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Thread: Calcium testing

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    dumbcluck's Avatar
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    Calcium testing

    Ok. I've had water in my pool for 30 days now. I'm getting ready to switch over to my swg and feel like my calcium should be higher. It tests at around 175 now after chlorinating with cal hypo for the bulk of my 30 days.
    I keep hearing that it will go up on its own but don't feel that I'm seeing that happen.
    We have had some fairly heavy rains here for SoCal recently and water level has increased. Prior to rain I would get a pink color before counting drops. Now it is a lot clearer with a pinkish color to it. Not nearly as pink as before. Yes it still requires the same number of drops as before to change the diluted pinkish color to a diluted blueish color.
    In use is a tf100 test kit with speed stir.
    Anybody have an explanation or see any problems with this? Maybe the measuring cylinder needs to be cleaned better or something? Water too cold? It's in the low 60's.
    A little confused by it or when would be a good time to switch over to the swg and intelliph dispenser. After the rains stop? After getting calcium up?
    Cya is around 40 or 50 or so.
    Ta is around 80-90
    Ph 7.5
    Fc 6
    Cc 0
    -Jimbo- My pool was full of dirt and trees. Now it's full of water and children!
    20k gallon inground pool, 18" raised spa 7' round, 8 jets, 3" spa plumbing. Pentair intelliflo 3hp vsp, Easy touch 4 w/ ic 40, CCP 420 cartridge filter, Raypak 407a w/ cupro nickel, Screen logic 2, Pentair intelliph, spa side remote, Pentair 5g color lights pool and spa, TF-100 test kit with speed stir and Dolphin Oasis Z5

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    Re: Calcium testing

    I believe you are overthinking your issue.

    Your CH is a bit low and tests consistently at that level.......I would accept the test results.

    Add CH?? Maybe, but almost everyone's CH goes up slowly with a new plaster pool.

    If it was my pool, I'd leave it alone for another 30 days and then recheck CH. If it was still 175, I would add enough Calcium to bring it up to 200-250 or so and then leave it.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    dumbcluck's Avatar
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    Re: Calcium testing

    Ok by me. Just didn't want it to start leaching out of my plaster. Is that something that only happens over a very long and drawn out period of time if neglected?
    -Jimbo- My pool was full of dirt and trees. Now it's full of water and children!
    20k gallon inground pool, 18" raised spa 7' round, 8 jets, 3" spa plumbing. Pentair intelliflo 3hp vsp, Easy touch 4 w/ ic 40, CCP 420 cartridge filter, Raypak 407a w/ cupro nickel, Screen logic 2, Pentair intelliph, spa side remote, Pentair 5g color lights pool and spa, TF-100 test kit with speed stir and Dolphin Oasis Z5

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    Re: Calcium testing

    Maintain your pH a little higher and you should be fine.

    Making a few assumptions with the numbers you supplied have you CSI pretty negative (-0.66) and thus could be corrosive to the plaster. Raising the CH to 250 and keeping all the same would make the CSI -0.51. Raising only the pH to 7.8 would make the CSI -0.37.

    Since the CH usually naturally rises over time, I would just keep the pH a little higher.

    EDIT: Note these numbers assumed a salt level of 3200ppm, which may not have been correct.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Calcium testing

    Don't forget about the CYA, you will want it to be 70-80 even during the winter once the SWG is running.

    I have the Taylor salt test if you want to borrow it while you are dosing the salt. I have more test reagent than I know what to do with.
    16k gal plaster with raised spa, Jandy DEV60 filter, 2 HP 2-speed SHPF Jandy Stealth pump
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    dumbcluck's Avatar
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    Re: Calcium testing

    Thanks ping. I'm still trying to bring cya up before switching over. I have some test strips for salt.
    I'm trying to get cya and ta to around 70 each.
    I have been using higher doses of ma to lower ph to around 7.2 and aerating to bring ta down. Ph rises fairly quickly.
    Jblizzle I have not added any salt yet.
    No concern over low numbers for calcium?
    Ping, I'd like for you to drop by and check it out sometime. You helped me a lot in the build and decision making process.
    -Jimbo- My pool was full of dirt and trees. Now it's full of water and children!
    20k gallon inground pool, 18" raised spa 7' round, 8 jets, 3" spa plumbing. Pentair intelliflo 3hp vsp, Easy touch 4 w/ ic 40, CCP 420 cartridge filter, Raypak 407a w/ cupro nickel, Screen logic 2, Pentair intelliph, spa side remote, Pentair 5g color lights pool and spa, TF-100 test kit with speed stir and Dolphin Oasis Z5

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    Re: Calcium testing

    Dumbcluck,

    Don't waste your time with salt testing strips. They're very expensive for a very few number and you have to read them at exactly the right time. Taylor makes the K-1766 salt test kit which can be purchased for $20 in many places. I think the affiliated test kit sales website for TFP sells that one as well as many other sites. Regardless of the source, the test is easy to use and the color turns from pale yellow to milky white and then at the "read point" salmon red. Very unmistakable and easy to use. Just be aware the silver nitrate will stain "permanently" if you drop it on something or get it on your hands.
    Central TX / 12K GAL / IG / SWG / DE filter / Pentair SVRS & 3 swim jet pumps / Spa bench and jets / Single body of water / No heater.

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    dumbcluck's Avatar
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    Re: Calcium testing

    Ok. The salt test that I have is one that I got from a link I found here. I ordered it along with my tf100 test kit and speed stirrer. I have yet to use it but will check and see what it is. I thought it was some form of test strip. I could be mistaken. I figured that since I got it from a link here it would be worthy.


    Edit, aqua cell test strips
    These Aqua Chek Salt Strips are our first choice for testing and maintaining the salt level in your SWG pool.

    Quick and simple to use, they provide adequate accuracy for virtually every situation. For those that require more precision (a drop based method), please check out the Taylor K-1776 Salt Test.
    -Jimbo- My pool was full of dirt and trees. Now it's full of water and children!
    20k gallon inground pool, 18" raised spa 7' round, 8 jets, 3" spa plumbing. Pentair intelliflo 3hp vsp, Easy touch 4 w/ ic 40, CCP 420 cartridge filter, Raypak 407a w/ cupro nickel, Screen logic 2, Pentair intelliph, spa side remote, Pentair 5g color lights pool and spa, TF-100 test kit with speed stir and Dolphin Oasis Z5

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Calcium testing

    "Here" is a forum, we don't sell anything, we just talk about stuff. TFTestKits.net is a separate entity. The names are similar, and we like each other, and some people hang out both places, but they are not the same as each other.
    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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    Re: Calcium testing

    Salt test strips and the Taylor K-1766 are both adequate for testing your pool for salt......period.

    The difference between the two depends on what you want out of them.

    Test Strips - If you test 3-10 times a summer and are OK with a ball park number (plus or minus 400 ppm) the strips are fine......cost about $11.00.

    If you feel you must have greater precision and test more often, then the K-1766 may be better for you. It's much higher initial cost (about $27.00) is offset by the number of tests you can do (a ton) and the accuracy is plus or minus 200 ppm.

    So, it's a personal choice depending on your requirements but both test methods are precise and dependable enough to be part of TFP.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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