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Thread: Trouble with high CH

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    Trouble with high CH

    I tested early this morning and these were my numbers:

    FC 4.5
    CC 0.5
    PH 8
    TA 90
    CH 525
    CYA 60
    Borates 30

    I replaced approx. 25% of the water and my numbers are as follows:

    FC 4.5
    CC 0
    PH 7.8
    TA 90
    CH 550
    CYA 50
    Borates 40

    I was under the impression that replacing the water would lower the CH - I drained a lot of water - I sure don't want to do that again. My pool is 7 months old and I have never had problems with the CH.

    Thanks so much,

    Vonda

    IG 22,000 plaster with spillover spa
    23k gallon, IG, plaster with spillover spa, Hayward pump and filter

  2. Back To Top    #2

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    Vonda, test the fill water you're using, it may have higher CH than your pool
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

  3. Back To Top    #3

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    I've been meaning get back to this post - anyhow my current numbers are:


    FC 6
    CC 0
    PH 7.4
    TA 90
    CH 500
    CYA 50
    Borates 50

    I tested my tap water and the CH is 100. I'm not sure what to do at this point. I really don't want to replace water again. I also have some staining on the bottom of the pool that looks like dirt - I tried the calcium in the sock and I'm really not sure if I see am improvement. The staining is light, just looks like the pool is covered in dirt. My pool is a little over 7 months old.

    Should I add a sequestering agent? Absorbic treament? Cement the pool? Please send me plenty of POP, I'm just about out.

    Vonda
    23k gallon, IG, plaster with spillover spa, Hayward pump and filter

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    CH levels around 500 are manageable with a little care. You need to keep your TA level fairly low to compensate. Where your TA is now is fairly good. Better would be to lower TA to around 70. Having the PH go up to around 8, or higher, could have caused calcium scaling. You should try to be sure PH doesn't go above 7.8 if at all possible. Longer term you can bring your CH levels down by replacing water, but there is no need to rush that process if CH is only around 500.

    For stains the two common tests are to try rubbing gently with crushed vitamin C tablets in a sock and with trichlor tablets to see if there is any change. If the stains are caused by calcium scaling, which can often look like rough dirty patches of plaster, they will not be affected by either of those tests. Treating calcium scaling can get complicated. The simple thing to try first is to lower the PH to between 7.0 and 7.2, and hold it there for a couple of weeks. Usually adding a sequesterant during this period will also help. While the PH is low try brushing the stained area reguarly to see if the scale will weaken enough from the low PH and sequesterant to be brushed off. If that doesn't work the alternatives are much more work.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Jason,

    Thank you so much for responding. The high CH has only been recently, however the brown staining has been longer than that. Should I still try the sequestering agent?

    Vonda
    23k gallon, IG, plaster with spillover spa, Hayward pump and filter

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    If you haven't already, try gently rubbing the stain with crushed vitamin C tablets in a sock and with a trichlor tablet to see if there is any visible change and report back on the results of those two tests. That will give us a much better idea of what to do next.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Brrrr....I'm going to have to go in.

    Vonda
    23k gallon, IG, plaster with spillover spa, Hayward pump and filter

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    If the water's cold, just don't go in it You can crush up the vitamin C and put it in a knee high with a small rock for weight, now just use your brush to direct it onto a stain - let sit for ~ 1 hr and remove to see if it worked. A tri-chlor puck can be similarly left on a potential organic stain the same way. No need to get all wet and cold to test the nature of the stains Once the nature of the stain is established, we'll work up a treatment program for you.

    (As I reread this , I neglected to mention that you'll probably want to crush up a few vit C tabs to have a decent area treated and that the puck may have to sit longer than an hour to lift a stain. )
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

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    waste,

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    Vonda
    23k gallon, IG, plaster with spillover spa, Hayward pump and filter

  10. Back To Top    #10

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    We have a saying that I've used on a number of labor intensive or unpleasant jobs: "work smarter, not harder" While I don't mind getting in a pool to do something when it's 95 deg and ~90% humid, when the water is cold or nasty - I do everything I can to stay dry and warm I'm always happy to pass on some of the tips/ tricks I've picked up over the years to make working on the pool a little easier

    Please let us know whether the vit C ameliorates the stain or if the puck does - there's also the chance that you have 2 different kind of stains, but if they all look the same they should have the same cause.

    BTW - did you shock a lot this year with calcium hypochlorite granuals? This might explain the original CH question?
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

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    Neither the Vitamin C or the tablet made any difference. I left them both for over 2 hours. The only thing that happened was the sock with the vitamin C and rock left a dark stain in my pool. I tried brushing it but nothing. The stain left by the rock/sock is really bad.

    I'm not overly certain of how much, but we did use plenty of the package shock before we changed to the BBB method a few months ago. It really bothers me that this is a new pool and it already looks ugly. I am so sad.

    Vonda

    I wanted to add that after leaving the puck on the stain, caused by the rock, overnight the majority of that stain is gone. It did nothing for the other stains.
    23k gallon, IG, plaster with spillover spa, Hayward pump and filter

  12. Back To Top    #12

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    Todays numbers are:

    FC - 7
    CC - 0
    PH - 7.4
    TA - 90
    CH - 525
    CYA - 55
    Borates - 50

    I am willing to try whatever it takes to try and "fix" my pool. The water is beautiful. The CH is high and the stains on the bottom are my concerns. Please lead me in the right direction.

    Vonda
    23k gallon, IG, plaster with spillover spa, Hayward pump and filter

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Given your test results the stains are probably calcium scale. To confirm that the next thing to try is muriatic acid, which is going to be difficult to do on the bottom of the pool. Calcium scale will bubble and foam up when you put a few drops of muriatic acid on it. Perhaps waste has another clever idea about how to try that.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Thank you so much Jason. I will wait and see if waste responds. I'm going to check the stairs to see if the staining is on them as well. If the stain is on the top step, I would only have to drain a bit to test it. You would think I would know if their is staining on the steps.

    Vonda
    23k gallon, IG, plaster with spillover spa, Hayward pump and filter

  15. Back To Top    #15

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    Applying acid to suspected calcium scale

    Hey guys! (were my ears burning :P ...?)

    First I just want to remind everyone that Muriatic Acid is not a toy and can cause burns, blindness, and the fumes can make you feel really bad! Please take all reasonable precautions when dealing with it including, but not limited to, rubber gloves, long sleeves, eye protection, good ventilation and keep a container of water on hand to immediately rinse anything that gets splashed with the acid!! (anyone have more acid precautions? bring 'em on!! - keeping things safe must always be in the forefront! )

    If all that's required is getting a straight dose of MA onto a suspect area while it's still underwater - I have a couple of ideas;
    1. Get a pressurized pump sprayer from the hardware store (one of the pesticide 'pump up' sprayers), the acid is a little harsh on the metal parts but they're fairly inexpensive and the acid doesn't have to be in there too long. Find an area you want to test that's within 'wand reach' from the deck and pump up the sprayer and pull the trigger. (you won't see the bubbling that Jason mentioned, but it should be enough to strip the calcium from the area. If the area is shallow enough to reach, a turkey baster can be used.

    2. This one is a little more 'risque'/ dangerous and I doubt that anyone but I would even try it, but I offer it just in case... Fill a balloon with acid, using a plastic funnel, like a water balloon, rinse the balloon thoroughly!! and tie it off (rinse it because you probably won't be able to tie it off with the gloves on) Now attach what's left of the fill opening on the balloon to your pool pole, secure it with a rubber band, and force it down over one of the stains and use the open ended pole to pop the balloon. Instant acid treatment to one small area!


    OK, you say you want to see it 'bubble and fizz' -- Secure a regular tea or tablespoon to a pole and scrape the suspect area with the spoon (the spoon needs to be tightly secured as it will take a little effort to scrape some off) Now GENTLY!! retrieve the spoon, if it's calcium and you removed it from the pool slowly enough, there should be some of the suspect matter still on the spoon. Transfer the stuff from the spoon into a plastic container and pour a couple drops of acid on it -- make sure that the container is upwind of you - remember about the fumes!

    Now for the big dirty little secret... feel the walls below the waterline, if they feel bumpy, like little grains of sand were on them, look at them closely and see if you can see what looks like 'clear/ amber grains of sand' sticking to the wall. Calcium is usually precipitated on the entire pool surface but only really noticeable in the areas where it's worst. If you can discern the bumps, you can scrape and test as per above.

    That's about what I can come up with for now. Even if these are impractical for you, mayhaps they'll spark some input from someone else. We're here for you Vonda and will be until the problem is resolved!
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

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    waste and Jason,

    Thanks so much. I will be putting on my bio hazard suit and report back.

    Vonda
    23k gallon, IG, plaster with spillover spa, Hayward pump and filter

  17. Back To Top    #17

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    waste,

    The walls are smooth feeling. I bought the pressurized pump sprayer, but have a question. Do I actually put the wand into the water and then spray?

    Thanks so much,

    Vonda
    23k gallon, IG, plaster with spillover spa, Hayward pump and filter

  18. Back To Top    #18

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    Vonda, you want the tip of the sprayer to be ~ on the stain in question. Before 'pulling the trigger' take the diffuser nozzle off so that the acid will really pour onto the stain.
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

  19. Back To Top    #19

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    I used the sprayer method and it removed the stain left from the rock and calcium tablets and it made a difference in the all around staining of the pool. I'm ready for the next step. I sure hope it doesn't mean draining the pool.

    Vonda
    23k gallon, IG, plaster with spillover spa, Hayward pump and filter

  20. Back To Top    #20

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    Vonda, glad the sprayer worked (remember to rinse it out well to remove all the acid). We now know that you DO have calcium staining . You don't have to drain the whole pool to fix this You may be able to do it without draining any water, but (after a few quick calculations) draining 1/4 may facilitate the fix I am hoping that Jason will offer some more encouraging advice - but you've got to get the calcium off the surface and back into suspension and keep it there. Running the chems with a lower pH and alk is possible, but this isn't really my area of expertise

    I told you that we'd see you through this and I'll try to figure out where your chems need to be to solve this - there are others, like Jason, who probably could figure it out more quickly than I, but I'll do my 'homework' tonight

    Knowing the cause of the stain is the starting point - we now know that, the rest is downhill - Ted
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

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