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Thread: What are my options with high CH

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    What are my options with high CH

    The CH in my pool is sitting at right around 1050. My fill water has been tested a few times once at 875 and another at 750.

    To drain and fill i would only be able to get the CH down as low as my fill water obviously, which is still WAY higher than any recommended amount.

    We have soft water tank delivered weekly for the house by a local water conditioning company for the household water. Actual auto water softeners are actually banned in most of the county so thats not an option.

    Reverse osmosis treatment on the pool. Any advice from people who have done this? Im wondering how long it will take for the CH to raise up again with my fill water being so hard. Is it a yearly treatment? Monthly? I cant imagine its cheap.

    I mean really doesnt seem like i have to many options. How bad does the high CH effect the pool?
    13000 Gal rectangle gunite w/Aqua-Glass IG lap pool built in 1987 resurfaced (Aqua-Glass) in 2010, Hayward Max-Flo VS pump (model SP2302VSP)
    Rheem Gas Heater 266,000 BTUH (P-M267A-EN-C), Hayward Pro Grid D.E. Filter model DE3620, ThePoolCleaner, CoverPro safety pool cover, TF-100 test kit w/SpeedStir

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: What are my options with high CH

    CH levels that high require careful maintaince to be sure you don't get calcium scaling. Use the CSI calculation in PoolMath and make sure that CSI never goes above 0.3. This is typically done by lowering PH and TA to compensate. Adding borates can also help a little. This gets more and more difficult as the CH level goes up, eventually becoming completely impractical somewhere around a CH level of 1,200.

    Reverse osmosis is only available in a few areas. I haven't heard of anyone doing it north of LA, but there might be someone new in your area. Most people only need it once every two or three years, but given fill water CH levels that high you would probably need to do it at least annually.

    One thing to watch for is to check if CH levels vary at different times of year. In many places CH is lower at some times of year, and water replacement is best done when fill water CH is as low as possible.
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    Re: What are my options with high CH

    I looked into it here in Texas and it was nearly $1300 to take my 750 CH pool water to 200 CH. Almost double your size, but I imagine Cali could be higher. You would just have to price it out.

    If you could get your CH down within range, and make up to it only through an extra exchange bed the softener company brings out, you could go a very long time... years in fact, if it was economically feasible. What it would cost for enough capacity for your pool makeup is something the company could tell you.
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    Re: What are my options with high CH

    I just spoke with Bruce at pool service tech in San Diego. Super nice guy. He has the RO set up. Unfortunately he doesnt come up this far. He said he knows he could get my CH down to recommended levels. He also said that you guys wont steer me wrong and that TFP is a great site and the right way for pool care.

    He doesnt know of anyone at the moment who is doing this service near me.

    Next i called the water conditioning company. I explained my situation and she through out some hardness numbers. Said normally you want about 15 grains of hardness and where we are living its at about 35 grains of hardness. Not sure how that converts but regardless, its over double.

    She has a pool as well and suggested i go talk to leslies to get their recommendations on what to drain etc because they are the experts. I said we are caring for and testing our own water. She did say that depending on what we cone up with they could deliver tanks that they hook up to the water hose to refill the pool withe filtered water. $45/tank which each tank would do about 1285 gallons. But then how long would it be before i had to drain again??

    One other thing that i was thinking of... Does the length of time this water has been in the pool effect the CH at all? I mean say its been in here for 6 years. Its always only been as low as the fill water CH correct? So chances are its been way high for all these years??? I know for a fact the PO was using leslies so who knows what they were told to do or werent.
    13000 Gal rectangle gunite w/Aqua-Glass IG lap pool built in 1987 resurfaced (Aqua-Glass) in 2010, Hayward Max-Flo VS pump (model SP2302VSP)
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    Re: What are my options with high CH

    If your fill water is high as stated that's likely as low as it's ever been. To explain how Expert they are, Leslie's sells Cal-Hypo out here where I live and likely where you do. It adds CH with Chlorine, but they would never advise you and I not to buy it.

    A grain of hardness is 17.1 PPM. If you start that conversation with Leslie's there is no telling where it will go.
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    Re: What are my options with high CH

    CH has almost certainly been high for years. CH just stays in the water and accumulates over time. Evaporation removes water but not calcium, while topping off the pool adds more calcium.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: What are my options with high CH

    Well leslies isnt an option. So with what you said as far as calcium never leaving .... Even if CH was 200, and fill water CH was 100....at some point everyone has to drain/fill to get the numbers back down? Maybe take a long time but hypothetically, CH should always be rising correct?

    So really i have only one option. Drain?
    13000 Gal rectangle gunite w/Aqua-Glass IG lap pool built in 1987 resurfaced (Aqua-Glass) in 2010, Hayward Max-Flo VS pump (model SP2302VSP)
    Rheem Gas Heater 266,000 BTUH (P-M267A-EN-C), Hayward Pro Grid D.E. Filter model DE3620, ThePoolCleaner, CoverPro safety pool cover, TF-100 test kit w/SpeedStir

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    Re: What are my options with high CH

    My fill water is about 130ppm ... My pool CH goes up about 120ppm every year just due to evaporation. I am probably going to be replacing water every 3-4 years to prevent the CH from getting higher than I would like.

    The only reason you would not have climbing CH is if you got a lot of rain that continually diluted the pool water. Or had enough splashout / backwashing that you were effectively replacing enough water to keep the CH down.
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    Re: What are my options with high CH

    Out of curiousity, I just did a CH test on the water coming out of the kitchen sink. Took 2 drops to turn it blue. Was close with one drop.

    So i guess i will start getting in the mindset to drain. Can you give me an amount i should start with based on my circumstances?

    How long does it take to drain and fill a pool of this size. This is gonna be $$$$$. Didnt see this coming at all.
    13000 Gal rectangle gunite w/Aqua-Glass IG lap pool built in 1987 resurfaced (Aqua-Glass) in 2010, Hayward Max-Flo VS pump (model SP2302VSP)
    Rheem Gas Heater 266,000 BTUH (P-M267A-EN-C), Hayward Pro Grid D.E. Filter model DE3620, ThePoolCleaner, CoverPro safety pool cover, TF-100 test kit w/SpeedStir

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    Re: What are my options with high CH

    I see no reason to drain at all. If your tap is 800 or so and you are currently at 1050, you won't gain much.

    Do you get enough rain to divert to your pool from the roof of your house? That can be VERY significant and doesn't cost much.
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    Re: What are my options with high CH

    Wait. That is softened water from your tap. Your exchange bed will be exhausted long before your pool is filled. You need an UN softened sample test. Find a spigot outside that is normal water.
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    Re: What are my options with high CH

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh View Post
    I see no reason to drain at all. If your tap is 800 or so and you are currently at 1050, you won't gain much.

    Do you get enough rain to divert to your pool from the roof of your house? That can be VERY significant and doesn't cost much.
    It appears that the only way to get my numbers down, is to drain. I could easily divert the rain from the roof into the pool...BUT that would require rain and it seems rain stays far far away from So Cal, lol.

    The thought behind draining was to then have the water people bring in tanks like they mentioned to filter the fill water upon refill.

    Yes, it was the softened water i tested...i was curious how low the numbers were. I assume it would be about the same if i had the water co bring the tanks in to filter the hose water for a refill . The fill water i tested outside was last at 750. Is that what u were asking?
    13000 Gal rectangle gunite w/Aqua-Glass IG lap pool built in 1987 resurfaced (Aqua-Glass) in 2010, Hayward Max-Flo VS pump (model SP2302VSP)
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    Re: What are my options with high CH

    Yes, ok then that's what I was asking. That's an easy calculation for them. Each tank will exchange the hardness for another ion (usually sodium) and it will be a lot of beds (tanks) depending on their capacity. Perhaps very expensive. You just have to ask what it would cost. You need to figure a minimum of 3/4 your pool volume, which again may be beyond reasonable cost. The problem is that these beds are not designed for processing large volumes of water at a time. While they could provide enough of them, it's just not normal use of them.
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    Re: What are my options with high CH

    When i was on the phone with her earlier she said one tank would do about 1285 gallons at $45 per tank. If you guys are recommending at least 3/4 of the pool volume....that puts me at about 9 tanks to filter 11,200 gallons and a cost of just over $400. PLUS the cost of water. Just called the actual water company and it would be approx $60 (about 3.70/unit or per 750 gallons) in water charges for 11000 gallons.

    For comparison the RO would cost about $550 if it was available near me. Bruce did mention he is building a unit for a guy that is about 1.5 south of me but it wont be ready until about August.

    So this is what needs to be done. Ill call the water conditioning people back and see what it takes to get this set up.
    Any idea how long it takes to drain 11,000 gal of water and refill?

    What am i gonna do with 11000 gallons of water?????

    This sucks.
    13000 Gal rectangle gunite w/Aqua-Glass IG lap pool built in 1987 resurfaced (Aqua-Glass) in 2010, Hayward Max-Flo VS pump (model SP2302VSP)
    Rheem Gas Heater 266,000 BTUH (P-M267A-EN-C), Hayward Pro Grid D.E. Filter model DE3620, ThePoolCleaner, CoverPro safety pool cover, TF-100 test kit w/SpeedStir

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    Re: What are my options with high CH

    Yea, it does.

    What you can do is wait for August, perhaps do a portion of water replacement between now and then to get it a little more manageable. Say half. Although 1000+ PPM CH is dicey to handle, you can manage it while you start working it down, and moving toward August. I know rain isn't likely, but if you could look into being prepared to divert some if it comes that could be helpful. Doing things like this and tightly managing your chemistry is the most practical thing to do. Using the beds to refill your pool isn't really a standard suggestion we make, because of the impracticality of it. Honestly, it's an extreme measure.

    If you do it with the exchange beds, the refill rate depends on the flow capacity of the beds. I have no idea what that is, but I would guess at 10-15 GPM, but that's a wild guess. You are likely to find this will be a bigger cost with setup and handling issues involved, again adding to it being impractical. I merely mentioned that it is possible. Before you decide on this measure, you need to get some figures from them, and strongly consider doing soft makeup for refills and tight chemistry management.
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    Re: What are my options with high CH

    GOOD NEWS!!!!!
    I was searching around for water restrictions etc in my city/county and some how came across a company that purifies pool water!!!!!
    Turns out he is in Bakersfield and comes through here regularly to go to Santa Barbara. Been in the pool industry 30 some years and just got his set up for RO going not to long ago. Real nice guy, explained my situation and he said no problem! $600. He is gonna stop by this next week on his way through to check out the area and set up an appt.

    They retain about 85% of the existing water and the other 15% will come from our water supply but will be ran through the RO unit before going back to the pool.

    Im so excited. Apparently he's been getting reports of his site being hard to find on searches and they are working out the bugs!! Just glad i found it!! ALOT less hassle.

    So in the mean time....should i mess with adjusting anything or just keep my numbers where they are?

    How low do i have them bring the CH down?

    I assume when the process is done, it will be like starting from scratch. Not sure what the RO does with the other numbers other than the CH.

    Once this RO process takes place, it would probably benefit me to fill off my soft water to allow me to not have to do this RO frequently. Just need to find a way to get the soft water to the pool.

    The rain water (IF we ever actually get any). We leave the auto cover open during rain. Its been mentioned to divert the roof water into the pool. We have rain gutters that already point towards the pool, i can just come up with some hoses that carry the water all the way to the pool. The only thing id be worried about is the dirt and whatever else comes through there. Should i be? Any suggestions? If the rain water will hwlp, i wanna be prepared!

    Thank you for all the help with this!!! I hope this RO does the trick and allows all of my numbers to be within range (probably for the first time EVER) Hopefully not to much damage from the extremely high CH has occured yet.
    I bet that is why the pool was resurfaced 5 years ago!!
    13000 Gal rectangle gunite w/Aqua-Glass IG lap pool built in 1987 resurfaced (Aqua-Glass) in 2010, Hayward Max-Flo VS pump (model SP2302VSP)
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: What are my options with high CH

    The RO will remove the CH and the CYA from the water. Note that you can NOT have the service done if you have algae in the water as it clogs up the system I think.

    Glad you found an option ... too bad it costs so much.
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    Re: What are my options with high CH

    Glad you found a solution.

    Water softeners generally aren't able to provide much benefit due to the sheer volume that is needed to top off the pool. You'll get some benefit from using softened water but as you fill, the water will lose it's softened qualities as the softener is unable to keep up with the volume. In small volumes over time, maybe.

    If you divert rain water to the pool devise some mechanism to prevent rocks or shingle/asphalt material from getting to the pool such as a screen or temporarily collecting water in a barrel or cistern, which allows particles to settle. You many notice increased chlorine demand from the organics that may be drawn into the pool from the roof, drainage channels or if you let collected water sit too long untreated, it may develop algae. Probably not all that noticeable if done right.
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    Re: What are my options with high CH

    Deal with the dirt by vacuum or good robot cleaner. That is fantastic news!!!

    The RO will fix this completely, so look into increasing your exchange bed capacity for pool makeup now. Or plan on this service each year or so.

    For Now, keep the pH about 7.3-7.4 for safety. Keeping scaling at bay is very doable in your pool. Vinyl is much more forgiving in this scenario than Plaster.
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    Re: What are my options with high CH

    Sounds good. Turns out the pool is NOT vinyl (see this post http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...vinyl?p=784403 ). Ive changed my sig.

    The work to the pool 5 years ago was probably do to the CH levels. Doesnt matter now, just gotta move forward.

    Ph is currently 7.4

    Ill probably come up with more questions as the date gets closer. But for now, we are headed in the right direction.

    Thanks again.
    13000 Gal rectangle gunite w/Aqua-Glass IG lap pool built in 1987 resurfaced (Aqua-Glass) in 2010, Hayward Max-Flo VS pump (model SP2302VSP)
    Rheem Gas Heater 266,000 BTUH (P-M267A-EN-C), Hayward Pro Grid D.E. Filter model DE3620, ThePoolCleaner, CoverPro safety pool cover, TF-100 test kit w/SpeedStir

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