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Thread: 900+ CH, Refill?

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    900+ CH, Refill?

    Hello. I bought a house with a pool about a year and a half ago. I had a pool service guy taking care of it until his business fell apart this summer. He left me with a green pool and my SWG wasn't working. This was quite upsetting right during swimming season. Thanks to everything I've read on TFP, I've got that all sorted out now. I shocked the algae, replaced the salinity/flow/temp sensor, and have gotten my water mostly balanced.

    I've been using the Taylor K-2006 and some test strips. The test strips show 1000+ CH. I also tested the CH with the taylor kit and when I got to 90 drops it turned purple, not fully blue, and I gave up at that point afraid I was going to run out of drops. So I know my CH is over 900 and probably over 1000. I'm not sure how it got this high but I don't think my pool service guy was doing a good job...

    The rest of my levels, using the Taylor kit, are:
    FC: 3
    CC: 0
    PH: 7.5
    TA: 60
    CYA: 0
    CH: 900+

    I know I need to get some CYA in there soon, but I think I need to decide what to do about the CH first since I may end up draining and refilling. I've tested my tap water from the kitchen sink and found the CH to be about 350 (using test strips). According to the city website our tap water averages 338 TH. So if I decide to refill I guess this means I'll need to drain fully...?

    Now I've read several other threads about CH on TFP and other sites and some people have mentioned a product (can't remember the name) that claims to reduce CH. Some people seem to say it works while others report it's worthless. Also I've seen some mention of reverse osmosis but I don't know if that's available in my area and if it would be more/less expensive than refilling my whole pool.

    Basically what I'm looking for is some advice. Should I just drain/refill? Try the CH reducing product? Try to manage the CH somehow? Or something else? What would you do?

    Also, as far as draining, I've heard some people mention things like collapsing walls and floating pools. Are these things I should be worried about if I'm fully draining my pool? Anything I should do to prevent/avoid problems that I'm not expecting?

    Thanks!
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    ??k gal, IG plaster, spa with spillover, de filter

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: 900+ CH, Refill?

    Welcome

    High CH can be managed by keeping a tight hold on pH and TA. There are some members here with CH > 1000ppm. I actually do not see very much scaling in your picture, so the pH must have been maintained pretty well in the low 7s.

    As water evaporates, it leaves the calcium behind in the water, so CH will always tend to rise if you have a lot of evaporation. Also, any use of cal-hypo for adding chlorine (sometimes called "shock") will quickly add calcium to the pool.

    There are some risks to damaging a pool by fully draining.

    It might be worth a 50% drain and refill which would lower you to the 600 ppm range.

    The other option is Reverse Osmosis treatment to the pool, this can remove most of the CH in the water. There are only a few companies that do it in a few cities ... I think there may be some near you.

    You are correct that you need to get the CYA up, but a decision of a path forward for the CH should be made first.

    BTW, do not trust the test strips ... stick to the Taylor drop kit.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: 900+ CH, Refill?

    There isn't a product to reduce CH. You can have someone perform reverse osmosis, but that's about it other than draining and refilling. You can live with that CH if you keep TA and pH in range though. If your water is staying clear and you don't have scaling, don't worry about it. Borates might help you maintain what you have in regards to CH scaling and clouding, you can read more on that here:
    so-you-want-to-add-borates-to-your-pool-why-and-how-t4921.html

    Nice pool by the way, and welcome to TFP!
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
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    Re: 900+ CH, Refill?

    Thank you for the great replies.

    The pool guy did warn me to keep a close eye on the pH when he quit. So maybe he was aware of this situation.

    There definitely has been some of those bags of "shock" added to my pool. The pool guys was using them and he told me to put some in too. And I did... before I found TFP. Now I know better.

    Is there anywhere I can read more about what scaling looks like? There is one spot near one of the drains, it's a little white spot that showed up recently. I'm not sure if it's scaling. In fact I'm not entirely sure what to look for as far as scaling is concerned.

    I do have a white ring around my pool and spa. I think that is from the CH? I was planning on trying some CLR on it once I've drained the water level down a bit. Or is this a normal side effect of a salt water pool?

    I think I'll go with the 50% drain and see how that works out. Thanks for the suggestion. I probably won't have time for a couple weeks due to working 12+ hours a day right now. I'll be sure to keep an eagle eye on the pH for now.

    I am definitely planning on adding Borates, but that will probably be the last part I get to.

    EDIT: I think this was the product I saw that claims to reduce CH.
    http://store.poolcenter.com/united-chem ... Quantity=1
    ??k gal, IG plaster, spa with spillover, de filter

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    Re: 900+ CH, Refill?

    Ancient Chinese Secret...

    I'll let ChemGeek chime in.
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: 900+ CH, Refill?

    Quote Originally Posted by nekkard
    EDIT: I think this was the product I saw that claims to reduce CH.
    http://store.poolcenter.com/united-chem ... Quantity=1
    As far as I am aware, it does not remove calcium, just sequesters it, meaning you will need to continue to apply maintenance doses. Take a look at this thread (and the thread that is linked to in that thread): http://www.troublefreepool.com/tryin...at-t43236.html
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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