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Thread: Hardness and pool heater

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    Hardness and pool heater

    I have a vinyl pool so have read and confirmed that Hardness levels don't need to be as high as other types of pools. However, when I was getting my water tested today, they specifically said that if my hardness is too low, that the heater is at risk (of corrosion?). They said if not using heater, I could get away with lower levels, but not now (since I am using my heater). Are they wrong about the heater?

    2nd thought, while our pool is vinyl, isn't the foundation behind it cement? But it's still OK to have a lower hardness level because the vinyl protects the cement? What about splashing on our dyed and stamped concrete deck? (I'm guessing the impact would be minimal) Thanks!

    p.s. most recent reading my hardness had fallen from 164ppm to 157ppm - rounding error perhaps.
    -20'x30'x40' lagoon shaped IG vinyl pool (Nov 2013); 27,500 gallons
    -SWG , Pentair IntelliFlo Variable Speed Pump , DE Filter, Pentair Mastertemp Pool Heater.
    -Municipal water as fill (high pH of 8+)
    -No pool cover and TigerShark vacuum. TFT100

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Hardness and pool heater

    I do not understand where this rumor comes from. Why would calcium being too low have any impact on copper pipes? About the only thing that will damage your heater is having your pH too low.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: Hardness and pool heater

    Hardness doesn't protect you heater, keeping your pH correctly balanced does.

    The notion of calcium protecting a heater core is an old concept borrowed from water boiler technology where you want a thin layer of carbonate scale to develop on a heat exchanger to protect the metal from pitting corrosion and other forms of corrosion found in high temperature/high pressure CLOSED-LOOP water systems. Pool water systems don't even come close to behaving like boiler systems and so the extension of that idea to pools is totally bogus. Or, if you want to be cynical about it, it's just a ploy to get you to buy expensive pool store CH increaser which you do not need.

    Everything else around your pool will be fine as long as you properly manage your pool water and, better yet, stop going into the pool stores. Their testing is often very wrong and the advice they give is even worse. If you don't already have one, I suggest you go to Pool School and look at the professional-grade test kits we recommend that every pool owner has. This will be able to allow you to test your own water yourself (and it is not hard to do despite the pool stores telling people that it is) and then you will know EXACTLY what your water needs without getting raked over the coals by pool stores who's primary incentive is to sell you something.

    We have an extensive Pool School that can pretty much answer ANY question you have and, best of all, we have this free forum with hundreds of thousands of users sharing their collective experience. Our mods and experts are top notch and we will be happy to answer any questions you might have. Once you break the chains of the pool store, you'll be amazed at how easy your pool is to take care of....and you will do so spending A LOT less money.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Hardness and pool heater

    Thanks Matt for the reminder. I know I've read that before about the old recommendations.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
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  5. Back To Top    #5

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    Re: Hardness and pool heater

    Thank you!!! I am the kind of person who likes to have a general understanding of the reason why. While I see here that high levels of hardness aren't required for a vinyl pool, when the pool place mentioned the heater specifically, I got concerned. I feel much more at ease understanding why. THANKS!

    I ordered a test kit - a bit nervous about doing it right, but I need to SLAM my pool when it arrives and then I can start worrying about the other ongoing issues I had last year with high pH and low alkalinity. I've been reading pool school and threads here like crazy late at night as time allows, but to my novice brain, there comes a point where my brain shuts down or I get confused about whether what I read applies to SWG pools, etc. I'll slowly get there thanks to all of you!
    -20'x30'x40' lagoon shaped IG vinyl pool (Nov 2013); 27,500 gallons
    -SWG , Pentair IntelliFlo Variable Speed Pump , DE Filter, Pentair Mastertemp Pool Heater.
    -Municipal water as fill (high pH of 8+)
    -No pool cover and TigerShark vacuum. TFT100

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Hardness and pool heater

    There is really nothing different in the way to maintain a SWG or a non-SWG pool. You just want to test the salt level in one and want a little higher CYA. All the testing is done the same.

    It gets easier to understand once you are hands-on with the test kit.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

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