Calcium on fiberglass pools
In most cases, our treatment kit completely removes the white calcium on fiberglass pools. It also restores the smooth blue finish and has prevention products to help keep it looking good. However, if left untreated, this white build-up will spread across the pool surface and become thicker and more noticeable over time. For this reason, we strongly suggest doing something about it as soon as possible. Our calcium removal compound removes calcium formation without draining the pool water. It works by by softening and dissolving the white build-up without acid washing.
Whitening or discoloration on fiberglass pool surfaces is normally a result of one of the following factors. We have ranked them in order from most common (1) to least common (5):
- Calcium precipitation (build-up) on the fiberglass surface.
- Pool interior is in final stages of aging (25+ years).
- Bleaching of color from gelcoat interior.
- The gelcoat layer has not been cured properly in the factory.
- Undissolved buffer (alkalinity increaser) has bonded to the pool surface.
1. Calcium build-up on the pool surface
High pH levels in the pool water may cause any calcium on fiberglass pools to precipitate onto the pool surfaces. When this happens, it often leaves a white gritty layer. As the picture shows, this white layer becomes very noticeable if the pool water drops below its normal level.
To help prevent calcium, we suggest regularly testing the pH and calcium hardness levels in your pool water. Remember, High calcium (above 350ppm) often occurs for two reasons. First, too much calcium chloride (calcium increaser) has been added to the pool water. When this happens, it leads to calcium formation. Secondly, calcium-based granular chlorine will increase the calcium hardness levels in your pool. If your calcium levels are rising for no reason, then it is likely that granular chlorine (calcium hypochlorite) is the cause.
Ask your pool manufacturer before adding calcium
Before adding calcium to your water, contact your pool manufacturer (not your pool store) to find out what the calcium levels should be for your pool. This is because each fiberglass pool brand recommends different calcium levels. Also, check that your pool store knows that your pool is fiberglass and not concrete.
As the pictures show, our treatments remove calcium from fiberglass pools without draining the pool water or acid washing.
These pictures show heavy calcium formation in a fiberglass pool that could not be removed.
Our treatment removed this without draining the pool water or acid washing. Our customer was thrilled with the result.
2. The pool interior is ageing
Fiberglass pools typically pass through two phases as the surface begins to age. Firstly, the gelcoat blue color will slowly fade to white over time. This fading happens because of chlorine in the water, years of sunlight and unbalanced water which all take their toll on the surface color. Remember, this color fading, which often starts after 15-20 years, is normal. This is not an indication of a faulty pool interior.
The second stage of aging is when fiberglass pools (30+ years old) start to develop a persistent white powder which appears when the pool is brushed. The powder is actually degrading gelcoat which has degraded over time. This powder will eventually disappear in sections of the pool revealing the lower layers of fiberglass which are often dark brown. This breakdown is common in high friction areas such as steps and ledges. Remember, the best way to extend the life of your fiberglass pool is to maintain the water correctly.
3. Bleaching of fiberglass or gelcoat
Bleaching in a fiberglass pool happens when the pH and the chlorine levels are both very high at the same time. Remember, if the pool water remains unbalanced, it may start bleaching the surface. Although, fiberglass pools are required to resist bleaching due to mild water imbalance, they cannot withstand unbalanced water and fading can occur.
Gelcoat bleaching from unbalanced water is often very smooth and is non-responsive to cleaners and acids. In some cases, rubbing the surface with fine sandpaper can appear to remove this discoloration. However, doing this will only remove the bleached gelcoat layer in your pool. Remember, sanding the gelcoat will leave your pool susceptible to future staining and reduce the life of your pool surface. Do not sand your fiberglass with any type of abrasive as this will cause permanent damage and may void your pool warranty.
Careful with pool covers
Some pool owners feel that testing the water during winter (or when a pool cover is on) is not necessary. Often, these same pool owners are horrified when they eventually remove the pool cover and discover extensive surface bleaching. Remember, check your water during winter, even if the pool is covered.
Our treatments can sometimes help with surface bleaching. However, there are cases where nothing can remove the visual effects of pool surface bleaching. Please contact us for further information if you feel your pool may have this issue.
4. Gelcoat not cured correctly during manufacture
In rare cases, the gel coat can discolor and remain white if it has not been cured properly during manufacturing. So, if your pool has this issue, it will become obvious within the first few hours after the pool is filled with water. This discoloration occurs because the uncured surface is very porous, which allows the water to penetrate into the surface resin and bleach the gel coat. In fact, the impact of this bleaching is permanent and cannot be fixed. Consequently, the complete resurfacing the fiberglass is required to resolve this problem.
5. Adding undissolved buffer to the pool
If undissolved alkalinity increaser (aka buffer or sodium bicarbonate) is poured directly into the pool, it can cause a stubborn white film to appear on the pool surface. To avoid this, ensure that the buffer is dissolved in a bucket of water before it is added to the pool. Remember, when buffer is first added to water it will start as milky white and then as it dissolves, the water will become completely clear. Finally, once the water is clear in the bucket then add it to the pool.
Do Not Drain or Acid Wash your Fiberglass Pool
DO NOT drain or acid wash your fiberglass pool – ever. This is because most of the time calcium on fiberglass pools is not removed with acid washing. However, if you insist on draining, we suggest using a licensed and insured professional to do this work. This is because your pool walls will need to be properly cross braced and secured to prevent buckling and cracking when your water is released. Finally, if your empty pool is forced upward through hydro static ground pressure, you’ll need the contractor’s insurance to pay for a new pool. Remember, you cannot simply push the pool back down if uplift occurs.
OPTION 1 – Calcium Removal DIY kit
10lbs OF POWDER COMPOUND
CALCIUM DISSOLVING LIQUID
- 1 bottle (32oz) of calcium dissolving and prevention formula
- 10lbs of our granular calcium dissolving compounds made for your stain
- Phone support from our technicians
- Simple step-by-step instructions included
- Pool does NOT need to be drained
- Kit is shipped and electronically tracked by Fedex
- Kids are back in the pool in just 7 days
- Kit is $295 for pools over 10,000 gallons
OPTION 2 – Calcium Removal – On Site Technician
10 lbs OF POWDER COMPOUND
CALCIUM DISSOLVING LIQUID
- 32oz of our powerful calcium release and prevention formula
- 10lbs of our granular calcium dissolving compound made for your stain
- Complete 7 point on site water testing
- Your pool does NOT need to be drained
- Kids are back in the pool in 7 days
- Visit is $405 for pools 10,000+ gallons