Friday, August 31, 2018

Treating Scale on your Pool Tile Line and Pool Surface

Scale on your pool tile and on your pool surface can develop over time and become very noticeable. The factors that cause calcium scaling mainly are caused by your areas fill water and your pool’s Calcium Hardness level. High Alkalinity and High pH combined with a Calcium Hardness level over 400 ppm will trigger calcium build up on the pool surface and tile line.

The scale that forms on the pool tile line is called Calcium Carbonate and when the weather is warm and there is a lot of evaporation, the scaling on your pool tile will increase. When the Sun dries the water on the tile water line it turns into Calcium Carbonate. If you live in an area with very high Calcium Hardness there isn’t much you can do except keep the pH below 7.4 and the Alkalinity below 100 ppm to prevent heavy scaling. Over time scaling will form no matter what you do so keep that in mind if you live in an area with very hard water.

Treating the calcium build up can be challenging. You can clean off small areas with a Pumas Stone or what I prefer is 220 Wet & Dry sand paper. You may also use a straight edge razor blade on the calcium build up and scrape it off. Ultimately if the build up is severe the only way to remove it is with a professional tile cleaner known as a Bead Blaster. They use a high powered compression machine with glass beads or baking soda in it and “shoot” the calcium right off the tile. It almost looks like they are spray painting the calcium right off the tile. You can find a list of your local Bead Blast companies if you just do a quick Google search.

If you have a Pebble Tec pool, the entire surface can form calcium on it as well as the tile line. To remove calcium from the entire pool it will need to be drained and then professionally Bead Blasted. They would Bead Blast the tile line and the complete Pebble Tec surface.

If you have a standard plaster pool and notice that your plaster has become rough to the touch, much like running your hand over sand paper, then there is scale forming on your pool walls. The best way to remove it that I have found is with the Beautec product from Easy Care. It is a special enzyme that will get behind the calcium build up on the pool wall and loosen it up. Then with vigorous brushing with a stainless steel brush, you will take the calcium right off the walls.  I detail this treatment method in this video:
Beautec by Easy Care:

Pentair has a great online saturation index that will allow you to see if your pool water is producing scaling on the surface. You would just enter five water factors into their LSI online calculator to determine if your pool is developing scale or not. If you have a Taylor 2006 or 2005 test kit inside you will find a Watergram Wheel which you can also use toto calculate your pool’s LSI reading.

Pentair LSI Calculator:

The LSI index was created to determine if your pool water is corrosive or scale producing.
If your pool has flagstone or rock formations secondary type of calcium could form in the cracks or grout areas called Efflorescence which is a form of lime scale. This is much harder to remove and many Glass Beading companies will not guarantee removal of Efflorescence. It is natural forming and the same process happens in nature in the production of stalagmites. You may just need to live with these large deposits on your flagstone and rock features.

On product that I am testing that seems to really help in reducing calcium build up is called the Aqau-Rex. This product connects to your pool’s equipment area and sends radio waves into the water to help break down calcium build up. It is widely used in Europe and is now making inroads into the US market. You can see my video on it here:
Aqua-Rex WK1P Water Conditioner: Reduces Scale, Reduces Phosphates & TDS and More!  It Really Works!:

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