Surface Problems

 - beauty is only skin-deep

Changes to the look, feel or texture of pool surfaces indicate an imbalance of the water

This section will help you to discover what's wrong and tell you how to rectify it

Eroded plaster surfaces or eroded grouting/sharp edges around tiles in mosaic/tiled pools

1st possibility -

In soft water areas, the grouting is being etched by the pool water due to there being insufficient Calcium in the water

There is a tendency for water to form equilibrium by searching for Calcium - in this case from the grout

Cure: - Drain, acid-wash and re-grout the pool or repair the plaster

When re-filling, increase Calcium levels by adding Calcium Chloride flakes to achieve a Calcium Hardness level of 250ppm, or use Calcium Hypochlorite to Superchlorinate or for regular sanitisation

2nd possibility -

High levels of sulphate in the water - the sulphate level should not exceed 350ppm

High sulphates are caused by: -

1. High sulphates in the mains water

2. The use of dry acid (Sodium Bisulphate) to control pH or

3. Use of Aluminium Sulphate as a flocculant (water clarifier)

Cure: -

There is very little you can do about (1) other than the partial replacement of pool water with water trucked in from an alternative (preferably very low sulphate) source. Rainwater, and the condensate run-off from air-conditioners, has zero sulphates so use that if you can

For (2) use Trichloro as the main chlorine donor and try alternative methods to control pH such as Hydrochloric (Muriatic) Acid

For (3) keep the water clear with a sulphate-free treatment such as Jolly Gel

Rough, scaly pool surfaces

Likely cause: - Incorrect balance between pH, Total Alkalinity and Calcium Hardness

Cure: - Test for pH, Total Alkalinity and Calcium Hardness (your local pool-shop or pharmacy should be able to do this for you) and bring them within limits

If this is unsuccessful you must acid-wash the pool – see Acid Washing

Slippery pool surfaces

Likely suspect - The ‘bio shield’ of an algae colony on the pool surface, due to low chlorination at some stage, or to poor water circulation

Cure: - Thoroughly brush affected areas to remove algae, then superchlorinate to 10ppm

Consider using an Automatic Pool Cleaner to improve water circulation and scrub pool walls and the floor- they really are an excellent investment and work tirelessly for hours whilst you put your feet up and have a well-deserved break


Likely cause - A build up of pollen, cosmetics, body fats or sunscreen products

Cure: - Clean with a pool tile and liner cleaner

Tip: - If bathers complain of yellow staining on the shoulders of their swimming costumes the problem is almost certainly pollen floating on the surface. This is particularly common in areas with many pine trees

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Ken Walker - MyPoolGuru©