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Thread: TDS and calcium hardness - 3rd year I have drained my pool.

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    TDS and calcium hardness - 3rd year I have drained my pool.

    Hello all,

    Ths is the third year I have been requested to drain my pool by the pool company due to high Calcium hardness and high Total Dissolved Solids.
    Basically what they have said is "Chemicals are not killing the algea because these two readings are high."
    - I have no readings to provide you guys as I have just filled my pool again and started from scratch.

    I am curious after reading everyones comments though on TDS why I am still not clear on TDS and if I should have to drain partial pool and refill.

    We do not have a huge swimmer load in the pool throughout the year so I am not sure why this keeps occuring. The pool cleaning company mentioned that they cannot figure out why these levels keep going high either.

    Can anyone provide a clear understanding if I should be trying something else before draining for next time?

    Kidney Shaped Inground Pool
    3.5 deep to 8ft deep
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    Re: CYA and 3rd year I have drained my pool.

    Welcome to the forum. Can you report just how high those numbers are?

    The pool company is providing you bogus information but giving us the numbers they report would be very helpful.

    The vast majority of us here on the forum manage our own pools and don't rely on the often incorrect advice from service companies or pool stores.

    Keep reading some of the threads here and I think you may find it eye-opening.
    Dave S.
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    Re: CYA and 3rd year I have drained my pool.

    It is possible your CYA level has gotten so high that it's almost impossible to get FC high enough, but CH isn't going to affect this. You have someone telling you things with no idea what they are talking about.

    But I'm confused, because the title of this thread says CYA, but the body talks about CH and TDS. Which is high?
    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: CYA and 3rd year I have drained my pool.

    Quote Originally Posted by RobbieH View Post
    You have someone telling you things with no idea what they are talking about.
    This. Nearly all of us here stopped going to the pool store, and instead rely on our own, good, test kits. We make our own decisions based on precise, accurate information, and as a result, pool chemical maintenance is a breeze.

    Spend some time in pool school, and if you want to do it our way, we're happy to help you learn.
    33' round, 23,000 gal AG vinyl , 1HP 2spd PowerFlo Matrix downsized with 3/4HP impeller (X2), Hayward S180T 150# sand filter (X2), Hayward H250 NG heater Pool Store year 1 - $850 for 2 months; Pool Store year 2 - $440 for 2 months, TFPC year 1 - $170 for 4 months; TFPC year 2 - $95 for 4.5 months
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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: CYA and 3rd year I have drained my pool.

    Welcome!

    You've come to the right place if you're tired of being jerked around by the wallet. With a proper test kit and what you can learn here, you can fire the pool service and only go to the pool store to purchase obscure parts.

    Total Dissolved Solids is everything that would be left behind if you let your pool water evaporate. That means Calcium, Salt, Cyanuric acid, phosphates, nitrates, everything. Without a breakdown, it's meaningless! So what if TDS is 3000, if it's 3000 salt? People with salt pools ADD that much! A whole lot of people in the Southwest have no choice but to fill the pool with water containg 400ppm TDS, and as water evaporates and they refill it just climbs and climbs. I've never had my TDS tested. Haven't got a clue what it is. But I've never had algae, and I can toss a quarter in the deep end and call heads or tails from the deck!

    TDS is a sales tool. Or a way to cover the fact that they've messed up your chemistry beyond repair. It climbs and climbs because they use powdered chlorine sources, which add either Calcium or Cyanuric Acid. The best source is plain old bleach, which only leaves behind salt, which actually makes the water feel better on the skin at the low concentrations we're talking about. But they can't be there every day to pour it n, so they load you up with pucks and wave goodbye, and then charge you again to drain to undo the damage! And then start all over again. An endless profit cycle.

    Get your own test kit - a good one. Take control.
    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.
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    Re: TDS and calcium hardness - 3rd year I have drained my pool.

    So how does Calcium play into all of this?

    Pool guy said calcium was too high along with the TDS. How does calcium get too high?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard320 View Post
    Welcome!

    You've come to the right place if you're tired of being jerked around by the wallet. With a proper test kit and what you can learn here, you can fire the pool service and only go to the pool store to purchase obscure parts.

    Total Dissolved Solids is everything that would be left behind if you let your pool water evaporate. That means Calcium, Salt, Cyanuric acid, phosphates, nitrates, everything. Without a breakdown, it's meaningless! So what if TDS is 3000, if it's 3000 salt? People with salt pools ADD that much! A whole lot of people in the Southwest have no choice but to fill the pool with water containg 400ppm TDS, and as water evaporates and they refill it just climbs and climbs. I've never had my TDS tested. Haven't got a clue what it is. But I've never had algae, and I can toss a quarter in the deep end and call heads or tails from the deck!

    TDS is a sales tool. Or a way to cover the fact that they've messed up your chemistry beyond repair. It climbs and climbs because they use powdered chlorine sources, which add either Calcium or Cyanuric Acid. The best source is plain old bleach, which only leaves behind salt, which actually makes the water feel better on the skin at the low concentrations we're talking about. But they can't be there every day to pour it n, so they load you up with pucks and wave goodbye, and then charge you again to drain to undo the damage! And then start all over again. An endless profit cycle.

    Get your own test kit - a good one. Take control.
    I am located in Dallas, Texas and not aware of liquid chlorine

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    Re: TDS and calcium hardness - 3rd year I have drained my pool.

    Quote Originally Posted by bhorne View Post
    am located in Dallas, Texas and not aware of liquid chlorine
    Then you have a lot of learning to do, but that is a good thing. We all started this whole pool care thing in the same place. Liquid chlorine is sodium hypochlorite, but usually goes by it's street name: bleach. Regular unscented Chlorox or a store brand. Some stores also sell it as pool sanitizer at higher concentrations too, meaning less liquid for same results.

    Make sure to do some reading in the Pool School, I have a link in my sig. There is a lot you can learn and caring for the pool yourself is not nearly as difficult as the pros would like you to think. The forum is here to help if you need it.


    JD - 28' Round Above Ground Pool, 17,000 Gallons. Dual speed Jacuzzi pump with cartridge filter. Dual speed 1 HP pump, Hayward S210T sand filter
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    Re: TDS and calcium hardness - 3rd year I have drained my pool.

    Quote Originally Posted by bhorne View Post
    So how does Calcium play into all of this?

    Pool guy said calcium was too high along with the TDS. How does calcium get too high?

    - - - Updated - - -



    I am located in Dallas, Texas and not aware of liquid chlorine
    Calcium gets concentrated in your pool water as a result of evaporation or added as one of the components of 'shock'. once water evaporates, you add more, including calcium. Over time, this drives it up.
    15 K gal/gunnite, 600 gal attached SPA, Hayward: ProLogic, ColorLogic LED, Super II pumps, 400k BTU heater, StarClear cartridge filter for, SwimClear cartridge filter . Pentaire: booster

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    Re: TDS and calcium hardness - 3rd year I have drained my pool.

    I am also in Dallas. We don't have easy access to anything other than plain old bleach. Other states have concentrated chlorine, but really now that it's at 8.25% at the store, why bother with anything else?
    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: TDS and calcium hardness - 3rd year I have drained my pool.

    Calcium gets too high because it comes out of the tap that way. As the water evaporates, the Calcium stays behind and builds up. Also, one of the more popular chlorine powders adds 7ppm Calcium Hardness for every 10ppm Free Chlorine. If you use 2 or 3 FC per day, and use the powder to chlorinate, you add 13 or 14 CH every week. And if you adhere to the pool store method and dump an extra pound in every week, that's another 4 or 5 ppm, depending on pool size. It builds up fast!

    I have really hard water, and my CH goes up about 25/ week just from evaporation and refill! High CH can be managed. Above 800 it starts to get difficult to prevent scale formation. If you're not under water restrictions, then a partial drain is always an option. Some of us aren't that fortunate.
    Liquid Chlorine is sold as "liquid shock" or "pool chlorine" or something like that at pool stores and big box hardware stores. It's also sold in the grocery store as "Clorox" bleach. http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...nate-your-pool
    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: TDS and calcium hardness - 3rd year I have drained my pool.

    So then If it comes out of the tap with high hardness then partial drianing sounds inevitable?

    SO maybe the pool guy was right as the calcium was very high. But I was not dealing with any formations, its just the algea was not dying.

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    Re: TDS and calcium hardness - 3rd year I have drained my pool.

    Total Hardness as CaCO3 ppm 92 to 122
    http://fortworthtexas.gov/tapwater/
    300 is a normal range for pools.

    I know it's Fort Worth, but I would guess your water is of similar make up, if you're filling the pool from the tap you shouldn't have trouble with high hardness UNLESS it was put in there by you or the pool store. If you had a proper test kit, you could easily test your tap water for calcium hardness (CH) and know. You could also test your pool and know. Knowledge is power and you usually won't get much from the pool guy.
    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
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    Re: TDS and calcium hardness - 3rd year I have drained my pool.

    Quote Originally Posted by bhorne View Post
    So then If it comes out of the tap with high hardness then partial drianing sounds inevitable?

    SO maybe the pool guy was right as the calcium was very high. But I was not dealing with any formations, its just the algea was not dying.
    High Calcium is quite common in the Southwest. It can be managed. But usually, when a pool pro recommends a drain it means he's made such a cocktail soup that he has given up any hope of fixing it. They get you both ways. Charge a fortune to make a mess, then charge again to fix it.
    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: TDS and calcium hardness - 3rd year I have drained my pool.

    The high calcium level has nothing to do with killing algae. Other parameters were off, most likely the CYA level which can make killing algae very difficult once the algae gets in the water. I suggest for you to read the following, http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...ater-chemistry. This article should give you a good start at understanding the ABC's of water chemistry.
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    Re: TDS and calcium hardness - 3rd year I have drained my pool.

    I will be back with new water and readings. Thanks!

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