What is the white stuff on my pool and how does it appear?
The white or grayish deposit, also called calcium deposits, which is sometimes rough can appear on the liner of your swimming pool (on the bottom, the walls, and especially at the level of the waterline).
The formation of these deposits is because of two mineral salts naturally present in the water of your pool: calcium carbonates and magnesium. The more they are present in the water, the more they form lime residues on the walls.
You should know that from one region to another, the concentration of these mineral salts varies. This is a completely natural phenomenon that depends on the geology of the soil and the path of the water. Some pools are therefore more prone to the appearance of deposits than others.
How to measure the hardness of my swimming pool water?
The calcareous nature of water is defined by its hardness. On average, it is considered that the TH of the water in a swimming pool must be between 10 and 25 ° f (French degrees).
The tH corresponds to the hardness of the water, which indicates its concentration in limestone. It is measured in French degree (° F) and is ideal between 10 and 20 ° F. Indeed, the higher the tH, the harder the water is, that is to say, it is limestone. On the other hand, the lower it is, the softer the water.
Note: dedicated accessories allow you to easily calculate this hardness, such as connected water analysis devices, manual colorimetric testers (strips to be dipped in a water sample), or photometers.
What are the dangers of the white stuff?
Over time, lime deposits can build up. In excess, it can scale your equipment and pipes and therefore damage them or make them obsolete. It can also make the water cloudy, promote the development of algae, and irritate the sensitive skin of swimmers. So many inconveniences that can be avoided or combated.
Removing calcium deposits: the solutions
When the scale has settled, it is difficult to get rid of it. In fact, in the event of scaling, the water in the basin must be completely emptied and a descaling product used. The most powerful is to be left on. In all cases, you need a little elbow grease to rub the stains and remove them completely. Remember to remove debris after cleaning the basin.
If you cannot remove lime with a dedicated product and it damages your equipment, you may have to change it. A solution that often turns out to be expensive. Do not hesitate to seek the advice of a professional to note the damage.
Preventing calcium formation: the solutions
Prevention is better than cure! This is why it is advisable to adopt a preventive behavior by using an anti-limescale or anti-scale product.
This type of cleaning product is specially designed to prevent the formation of tartar. It is recommended to use them if the water is very hard. On the other hand, if the hardness of the water is not too high, no need to resort to it.
This type of product requires precautions for use. Read the instructions carefully. It mixes with the water in your pool, according to a precise dosage and with filtration on. On average, this treatment lasts 12 hours (during which the pool is unusable).
Besides applying an anti-limescale treatment for swimming pools, water heating should be controlled. Regular temperature monitoring limits the formation of lime. In fact, hot water tends to favor the formation of tartar. Likewise, regular maintenance and control of the quality of the water, in particular the TH and the pH, make it possible to avoid unpleasant surprises.
Here at the specialty aquatic tile cleaning, we offer a wide range of pool cleaning services! I will first start off by telling you that a clean pool is a lot more enjoyable. When your pool is clean and everything is right you can expect to swim with your eyes open and not worry!
When you get your pool tile repaired or replaced by us you can expect everything to look as good as new. We can help you if they’re discolored as well!
Another service that we offer as well would be our pool makeover special. If your pool hasn’t received the care and attention that it requires you can probably start to notice some discoloration going on. How we address this issue is first we have to completely drain the pool, followed by an acid wash to clean the plaster, and then lastly calcium removal on the tiles. But just like any other job, it all depends on the pool size!
The third most popular service that we offer would be power washing. When we power wash you can expect to have your deck completely clear of any old dirt marks. This is usually what people get as well as the pool makeover. These both go together really well, leaving your backyard as you could remember it years ago.
Many pool owners know that owning a pool can be difficult at first and very irritating. So why go through all of the problems that arise with pool owners when you could have a trusted company like specialty aquatic tile cleaning take care of it for you!
Here at specialty aquatic tile cleaning, we charge by the linear foot. In some cases very rarely though, it is by the square foot. Our goal is to satisfy our customers and demolish the competition. We offer free estimates to anyone within 35 miles of us. So why are you waiting? Pick up the phone and call 626-275-8959 and get your free estimate! Proudly taking care of Covina CA and all of its pool owners! Feel free to also give us a call with any other questions or concerns regarding your pool!
The pH is one of the most important measures and parameters to maintain the water quality of your pool. If you keep the pH at the right levels, in addition to enjoying healthy water you can keep the water in your pool clean and crystal clear.
The pH is the measure of the acidity or basicity of a solution, in this case, the water in our pool. The optimal values recommended by the experts range between 7.2 and 7.6, so we must pay attention and be alert if the average obtained falls outside the indicated range.
If the pH decreases below 7.2 we have acidic water. If this happens, it will cause irritation to the skin, eyes and mucous membranes, in addition to generating corrosion problems in the pool materials (metal ladders, pumps, valves, and filters).
If on the contrary, the pH value rises above 7.6, the water in our pool becomes basic or alkaline. As was the case with acidic water, alkaline water, in addition to previous symptoms such as skin and eye irritation, would also cause dryness in our skin. Due to the basicity of the water, traces of calcium compounds are generated on the surface of the pool, and consequently, the water is seen in a more turbid and less crystalline form, also reducing the desired sterilizing and disinfectant effect with the addition of chlorine, consequently generating algae problems.
Experts recommend that periodic checks be made to maintain good water quality, as well as to maintain pH levels at levels suitable for bathing. It is advisable to perform a pH measurement at least once a week, acting as explained below if the pH parameters are beyond the ranges indicated.
Importance of the pH of the Pool, Why Does it Rise and Fall?
The ideal pH range for our pool water to be healthy ranges from 7.2 to 7.6, but sometimes when we take the measurement with our pH meter we are surprised that this value has risen or fallen.
The reasons why the pool’s ph rises (or falls) are mixed and varied, but commonly the pH of the pools usually gives high values, that is, basic ph’s:
A determining factor has to do with the amount of water in the pool. Weather factors such as wind and sun make the water evaporate over time and therefore the pH increases as the amount of water decreases. On the other hand, ultraviolet radiation from the sun increases the dissolution rate of chlorine in water, generating a gradual increase in pH values.
A second factor is the bathers themselves. The sunscreens, moisturizers, body lotions, hair cells, dead skin, and even electrolytes from sweat make both chlorine and water acidity to be modified. Generally, bathers also cause pH levels to rise.
Finally, the way to add chlorine to the pool can also change the pH values. The chlorine added in liquid form is nothing more than sodium hypochlorite, that is, bleach. This salt in the form of a solution is a highly alkaline or basic substance and therefore its addition generates significant pH increases. Chlorine added in tablets, on the other hand, includes trichloroisocyanuric acid that acidifies the water, thus reducing the pH of the water. A third modality is a form of granulated chlorine, which is characterized by having a pH close to neutrality (6.7) and the pH levels will be close to 7 therefore.
If for some reason you add more chlorine than you should, you should know how to lower chlorine pool. For this, there are different techniques we will discuss later.
How to keep the pH at optimal values?
Maintaining the pH value at optimal values is of the utmost importance. Failure to do so creates a danger to the health of the users of the pool. The recommended pH values range between 7.2 and 7.6, so a periodic pH measurement is advisable. Broadly speaking, when the pH becomes acidic and falls below 7.2, acidic water can irritate the eyes and skin (it is important to know how to increase the pool). If the pH rises from 7.6 becoming the basic water, there is a loss of effectiveness of the dissolved chlorine and therefore a decrease of the disinfectant power that is pursued.
The pH meter or pH meter is the scientific instrument specially designed for these tasks. In the market, we have different types of meters, such as digital, pocket, and even the test strips, which although they give us semiquantitative values, we must not neglect their effectiveness, simplicity, and ease of use.
Expert recommendations tell us that pH measurements must be made periodically or after special episodes, such as a storm. The rain and the pollution that drags in its precipitation tends to acidify the water and raise the pH. It is also advisable to measure it after the use of the pool by a large number of bathers since the use of lotions, sun creams, and the bathers’ own sweat can cause the pH to rise and become more basic.
The white deposit is a deposit of limestone that can agglomerate on the walls and the bottom of your pool.
What is limestone?
It is the result of a combination of calcium carbonate and magnesium carbonate which consequently forms a high TH (hardness of water).
The hardness of the water depends on your geographical region. It is the result of minerals in the soil that are dissolved during the passage of water.
What problems are caused by limestone?
In addition to the aesthetics of your pool limestone can affect the filtration. The agglomeration of limestone promotes the encrustation of impurities and the development of algae. In addition, too much limestone can block the filtration system.
How to measure TH?
The unit of measure of TH is the French degree (° F). It can also be measured in ppm.
1 ° F = 10 ppm = 1g / l
The ideal level of TH is between 100 and 250 ppm (10 – 25 ° F). Too low you risk making the water corrosive but a TH too high favors the production of white deposit.
It is very difficult to reduce the TH of the water. However, it is possible to increase it using calcium chloride.
How to regulate the TH of your pool to avoid white deposit?
With hard water (above 250 ppm): Firstly, a high temperature of your water favors the formation of the deposit. Adjusting the temperature of your pool helps limit limescale deposits. Second, regulate the pH of your pool between 7.2 and 7.4. Finally, if you can, add a sequestering product to slow the limestone deposit.
With freshwater (less than 100 ppm): Use a product to increase the TH to 150 ppm and adjust the pH of your pool.
Most likely, if you see spots along the waterline, you are dealing with a calcium deposit. And you’ll want to know how to remove lime from the pool, unfortunately, calcium deposits tend to be incredibly difficult to clean.
There are some reasons why you may start to notice these spots around the waterline.
The first reason is hard water, which can leave a calcium residue over time. If you live in an area of the country with hard water, it is likely that you have already noticed this accumulation in your faucets, sinks and even bathtubs.
The second reason is the heat. The high summer temperatures cause the water in the pool to evaporate more, and also raise the water temperature.
When combined with the third reason, the chemical composition of your pool, these conditions can cause calcium deposits.
Specifically, if your pool has a high pH, high alkalinity and hotter water, the calcium scale will begin to form.
The reason why this situation occurs so often in the water line is due to evaporation. These calcium crystals can appear as nodules that dot the metal and plaster, or they can become scabby deposits that live in the corners of the pool.
Technically, these are two different things. Calcium carbonate, which tends to manifest as a scaly substance on the surface of the pool, and calcium silicate, which is grayish-white and harder. Either way, they are not exactly aesthetically pleasing.
What does lime do to your pool?
Pool filters are designed to treat water or other types of waste typical of the pool: insects, leaves, etc. But they are not designed for hard calcium deposits.
As more and more hardened calcium passes through the filter, the system will slow down and not work as well due to clogging.
Damage to the Plaster
If left untreated, calcium deposits will continue to grow and spread to other areas of the pool, including, in the background. This can result in the creation of clumps in the plaster that you will have to eliminate if you do not want the finish to be damaged.
Irritation of eyes and skin
If people swim in a pool with excess calcium, which is causing deposits, there is a great chance that there will be skin and eye irritation.
Calcium deposits and scaling are unattractive, make swimming pools uncomfortable for swimming and can cause serious and costly long-term damage.
Steps to Remove Lime
Limescale deposits can form along the waterline of your pool. This is usually caused by a high pH, high alkalinity or a high concentration of calcium. Constant temperature changes along with rapid evaporation will cause the deposits to settle along the side of the pool wall. If the deposits are not removed soon, it can cause permanent damage to the surface of the pool.
Cleaning with vinegar
Baking soda, borax, dish soap, toothpaste, and vinegar can be used in much the same way to clean calcium deposits, so you can use most of the information related to the vinegar and apply it also to cleaning agents.
What you need for cleaning with vinegar:
A cleaning brush. With soft bristles, not metallic.
A bottle of spray.
Vinegar, a 5% solution.
Once you have these items, you can start cleaning.
The first step is to stop all use of the pool until a water test can be performed. If the test reveals that the levels are within range, you can use a stain remover to remove deposits from the waterline. If the pH, alkalinity or calcium levels are too high, they should be reduced before using a scale and scale cleaner.
It is recommended to start first by lowering the hardness of the water. The hardness can only be lowered by partially draining and then filling the pool. Your pool needs a hardness level of 200 ppm to 400 ppm. A level of hardness above 400 ppm can lead to scale formation on the surface of the pool and equipment and can also cause cloudy water.
Once the pool has drained, and filled again, check that the hardness is within range. If it is not, you must repeat step 2 until you normalize the hardness. Only in that case can you adjust the alkalinity. You should retest before doing so because the alkalinity should be lower than before. To reduce alkalinity, you can use dry acid or muriatic acid. The necessary amount of any of the chemical products will vary according to the size and volume of the pool and the reading of alkalinity.
Once the alkalinity is within the range, the pH can be adjusted. For this, a negative pH is used, in case of a high pH. Once the pH is balanced, we can move on to the final step.
The final step will be to use the vinegar. Before adding the product, (following the package instructions), make sure you have a pool brush handy to brush the walls as needed. There are no special tricks. You can put the vinegar in the bottle and spray the solution on the calcium deposits or simply pour it from your own bottle, then use the brush to scrub.
These types of cleaners tend to work quite well if you detect and solve the problem from the beginning, and of course, you should use them fairly regularly to avoid accumulation.
If you do all these steps, and still have lime deposits that are difficult to remove, try the following.
Cleaning with muriatic acid
With the vinegar and the other mild cleansers that we have already mentioned, you can enter the pool while you are cleaning. With muriatic acid, however, this is not recommended.
Muriatic acid is more powerful and more dangerous when handling. You can find this chemical in a home improvement store or pool supply store.
What you need for cleaning with muriatic acid:
Muriatic acid container.
Measuring cup of plastic.
Plastic spray bottle.
This list of materials is enough for you to realize that this goes beyond the maintenance of the pool for beginners. We want to remind you that muriatic acid is dangerous.
Put on goggles, gloves and the respirator. Then head outside with all your ingredients to start mixing. Absolutely do not attempt to mix in a closed area.
Fill your bucket with four liters of water. Pour 230 grams of muriatic acid with the measuring cup slowly into the water. Always pour the acid in the water instead of the other way round, as the acid is more likely to splash. Another thing to keep in mind is that you should pour slowly since this mixture produces heat.
With the plastic spoon mix the water and the acid. Again, do it slowly, because you do not want it to boil.
Carefully fill the plastic bottle with a mixture of water and acid.
Use the marker to label the measuring cup, spoon and spray bottle with “Muriatic acid”. Do not try to use the chemical for anything else. If you are worried that this may happen, leave the bottle aside for proper disposal.
You should always stay out of the pool, use the spray bottle to spray the waterline of the pool and rub with the non-abrasive scouring pad.
Get in touch with your local pool supply company or with the municipality to learn how to get rid of any unused muriatic acid. Do not simply discard it or pour it down the drain.
Because muriatic acid is much stronger than vinegar or other cleaning products mentioned above, you can eliminate calcium deposits that are much more advanced. That said, with deposits that have been growing and hardening for a long time, sometimes even muriatic acid is not enough.
If that is your situation, you have a remaining option. Pressure washing.
Cleaning with a pressure washer
Cleaning with a pressure washer is something that professional pool cleaners use, called “blasting accounts”. This process uses compressors to “blow up” pearls, sand and other materials (depending on the specific tool used) on your tile at a high speed to basically blow or scrape the calcium deposits.
It works surprisingly well, and it’s fast. And best of all, you are not doing the work yourself. Unfortunately, it can also be expensive, especially if you need to call them to do it regularly.