What the heck is in my water?

citznfish

Active member
Sep 17, 2007
35
805 area code
So I recently replaced my SWG (replaced with a factory Hayward T-Cell 15) and replaced my Hayward 5.5 year old old pool filter cartridges with Guardian versions:


And now I am seeing this in my pool and spa. I think it's calcium buildup but I'm not sure. I used to get a little bit of this whenever I cleaned the old SWG and filter, but never anything like the volume you see here.

I think I am going to use my pool vac attachment and vacuum it up into the filter, is this a good or bad idea?

My calcium hardness is a little high and my ph was out of whack a little bit but the ph is back down now.

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bmoreswim

Mod Squad
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Jul 16, 2012
6,951
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Pool Size
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CE49836F-5030-4C5D-A2E9-58E843A1F7F4.png
Here’s a view of your pool. Yes, they are calcium flakes that are forming in your SWCG which is new and operating better than your old one was. They then shoot out of the returns. You can see that your CSI is well above 0 which indicates the the likelihood of calcium precipitation. CSI is a calculation based on your other parameters. I guessed at water temp but it won’t change much. We also highly recommend testing your own water using a Test Kits Compared. But assuming the levels are close, the issue is CSI

Solution is to lower ph, and or drain some water to lower CH.

And get a test kit to test yourself. You’d be amazed how wrong pool stores can be.
 

citznfish

Active member
Sep 17, 2007
35
805 area code
View attachment 342778
Here’s a view of your pool. Yes, they are calcium flakes that are forming in your SWCG which is new and operating better than your old one was. They then shoot out of the returns. You can see that your CSI is well above 0 which indicates the the likelihood of calcium precipitation. CSI is a calculation based on your other parameters. I guessed at water temp but it won’t change much. We also highly recommend testing your own water using a Test Kits Compared. But assuming the levels are close, the issue is CSI

Solution is to lower ph, and or drain some water to lower CH.

And get a test kit to test yourself. You’d be amazed how wrong pool stores can be.
Thank you for the feedback. Looks like I'll be draini g part of the pool this weekend and picking up my own test kit.
 

Rancho Cost-a-Lotta

Silver Supporter
Apr 10, 2018
2,292
Rancho Cucamonga, CA
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18735
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Plaster
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SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-45
Hold off on draining until you get some reliable test results from your own kit. A TF-100-based test kit is the best value. If you have a saltwater pool, add the Taylor K-1766 salt kit. A Smart-Stir will make testing easier and more consistent. Take a look at tftestkits.net for purchase options. The initial cost of the test kit may seem hard to swallow, but it pales in comparison to the money you can waste on pool store products and advice.
 
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bmoreswim

Mod Squad
Gold Supporter
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LifeTime Supporter
Jul 16, 2012
6,951
Central MD
Pool Size
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SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
Hold off on draining until you get some reliable test results from your own kit. A TF-100-based test kit is the best value. If you have a saltwater pool, add the Taylor K-1766 salt kit. A Smart-Stir will make testing easier and more consistent. Take a look at tftestkits.net for purchase options. The initial cost of the test kit may seem hard to swallow, but it pales in comparison to the money you can waste on pool store products and advice.
Correct. You don’t want to make changes like that based on assumptions. The assumption being the pool store results are correct.
 

mguzzy

Gold Supporter
Check out here :
Test Kits Compared
I'll save you a lot of shopping and comparing get this one:
It has the salt test and a stirrer as a part of the kit.

If you take a little bit of MA and pour it on the flakes they should fizz if they are calcium. Just in case you are curious about a more definitive test for the flakes.
 

citznfish

Active member
Sep 17, 2007
35
805 area code
Hold off on draining until you get some reliable test results from your own kit. A TF-100-based test kit is the best value. If you have a saltwater pool, add the Taylor K-1766 salt kit. A Smart-Stir will make testing easier and more consistent. Take a look at tftestkits.net for purchase options. The initial cost of the test kit may seem hard to swallow, but it pales in comparison to the money you can waste on pool store products and advice.

Check out here :
Test Kits Compared
I'll save you a lot of shopping and comparing get this one:
It has the salt test and a stirrer as a part of the kit.

If you take a little bit of MA and pour it on the flakes they should fizz if they are calcium. Just in case you are curious about a more definitive test for the flakes.
Thank you for the input. I had ordered a salt meter : Amazon.com: eSeasonGear SALT-3000 Meter, Digital Salinity PPM Temperature Tester for Salt Water Pool and Koi Fish Pond: Industrial & Scientific

Are these considered unreliable?
 

citznfish

Active member
Sep 17, 2007
35
805 area code
So I had bought a tf-k2006 kit from Amazon but I'll cancel it and get what you all recommended in this thread

I did test the flakes and they fizzed as expected

I'm going to assume I do need to empty some of the water and replace it but I'll wait until I get the test kit and validate my results. I ordered a small pump from Amazon that should pump out enough water over 24hrs to allow me to refresh the pool and lower the ch.
 

Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
9,193
NY
I'm going to assume I do need to empty some of the water and replace it but I'll wait until I get the test kit and validate my results
Case and point :

The pool store said the CYA was 115 (which would require about a 75% drain) and the actual level was 35. (Which we round up to 40 and is completely fine)
 

mguzzy

Gold Supporter
I have no experience with them... I always use the drop test. But I did find in the description it says its precalibrated. I presume there is way to calibrate it if its gets out of calibrations. Also this comment:
When it arrived read pool water at 5400PPM salt. Tested water at 2 different pool companies and they said 3400. eSeasongear no help. Called OEM, HM Digital. They said this is not a true salt meter. Reads TDS only. Followed OEM re-calibration instructions and calibrated with 3400PPM water from pool. Now matches pool companies readings. Remember when hardness changes with rain water, or you add chemicals to change calcium hardness this meter will be off.
So it appears you still need some way to verify that it is properly calibrated. Personally I would use a k-1766 for that. And if that is the case just get the TF100-pro.
 

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citznfish

Active member
Sep 17, 2007
35
805 area code
I have no experience with them... I always use the drop test. But I did find in the description it says its precalibrated. I presume there is way to calibrate it if its gets out of calibrations. Also this comment:

So it appears you still need some way to verify that it is properly calibrated. Personally I would use a k-1766 for that. And if that is the case just get the TF100-pro.
I have ordered the tf100-pro but wanted this as a backup. But recalibrating it after any chemical input is silly. I'll cancel the order.
 

citznfish

Active member
Sep 17, 2007
35
805 area code
Update: I received my test kit. Calcium hardness test showed between 1000 and 1250! I did the test twice and may have miscounted a few drops. But it's high enough to know I need to empty the water.

My refill water CH is 350.


So I know what I need to do next, but how do I get rid of the calcium flakes already in the pool?
 

Rancho Cost-a-Lotta

Silver Supporter
Apr 10, 2018
2,292
Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Pool Size
18735
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-45
Those are some pretty high numbers. Did you use a 10 mL sample?

Do you have a water softener installed at the house.
 

BowserB

Silver Supporter
Jul 29, 2018
489
Katy, Texas
Wow. You sound like a candidate for a water softener, for sure. Save your water heater and prolong the life of your dishwasher. No more water spots on fixtures and dishes. The only downside is adding sodium to the water, but even that is avoidable with potassium chloride instead of sodium chloride water softener salt. Potassium chloride is WAY more expensive than regular sodium salt but at least you're not adding more sodium to your drinking water and landscape water.
 

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