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Thread: Calcium build up?

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    Calcium build up?

    I live in Indiana, near Louisville, Ky. I'm a first time pool owner of a 16x48 AG intex ultraframe. It holds 5,061 gallons. Came with the Krystal clear cartridge filter pump 1200 gph. And I also bought the Krystal clear intex saltwater pump. The pool has been up almost 1 month. Ran fine for 2-3 weeks but now the low salt light is on. I added what the manual told me to. So far, four 40lb bags have been put in the pool. Here are ALL the levels that my test strip shows me.
    Salt 3310 ppm
    TH 200, maybe 400, hard to tell
    FC 1/2
    pH 8.4
    TA 240
    CYA 100 (was 30-50 at 15 sec wait like instructed but a minute later the color read 100)
    I apologize for any confusion as these test strips can be hard to read and I am a first time pool owner. I'm desperate for help. My low salt light keeps coming on so I added the salt then I cleaned the cell as instructed. All the cells were covered in a chalky white substance. My father in law tells me our water is very hard out here in the country. After cleaning as instructed with vinegar, I then had to clean AGAIN, then scrub with a tooth brush. I then put in a new filter and ran the swg on boost. I just went to check on it and the cells are COMPLETELY covered in the white stuff again. Then I received these test results. Please help Bc I thought the swg was supposed to make things easier but I'm getting so discouraged. The pool is mostly clear but kinda cloudy sometimes. I just can't believe the white build is back over night but maybe Bc it was on boost? And I read the cell only needs cleaned once every 4 months but the white stuff appeared very early on.

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Calcium build up?

    Hi, welcome to TFP! Since you have hard water in your area, you will need to keep the pH in the 7.0 to 7.5 range. Right now your pH is way too high and is contributing to the scale formation you see on your SWG cell. You can use muriatic acid or dry acid to lower pH. Use PoolMath to determine how much muriatic acid (MA) you need to drop the pH to 7.0 Add about 1/2 the recommended amount with the pump running, wait 30 minutes and re-test.

    I recommend you stop using test strips and get a high quality test kit such as a Taylor k2006 or a TF 100 . Test strips are highly inaccurate and give unreliable results. When you have your own test kit it is much easier to test the water and make any needed adjustments.
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: Calcium build up?

    Thank you so much. My husband is picking up some acid on his way home. Can I find these specific test strips at a local store or pool store?

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Calcium build up?

    If I read your post to say what I think you meant ... no you can not usually find the Recommended Test Kits at a local store. We do not ever recommend using test strips.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    Re: Calcium build up?

    The K2006 you might RARELY get at a pool store. The TF-100 is only available at tftestkits.net, and the K2006 is available there too. These are drop based tests, not strips. Strips are notoriously inaccurate and imprecise.

    Although your tests may not be correct, let's talk about these results.

    Salt 3310 ppm - This should be OK
    TH 200, maybe 400, hard to tell - 400 will be a little high, but manageable.
    FC 1/2 - This is FAR TOO LOW.
    pH 8.4 - This is FAR TOO HIGH, and probably higher given you have exceeded the limit of the test.
    TA 240 - This is way too high, and along with the high pH is contributing to your scaling.
    CYA 100 - This is too high, and probably higher given you have exceeded the limit of the test. It appears you are using Trichlor tablets, and if so you must cease use of these. Also, you are going to have to drain your pool significantly and refill to get this CYA back in range.

    So, here are your homework items:
    1. Order a proper test kit such as the TF-100.
    2. Read Pool School.
    3. Start using PoolMath (link at the top of this page).
    4. Get your pool specifics into your signature so we know what we are working with.

    For now, dilute your water 50/50 with tap water and test for CYA again. Take the result and multiply by 2. I am betting your result is well over 100.

    Once you know your test results, you are going to primarily drain water to get CYA down to the 70 range, then refill, then get your FC and pH in range. You can use PoolMath for now to get FC up to range until you are ready to drain.
    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: Calcium build up?

    Ty for all the advice. I just don't understand how my results got this way. I have not added ANYTHING EXCEPT SALT. I have ran the filter 4 hrs a day and the swg 3 hrs a day as the manual said. Then when my low salt light came on, I added more salt, I've cleaned the cells 3 times now which was very difficult Bc it's really caked on there, and I ran the swg on boost twice since the low salt light came on.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Calcium build up?

    You don't understand how what got what way?

    You can not just ignore the pool. You should be testing at least the pH and FC every 1-2 days and adjusting as needed.
    But, pool store testing is so bad, it is impossible to actually know if any of your parameters are actually off.

    The high pH is a major driver for the amount of scaling you are seeing in the SWG.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    Re: Calcium build up?

    I just ordered the TF-100 kit. Will post results when it arrives. Thanks.
    - AG 16x48 Intex Ultraframe 5061 gal
    - Krystal clear cartridge filter pump 1200 gph
    - Intex Krystal clear salt water filter
    -Stephanie- Louisville, KY

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    Re: Calcium build up?

    I can explain.

    An SWG will drive up pH due to aeration. You should check this at minimum once per week.
    pH swings will cause calcium build-up.
    Calcium (CH) increases as water is added to the pool. The existing calcium is left behind through evaporation and more is added when you put water in with calcium present. It can also go up if someone adds Calcium Hypochlorite, a common shock product from Leslies. Power Powder.
    FC will drop if your SWG isn't working properly. With an SWG, I recommend testing and adjusting run time and/or output daily until you see FC stable where you want it. After that, check at least weekly to ensure it is working properly.
    CYA is high due to someone adding something with CYA in it. Trichlor tabs, Dichlor shock, straight CYA (stabilizer), something. It doesn't get there through tap water.
    TA can swing up through fill water. It is brought down by maintaining pH.

    Note my testing schedule is weekly. But also note I stated this is once you are sure your system is stable. I know my pool very well and weekly testing works for me.
    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: Calcium build up?

    Thank you for the explanation. I am the only one that cares for the pool and I can assure you nothing besides salt has been put in the pool so that scares me. But hopefully once the test kit comes, I'll have my answer. Maybe the strip is THAT inaccurate.
    - AG 16x48 Intex Ultraframe 5061 gal
    - Krystal clear cartridge filter pump 1200 gph
    - Intex Krystal clear salt water filter
    -Stephanie- Louisville, KY

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    Re: Calcium build up?

    I have received my TF-100 kit. It was our first time using one. My husband has been adding muriatic acid to the pool to get the ph down which was obviously much higher than 8.4 bc it took ALOT to get it down. Here are my results as I promised I would relay once the kit arrived.

    Chlorine- 0
    CH- 625 ppm
    TA-200
    CYA- less than 20, it didn't even register on the cylinder as I expected bc we've never added anything of the sort.
    pH - 7.2

    So we were obviously able to lower the pH finally but this is just the beginning. My salt water pool tastes like salt and is not generating chlorine apparently. Is it because of my other levels or maybe a faulty system. The calcium build up is out of this world. You should usually only have to physically clean the cells every 4 months and I have to soak and scrub my cells daily with vinegar. I hope this changes once I get my levels right. I will enter everything in the calculator but any advice is welcomed and much appreciated.
    - AG 16x48 Intex Ultraframe 5061 gal
    - Krystal clear cartridge filter pump 1200 gph
    - Intex Krystal clear salt water filter
    -Stephanie- Louisville, KY

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Calcium build up?

    The CYA is too low, which is causing you to lose all of your chlorine to sunlight. The recommended CYA level is between 70 and 80. Don't raise it all that way in one step, aim for 50 at first, and then raise it the rest of the way later.
    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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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Calcium build up?

    I would suggest raising the CYA to 40-50ppm and then using bleach and raising the FC to SLAM level and Perform the Overnight Chlorine Loss Test to see if there is anything in the pool that would require the full ShockLevelAndMAINTAIN Process.

    If the water is clear, with low CC, and you pass the OCLT, then raise the CYA level for the SWG.

    You could try testing the water right out of the return with the SWG generating to confirm it is working as well.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    Re: Calcium build up?

    Thank you. Is the calcium hardness level the reason for the awful thick buildup on my salt cells. Will fixing these other levels help the hardness or is there something else I need to do. Everyday it's completely corroded and needs cleaned.
    - AG 16x48 Intex Ultraframe 5061 gal
    - Krystal clear cartridge filter pump 1200 gph
    - Intex Krystal clear salt water filter
    -Stephanie- Louisville, KY

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Calcium build up?

    If you can get the TA down to 60, the SWG cell will stop having calcium buildup. That may take a while, or may be impractical if your fill water TA is too high. Another option is to add borates to the water, which may not be enough by it's self, but will help prevent calcium buildup in the cell.
    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

  16. Back To Top    #16

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    Re: Calcium build up?

    How else can I lower the TA besides lowering the pH since it's already 7.2
    - AG 16x48 Intex Ultraframe 5061 gal
    - Krystal clear cartridge filter pump 1200 gph
    - Intex Krystal clear salt water filter
    -Stephanie- Louisville, KY

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Calcium build up?

    Aerate to raise the pH. There is an article in Pool School.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
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  18. Back To Top    #18

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    Re: Calcium build up?

    Today's results
    FC 9
    CC 0
    pH 7.5
    Calcium Hardness 300
    TA 250
    CYA 20, maybe a little less.
    I know the CYA takes time. I added less chlorine than the calculator told me to and now it's way too high. It went from 0 to 9. And my TA is very high. And I still have a ton of calcium buildup and have to clean my cells daily.
    - AG 16x48 Intex Ultraframe 5061 gal
    - Krystal clear cartridge filter pump 1200 gph
    - Intex Krystal clear salt water filter
    -Stephanie- Louisville, KY

  19. Back To Top    #19

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    Re: Calcium build up?

    I would shut off the SWG for now. Use bleach to keep your chlorine up for now. Work on getting your TA down to 60 to 70 and your CYA up to around 50 while keeping your chlorine up with bleach. Once you've won that battle, turn the SWG on at its lowest setting and add small doses of CYA until you get to around 70. Wait about a week between doses. It took me a month to get from 50 to 70. I read way too many high CYA horror stories. Monitor your chlorine and slowly increase your SWG output every couple of days until it is producing all of your chlorine and you are not having to add any bleach.
    12000 Gallon IG Plaster built 2/15/2014. Jandy 340 sg ft 127 gpm filter, Jandy 1 HP stealth pump. Circupool RJ-45 SWG (overkill). TF-100 with Speed Stir.

  20. Back To Top    #20

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    Re: Calcium build up?

    Okay a few questions. Sorry, but I'm very new in this department. What's the reasoning for keeping my chlorine up so high? Isn't it really high? And how do I low the TA without messing up the pH. Also, I have CYA hanging in pool in a pantyhose. Is this a correct method? And does this mean we can't swim for awhile?
    - AG 16x48 Intex Ultraframe 5061 gal
    - Krystal clear cartridge filter pump 1200 gph
    - Intex Krystal clear salt water filter
    -Stephanie- Louisville, KY

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