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Thread: Want to add CH without clouding pool

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    Want to add CH without clouding pool

    I've not worried about CH for the past few years, but from what I've read here, I know I should take up my CH to about 200. It's 40 now. I do fight staining so maybe increasing the CH would help.

    I have a fiberglass pool and a few years back, I tried adding CA. But, I had a lot of sequesterant in the water and it removed 100% of the CA to the filter. It all got backwashed out! From that point on, I never worried about it.

    I was in Leslie's the other day, and they were discontinuing their 60% cal-hypo shock, so I figure, I could add some calcium while using the cal-hypo to add Cl. For the past 5 years, I've just used bleach. The poolcalculator helped me figure out how much of the cal-hypo to use daily to keep my Cl level up to where I needed it. After using the cal-hypo for a week (the pool was covered with a solar cover) upon removing the cover and going into the pool, I found it to be cloudy. I've stopped using the cal-hypo and am running the filter 24x7 to clear the pool.

    So, given my experience with cal-hypo use for the first time and the experience I had a few years back with unsuccessfully adding CA, I wonder what you good folks recommend for CH ?
    10K IG fiberglass pool, Hayward 24" Sand Filter, 1.5HP Hayward superpump, Heat Pump Heater

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Want to add CA without clouding pool

    Please post a complete set of water test results. Quite a number of different levels interact to determine if CH will cause clouding or not. Without more information there isn't really anything I can tell you.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Want to add CA without clouding pool

    Sure.

    CYA=50
    Cl=4.5
    CH=40
    Ph=7.2
    Alk=90

    Thanks in advance.
    10K IG fiberglass pool, Hayward 24" Sand Filter, 1.5HP Hayward superpump, Heat Pump Heater

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Want to add CA without clouding pool

    When you said a lot of sequestrant, you must really mean a lot of sequestrant, almost certainly too much.

    Calcium can cloud the water in more than one way. I was expecting that some of your clouding would have been from calcium clouding, but your test results suggest that would not be happening in your pool. That means it has to be sequestrant binding to the calcium and then clumping up into visible particles. It only does that that quickly when the sequestrant level is quite high.

    Is there some reason you need the sequestrant level that high? (Or am I mis-understanding something, and sequestrant isn't that high now?)
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Want to add CA without clouding pool

    You may be onto something. I've added about 2.5 quarts over the last 3 weeks because of staining. When I opened the pool about 3 weeks ago, I used a lot of bleach to shock over 3 days and this left the pool pretty stained. Even with a lower Ph, my pool doesn't like high Cl! Wish I could find the source of the metal, but that's another story. The Metal Magic mostly removed the stains after a week, but stains reappeared, so added 1.5 more quarts, at different times. Nothings been added for about a week, but pool is pretty stained (at least I think so - everyone tells me they can't see much staining but I can). I was going to either add more metal magic at one last attempt to clear the pool. If that didn't work, I was going with an AA treatment. Pool is 10k gallons. ProTeam site recommends a heavier dose than a quart if needed (up to 4) ! http://www.proteampoolcare.com/images/u ... geTest.pdf

    In the last few years, metal magic has worked pretty well. Once the pool stains, I add a quart, and the stains lift off in a day or two. Seems to last about 6 weeks. I've not been too successful with maintenance doses, but I never minded using a quart every 6 weeks. This season, so far, seems to be different.

    But, you are right - there is probably a decent amount of metal magic in the pool despite the staining. I didn't realize this could cause the issue that I have now. Maybe I should have considering the last time I add CA, there was a lot of sequestrant in the water, but it got filtered out pronto. Maybe I should test the water again for CH as the test results I posted for CH were from a few days ago (the rest of the tests were done a few hours ago).

    Guess the thing to do in the short term is just wait till the water clears.

    What's your advice after that? Should I wait awhile to add CA (or forget about it)?
    10K IG fiberglass pool, Hayward 24" Sand Filter, 1.5HP Hayward superpump, Heat Pump Heater

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    Re: Want to add CA without clouding pool

    "Normal" sequestrant levels should not cause problems for normal CH levels. From what I have read (it has never happened to me) sequestrant has to be more than three times too high to gobble up all the calcium like that. One the other hand, the higher the metal levels in the pool, the higher you need to keep the sequestrant level. Jack's Magic sells a sequestrant level test kit, which can be very handy in situations like this one.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Want to add CA without clouding pool

    Skillset or JasonLion, could you please confirm that all the references to CH and CA in this thread are referring to Calcium Hardness and Cyanuric Acid respectively.

    As I read the thread I'm just not sure all the CH's and CA's are abbreviations for what their intended to abbreviate. Are some of the CA's possibly abbreviations for Calcium, causing my confusion or is everything correctly stated?

    Appreciate the clarification.
    21K gal 16' x 40' in-ground pool built 1959, old school with Jacuzzi bronze pump, American Products 24" Sand Filter & Americana Multiport valve, Jandy Lite2 millivolt heater, Coverstar cover, and classic Kreepy Krauly.

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    Re: Want to add CA without clouding pool

    I am only talking about calcium, and I believe skillset is also talking about calcium. When talking about cyanuric acid, I would say CYA.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Want to add CA without clouding pool

    Quote Originally Posted by skillset
    But, I had a lot of sequesterant in the water and it removed 100% of the CA to the filter. It all got backwashed out!
    In that case, is the process for eliminating calcium, skillset says he witnessed, a viable alternative for folks with high calcium hardness and expensive water. If this really works, are there downsides (filter plugging, sequestrant costs exceeding water costs, unhealthy levels of sequestrant, etc) that make this impractical?
    21K gal 16' x 40' in-ground pool built 1959, old school with Jacuzzi bronze pump, American Products 24" Sand Filter & Americana Multiport valve, Jandy Lite2 millivolt heater, Coverstar cover, and classic Kreepy Krauly.

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    Re: Want to add CA without clouding pool

    Yes, CH=Calcium Hardness and CA=calcium

    I've read that one must partially drain the pool to lower calcium, but I found out otherwise.

    The Jack's test kit for sequestrant is $93, so I'll pass on that.

    My next plan of action is to clear the pool water (should only be another day or two). Then, take care of the stains. Once that occurs, I'll wait 3-4 weeks to dissipate any excess sequestrant and try to add some CA to see if I get the clouding again. If I get clouding again, I'm done, and will live with a low CH level.
    10K IG fiberglass pool, Hayward 24" Sand Filter, 1.5HP Hayward superpump, Heat Pump Heater

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    Re: Want to add CA without clouding pool

    I'm probably butting in where I shouldn't and I probably only know enough to be dangerous..... but......

    What kind of staining are you talking about? Is it reddish/pink/rust colored? I had the same issue and added Stain Free (which is just ascorbic acid). I was certain that I'd permanently discolored the fiberglass, but the AA cleared it right up. A nice, older, gentleman told me to check first by taking a Vitamin C tablet and rub it on the sides. If the pool was white under where I rubbed, I'd know I was on the right path. I tested and he was right. If this isn't what you're talking about just ignore me and my rambling.

    I just raised my calcium hardness for 80 to 300 a couple of weeks ago. I used Hardness Plus which was about $30 for sixteen pounds. (We didn't have any luck using the deicers.) It raised the CH to the recommended levels but my water didn't get cloudy.

    I *have* had cloudy water issues from dissolving that white chalky powder that was a result of my CH being too low for a very long time. (I'm using a product designed to work away at that stuff.) When we scrub at the sides, I can turn my pool into what looks like a milk bath. We use Pool Logic's Dazzle and one ounce clears up the pool in a few hours.
    Central Indiana, 7200 gallon, IG fiberglass, L250 Jacuzzi sand filter, Hayward H150 gas heater, Pentair fiber optic light - installed '06. AOSmith 1.0hp pump, CPSC-24 SWG - installed '13. TF-100 Test Kit.

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    Re: Want to add CA without clouding pool

    Thanks for the reply. I guess the clouding is pointing to CA plus a high level of sequestrant.

    Yep - the stains are iron. Easily removed with Ascorbic Acid.
    10K IG fiberglass pool, Hayward 24" Sand Filter, 1.5HP Hayward superpump, Heat Pump Heater

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    Re: Want to add CA without clouding pool

    Ok - It's two weeks later and the pool is still cloudy from my original post from 6/15. I've been running the filter 24x7. I have a hard time believe that 8oz of Cal-Hypo clouded my pool but I don't have any other rationale. The cloudiness is consistent - not getting worse or better. When people swim, I get additional cloudiness from normal bathing, but that clears up and returns to the "normal" cloudiness after filtering. When you are out of the water, the water doesn't look bad at all, but underwater, I get about 25' visibility and the pool is 33' in length. With the BBB method, I've always had nothing but crystal clear water and I had clear water until I added the Cal-Hypo.

    My sand filter is staying steady - I have some DE in it, so it isn't really doing much to help. I have a skimmer sock on skimmer basket which is not collecting much - the water is very clean. The water chemistry has been fine the last 2 weeks, as well. Test results from today:

    cl=4.5
    CYA=60
    Ph=7.2
    Alk=80

    The pool is using what I consider to be it's normal chlorine usage. At night getting little to no Cl loss.

    I went to the Leslie's to buy some floc, thinking this was my next best step. Again, following BBB all these years, I've never used it. I was recommended Alum. At the same time a seemingly knowledgable employee told me that cal-hypo can cloud a pool if not pre-desolved in a bucket of water, which I didn't do. She concluded that the issue I'm having is suspended particles. However, she recommended before using the Alum to just shut the pump off for a many hours to see if the particles will fall out themselves. If that didn't work, the Alum should do the trick. After a day of swimming, my filter is still going, but it will shut off at 2AM tonight, so I'll get in 8+ hours of it being off to see if the particles will drop themselves. But, I'm not hopeful.

    I know this forum does not recommend floc or brighteners, but I'm kind of at a loss for next steps. I've given 2 weeks and the filter has not done anything to clear the pool.

    Thoughts?

    10K gal Fiberglass pool.
    10K IG fiberglass pool, Hayward 24" Sand Filter, 1.5HP Hayward superpump, Heat Pump Heater

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    Re: Want to add CA without clouding pool

    I don't recommend floc, but clarifier might be a good idea. Floc is far more work, and can occasionally cause problems. The worst clarifier will do is cost money and then not work.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Want to add CA without clouding pool

    Can you elaborate on the work or problems it can cause? Seems like directions on the flocs are pretty much all the same: put in water, circulate for 2 hours, turn pump off for up to 12 hours, vacuum to waste. I get the wasted water for vacuuming and cost of the floc, itself, but what else should I be concerned about? Thanks!
    10K IG fiberglass pool, Hayward 24" Sand Filter, 1.5HP Hayward superpump, Heat Pump Heater

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    Re: Want to add CA without clouding pool

    I did try some clarifier (Robelle Clarifier and Brightener) about a week ago which didn't help at all. I tried the Alum last night and it clouded the pool upon entry. I see what Jason meant above. The pool has been sitting with pump off a little over 10 hours and it does not appear to have done much. What a mess now. I see no sediment at all at the bottom of the pool that the floc is supposed to have made.

    I'm thinking now the problem is pointing to my filter. I think I may change the sand - it's been 7 years. I recently had the pump replaced a few weeks ago - maybe a coincidence? It was a 1.5HP and I replaced it with the same type of motors and it appears to be running pretty similar to the old one. Could it be too strong?

    Any other suggestions at this point would be most welcome as pool now unusable.

    I am assuming that if the filter is working well, the Alum should be able to be filtered out, as well ?
    10K IG fiberglass pool, Hayward 24" Sand Filter, 1.5HP Hayward superpump, Heat Pump Heater

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    Re: Want to add CA without clouding pool

    Skilset,

    Please make any reference to calcium as CH. Whether it's calcium hardness or the product you are considering, call them all CH. CA is not a term we use and confuses many trying to help.

    Changing the sand is almost surely a further waste of your time and money.....sand doesn't go bad. However, you should certainly open your filter and inspect the sand bad for correct level and to clean the sand. Have you done that in the last seven years?
    Dave S.
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    Re: Want to add CA without clouding pool

    Ok - thanks for the direction on CH. Thanks for the reply.

    No - have not inspected the sand. I've used a sand cleaner upon opening - the kind you pour through the skimmer while backwashing.

    My filter's top is not joined to the piping with unions - they are glued. A basic question - can you remove the top without cutting the pipes?

    I am getting ready to turn the pump back to see if the filter can, at least, get the alum out of the pool now being it's not at the pool bottom.
    10K IG fiberglass pool, Hayward 24" Sand Filter, 1.5HP Hayward superpump, Heat Pump Heater

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    Re: Want to add CA without clouding pool

    The sand could be channeled:

    my-sand-is-channeled-how-to-fix-it-t7626.html
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    Re: Want to add CA without clouding pool

    I called Leslies and they said the Alum could take 24-48 hours. No change in the pool water for 14 hours now, although it was pouring for about 2 hours recently. Since the Cl level is 4, I figured it can't hurt to give the product some more time to work. If no change by tomorrow AM, I'll turn the filter back on. I'm going to to maintenance on the filter tomorrow too, so will see if channeling may be the issue.
    10K IG fiberglass pool, Hayward 24" Sand Filter, 1.5HP Hayward superpump, Heat Pump Heater

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