White Flakes

Dirk

TFP Guide
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Nov 13, 2017
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Central California
#1
I just noticed some white flakes just below all three of my returns. Half inch or so in size. Exactly the kind I used to get when my SWG was in use. But it's not currently in use. Not even powered on for any part of the day (I pulled the fuse a month ago). Water is balanced. CSI is great, and has been since new pebble startup in October. The only thing that's different is the two cups of CYA I put in last week. Filtered well through a sock, half directly into the pool, the other half into the skimmer. I haven't tested for the new CYA level yet, I've been waiting a good amount of days to get the most accurate reading. Ideas? Could the new CYA loosen old flakes off the SWG plates?

Some results are from previous days' testing, I can do a fresh set if need be:

test.jpg

--edit--

Oh, and it's finally been raining these past couple of weeks...
 

YippeeSkippy

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Jan 17, 2012
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Evans, Georgia
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#2
I had that once and it was calcium breaking lose from the SWG cell. It stopped after a while and when I learned TFP management of the pool.

Maddie :flower:
 

Dirk

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Nov 13, 2017
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Central California
#3
I had that once and it was calcium breaking lose from the SWG cell. It stopped after a while and when I learned TFP management of the pool.

Maddie :flower:
Yah, I was getting those when they first installed the SWG, pre-TFP. It's actually a function of the Pentair, which reverses its polarity every so often to shed calcium build up. But have you ever seen those at the end of winter, when your SWG has been off for months?
 

Dirk

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Nov 13, 2017
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Central California
#5
No, not yet. I was addressing that in another thread, you might have missed that post:

Do you use this gizmo? Anyone? Should I get one of these?

Amazon.com: Pentair 520670 IntelliChlor Acid Washing Kit: Garden Outdoor

Even though the pool guy never really got my SWG working last year, it was on enough to throw a bunch of flakes into the pool. I thought I should at least check the plates and be prepared for a wash when I do...
I just bought my salt. I'm adding it this weekend. I was going to go ahead and order the Pentair Kit, and then check the plates later this week, just about the time the salt has had a chance to mix in... then fire everything up.

With my current CH and CSI, it's gotta be from the plates, right? I guess I'll know soon enough...
 

JoyfulNoise

Platinum Supporter
TFP Expert
May 23, 2015
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Tucson, AZ
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#6
I have that “kit”....it’s basically a cap for one end of the cell.

Clean the cell with diluted MA, use 5 parts distilled water to 1 part MA. If it bubbles, wait until it stops. If it doesn’t bubble, let it soak for a minute then dump out the acid, rinse with water and reinstall.

Yes, likely old flakes. Who knows what knocked them off. Maybe they were sitting in your plumbing.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
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TFP Expert
Jul 7, 2014
10,175
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Bedford, TX
#8
I was going to go ahead and order the Pentair Kit, and then check the plates later this week...
Dirk,

You can't really acid wash the Pentair salt cell (IC40) without the "kit"... I guess you could kluge together something, but I can't think of anything that would not be pretty messy...

Jim R.
 

Dirk

TFP Guide
Gold Supporter
Nov 13, 2017
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Central California
#9
Thanks, Jim. Just ordered it. All the Amazon reviews were virtually identical... works great, costs too much, should have been included with the cell!

I used to own a boat. It's the "Marine Way." If it touches water, you pay double!! What'a ya gunna do...
 

JoyfulNoise

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May 23, 2015
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Tucson, AZ
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#10
Dirk,

You can't really acid wash the Pentair salt cell (IC40) without the "kit"... I guess you could kluge together something, but I can't think of anything that would not be pretty messy...

Jim R.
Rubber hand ball jammed in one end and a 5 gallon bucket....works fabulous. Costs 1/50 the amount of money as the “acid wash kit”.
 

Dirk

TFP Guide
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Nov 13, 2017
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Central California
#15
Thanks guys. I ordered the kit. I've already had my fair share of run ins with MA. It gets full respect now, even when diluted. I want to be able to stand the thing up, fill it, walk away, and observe it from afar.
 
Jun 17, 2015
12
0
Cashmere/WA
#16
I use a 3 gallon bucket with my diluted MA. Set the entire cell (cables and all, I don't un hook anything) in the mixture, 3/4 up the cell so I can set it in and grab it out. Let it soak 5 minutes, and then flip it over for 5 more minutes...rinse and install.
 

Dirk

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Nov 13, 2017
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Central California
#18
I use a 3 gallon bucket with my diluted MA. Set the entire cell (cables and all, I don't un hook anything) in the mixture, 3/4 up the cell so I can set it in and grab it out. Let it soak 5 minutes, and then flip it over for 5 more minutes...rinse and install.
Great idea, didn't know why I didn't think if that
Are you guys talking about submerging the entire IC in acid? Housing, cable, controls, control cover? The whole she-bang? That doesn't sound like a good idea (and counter to Pentair's instructions, and, I'm sure, their warranty). I'll stick with the kit, thanks.

In the instructions that came in the kit, there's an illustration showing a three-sided base, which is much more stable than just the cap they actually sell. I wonder what happened to that part. Anybody ever seen one of those?
 
May 10, 2017
1,728
0
Hays, Kansas
#19
acid is not as dangerous as it sounds nor does it eas everything you put it in, if you know the strength when you dilute it down to and how it interacts with materials at that level it is a very safe chemical. If you want a "quick and dirty" kit to clean your cell, you already ordered it.
 

Dirk

TFP Guide
Gold Supporter
Nov 13, 2017
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Central California
#20
Respectfully... and IMHO...

acid is not as dangerous as it sounds
I would caution the use of a statement like that in a forum frequented by people new to pool chemicals. Muriatic acid is extremely dangerous, to materials as well as humans.

nor does it eas everything you put it in,
Agree, but again, what it does and doesn't eat is not commonly known to the average person, and MA is not something one should experiment with to find out. And while dunking an entire SWG in an acid bath might work for you, I'm not sure that is something that should be promoted or recommended.

if you know the strength when you dilute it down to and how it interacts with materials at that level it is a very safe chemical.
Disagree. I was taught by a pro who works regularly with acids of all types, including MA... It is a common misconception that adding acid to water impacts it's strength. It doesn't. At all. I suppose you can use the word dilute, but really all water is going is changing the amount of acid that comes in contact with something. Only a base chemical changes the actual "strength" of acid. I have large chunks of my old plaster to testify to that fact (reserved for my court hearing). The water the acid washers were using to remove and "dilute" the acid from the plaster pooled in the deep end, where, without properly neutralizing the acid with a base chemical, it only continued to burn through the plaster under the pond of water. A misunderstanding of how to properly vary the strength of MA lead to a $10K repair. I would never characterize MA as "a very safe chemical."

If you want a "quick and dirty" kit to clean your cell, you already ordered it.
Right-o.

Perhaps Matt will correct me if I'm wrong...