White Flakes out of return jets

orangepower10

Well-known member
Jul 13, 2019
59
Sulphur, Oklahoma
Recently installed a new pool myself. Its been running for about 2 weeks. I just noticed some white flakes coming out of the returns and sitting on the bottom of the pool. From reading on the forum, it seems as though those are calcium flakes from my SWG. Last week I added a gallon of muriatic acid to lower my ph down from 8 to 7.4. Using the Taylor K-2006 test kit here are my current numbers.

FC - 1
PH - 8.0
TA - 300
CH - 300
CYA - I did the CYA test but the black dot never disappeared
Salt is at 3700

Whats the first step into getting rid of the flakes? Adding more of the acid to lower PH and TA? Thanks.
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
11,638
Evans, Georgia
If your SWG automatically reverses polarity like mine does, you may see those flake get tossed off for a few days then....no more! It is calcium that is coating the plates. Mine did that once many years ago during our first year and never again.

You could remove the cell and clean it with diluted MA, but each time its cleaned that way you lose a bit of the special metal that coats the plate and is the element that you need to make chlorine. So I'd avoid it unless obviously needed,

Vacuum up the flakes, and if you take one and drop a drop of MA on it, and it fizzes, that confirms that its calcium.

You have a vinyl pool so don't add any calcium...it isn't needed. And each time you lower that pH your TA should lower also. 300-wow!

You DO need more chlorine and CYA though!

Maddie :flower:
 
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JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
15,886
Tucson, AZ
You need to raise your CYA to at least the minimum recommended value for an SWG pool (CYA = 70ppm). Your FC is so low because the sun is basically burning off the chlorine as it’s being generated. Finally, you need to lower your TA. 300ppm is WAAAAY too high for an SWG. Your CSI is +0.88 which is well above the point of calcium scaling.

Your water is far outside the balanced levels recommended here. Please make sure you have read Pool School and understand TFP’s Recommended levels.

Recommended Levels - Trouble Free Pool

ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry

FC/CYA Chart

SLAM Process
 
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orangepower10

Well-known member
Jul 13, 2019
59
Sulphur, Oklahoma
Ive had the SWG on 70% for the past 3 days. When I test in the evening the FC level has been around 1.8 pretty consistently. How do you add CYA into the pool? Ive read that tablets are bad bc they increase CYA so Ive been avoiding them and using liquid chlorine to supplement the SWG. Should I use some tablets to increase the CYA?
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
22,441
Laughlin, NV
Maintain your CSI between 0 and -0.3. Enter your test results in to Poolmath. You need a water temperature too.

The test results you show above, with an assumed water temperature of 80F, results in a CSI of 0.81. You need to lower your TA to get that into the range stated.

First is to follow Maddie's direction and get some chlorine and CYA in to that pool water.
 
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orangepower10

Well-known member
Jul 13, 2019
59
Sulphur, Oklahoma
Thanks for the help. I added 64 ounces of muriatic acid this evening to lower PH. Will retest in the morning. I'm going to Lowe's Tuesday and will pick up some stabilizer to increase the CYA level. PoolMath says to raise the level from 20-70 it will take 11 pounds of stabilizer. I'm not exactly sure how low the CYA levels are bc the test from the Taylor kit just showed up less than 30 (the black dot never disappeared.) What's an acceptable amount to put in at one time for this situation?

Also, I've put in 2 gallons of muriatic this week. What is the issue causing the PH to be so high? Is it normal to have to add muriatic acid often to keep the PH down?
 

jesper

Gold Supporter
Mar 10, 2019
55
Cyprus
To avoid adding too much CYA, I suggest adding half of the suggested amount, wait for it to fully dissolve and the retest the next day. You will like still need to add more, so repeat adding half of what PoolMath suggests, after a few times you should be close to the target
 
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mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
22,441
Laughlin, NV
Jesper is right. Do not add all the CYA called for at once.

I would say target a 50 ppm CYA for now. It is quickly becoming fall/winter and you will not need the higher CYA level.

So assume you have 20 ppm CYA in your water. Add 30 ppm worth of CYA powder using the sock method.

Your pH is rising because your TA is very high. As you lower your pH from 7.8 to 7.4 or so, your TA will lower.
 
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orangepower10

Well-known member
Jul 13, 2019
59
Sulphur, Oklahoma
Added another gallon of Muriatic Acid this evening. Lowered PH from 8.0 to 7.4 and TA down to 275. Added 128 ounces of liquid stabilizer (Half of recommended amount) to raise CYA. Pool Math says it will raise it from 20 to 35. Will test tomorrow to see if I need to add another gallon to get it up to 50 as mknauss suggests. Some of the white liquid stabilizer sunk down to bottom of pool. Brushed it up but there was still some residue left over, is that ok?

CSI is now down to .24 after PH was lowered. Before though, there were a lot of calcium flakes in the pool and they were cleaned up by my Tiger Shark. Both filters were caked with white flakes. Did the high PH and calcium flakes do any type of damage and if so what measures should I take to minimize further damage?
 
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mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
22,441
Laughlin, NV
The undissolved CYA has the potential to stain your liner. I would not use that brand of liquid stabilizer.

The calcium flakes are not hurting anything. But if the CSI in not managed lower the SWCG can get scale in it that will not come out unless removed and cleaned.
 
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orangepower10

Well-known member
Jul 13, 2019
59
Sulphur, Oklahoma
Its called Natural Chemistry Instant Conditioner. I've read its better because it instantly raises the CYA without having to wait for the granules to dissolve. Besides the potential for staining if I don't brush and the slightly higher cost, what are the negatives associated with this particular brand?
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
22,441
Laughlin, NV
There should not be any negatives. But if it leaves CYA granules in your pool when you add it, then it is of not high quality.

You can use a liquid stabilizer. It is the dry CYA granules dissolved into an aqueous solution. But it should not have non-dissolved granules in it.
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
11,638
Evans, Georgia
On occasion I use the liquid stabilizer and the only thing I can add to the need for brushing it around (just like we do with any chemical we add to the pool) is to shake that dang bottle up goooooood. It seems to separate a bunch so the good stuff may be left at the bottom of the jug if not shaken up good or use the entire jug at once.

Maddie :flower:
 
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orangepower10

Well-known member
Jul 13, 2019
59
Sulphur, Oklahoma
ph is already back up to 8 just 24 hours after putting in a gallon of muriatic acid! FC is up to 5 after adding the gallon of liquid stabilizer. TA down to 250 now.

I’m Lost on the ph raising so quickly. Keep pumping the muriatic acid in or is there a better way?
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
22,441
Laughlin, NV
It is tough to say. If I read your posts right you are seeing about a 25 ppm TA drop for each gallon. That would be a rough guess. But it will take less acid to achieve the same pH drop as your TA falls. That is why you need to enter your TA into Poolmath when calculating how much acid you need to lower your pH.
 
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