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Calcium on fibreglass pools

In most cases, our treatment kit completely removes the white calcium on fibreglass 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 discolouration on fibreglass 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):

  1. Calcium precipitation (build-up) on the fibreglass surface.
  2. Pool interior is in final stages of aging (25+ years).
  3. Bleaching of colour from gelcoat interior.
  4. The gelcoat layer has not been cured properly in the factory.
  5. 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 in the pool water 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, particularly when the pool water drops below its normal level.

To help prevent calcium formation, 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 often 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.

Before adding calcium to your water, contact your pool manufacturer (not your pool shop) to find out what the calcium levels should be for your pool. This is because each fibreglass pool brand recommends different calcium levels.  Also, check that your pool shop knows that your pool is fibreglass and not concrete.

As the pictures show, our treatments remove calcium from fibreglass pools without draining the pool water or acid washing.

Calcium on Fibreglass The Pool Stain Removers 5
This partially drained fibreglass pool shows the white calcium formation. Notice how thick and widespread it has become along the walls. This client did not attempt any type of treatment hoping that it would just disappear over time.

These pictures show heavy calcium formation in a fibreglass pool. Our treatment removed this without draining the pool water or acid washing.  Our customer in Western Australia was thrilled with the result.

2. The pool interior is ageing

Fibreglass pools typically pass through two phases as the surface begins to age.  Firstly, the gelcoat blue colour will slowly fade to white over time.  This fading typically occurs because of chlorine in the water, years of sunlight, water chemistry imbalances all take their toll on the surface. Remember, this colour loss, which often starts after 15-20 years, is normal. This is not an indication of a faulty pool interior.

layers of gelcoat
This sectional diagram shows the layers of a fibreglass pool from top to bottom. Notice that the pool water can slowly circulate through the top surface layer of gelcoat. This process can allow the gelcoat to be effected by poor water chemistry.
gelcoat fading in fibreglass
Worn gelcoat in fibreglass pool

The second stage of aging is when fibreglass 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 slowly broken down over time.  This powdery gelcoat will eventually disappear in sections of the pool revealing the lower layers of resin which are often dark brown. This gelcoat breakdown is normal, particularly in high friction areas such as steps and ledges. Remember, the best way to extend the life of your fibreglass pool is to maintain the water correctly.

3. Bleaching of fibreglass or gelcoat 

Bleaching in a fibreglass 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, fibreglass pools are required to resist bleaching due to mild water imbalance under Australian Standard (AS 1838:1994) often they cannot withstand unbalanced water and fading can occur.

Gelcoat bleaching from unbalanced water is often smooth to touch and is non-responsive to cleaners and acids. In some cases, rubbing the surface with fine sandpaper can appear to remove this discolouration.  However, doing this will only remove the bleached gelcoat layer in your pool. Remember, sanding the gelcoat will leave your pool more susceptible to future staining and reduce the life of your pool surface.  Do not sand your fibreglass with any type of abrasive as this will cause permanent damage and may void your pool warranty.

Some pool owners believe 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.

Gelcoat bleaching Fibreglass
Possible Gelcoat reaction with the pool water. Notice the smoothness of the white film and the distinct separation between the vivid blue and white along the waterline. Our treatments are sometimes effective with this issue.

4. Gelcoat not cured correctly during manufacture

In rare circumstances, the gelcoat can discolour and remain white if it has not been cured properly during manufacturing.  So, if your pool has this issue, it will often 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 gelcoat.  In fact, the impact of this bleaching is often permanent and cannot be fixed. Consequently, the complete resurfacing the fibreglass 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. So to avoid this, ensure that the buffer is completely dissolved in a bucket of water before it is added to the pool.  Remember, when buffer is first added to your water it will start as milky white and then as it continues to dissolve, the water will become completely clear within minutes. Finally, once the water is clear then add the buffer to the pool.

Do Not Drain or Acid Wash your Fibreglass Pool

DO NOT drain or acid wash your fibreglass pool – ever.  This is because we have found over the years that acid washing makes no lasting difference to the appearance of your pool.  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 hydrostatic ground pressure, you will need the contractor’s insurance to pay for a new pool. Remember, you cannot simply push the pool back down if uplift occurs.

Pool walls buckle inward from ground pressure. Photo credit: APCO Pool Specialties
Pool walls buckle inward from ground pressure. Photo credit: APCO Pool Specialties
Swimming pool pushed upward while empty. Photo Credit: Pool Water Recycling
Swimming pool pushed upward while empty. Photo Credit: Pool Water Recycling

OPTION 1 – Calcium Removal DIY kit

What We Do 1

FREE DELIVERY

Calcium Stains in Swimming Pools The Pool Stain Removers 3

4 KGS POWDER COMPOUND

Calcium Stains in Swimming Pools The Pool Stain Removers 5

CALCIUM DISSOLVING LIQUID

INSTRUCTIONS


  • 1 Litre of our powerful calcium release and prevention formula
  • 4 Kgs of our granular calcium dissolving compounds custom made for your stain
  • Phone support from our technicians
  • Simple step-by-step instructions included
  • Pool does NOT need to be drained
  • Kit is sent and electronically tracked by Fastway Couriers
  • Kids are back in the pool in just 7 days
  • Kit is $295 for pools 55,000+ Litres

$245

Enquire now!

OPTION 2 – Calcium Removal – On Site Technician

TECHNICIAN VISIT

Calcium Stains in Swimming Pools The Pool Stain Removers 3

4 KGS POWDER COMPOUND

Calcium Stains in Swimming Pools The Pool Stain Removers 5

CALCIUM DISSOLVING LIQUID

TEST WATER


  • 1 Litre of our powerful calcium release and prevention formula
  • 4 Kgs of our granular calcium dissolving compounds custom 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 45,000+ Litres

$385

Enquire now!