white foam on surface

Algae problems in swimming pool water.
Green (cloudy) water or slimy pool walls.
Black algae. Mustard algae. Pink or white pool mold.
chem geek
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Postby chem geek » Fri 17 Aug, 2007 12:52

Regarding foaming when the pump is running, there are indeed several types of algaecides and one type, called linear quats, have an ingredient of "Alkyl dimethylbenzylammonium chloride" or similar compound and this type of algaecide, which is the least expensive, foams.

The better algaecide that doesn't foam is called PolyQuat (or polymer quat) and has an ingredient of "Poly{oxyethylene (dimethyliminio) Ethylene (dimethyliminio) ethylene dichloride}". It is more expensive, but does not foam and may be a more effective algaecide as well, though I don't have definitive data or user reports to conclusively confirm that. It is certainly a good algaecide for preventing algae, though not very good working against an existing algae bloom.

Another chemical you may see is "Polydimethyldiallyammonium Chloride" and that appears to mostly be used against pink slime which is actually a bacteria and not an algae.

Some algaecides contain copper and you should be careful when using them. Though copper is a very effective algaecide, it also has side effects in that it will precipitate out of solution at higher pH so a very common problem is to get this algaecide with copper in it and use it and then shock the pool with Cal-Hypo or chlorinating liquid (or bleach) and the water turns green (see this thread for one of many examples). The copper can also make blond hair get a green tinge.

Unfortunately, you really need to look at the ingredients since the names of the products do not usually indicate what is in them and many pool stores don't know.



Omni pool info - South TX Poolguy

Postby Paquito » Wed 10 Oct, 2007 09:30

I'm at their website, do you know the name of the product? I'm not sure if it is the LIQUID FLOCâ„¢ PLUS or the POOL SURFACE CLEANER. It may be another one, please detail.

Thanks the foam is driving me crazy and we have a birthday pool party on friday.

Thanks again.

Calcium Hardness Up

Postby paquito » Wed 10 Oct, 2007 09:42

Not sure if Calcium Hardness Up will help the foam condition, if somebody knows, please let us know.

chem geek
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Postby chem geek » Wed 10 Oct, 2007 11:58

If your calcium is very low (say, 50 ppm) then you can get more foaming. A Calcium Hardness (CH) level of 150 ppm or above should prevent foaming, if such foaming is coming from soap-like substances since the calcium will precipitate the soap preventing it from foaming.



Postby txff636 » Fri 14 Mar, 2008 14:45

I bought algaecide from Lowes and will never do it again, it's the same stuff Walmart sells( HTH )???? I have a 34000 gallon pool that I added the algaecide to, what a mistake foam every where. Finally I went and bought 6 bottles of spa defoamer dumped them all in and that did the trick. Hope it works for everyone else.

HTH Foam, slime

Postby tahoe5 » Fri 09 May, 2008 07:51

Hey txff636 or any others...did you get brown slime balls on the surface when using this hth product as well? I'll try the defoamer, thanks for the tip!

Same problem

Postby Nickthegrip » Wed 28 May, 2008 07:58

I too have the same problem - I'll try the defoamer and will buy better stuff next year.

I love the internet, lets me know there are other people out there with my problems :oops:
love my pool


Postby love my pool » Sat 19 Jul, 2008 23:20

Well, it seems that I am not alone in my foam problem. Pool was absolutely perfect. Had to add more salt - let run for 24 hours - forgot to put saltwater generator back on -- week and 1/2 went by .... noticed some algae - turned generator back on .... dumped 3 gallons of algecide (HTH) and all hell broke loose ... foam for days on end .. now it is only doing when the generator is on ????? there is a slimy brown color when you push it all together ???? Water is still perfectly clear and no more algae, just light layer of foam. .... figured the sun would have burned it off by now ..... ??????? SUGGESTIONS ???
chem geek
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Postby chem geek » Sun 20 Jul, 2008 13:55

Inexpensive algaecide, known as linear quats, have a tendency to foam. You should not need to use an algaecide if you maintain proper chlorine levels and use chlorinating liquid or unscented bleach to shock if necessary. If you must use an alagecide, use PolyQuat 60. Though more expensive, it will not foam and is often more effective.

Eventually the algaecide will break down. If you shock with chlorine, it will break down faster.

White foam on surface

Postby gmcabee » Wed 06 May, 2009 21:51

I found this. I know my Alkalinity is way over the limit.

You pool's water is out of balance. Depending on what kind of structure it is will depend on your numbers you should have. Alkalinity, pH and calcium hardness level are different depending on what type of pool you have. Adding way too much algaecide causes foam too by the way! So that's most likey the cause thinking backwards about this.

Using a "foam away" product doesn't address what caused the foaming in the first place. Not too mention if your water is properly balanced and sanitized you don't need any of the other side products pool stores/web sites like to sell that are not really needed. Once you start using an anti foaming product you can never stop since your adding more TDS (Total dissolved solids) to your pools water that is making it foam to begin with. Creating a vicious cycle.
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white foam on surface

Postby poolmomof2 » Mon 10 Aug, 2009 22:47

I too have encountered this. I have bought chemicals from Lowes and Walmart. For some reason following these directions got me in a lot of trouble. Cloudy water, foam, etc.... I found a pool dealer willing to test my water, I also was in the market for a larger filter system as the one I had was not large enough causing more chemical problems from not being properly distributed. I bought a 1.5 hp hayward for a 18 x 48 round. It was magnificent, however my pool was still cloudy. I carried another water sample to the same pool dealer, finding out the test strips I bought at walmart were giving faulty readings--they showed the chemical levels in my pool to be perfect. However at the pool store the ph was way too high. I brought home biogard products which are the same or lower than walmart in price. I added something to bring down the ph waited 5 hrs added to bags of burn ( like shock but stronger) waited an hour and added 6 oz of clarifier--all by biogard. It is looking better. The main thing is to have a well balanced pool and buy all the same products with the right ingredients. Walmart, lowes, etc... are not pool experts and can not give advice on what best fits your pool. Please go to a pool specialist and take a water sample. If they are true business people they will help whether you bought the pool from them or not. The person that helped me even help customers with pools from walmart. Hope you find something in this that helps. Oh, my pool also has a min max water level at the filter system, if the water is right above the min level I get foam and bubbles.

white foam on surface

Postby epbdl » Thu 24 Sep, 2009 23:13

I got suckered and bought the "cheap stuff" at Sam's and BAM! - instant foamy water. I will never, ever buy that crap again.

15,000 gallon Bubble Bath?

Postby kthinsa » Sun 09 May, 2010 12:36

I, too, have made the mistake of buying the wrong algaecide. As a result, I now have basically, a 15,000 gallon bubble bath in my back yard. I accidently grabbed a bottle of the HTH algaecide that can cause foaming, instead of the one I normally buy(non-foaming) at Home Depot, as they were sitting right next to each other on the shelf. As I added it, it was like I had poured a bottle of Mr. Bubble into the pool. To make matters worse, my return jets are Jacuzzi style, thereby increasing the effect of the foaming. Like everyone else, when the system is off, the foam settles. All I can say is "D'Oh!" :wtf:
I went to Leslie's Pool(our local pool "Expert?"), after looking on-line at this and other help sites, and the person there recommended to use a product called "Pool First Aid". I was gonna grab the anti-foaming agent used in spas(as mostly recommended on some help sites), but he told me that this other product would work as well for half-the-price. I tried it, and no results, if anything, the foaming is worse then before. Like everyone else....the water under the foam is clear, and the balance seems to be in-line(per the tests-not strips...drops). It is already in the 90's down here in south Texas, so having the pool operational is of major importance. What, if anything, can I do to get rid of this disgusting foam? Emptying and refilling is out of the question at this point, as we are under drought warnings. Does anyone have a REAL answer? Many DESPERATE thanks to y'all.

white foam on surface

Postby Barb » Tue 18 May, 2010 07:42

We had issues last year with what appeared to be foam, but turned out to be air bubbles coming from a loose connection. But now THIS year, there don't seem to be any bubbles coming from the jets, BUT, we keep getting a coating of foam all across the top. It dissipates after several hours, then will come back again. I know that algaecides can cause foaming, but here's the strange thing. Ours began right after opening the pool, adding the shock and the salt, but NOT any algaecide! We're puzzled to say the least.

white foam on surface

Postby hatethepool » Mon 24 May, 2010 11:51


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