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Thread: High Calcium Hardness in Arizona, drain?

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    High Calcium Hardness in Arizona, drain?

    coming up on 2nd season, first was great, water looks fantastic, everything is cool till I go to Leslie's and they tell me it's not,

    most of my numbers from them are ok, i'm focused on Calcium hardness because the only way to change it is to drain the pool and this will obv put all other numbers up for grabs.

    range is 200-400ppm, I was at 788, I drained 4 or so inches of 4 or so times and got it down to 630.

    I've owned the home since Feb 2012, little over a year.

    Being told to drain and refill every 2-3 years, since I have no idea when or if it was drained last (home was built in 2004, no idea when pool was put in, salt cell has date of 09/09, but that doesn't necessarily mean anything), I'm considering.

    the concept of getting a baseline makes some sense to me. the water is hard in AZ coming out of the tap, they are saying it comes out at 200ppm, researched some city sites and that correlates.

    I believe low calcium isn't ideal either.


    drain and refill??


    (first post, take it easy on me? , I'll work on sig, but salt water play pool with pebble tec, water fall, sand filter, in floor cleaning system, I admittedly haven't read much on the forum yet, enough to know I have no POP and that I should probably get my own test kit)

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    Re: High Calcium Hardness in Arizona, drain?

    Each of us here has made a first post. You will find this forum perhaps the friendliest and most courteous on the net.....so, welcome

    Yeah, all our members from AZ fight that hardness battle but, with good management, you can win. You will need your own high end test kit for not only CH but other parameters as well.

    We suggest partial drains and refills as you have done but you need to get more aggressive. I would suggest you drain and refill about 25% to 33% about 2-3 times. That'll bring you down around 300 which is right in the sweet spot (250-400ppm suggested)

    Once you get a kit, post current test results and we can help you get everything where it needs to be.

    read "The ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry" up in Pool School. That'll get you started on the things we teach (and preach) here on the forum.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: High Calcium Hardness in Arizona, drain?

    Sounds like you figured out the important stuff ... read and get a kit.

    If you keep close control on the pH, then the higher CH levels are manageable. Some members have been over 1000.

    Need a full test of good test results to know if you need to drain ... like where is your CYA?

    Posted from my Droid with Tapatalk ... sorry if my response is short
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    Re: High Calcium Hardness in Arizona, drain?

    here's my last numbers
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Re: High Calcium Hardness in Arizona, drain?

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    Each of us here has made a first post. You will find this forum perhaps the friendliest and most courteous on the net.....so, welcome

    Yeah, all our members from AZ fight that hardness battle but, with good management, you can win. You will need your own high end test kit for not only CH but other parameters as well.

    We suggest partial drains and refills as you have done but you need to get more aggressive. I would suggest you drain and refill about 25% to 33% about 2-3 times. That'll bring you down around 300 which is right in the sweet spot (250-400ppm suggested)

    Once you get a kit, post current test results and we can help you get everything where it needs to be.

    read "The ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry" up in Pool School. That'll get you started on the things we teach (and preach) here on the forum.
    do most drain some on a semi regular basis? If I backwash to do it, i'm limited by skimmer height and can't do much at a time? should I buy a small pump? they are saying to just rent one, but If draining some semi often, makes sense to just buy one?

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    Re: High Calcium Hardness in Arizona, drain?

    do most drain some on a semi regular basis?
    Living in AZ, you are probably facing that reality. Unless you can siphon or pull from a main drain only, a submersible pump would seem to be a good investment....$60 or so at HD or Lowes.

    "Us good ole boys" up here in NC are blessed with CH below a hundred plus 40" or so of rain (no CH) each year for the most part.

    (However, we also have HUMIDITY in the summer that almost requires supplementary oxygen when you go outside. )
    Dave S.
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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: High Calcium Hardness in Arizona, drain?

    630 is high? I laugh at your puny number!

    During the summer I drain a couple inches at a time to water the lawn. Through trial and error I have figured that my average depth is 60". So if I change 3", that's a 5% reduction. Since you have a saltwater pool, it might not be such a good idea to use it on the grass regularly. I'd just take it down a third or so now and keep close tabs on pH and TA to maintain CSI in the safe zone.

    Also, be aware that when you do replace water, it's not perfect. The fill water is not zero CH. Let's say you go for a third. (.67 *630) + (.33 * 200) = 488. Even replacing half the water will only bring you to the average CH of the fill and the pool, 415.

    Hunt down the water company website. Where I am, we have tiered rates. But I stumbled across something that allows a pool fill every three years - a generous 5000 gallons - at the low tier, provided you arrange it in advance. It's worth checking into.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
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  8. Back To Top    #8

    Re: When to backwash sand filter if pressure never goes up?

    in Leslie's basic pool care pamphlet, it says in bold and with the word never in all caps: NEVER randomly backwash a sand filter.

    I'm backwashing to partial drain, bad idea? why do they say that?

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    Re: High Calcium Hardness in Arizona, drain?

    thanks for responses, still seeing what I can learn...

    still grappling with full drain vs. partial drain, been doing partial drain by backwashing my sand filter, just got back from Leslie's chatting with the guy and I grabbed their basic pool care pamphlet, it says in bold and with the word never in all caps: NEVER randomly backwash a sand filter.

    I'm pretty much doing that with my partial drains...

    why do they say that/why is it bad?

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: High Calcium Hardness in Arizona, drain?

    That instruction doesn't make any sense to me, aside from the waste of water. There is a very small chance when backwashing for a long time, as you do when draining water, that some debris can get into the filter backwards, which can cause some very minor problems, but actual trouble from that is very very rare.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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  11. Back To Top    #11

    Re: High Calcium Hardness in Arizona, drain?

    hmmm, there is some sand in my street, is that a bad sign or is there normally some when you backwash? I found the owners manual for my Pentair Triton II TR100C sand filter, seeing if there is anything in there now...

  12. Back To Top    #12

    Re: High Calcium Hardness in Arizona, drain?

    FYI from my owner's manual below. The conclusion I draw is it's not the best way to drain your pool...

    Cleaning Frequency
    1. The filter on a new pool should be backwashed, and cleaned after approximately 48 hours of operation to clean
    out plaster dust and/or construction debris.
    2. There are three different ways to identify when the filter needs backwashing.
    a. The most accurate indicator on pool systems with a flow meter is to backwash when the flow decreases
    30% from the original (clean filter) flow. For example, if the original flow was 60 GPM, the filter should
    be backwashed when the flow is reduced by about 20 GPM (or 30%) to 40 GPM.
    b. A more subjective and less accurate indicator is to observe the amount of water flowing from the flow
    directionals located in the wall of the pool. The filter should be backwashed once it is detected that the flow
    has been reduced by about 30%.
    c. The most commonly used but less accurate indicator is to backwash when the filter gauge reading increases
    10 PSI over the initial (clean filter) reading.
    3. It is important not to backwash the filter solely on a timed basis such as every three days. It is also important
    to note that backwashing too frequently actually causes poor filtration.
    Factors like weather conditions, heavy
    rains, dust or pollen, and water temperature all affect the frequency of backwash. As you use your pool, you
    will become aware of these influences.
    4. If at any time the starting pressure after backwashing the filter indicates 4 to 6 PSI higher than normal starting
    pressure, it is time to perform a chemical cleaning procedure.

  13. Back To Top    #13
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: High Calcium Hardness in Arizona, drain?

    They are just saying not to backwash every few days, it wastes water and makes the filter less efficient. Presumably you don't drain water very often. It is not going to matter if you drain by backwashing once in a long while. Of course if your main valve has a pump to waste setting you should use that, but if you have a simple push/pull main valve then the way to drain is by backwashing.
    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

  14. Back To Top    #14

    Re: High Calcium Hardness in Arizona, drain?

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    They are just saying not to backwash every few days, it wastes water and makes the filter less efficient. Presumably you don't drain water very often. It is not going to matter if you drain by backwashing once in a long while. Of course if your main valve has a pump to waste setting you should use that, but if you have a simple push/pull main valve then the way to drain is by backwashing.
    I'm draining 4 or so inches at a time to stay above my skimmer, done that 4 inches probably 12 or so times over the last 7-8 days...

    been back and forth, but think I'm just going to get through this summer and do a full drain with a sump pump next spring...

    wonder if I have a pump to waste setting? hmmmm I don't think so, I'm hard pipped under ground out to my street, I turn one valve to go from 'normal' to 'backwash', I'm going to go check it out though, maybe a picture or two although that'll be tomorrow as it's getting dark, beer time sounds like a better idea,

  15. Back To Top    #15

    Re: High Calcium Hardness in Arizona, drain?

    Your other option is to have your pool treated with reverse osmosis.
    40,000 gal glass tile with BBB chemistry
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