Swimming Pool Scale - How to Prevent Pool Scale Formation

Swimming pool scale occurs because of elevated levels of calcium and/or silicate. Besides the buildup of calcium, hard water is also a key element in scale formation. The Scale formation in swimming pools is usually recognized by a white crusty deposit which looks like crystallized salt.

This white crusty deposit can eventually cause other swimming pool problems for you. Some of which include:

  • Rough wall surfaces in your pool or spa.
  • Reduced water circulation and flow.
  • Calcification of your pool filter media. This results in poor water filtration.

While it's possible to have a nice-looking pool or spa, having grayish white deposits of scale built up on your swimming pool surfaces can be extremely unattractive to your swimmers. This is usually because pool scale looks dirty; thus, giving you a grayish color in appearance.

You see scale formation on your pool wall surfaces can cause abrasions to the users of your swimming pool.

What Causes Pool Scale?

Swimming pool scaling is the result of an excessive amount of calcium hardness (i.e. calcium builds up) and poor swimming pool water balance. These two factors contribute to the total hardness of your swimming pool water chemistry, which results in scale formation. Usually when it comes to swimming pool scale formation, these are your major contributing factors:

  • High pH.
  • High alkalinity.
  • High calcium hardness.

Pool calcium scale, otherwise known as calcium carbonate, is more likely to develop in areas that have water evaporation and high-water temperatures.

Problems Caused By Swimming Pool Scale

Because calcium scale is less soluble in water, your swimming pool heater will develop pool scale formation as well. This is a swimming pool problem that usually happens as the water temperature of your pool increases. As pool scale develops on your heat exchanger, your swimming pool heater will become less efficient over time.

The plumbing of your swimming pool circulating system is another section that is affected by pool scaling or swimming pool scale formation.

When and if you get scale build up in your pool plumbing system, you will have some serious restriction to your water flow; thus, reducing the turnover rate of your swimming pool water.

This is another swimming pool problem that can result in high filter pressures and cloudy pool water.

Increase Risks Of Swimming Pool Scale

If your make-up or source water (water used to refill your pool or spa) has a high calcium content, this can be another contributing factor to you having pool scale formation. Another factor is the use of Calcium Hypochlorite. This is a swimming pool chemical disinfectant that introduces calcium, increases your pool's pH reading and - you guessed it - causes swimming pool scale formation.

How To Prevent Swimming Pool And Spa Scale Formation

Preventing the formation of scale in locations such as your pool plumbing or circulation system, wall surfaces, and your pool heating system, means that you must properly maintain your water chemistry; hence, having proper water balance.

As a pool/spa owner or operator, you must ensure that all these pool water parameters are up to industry standards. These pool parameters include:

  • Total alkalinity.
  • Calcium hardness.
  • Your water's pH reading.
  • Your total dissolved solids.

As part of your water balance correcting, you may be required to drain a portion of your swimming pool or spa water as well. This process will help you to lower your calcium hardness and total dissolved solids (TDS) levels.

In your efforts to correct your pool scaling problem, be careful not to lower your pool water in locations where the hydrostatic ground water pressure can damage your pool structure.

There are pool chemicals available that can also help in the prevention of pool scale formation.

Just check with your local pool supplier for assistance.

Normally the use of pool chemicals that have a low pH level are often the choice in removing scale in swimming pools. So, you see - there is a solution to every swimming pool problem. This includes swimming pool scale.

Swimming pool scale is a pool problem that can be avoided.

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