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Thread: Calcium hardness is too high?

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    restoman's Avatar
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    Calcium hardness is too high?

    Gents, I'm starting to get white crusty deposits on the bottom of my pool and it appears my calcium hardness is too high. It's supposed to be between 200 and 400 and mine's reading 600. Leslie's wanted to sell me a half gallon bottle of "Scale and Stain Control" for $45.00, but I'm sure I can find something a LOT cheaper at Walmart or ebay if I knew what to look for! According to the Pool Math page, I need to either drain part of the pool (not an option since we're still in a drought condition here in So Cal) or add some Calcium Chloride. Can anyone recommend an alternative to Leslie's "Scale and Stain Control"?

    By the way, just as an FYI, here's todays water results:

    FAC - 4
    TAC - 4
    Salt - 3300 (A bit high, but livable)
    CH - 600 (Needs to come WAY down)
    CYA - 50 (I need to add two pounds of Cyanuric Acid)
    TA - 120 (I need to add 64oz of Baking Soda)
    PH - 7.2
    Copper - 0
    Iron - 0
    Phosphates - 50

    Thanks
    Ed
    1) Pool built 2005, approx 17k gallons (Click HERE for a picture of this money pit!)
    2) Equipment: Pentair Intelli-Touch System i5, Pentair MiniMax NTLN Model 400DV Heater, Pentair CCP520 4 Cartridge filter, Aqua Rite 6D22 Chlorine Generator, Turbo-Cell T-Cell-15
    3) Pumps: Pool - Pentair Whisperflow WFE-8 (2 HP), Spa - Pentair Whisperflow WFE-6 (1.5 HP), Water Fall - Pentair Whisperflow WFE-3 (.75 HP), Vacuum: Hayward Navigator 925C

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    cowboycasey's Avatar
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    Re: Calcium hardness is too high?

    Ed, those numbers look like pool store numbers, if they are we just don't trust them to take care of your pool.. if you do not have your own test kit check out test kit below in my sig, if you do have one post up your numbers and lets see what your at...

    your TA is an the high side, you need MA not baking soda... Pool School - Lower Total Alkalinity
    Pool: Intex 16x32 15000 gal, 2 speed 340042, Pentair CC320 Filter, CircuPool SJ45 Salt System, Intermatic PE653RC; Hot Tub: 650 Gal SWG Megachlor
    links: pool school * Recommended-Levels * SLAM * CYA chart * Test kits * How To Post Pictures * Poolmath * OCLT ** Support your website if we helped you :) **

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    restoman's Avatar
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    Re: Calcium hardness is too high?

    Yes, sorry. I was looking at the wrong sentence on the Pool Math page!

    I don't have my own kit because I'm VERY color blind. I know there are kits out there that work with color blindness, but they're on the expensive side and I'm a cheap so and so, so that's why I let Leslie's test my water for me. As long as I don't have algae, I'm happy!!

    One of the problems is that the place where I used to get my Muriatic Acid stopped selling the liquid and they only carry the powder now. I tried it once, but didn't like it. I went to Lowe's and they have the liquid, but it's not the same solution as before so I won't be getting it from them anymore. I now have to find another place that sells the 33 percent solution I used to get.

    Can you recommend something for the CH?

    Ed
    1) Pool built 2005, approx 17k gallons (Click HERE for a picture of this money pit!)
    2) Equipment: Pentair Intelli-Touch System i5, Pentair MiniMax NTLN Model 400DV Heater, Pentair CCP520 4 Cartridge filter, Aqua Rite 6D22 Chlorine Generator, Turbo-Cell T-Cell-15
    3) Pumps: Pool - Pentair Whisperflow WFE-8 (2 HP), Spa - Pentair Whisperflow WFE-6 (1.5 HP), Water Fall - Pentair Whisperflow WFE-3 (.75 HP), Vacuum: Hayward Navigator 925C

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    cowboycasey's Avatar
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    Re: Calcium hardness is too high?

    ed, lowes still has it, they moved it outdoors in the pool isle, 2 gallons 20% baume chemtech

    I am red green colorblind and I have the TF100 and have no issues with all the tests...

    You should be able to use the TF100, when you get to the last drop it changes to clear color, so no color and that is chlorine so the most important one.. the TA test does change from green to dark red/brownish color..

    the PH will still be the hardest test but it goes from yellow to red and most color blind people and I can see the difference pretty easy...

    I hope this helps
    Pool: Intex 16x32 15000 gal, 2 speed 340042, Pentair CC320 Filter, CircuPool SJ45 Salt System, Intermatic PE653RC; Hot Tub: 650 Gal SWG Megachlor
    links: pool school * Recommended-Levels * SLAM * CYA chart * Test kits * How To Post Pictures * Poolmath * OCLT ** Support your website if we helped you :) **

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    restoman's Avatar
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    Re: Calcium hardness is too high?

    Yes, that's the stuff I tried, but it just didn't seem to be the same as the stuff I was using before. On the old acid, you open the bottle and WHAM!! You're hit with that smell that curls your nose hairs! With the Lowe's stuff, I don't get that same punch in the nose! It seems to be more weak than the old stuff. I wish I could remember the name on the old stuff, but I never really paid attention.

    The powder they now sell comes in an 8 pound container and it's about the same price as two gallons of the old liquid, so I guess I'll just have to get used to it.

    How about the hardness? Any recommendations on what to use? I was reading the pool math page wrong again. I don't need to RAISE it using the calcium chloride. I need to LOWER it using something like flocculant.

    Ed
    1) Pool built 2005, approx 17k gallons (Click HERE for a picture of this money pit!)
    2) Equipment: Pentair Intelli-Touch System i5, Pentair MiniMax NTLN Model 400DV Heater, Pentair CCP520 4 Cartridge filter, Aqua Rite 6D22 Chlorine Generator, Turbo-Cell T-Cell-15
    3) Pumps: Pool - Pentair Whisperflow WFE-8 (2 HP), Spa - Pentair Whisperflow WFE-6 (1.5 HP), Water Fall - Pentair Whisperflow WFE-3 (.75 HP), Vacuum: Hayward Navigator 925C

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    Re: Calcium hardness is too high?

    How about the hardness? Any recommendations on what to use?
    CH can not be removed from your pool. It can be sequestered but it can also be managed in such a way that 600 ppm is not a problem....not a problem at all. There are folks on this forum that manage CH of 800-1000-900 because they know how to change the other parameters.

    You have a LOT of misconceptions about pool water chemistry and I have no intention of suggesting anything that you don't think works for your pool. I will say this again Calcium Hardness cannot be removed from your pool. Leslie's is selling you sequestrant which is a temporary fix and you will have a LIFETIME of buying sequestrants.

    So, CH is removed by drain and refill....nothing else really works (R/O sounds too expensive at your budget). Since you say you can't drain and refill, you are stuck with ever increasing CH. You can control your scale conditions with TA and pH. Google it here and you will get some interesting reading.

    Sorry my responses are blunt....Please do not take offense....I just get to my point as soon as I can.

    By the way, having your water tested at Leslie's is usually worth almost exactly what you pay for it.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    restoman's Avatar
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    Re: Calcium hardness is too high?

    Thanks for the suggestion Dave.

    Ed
    1) Pool built 2005, approx 17k gallons (Click HERE for a picture of this money pit!)
    2) Equipment: Pentair Intelli-Touch System i5, Pentair MiniMax NTLN Model 400DV Heater, Pentair CCP520 4 Cartridge filter, Aqua Rite 6D22 Chlorine Generator, Turbo-Cell T-Cell-15
    3) Pumps: Pool - Pentair Whisperflow WFE-8 (2 HP), Spa - Pentair Whisperflow WFE-6 (1.5 HP), Water Fall - Pentair Whisperflow WFE-3 (.75 HP), Vacuum: Hayward Navigator 925C

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Calcium hardness is too high?

    600 CH? Ha! I laugh at your puny numbers.




    I've only been below 600 CH for a few months in over five years. 600 CH is easy to manage. You can even reverse the scale formation at 600 CH, although doing so drive it off the floor and back into the water, so CH will actually go up.

    The two keys are your own test kit (and a speedstir is pretty much a must for the CH test when you get that high) and poolmath. Poolmath will calculate CSI for you. Positive means scale forms, negative means scale (or plaster) dissolve.

    Right now, if your water is 75F, your CSI is -.15
    At 80F. -.10

    That's all assuming those pool store results are correct, which I wouldn't if it were my pool.

    To start dissolving the stuff, you need to get to -.4 or a little lower. Reducing TA to 70 will do it. Of course, pH will rise some with time, but by keeping it down in the lower half of the safe range and keeping TA in the 60-70 range, you can slowly (think glacial) dissolve scale. A steel brush helps. My theory is that it leaves microscopic grooves which increases the surface area, so more is exposed and dissolved.

    You probably can't reverse the scale but you can halt it even with CH up to 1000. The key is keeping close control over the factors you can control. That requires your own test kit onsite.

    Sometimes I water the lawn with pool water and then refill the couple of inches I replaced with lower CH tap water. Yours has a lot of salt, so I don't know how that would work for you. But if you manipulate the numbers and brush brush brush to soften things up and get the Calcium back into solution, and then wait until it's time to add water again before you drain off a few inches, the water you drain will be saturated and you'll reduce things faster.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: Calcium hardness is too high?

    Simply put, keep the pH 7.2 to 7.5 and the TA 60 to 70, this will prevent scaling due to the high CH in your case.

    Look in the paint and pool aisles of the big box stores for the full strength acid. One of those areas should have it. Find an independent pool store and they should have it. The stores around me sell it cheaper than the big box stores.
    16k gal plaster with raised spa, Jandy DEV60 filter, 2 HP 2-speed SHPF Jandy Stealth pump
    Hayward Aqua Rite T-15 SWCG, Jandy LXi 400k BTU NG heater, 350 sq.ft. of Sun Star solar panels, TF-100 Test Kit, Dolphin s300i Cleaner
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