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Thread: Time to Drain & Correct High CYA & Calcium Levels Guidance, Please???

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    Time to Drain & Correct High CYA & Calcium Levels Guidance, Please???

    After 6 months of battling the problem of high calcium & CYA levels resulting in difficulty keeping FC, TA & PH in balance, I am planning to drain & refill.

    Everyone I have talked to, who has looked at the pool, says it appears that the high calcium levels originated due to improper PH monitoring during the start-up of my StoneScapes finish & too much conditioner being added, although my PB will not admit to this, nor will he fix the problem.

    Additionally, much of the mini-pebble surface remains unexposed. I have also asked whether I should do a non-drain acid wash to expose more pebble, but nobody will give me a straight answer, not knowing how the pebble was applied. It turns out that my PB used a non-certified applicator for the StoneScapes finish & put the name of a certified applicator on my "Lifetime Warranty". I even had the "certified applicator" whose name is on my warranty, take a look and he was very non-committal, and taken aback by the fact that my PB put his name on my warranty.

    After initial fill (remodel) in late March 2014, Calcium was 950. Current readings per the TF-100 kit are:
    CH =800
    CYA =100
    FC = 5
    PH = 7.5
    TA = 50

    I am planning on draining a little more than half from my 10,000+ gallon pool & refilling; "Pool Math" says 60%.

    I have some questions.

    1. What is the best way to drain my pool? This is my equipment

    2. After the pool is drained, should I re-fill it with my water softener on or off? (It was off when the initial fill was done) Calcium readings when off is 400 and when on is <50. I tested these levels when I found out there was a problem, thinking that my unsoftened water may have been extremely high in calcium.

    3. To add chemicals after the re-fill, should I just test the water and go by the recommendations of the TFP Calculator?

    4. I try to always use the "Yellow Jug" liquid chlorine. In the event I plan on being away, I will float a couple pucks which I cannot imagine creating a problem; will it?

    Any guidance you can provide would be most helpful. I have lost so much sleep over this issue and want to fix it once and for all.
    11,500 Gal IG StoneScapes Tahoe Blue Pool Remodeled/Filled 3/21/14, 3/4 hp pump, Hayward Cartridge Filter, Solar Heat

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Time to Drain & Correct High CYA & Calcium Levels Guidance, Please???

    1. Likely need to rent/buy a submersible pump. Although it looks like you have a waste line plumbed, so if that suction valve will isolate the floor, then you could just pump out the waste line. Keep an eye that the pump does not lose prime when the water level drops.

    2. It would lower the speed at which the CH will rise too high again if you can run with the softener on. But most are not designed for that much use over a short period of time

    3. Refill, circulate for at least an hour, and then post up a full set of test results if you want advise. You have to set your targets in PoolMath. If you know what you want to target, then use PoolMath.

    4. The tablets will always lower the pH, and add FC and CYA. So you have to be sure that you can handle adding more CYA. Use the bottom of PoolMath to see what each ~8oz trichlor tablet will do to your pool.
    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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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Time to Drain & Correct High CYA & Calcium Levels Guidance, Please???

    High calcium fill water means the CH level will go up any time you top off the water level by adding more water. Most likely that process (replacing evaporation) raised the CH level. There is always some increase in CH during startup, but that shouldn't have been all that large (perhaps +300), the rest was presumably from the initial fill and replacing evaporation with high CH fill water.

    When trying to get the CH level down, you want to use as much softened water as possible. Home water softeners are not designed to process that volume of water in a short period of time, so expect lots of extra recharging cycles.

    It looks like you have a drain line, the smaller pipe with a red valve leading to what looks like perhaps a blue flexible hose. You can probably use that to drain the pool, if you have a main drain and can turn off the skimmer so the pump draws only from the main drain. Otherwise you will need to use a sump pump or rent an appropriate pump.

    Trichlor tablets add CYA. If you use them only when you are on vacation, they shouldn't add enough CYA to cause a problem. Liquid chlorine does not add any 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: Time to Drain & Correct High CYA & Calcium Levels Guidance, Please???

    I do have a waste line plumbed & a valve to isolate water pull from the skimmer to the main drain; I can probably figure out which way the valve should be turned by checking the pull at the skimmer. As you mentioned, I can keep an eye on it so the pump doesn't lose prime.

    Unfortunately (or fortunately in this case) my outside spigots were erroneously plumbed with my softener loop so I can fill with the hose and softener on. If I'm filling with basically 0 calcium water, do you think I still need to drain more than 1/2? I just called the water softener company and they said 800 gallons max per charge.

    Please forgive me if I am being redundant in any way, I just need to make sure I get this right. With non softened water at 400 ppm I am already at the max calcium unless I fill with softened water.
    11,500 Gal IG StoneScapes Tahoe Blue Pool Remodeled/Filled 3/21/14, 3/4 hp pump, Hayward Cartridge Filter, Solar Heat

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Time to Drain & Correct High CYA & Calcium Levels Guidance, Please???

    You have to replace over 50% primarily due to your high CYA level. Having a lower CH will make scale prevention easier.

    With a starting CH of 800, if you replace half of it with 0ppm water (doubtful it is that low BTW), then your pool will end up at a CH of 400ppm. If you filled 50% with the 400ppm water, you would end up with a CH of 600ppm.
    Those are both higher than ideal CH levels and will require you to keep your pH in the lower 7s to be balanced.
    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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    Re: Time to Drain & Correct High CYA & Calcium Levels Guidance, Please???

    Thank you all for your wonderful advice. I finally completed the drain & refill. It took nearly 2.5 days to drain approximately 60% and re-fill using softened water. My numbers are all good now (except for chlorine; I wanted to empty the jug and refill both and added way too much!)

    FC 11.5 (ug)
    PH 7.5
    TA 100
    CH 375 !!!
    CYA 35
    11,500 Gal IG StoneScapes Tahoe Blue Pool Remodeled/Filled 3/21/14, 3/4 hp pump, Hayward Cartridge Filter, Solar Heat

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Time to Drain & Correct High CYA & Calcium Levels Guidance, Please???

    Nice work!!!

    The FC is nothing to worry about. Still below shock level and even safe to swim in. It will drop back down in a day or 2.
    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
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

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    Re: Time to Drain & Correct High CYA & Calcium Levels Guidance, Please???

    Quote Originally Posted by dolllyxxx View Post
    CH 375 !!!
    Thats a little high but no as bad as some as I have seen on here. Just avoid any products containing calcium.
    The biggest problem with high CH is adding fill water with high CH because of evaporation. It will go up from this point if that is the case. Water evaporates leaving the calcium behind then you add fill water adding more calcium.
    18,000 Gallon Aboveground. Sand Filter with 2HP 2 speed Pump.

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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: Time to Drain & Correct High CYA & Calcium Levels Guidance, Please???

    Excellent! Awesome work dollyxxx!

    Quote Originally Posted by dolllyxxx View Post
    Thank you all for your wonderful advice. I finally completed the drain & refill. It took nearly 2.5 days to drain approximately 60% and re-fill using softened water. My numbers are all good now (except for chlorine; I wanted to empty the jug and refill both and added way too much!)

    FC 11.5 (ug)
    PH 7.5
    TA 100
    CH 375 !!!
    CYA 35
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

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