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Thread: Calcium confusion

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    poptartdaddy's Avatar
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    Calcium confusion

    Hello all - this is my first post.

    I just completed the "re-construction" of my pool a few weeks ago (see signature). I hate my pool builder. They did a crappy job, even the second time around, but anyway ...

    Because I don't trust my builder, I took a sample of the water to my local pool store. They said I need to add calcium. The builder is telling me not to. He says that's just the pool store trying to sell me stuff I don't need.

    With the finish being so new (less than 3 weeks since the resurface), I'm afraid to take control of the chemistry from the builder yet.

    Is adding calcium typical? This is the 3rd pool I've owned and I've never had store tell me I need calcium before. Is it ok to do with a new finish?
    13,000 gal IG plaster, SWG, heyward cartridge, variable speed pump. attached spa w/ dual spill-overs & sun shelf. In direct sunlight all day. Pool is "partially above ground" with one-side of the pool serving as the retaining wall, as our back yard is on a large slope. Original build date: 4/11/2014. Entire pool was completely stripped and refinished less than a year after construction because of leaks. Re-opened: 5/7/2015

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Calcium confusion

    Quote Originally Posted by poptartdaddy View Post
    With the finish being so new (less than 3 weeks since the resurface), I'm afraid to take control of the chemistry from the builder yet.

    Is adding calcium typical? This is the 3rd pool I've owned and I've never had store tell me I need calcium before. Is it ok to do with a new finish?
    Welcome to TFP!!

    As your pool builder is the one who will warranty any damage, not taking control from him if he is handling the start up is a good idea.

    I personally would stay out of pool stores. You can get everthing you need other places and not deal with the hard sell for questionable additions to you r pool.

    But, you do need a quality test kit to care for your pool!
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: Calcium confusion

    Welcome to the forum!

    We need to know what your CH (Calcium Hardness) is to advise you. I would suggest getting your own kit instead of going to the pool store. All too often their numbers and advice is very poor.
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    poptartdaddy's Avatar
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    Re: Calcium confusion

    Thanks. Seems like the TF-100 Test Kit is the preferred kit. I'll start there and report back when I'm able to test it myself.
    13,000 gal IG plaster, SWG, heyward cartridge, variable speed pump. attached spa w/ dual spill-overs & sun shelf. In direct sunlight all day. Pool is "partially above ground" with one-side of the pool serving as the retaining wall, as our back yard is on a large slope. Original build date: 4/11/2014. Entire pool was completely stripped and refinished less than a year after construction because of leaks. Re-opened: 5/7/2015

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Calcium confusion

    Quote Originally Posted by poptartdaddy View Post
    Thanks. Seems like the TF-100 Test Kit is the preferred kit. I'll start there and report back when I'm able to test it myself.
    It's a good choice. It was designed for residential pool use and doesn't have a bunch of stuff you won't use in it.

    You may want to read through the New Pool Start Up article.
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: Calcium confusion

    Quote Originally Posted by tim5055 View Post
    It's a good choice. It was designed for residential pool use and doesn't have a bunch of stuff you won't use in it.

    You may want to read through the New Pool Start Up article.
    Thank you. I just ordered my kit. Also got the optional salt test. Not sure if I need that as my salt system has a salt level reading on it, but it was cheaper than paying for shipping.

    The builder came out today, said all the chemicals were "perfect" and said he's done with adjusting the chemicals for me. So I'm on my own as of today.

    Any adjustments to these recommended levels?

    with SWG
    FC 3-5 (See chart)
    pH 7.6-7.8
    TA 60-80
    CH 300-400
    CYA 70-80
    13,000 gal IG plaster, SWG, heyward cartridge, variable speed pump. attached spa w/ dual spill-overs & sun shelf. In direct sunlight all day. Pool is "partially above ground" with one-side of the pool serving as the retaining wall, as our back yard is on a large slope. Original build date: 4/11/2014. Entire pool was completely stripped and refinished less than a year after construction because of leaks. Re-opened: 5/7/2015

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    Re: Calcium confusion

    Both excellent choices. As usual, Tim advised you very well. The salt kit is really good to have as sometimes those readings get off, and the salt test won't lie. Let us know and we will be glad to help.
    TFP Moderator
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    poptartdaddy's Avatar
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    Re: Calcium confusion

    TF-100 came today. Here are my test results:
    FC=30
    CC=0
    TC=30
    CH=200
    TA=80
    CYA= 40ish
    PH=8.2

    Salt test = 3800 (which is 1000 more than the salt reading on the SWG meter). chlorine generation set at 50%.

    So ... where do I go from here?
    13,000 gal IG plaster, SWG, heyward cartridge, variable speed pump. attached spa w/ dual spill-overs & sun shelf. In direct sunlight all day. Pool is "partially above ground" with one-side of the pool serving as the retaining wall, as our back yard is on a large slope. Original build date: 4/11/2014. Entire pool was completely stripped and refinished less than a year after construction because of leaks. Re-opened: 5/7/2015

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    Re: Calcium confusion

    I wondered if you meant to type "3" instead of "30"? Did it really take 60 drops of reagent during the chlorine test to turn the pink to clear?

    If really 30...wow. Far too high, but it will drop within a week with some sun.

    pH is too high- use Pool Math to determine how much muriatic acid to add to bring that pH down to about 7.5

    CH is a bit low- but did your pool builder give you a number to strive for there? I'm unfamiliar with plaster requirements so hesitate to give you a number. Someone more experienced here will though

    My salt test (K-1776) never matches my SWG but its happy to keep making salt so I'm happy to let it.
    My Amazon Smile for November12K Fiberglass IG, Infinity 4000 automatic cover, SWCG, Hayward Sand Filter, Hayward 1.5 Pump, Doheny Discovery Robot, Savi Melody LED pool lights, outdoor speakers and other assorted doo-dads. Sundance Altamar Hot Tub.
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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Calcium confusion

    It is important to maintain PH between 7.2 and 7.8

    CH should be between 300 and 400
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    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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    Re: Calcium confusion

    Quote Originally Posted by YippeeSkippy View Post
    I wondered if you meant to type "3" instead of "30"? Did it really take 60 drops of reagent during the chlorine test to turn the pink to clear?

    If really 30...wow. Far too high, but it will drop within a week with some sun.

    pH is too high- use Pool Math to determine how much muriatic acid to add to bring that pH down to about 7.5

    CH is a bit low- but did your pool builder give you a number to strive for there? I'm unfamiliar with plaster requirements so hesitate to give you a number. Someone more experienced here will though

    My salt test (K-1776) never matches my SWG but its happy to keep making salt so I'm happy to let it.
    Yes, it took 60 drops. Even the basic CL test shows it as really high:



    I added 18oz of acid per the pool math. And I guess I do need calcium after all. The stuff the pool store wanted to sell me said it had to be mixed in a bucket first. The TFP chemicals page says "Calcium products should be spread across the surface of the deep end of the pool." Are we talking about the same thing?
    Attached Images Attached Images
    13,000 gal IG plaster, SWG, heyward cartridge, variable speed pump. attached spa w/ dual spill-overs & sun shelf. In direct sunlight all day. Pool is "partially above ground" with one-side of the pool serving as the retaining wall, as our back yard is on a large slope. Original build date: 4/11/2014. Entire pool was completely stripped and refinished less than a year after construction because of leaks. Re-opened: 5/7/2015

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Calcium confusion

    Yep, that is high. It is officially orange julius orange on Richard 320's tweety bird scale.
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    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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    Re: Calcium confusion

    My Taylor salt test always reads higher than my swg does. As long as it keeps making chlorine you are all good.

    Keep the pool uncovered for a while and let the sun eat up some of that chlorine. Wow, thought mine was high at 16 from when I closed.

    Once your FC is down you may want to bring your cya up a bit. You are in a rather sunny climate and the little extra buffering will help your salt cell live a longer life.

    Was the PB able to get the FC to 30 with just the SWG? Or did he use liquid chlorine to boost? If not, is your salt cell well oversized?


    30x20 vinyl IG, Hayward SD60 with Pentair Dynamo 340219 2HP pump, Compupool CPSC24 SWG, Hayward H200FDN heater. APC automatic pool cover.
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    Re: Calcium confusion

    need to get that CH up, especially with plaster while its still curing. you need calcium chloride, stay away from the pool store. you can buy it at home depot as ice melter. I know you are in Florida so they wont sell it in the store, but you can buy online and ship to the store. to get from 200 to 350 based on your pool size on pool math, you need 18 lbs. just search on home depot or lowes and get the plain calcium choloride
    Dan
    9,000 gallon in-ground Saltwater pool, plaster, cartridge filer, 1.0 hp pump, Hayward T-15 SWCG, TF-100
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    Re: Calcium confusion

    Quote Originally Posted by bdex View Post
    My Taylor salt test always reads higher than my swg does. As long as it keeps making chlorine you are all good.

    Keep the pool uncovered for a while and let the sun eat up some of that chlorine. Wow, thought mine was high at 16 from when I closed.

    Once your FC is down you may want to bring your cya up a bit. You are in a rather sunny climate and the little extra buffering will help your salt cell live a longer life.

    Was the PB able to get the FC to 30 with just the SWG? Or did he use liquid chlorine to boost? If not, is your salt cell well oversized?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    My pool's always uncovered.

    HE just converted it over from Chlorine to Salt last week, was using chlorine for start up. He also just realized today that he had the SWG on the wrong setting (didn;t match the cell version), so that may be some of the issue.
    13,000 gal IG plaster, SWG, heyward cartridge, variable speed pump. attached spa w/ dual spill-overs & sun shelf. In direct sunlight all day. Pool is "partially above ground" with one-side of the pool serving as the retaining wall, as our back yard is on a large slope. Original build date: 4/11/2014. Entire pool was completely stripped and refinished less than a year after construction because of leaks. Re-opened: 5/7/2015

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    poptartdaddy's Avatar
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    Re: Calcium confusion

    I'm waiting right now to hear back from my pool builder about the calcium. A lot of the ice melter says not to use on new concrete that hasn't had a chance to cure. I'm nervous about putting deicer in a pool with a new finish. the last thing I need is a reason for the PB to say I violated the warranty or something.
    13,000 gal IG plaster, SWG, heyward cartridge, variable speed pump. attached spa w/ dual spill-overs & sun shelf. In direct sunlight all day. Pool is "partially above ground" with one-side of the pool serving as the retaining wall, as our back yard is on a large slope. Original build date: 4/11/2014. Entire pool was completely stripped and refinished less than a year after construction because of leaks. Re-opened: 5/7/2015

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