulo88

Active member
Jun 29, 2021
28
Westchester, CA
Pool Size
13500
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Jandy Truclear / Ei
So my K-2005 kit has arrived and I've carried out my first water test. Assuming I've done it correct here are the result.

Chlorine = 3.6
PH = 7.6
Alkalinity = 100pm (10 drops)
Calcium hardness = 490 (49 drops)+

The addition test kits are due to arrive tomorrow.
 
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Paulo88

Active member
Jun 29, 2021
28
Westchester, CA
Pool Size
13500
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Jandy Truclear / Ei
Those numbers aren't too bad, but did you test the CYA? Which additional testing items are you expecting? FAS-DPD perhaps?

Yes I ordered the FAS-DPD kit you recommended. I also ordered the TF100 Salt test kit.

I did do the CYA test but that was a strange one to measure. I presume I'm supposed to look down the tube at the black dot, which was nearly gone at about 90 but was really gone by the time I got to 70.
 

Texas Splash

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Jun 22, 2014
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For today's CYA test ......

CYA Testing:
Proper lighting is critical for the CYA test, so you want to test for CYA outside on a bright sunny day. Use the mixing bottle to gently mix the required amounts of pool water and R-0013 reagent, let sit for 30 seconds, then gently mix again. Recommend standing outside with your back to the sun and the view tube in the shade of your body at waist level. Then, begin squirting the mixed solution into the skinny tube. Watch the black dot until it completely disappears. Once it disappears, record the CYA reading. To help the eyes and prevent staring at the dot, some people find it better to pour & view in stages. Pour some solution into the viewing tube, look away, then look back again for the dot. Repeat as necessary until you feel the dot is gone. After the first CYA test, you can pour the mixed solution from the skinny view tube back to the mixing bottle, gently shake, and do the same test a second, third, or fourth time to instill consistency in your technique, become more comfortable with the testing, and validate your own CYA reading. Finally, if you still doubt your own reading, have a friend do the test with you and compare results.
 

Paulo88

Active member
Jun 29, 2021
28
Westchester, CA
Pool Size
13500
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Jandy Truclear / Ei
The TF100 Salt Kit arrived today and I carried out 3 tests. Each test came back with the same result of 19 drops which according to the paperwork means I have 3800 ppm with my salt which I think is too high.
The FAS-DPD kit was delayed and arrives tomorrow.

I think I will do all the test again to get more up to date results, but the salt level worries me. I'm thinking of taking a water sample to leslies pools to get them to confirm my testing.
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
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Jun 22, 2014
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3800 should still be within tolerance. I wouldn't worry about it right now, and I certainly wouldn't bother asking the pool store for a second opinion. They will really confuse you. :crazy: When you get the FAS-DPD, post everything together and we'll help you out from there.
 

gingrbredman

Gold Supporter
Jun 10, 2020
387
Chicagoland
Pool Size
11200
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
OK, so 3,800 may be on the high side, but nothing that should worry you at all. It is not the reason for your white flakes, and a pool store is going to be the opposite of an answer for you.

The best part of having your own test kit, and even getting the same result three times in a row, shows you the test is good, and the results are good. A forth run at the pool store would actually be the wrong direction and no one you should rely on for verification. Running it a 4th time on your own would be better, though not needed. The salt is no where in the range of alarming, and over time, it will drift down. Again, not the reason for the flakes.

As @Texas Splash said, put all the test results together, then come up with a plan of attack. CYA, TA, PH, FC, CH, and water temperature should all be recorded to see what direction to go next. I would also plan on cleaning the salt cell and filters as you start this process. There will be white flake in there and once you get the water balanced, starting out with a clean cell and filters is a great idea as well.
 

Paulo88

Active member
Jun 29, 2021
28
Westchester, CA
Pool Size
13500
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Jandy Truclear / Ei
Fresh new test results as of this morning.

K-2005 kit
Chlorine : 3
PH 7.4
Alkalinity 80
Calcium Hardness : 480
Cyanuric Acid 40

TF100 Salt Kit
Salt : 3800

FAS-DPD kit tests.
Chlorine (free): 3.0
Chlorine (Combine): 0.5

Pool Temp :
86 Degree.

Other info:
Filter Runs from 10am to 6pm
Truclear Salt System set to 70%, switching polarity 3 hours.

I would also just like to take the time to thankyou again for all your help. I'm really great full for you taking the time to help me out here :)
 
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gingrbredman

Gold Supporter
Jun 10, 2020
387
Chicagoland
Pool Size
11200
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
That is a very nice turn around from using a pool service to taking the testing into your own hands. There really is something liberating with being able to cut that cord and manage it yourself.

Now the more interesting thing.... With those test results, you should not have any issues with white flakes in the pool. If I plug those numbers into the Pool Math app, your CSI is around -.16. With a negative CSI, and everything else just about within the range of TFP suggestions, you shouldn't have scaling, and then the white flakes. You could try and lower your TA a bit. Take a look at the effects of adding section in pool math. You can lower your PH with muriatic acid, then aerate the pool to get the PH back in range. This may take a few times, but you can get your TA to creep lower, which will get your PH more stable and both of them in range. One other thing I would address for at least next year would be the CYA. Down in sunny Florida, you should probably have a CYA of around 70, then keep the FC in the range of this chart... Chlorine / CYA Chart - Trouble Free Pool

I am not the chemistry expert, but I am going to guess that somewhere along the way while using the pool service, your water was out of balance and the scaling was able to creep in. Those white flakes are in the water, filter, and SWCG cell. Getting rid of them now, and with the pool water balanced, you should not have issues with them coming back. I would clean out the SWCG cell, trying not to use any acid, just a pick and some water. Also pull the filters and give them a god clean. This is what worked for me. Got my water in balance, cleaned everything up, and they haven't been back since.
 

Paulo88

Active member
Jun 29, 2021
28
Westchester, CA
Pool Size
13500
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Jandy Truclear / Ei
Thanks for this information I will clean them as you suggest. I am confused by the pH reading though, I have a pH of 7.4 and the app tells me I'm out of range yet the range is 7.2 - 8.0. When I click on the alerts it tells me the ideal range is 7.6 - 7.8. Which surely means I have to raise, not lower my pH ?
 

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