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Thread: Question about very High Calcium Hardness?

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    Question about very High Calcium Hardness?

    First off, this is a great forum I really enjoyed the advice I've seen on the site. I've recently taken over my pool duties from my pool guy.

    It looked like everything was balanced fairly well although I did need to add some stabilizer to get the CYA up to 80. However, I just checked the calcium hardness and it totally freaked me out....I'm up to 880.

    Now I've lived in my house for 4.5 years (never drained the pool) and know we have hard water. I used the pool math and it looks like I need to drain 70% of my pool to get the hardness back down.

    Here are my stats: 15K gallon pool, located in So Cal (EXPENSIVE WATER) and it's salt water.

    Are there any other options besides wasting all of that water? I have a feeling I know the answer but wanted to check the forum just to make sure.

    Thanks for the help and advice.
    TJ
    12k Gallon, IG, Plaster, Year Built 1988
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    duraleigh's Avatar
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    Re: Question about very High Calcium Hardness?

    Welcome to the forum.

    Unfortunately, CH will not come out of your pool unless you drain.

    First off, I would test the CH of your fill water so you can determine how helpful it will be to drain at all.

    Post that back and we'll have some options (limited) for you.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Question about very High Calcium Hardness?

    Welcome to TFP!

    High CH levels can be managed as high as 1200, with increasing effort as the CH level goes up. As CH goes up you can lower TA and PH to compensate. However the PH will tend to go up on it's own and as CH gets very high the amount of effort needed to keep things under control gets very large. In almost all cases you will eventually need to replace water, but that can be put for for a while. You can use CSI (see PoolMath) to calculate appropriate PH and TA levels for your situation. With a SWG you typically need to keep CSI at 0.1 or lower.

    One option that helps a great deal is to do any topping off of the water level using water from a water softener. This will significantly increase the number of recharge cycles the softener needs, but for many people is worth that. Again this only delays the inevitable water replacement, and does not usually eliminate it. Though it can put water replacement off for longer than other approaches.

    Some people make a point of capturing as much rainfall as possible in the pool, as that will be calcium free.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Question about very High Calcium Hardness?

    Jason I thought I read somewhere that reverse osmosis could remove CH, true or false?
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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: Question about very High Calcium Hardness?

    Welcome to the forum TJ. You're not alone with high CH around here. Many of us deal with the same thing. It's manageable but you have to stay on top of pH. Glad you found us and hope you enjoy the forum.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by borjis View Post
    Jason I thought I read somewhere that reverse osmosis could remove CH, true or false?
    It absolutely does, but finding a service company to do that is the problem. There are some in the desert SW and SoCal, depending on where you are.
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    Re: Question about very High Calcium Hardness?

    Thanks guys for the response. I found a guy down in San Diego that does the RO and I'll see if he will come up to South Orange County to do my pool. Maybe if I could find a bunch of us he would come on up......Just a thought.

    Oh and I also checked my tap water....It came in at a lovely 300ppm. Any suggestions?

    Thanks again for your help.
    TJ
    12k Gallon, IG, Plaster, Year Built 1988
    Pool and Spa (Spa waterfalls into pool)
    DE Filter (Pentair 2000 series 48), Hayward Tristar VS
    Pyrex triton mini max 400 heater
    Trouble free pool test kit

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    Re: Question about very High Calcium Hardness?

    You can use a solar cover and that will eliminate most of the evaporation so you will not have to top off very often. With the cover, watching the pH and TA, you should be able to get another season before you have problems from too high of CH. You could also work on catching any rain water off the roof and directing it to the pool. Rain is in the forecast for this weekend!
    16k gal plaster with raised spa, Jandy DEV60 filter, 2 HP 2-speed SHPF Jandy Stealth pump
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    Re: Question about very High Calcium Hardness?

    Quote Originally Posted by uwquigman View Post
    Thanks guys for the response. I found a guy down in San Diego that does the RO and I'll see if he will come up to South Orange County to do my pool. Maybe if I could find a bunch of us he would come on up......Just a thought.

    Oh and I also checked my tap water....It came in at a lovely 300ppm. Any suggestions?

    Thanks again for your help.
    TJ
    Count your lucky stars you are only 300. I have a healthy 700+ CH from our well. I would suggest as many water changes as you can afford, and feel ok with. I know you guys are starved for water like us, so there is an ethical element to it. Ping makes good suggestions on trapping Rain water when you can. Cutting evap is a great suggestion as well.
    TFP Moderator
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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Question about very High Calcium Hardness?

    You better just accept the idea that those recommended levels will never happen in your pool. From personal experience, I can tell you that it's no big deal to maintain the pool chemistry so you don't start growing scale with CH up to about 800. Once you hit 1000, it's a royal PITA. Are you testing with a speedstir? If not, get one. My CH readings dropped 200 when I switched from manual swirling to using the speedstir. You can also use the 10 ml sample size. At your levels, it doesn't matter much if you get 875 or 900 using a small sample or 880 using the large. Post #7

    Play around with Poolmath. Plug all your numbers into now and look at the CSI calculation at the bottom. Then play with the other parameters one at a time and see how each affects the CSI. You'll see that higher temperatures, pH, and TA affect things more than another 25 CH will. You only have so much room to play around with pH before it starts irritating eyes and damaging the heater, and you want TA to be 60-70 (based on my experience) so when you get to where it's nearly impossible to keep CSI below .6, you'll need to replace some water or spend the bucks on reverse osmosis.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
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