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Thread: Lowering Hardness? Or is there nothing to do about it?

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    Lowering Hardness? Or is there nothing to do about it?

    I know salt "softens" the water to feeling, but my TH numbers are off the chart. Like, around 450 / 500 range. I tested both the pool and tap water and they are coming out both the same (I've said it before, AZ water is HARD!) The pool water is only about 10 days old at this point. (I just checked the Tempe water company, and hardness of 450 is considered within range LOL!)

    FC, TC, PH and CYA are within normal numbers (well, my CYA is a little low around 30) - not sure if that would impact the TH? I do have 160 poounds of salt in the pool right now but I don't know what the PPM is (I need a salinity test kit)

    Is this something to worry about at the end of the day, or just something to live with since I can't lower it with fresh water? (you'd be amazed how much Lime-a-way I go through in the bathrooms at the house!)
    28K Gallon old-skool plaster hole in the back yard in desperate need of an acid wash and a fixed skimmer diverter (yes, it's still broken)
    Hayward SuperPumpVS pushing some giant hayward cartridge filter setup
    SharcVacXL and Zodiac G2 to keep things clean

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: Lowering Hardness? Or is there nothing to do about it?

    I'm in Tucson.

    My CH is 800ppm. My water is perfectly clear and feels fine.

    If you want to manage your CH, then you'll need to invest in a good solar cover to stop evaporation (slow it, really) and then try to use rain water collection to fill your pool. Your tap water, like mine, is where all of your hardness comes from. The less you use, the better you will be.

    You can also pay for expensive reverse osmosis filtration of your pool water once the calcium and TDS gets too high for your liking.


    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: Lowering Hardness? Or is there nothing to do about it?

    For the house, you need to get a water softener system. It's the only way to reduce calcium. But your water bill will increase too.


    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Lowering Hardness? Or is there nothing to do about it?

    I know, I know. They make a killing installing RO's and Salt Systems around here for obvious reasons! But wouldn't salting the pool have the same effect as a whole-house salt system?

    I've been eyeballing both systems, but my house is built on a pad, and it would have to go in my laundry room where I simply don't have the room for the system. I have an under-sink RO system for the kitchen but I don't think running 30K gallons through that for the pool makes sense!

    JFNoise - how bad is the water in Tucson? I think you're on a different aquifer than we are up here. Is it any
    28K Gallon old-skool plaster hole in the back yard in desperate need of an acid wash and a fixed skimmer diverter (yes, it's still broken)
    Hayward SuperPumpVS pushing some giant hayward cartridge filter setup
    SharcVacXL and Zodiac G2 to keep things clean

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Lowering Hardness? Or is there nothing to do about it?

    Your house would need a standard 30-45k grain ion exchange system (salt softener). That does not help your pool though as all outdoor spigots are generally on a separate plumbing loop from the house water lines. Some people do hook water softeners up to their outdoor lines and it helps a little with toping off but you can't fill a pool with a water softener.

    Under the sink RO is not capable of helping you with the pool. Those are low pressure systems (lots of rejected water as waste). The RO for a pool is a service company that rolls up with a commercial RO system (multi stage filters, high pressure pumps, etc). It's a one time deal and it costs a lot, ~$500 or so.

    Tucson uses a mix of CAP water and local well water. I'm on the far east side of Tucson (horse farm lands). Out here our municipal supply (if you have one) is more well water than CAP water. In my zone, the calcium hardness is ~280ppm if I'm lucky.

    My pool water CH has risen several hundred ppm each season. My plan is to order a new pool cover and start getting quotes for a rain water collection drum as I have a large flat roof with gutters and downspouts that pours off hundreds of gallons of rain water with every big storm we get.


    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Lowering Hardness? Or is there nothing to do about it?

    Funny - my next big project is gutters and rain water collection for the lawn and gardens. I feel bad wasting water and without the gutters, my backyard takes a beating in our monsoons since all of the water collects at the "V" in the 2 roof lines and runs off the roof into 2 or 3 spots. I have room for at least 300 gallons of water (50 gallon drums.)

    My house is old. My back spigot and pool are plumbed into my mainline in the laundry room. They turn off if I turn off the water to my washing machine. My front spigot is attached right off of my main shut off valve out front so no help there.
    28K Gallon old-skool plaster hole in the back yard in desperate need of an acid wash and a fixed skimmer diverter (yes, it's still broken)
    Hayward SuperPumpVS pushing some giant hayward cartridge filter setup
    SharcVacXL and Zodiac G2 to keep things clean

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: Lowering Hardness? Or is there nothing to do about it?

    I had scuppers on the roof and couldn't stand them. They would pour water from the rains and the constant back-splash would ruin the stucco on the house and cause these giant pools of water to sit right against the foundation (developer did a lousy job of surveying and grading the properties in our association. Worst drainage ever!). One of the scuppers was placed right above our electrical service panel where the gas meter and A/C compressor are. Terrible layout all around, developer deserves to be tarred and feathered and never allowed to build again!

    Did I mention I hate the developer ?

    Anyway, we spent good money a few years back to properly outfit our roof with gutters and downspouts and everything drains much better. Now I just need about two 600 gallon drums and I'll be all set.


    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Lowering Hardness? Or is there nothing to do about it?

    Sounds familiar. I can't believe the previous owners never put gutters up. They upgraded everything else (I even have solar hot water, and oh boy, it's HOT!)

    Even if I just put gutters on the back and side roof, that would still give me a couple hundred gallons. I don't have room on the sides of the house for monster tanks (I only have about 7 feet on each side, so I'm stuck using 55g drums)
    28K Gallon old-skool plaster hole in the back yard in desperate need of an acid wash and a fixed skimmer diverter (yes, it's still broken)
    Hayward SuperPumpVS pushing some giant hayward cartridge filter setup
    SharcVacXL and Zodiac G2 to keep things clean

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: Lowering Hardness? Or is there nothing to do about it?

    Well, don't sweat the calcium thing too much. If you keep your water properly balanced to TFP recommended levels and keep a close eye on your CSI value (keep it negative), you can actually run a pool with fairly high calcium hardness levels and have perfectly good water. There are folks here in TFP with water that has over 1000ppm CH and they manage. At some point it's just cheaper to dump the pool the refill it to get back to low CH but you have plenty of runway left before you have to worry about it.

    Good luck with the roof,

    Matt


    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Lowering Hardness? Or is there nothing to do about it?

    Quote Originally Posted by JoyfulNoise View Post
    My plan is to order a new pool cover and start getting quotes for a rain water collection drum as I have a large flat roof with gutters and downspouts that pours off hundreds of gallons of rain water with every big storm we get.
    Horse farm? Maybe a loose one of these out there somewhere.....

    http://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/water-storage-tank-3-000-gal?cm_vc=-10005

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    Re: Lowering Hardness? Or is there nothing to do about it?

    I was lucky (?) that my rear hose bib is post-house piping, IOW if I shut off the valve coming from the front bib to the house, the rear bib doesn't work either. So we put in a softener right at that front bib where the water feeds the house, and our front irrigation water is not softened, but the auto-leveler hooked to the rear bib is softened.

    You can add salt to the pool to combat the likelihood of scaling, but it's not actually removing any calcium, just mitigating what is there a bit.

    If you've been using liquid chlorine/bleach, you may want to check salt levels before doing anything, as you could already have a few 1000 ppm.
    10,500 gal IG, Topaz Pebble, auto-level
    Hayward DE filter, 2HP Ecostar VSP, ProLogic PS-4, GVA actuators
    Cal Pools Wave Force Plus (wall return jets plus 2 floor pop-ups), Venturi Skimmer
    Water sheer, 2 wok pots, bubbler stem on the baja step
    ColorLogic Mutlicolor LED lamp. Taylor 2006+speed stir

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: Lowering Hardness? Or is there nothing to do about it?

    Adding salt is not going to buy much if any benefit in terms of scale prevention. A 0.3-0.4 in pH would buy you more protection in that regard.
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: Lowering Hardness? Or is there nothing to do about it?

    totes
    10,500 gal IG, Topaz Pebble, auto-level
    Hayward DE filter, 2HP Ecostar VSP, ProLogic PS-4, GVA actuators
    Cal Pools Wave Force Plus (wall return jets plus 2 floor pop-ups), Venturi Skimmer
    Water sheer, 2 wok pots, bubbler stem on the baja step
    ColorLogic Mutlicolor LED lamp. Taylor 2006+speed stir

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