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Water Chemistry for Coated Pools


A misconception regarding pool coatings often involves advanced and excessive “chalking” or “cloudy” water. This most often refers to pools coated with epoxy, but can occur on pools coated with a rubber-base coating. Smart Seal has worked to find a cause and solution of this water condition, knowing full well that the coating is not at fault. The recommended water chemistry of a coated pool is different from that of a non-smooth surfaced pool. For instance, if the total alkalinity drops too low, minerals in the water can “fall out” of solution, most commonly calcium carbonate. This white precipitate is scale, and will feel greasy or oily, thus giving the physical impression of paint. Should you encounter a pool coated with epoxy that is chalking badly, adjust the water chemistry according to the following:

  1. Adjust the total alkalinity to 125 - 150 ppm.
  2. Add a sequestering or chelating agent, following label directions.
  3. Add a clarifier or flocculent to the water. This will bind these free particles together so they may be trapped by the filter. A filter cartridge in the 5 micron range is recommended. A 30 micron cartridge may not trap these particles.
  4. Turn on the filtering system so that it will operate 16 - 20 hours per day for five days.
  5. Brush the sides of the pool for five days.
  6. Keep the calcium level at 175 - 225 ppm.

Typically this should clear the pool water. At that point, the water chemistry should be kept adjusted accordingly. On a newly coated pool, in addition to the recommended water chemistry, we also recommend the use of a sequestering or chelating agent (stain and scale control) especially during the swimming season. Plus, periodic brushing of the walls, about once a week.

IMPORTANT: Follow the curing schedule printed on the label. Premature filling can cause chemical attack and early deterioration of the finish.

WARNING!
If you scrape or remove old paint, you may release lead dust. LEAD IS TOXIC. EXPOSURE TO LEAD DUST CAN CAUSE SERIOUS ILLNESS, SUCH AS BRAIN DAMAGE, ESPECIALLY IN CHILDREN. PREGNANT WOMEN SHOULD ALSO AVOID EXPOSURE. Wear a NIOSH approved respirator to control lead exposure. Clean up carefully with a HEPA vacuum and a wet mop. Before you start, find out how to protect yourself and your family by contacting the National Lead Information Hotline at 1-800-424-LEAD or log on to www.epa.gov/lead