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Thread: How do I remedy hard water I have to use for our pool

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    How do I remedy hard water I have to use for our pool

    I run our hard well water through a McLean Iron Filter (air injection, no chemicals) and a softener but want to get the Alkalinity down from the current 240 and PH down from 8.4 and the total hardness down from 800+ (all numbers from HTH test strips before adding anything but water). Our well water before treatment yields about 1/3 reddish iron sludge in a container after it sits for an hour. Our water in the house after treatment is fine.

    I did the pool setup all last year but can't clearly remember what worked. I think it was a combination of HTH Stain & Scale Prevent and bubbling and stirring the water while filtering,rinsing, filtering in a long but finally successful enterprise.
    If anyone has just done this and can share the best methods they have used, I would sure appreciate it.

    I am a new member, but found the site very useful last year.
    21,000 litre Above-ground Vinyl Bestway pool with Intec SWG. bought in 2014.
    Water source -deep well via household softener.

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: How do I remedy hard water I have to use for our pool

    Welcome Climax!

    Did the iron remover keep out enough Iron not to stain the pool last year? If so, about all you can do otherwise is to treat the water with a softener, but with a vinyl pool you can deal with that for a season. I do suggest better testing than strips though. Especially with hard water. You'll still need good control of pH and TA with that, and strips won't provide it.
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: How do I remedy hard water I have to use for our pool

    The pool was filled with the same well water last year. Vinyl was not stained and water did clear for July and August fun. I use the test strips as a quick and dirty start. I have vials and colour comparisons for once things are more "normal".
    21,000 litre Above-ground Vinyl Bestway pool with Intec SWG. bought in 2014.
    Water source -deep well via household softener.

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: How do I remedy hard water I have to use for our pool

    pH and TA are easy to fix. Muriatic Acid.

    Calcium Hardness doesn't go away unless you replace it with softer water or have reverse osmosis done, and I seriously doubt if there's an R/O service within 3,000 miles of you. I would see what the drop test shows as CH. Test strips - if they were accurate - generally jump from 400 or 500 to 1000, which isn't really useful for calculating CSI.

    That said.... I'd leave pH and TA alone initially, but do go ahead and add chlorine. These three elements will combine with your Iron to make your pool water look like coffee. That's good. It means the Iron can precipitate out so you can vacuum it up or filter it out. Then a filter cleaning and it's gone for good. At least most of it. Then you can proceed with adjusting pH and working the TA down. And adding a sequestrant.

    Look at pictures in these threads and see if you don't get inspired. If you do, do what they did.
    A Tale of Two Filters... and Ugly, Rusty Water.
    Just got Taylor-2006 Test Kit. Want to verify what I should add.

    There may be more. Try the search box up in the right corner. Pillow stuffing and paper towels... neither one is too complicated.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: How do I remedy hard water I have to use for our pool

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard320 View Post

    That said.... I'd leave pH and TA alone initially, but do go ahead and add chlorine. These three elements will combine with your Iron to make your pool water look like coffee. .
    So I have a question, I also have some hard water in pool, but trucking in mostly good water. Last year I started everything with adjusting pH with muriatic acid because we had more well water.
    Are you saying not to adjust the pH first?? I thought that was the first step in SLAMing?

    We have water coming today and hoping to be up to skimmer and circulating by tomorrow so just trying to get a list of where to start so far my plan was
    1. Adjust pH with muriatic acid to 7.2-7.5
    2. Test FC and add bleach to bring up level
    3. Vacuum, clean filter
    then be done when cc is 0.5 or lower and pass OCLT

    does this sound like a good plan?
    Dayton, Ohio
    21x42x52" 21,000 gallon AG
    New Ecco 22" sand filter with 1.5 hp pump
    14 year old used pool given to us this year, so first year in current location

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    Re: How do I remedy hard water I have to use for our pool

    Quote Originally Posted by blondestar1616 View Post
    So I have a question, I also have some hard water in pool, but trucking in mostly good water. Last year I started everything with adjusting pH with muriatic acid because we had more well water.
    Are you saying not to adjust the pH first?? I thought that was the first step in SLAMing?
    The original poster is in a unique situation. Did you see where he reported "Our well water before treatment yields about 1/3 reddish iron sludge in a container after it sits for an hour." That's why his advice differs from the norm. His fill water is far from normal.
    We have water coming today and hoping to be up to skimmer and circulating by tomorrow so just trying to get a list of where to start so far my plan was
    1. Adjust pH with muriatic acid to 7.2-7.5
    2. Test FC and add bleach to bring up level
    3. Vacuum, clean filter
    then be done when cc is 0.5 or lower and pass OCLT

    does this sound like a good plan?
    You need to add step 1.5 and add some CYA. It doesn't occur in nature, so you shouldn't have any on a fresh fill unless it came out of someone else's pool.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: How do I remedy hard water I have to use for our pool

    Ah, ok!! Makes sense!! We do have a lot of iron as well but no 'sludge'. Thanks for clarifying !! Will get some cya along with the muriatic acid and bleach. Would you assume then that our cya level will be 0?? trying to get an idea for how much CYA I need to have on hand
    Dayton, Ohio
    21x42x52" 21,000 gallon AG
    New Ecco 22" sand filter with 1.5 hp pump
    14 year old used pool given to us this year, so first year in current location

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    Re: How do I remedy hard water I have to use for our pool

    Quote Originally Posted by blondestar1616 View Post
    Ah, ok!! Makes sense!! We do have a lot of iron as well but no 'sludge'. Thanks for clarifying !! Will get some cya along with the muriatic acid and bleach. Would you assume then that our cya level will be 0?? trying to get an idea for how much CYA I need to have on hand
    CYA will be zero, so don't even bother testing the fill water. Shoot for 30 CYA using poolmath, and test it in a week. If your pool is smaller than you think, you won't overshoot that way. Adding more is easy. Removing it is not.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: How do I remedy hard water I have to use for our pool

    Ok! Exactly what I needed to know, thanks. I do see that it says adding CYA will lower the pH. So should I try to get my pH around 7.5 (assuming need muriatic acid as usual) before I start adding CYA?
    Dayton, Ohio
    21x42x52" 21,000 gallon AG
    New Ecco 22" sand filter with 1.5 hp pump
    14 year old used pool given to us this year, so first year in current location

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    Re: How do I remedy hard water I have to use for our pool

    Quote Originally Posted by blondestar1616 View Post
    Ok! Exactly what I needed to know, thanks. I do see that it says adding CYA will lower the pH. So should I try to get my pH around 7.5 (assuming need muriatic acid as usual) before I start adding CYA?
    Anywhere around there. The CYA dissolves slowly and if the water is as hard as you suspect, the high TA will be driving pH up in a hurry so it'll all even out.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: How do I remedy hard water I have to use for our pool

    Ok. I will adjust pH, add cya to ~30 and then work on getting FC to about 12 for shock level. Do you know how long it shoudl take to get an accurate reading on the CYA since you said it takes a while to dissolve?
    Dayton, Ohio
    21x42x52" 21,000 gallon AG
    New Ecco 22" sand filter with 1.5 hp pump
    14 year old used pool given to us this year, so first year in current location

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    Re: How do I remedy hard water I have to use for our pool

    Quote Originally Posted by blondestar1616 View Post
    Ok. I will adjust pH, add cya to ~30 and then work on getting FC to about 12 for shock level. Do you know how long it shoudl take to get an accurate reading on the CYA since you said it takes a while to dissolve?
    About a week. It will be dissolved before then, but it doesn't fully register for a few days. Just assume it's in there once you add it. Use the sock method described in Pool School - Recommended Pool Chemicals
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: How do I remedy hard water I have to use for our pool

    Ok, so will add using sock method and putting in approx 5 lb per the calculator and then go from there. Thanks so much answered some of my things i was iffy about
    Dayton, Ohio
    21x42x52" 21,000 gallon AG
    New Ecco 22" sand filter with 1.5 hp pump
    14 year old used pool given to us this year, so first year in current location

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    Re: How do I remedy hard water I have to use for our pool

    I have finally finished filling my pool over about 4 days via my home softener. I took more care and recycled the softener every time the dial said I should so I think the water in the pool has far less iron than last year. The shot of chlorine didn't turn it brown this year but it is a bit cloudy and greenish. I am bubbling the water with a compressor and cycling the water through the cartridge filter now. I added muriatic acid (about 1 lire) and have given it some hits of ph down after the initial, but PH is still about 8. Alkalinity hasn't moved down yet either. Today I added one bag of pool salt for the SWG (but I haven't turned it on yet) to keep the bag from clumping as we have rainy weather here. I have Cyanuric Acid via HTH Stabilizer. I also have a container of HTH Salt Pool Non-chlorine Shock but don't know what it actually is.
    I wait for more advice but I think the Alkalinity and PH may be my biggest jobs for next week. Advice?
    Thanks for the advice that came through in the thread. I will keep checking.
    21,000 litre Above-ground Vinyl Bestway pool with Intec SWG. bought in 2014.
    Water source -deep well via household softener.

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: How do I remedy hard water I have to use for our pool

    Non-chlorine shock is probably potassium monopersulfate. It can interfere with the CC test.

    With constant aeration and superhigh TA, I suspect you'll be battling pH rise for a few weeks. Just keep adding acid to keep the pH down in the 7's.

    Get some bleach in that water so it doesn't go green on you before the SWG is running.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: How do I remedy hard water I have to use for our pool

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard320 View Post
    CYA will be zero, so don't even bother testing the fill water. Shoot for 30 CYA using poolmath, and test it in a week. If your pool is smaller than you think, you won't overshoot that way. Adding more is easy. Removing it is not.
    Richard, followed your advice, pool is crystall clear with CC of 0, passed the overnight test, all other numbers are right on par except for the CYA i checked tuesday night, it was registering around 15 or so, we added it saturday evening. you said to wait a week on testing but I was curious so I tested it early Does it make sense that the CYA would only be up to 15 in that amount of time? The FC held steady overnight, so feels like it worked, but wasnt sure if it should be higher by now
    Dayton, Ohio
    21x42x52" 21,000 gallon AG
    New Ecco 22" sand filter with 1.5 hp pump
    14 year old used pool given to us this year, so first year in current location

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: How do I remedy hard water I have to use for our pool

    Yes, it makes sense. If you added it Saturday, it probably wasn't out of the sock all the way until Sunday or Monday and it still takes a couple days more usually to register on the test. You can't even test to 15 anyway -- those graduations aren't equidistant.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: How do I remedy hard water I have to use for our pool

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard320 View Post
    CYA will be zero, so don't even bother testing the fill water. Shoot for 30 CYA using poolmath, and test it in a week. If your pool is smaller than you think, you won't overshoot that way. Adding more is easy. Removing it is not.
    Richard, followed your advice, pool is crystall clear with CC of 0, passed the overnight test, all other numbers are right on par except for the CYA i checked tuesday night, it was registering around 15 or so, we added it saturday evening. you said to wait a week on testing but I was curious so I tested it early Does it make sense that the CYA would only be up to 15 in that amount of time? The FC held steady overnight, so feels like it worked, but wasnt sure if it should be higher by now

    And one other question, I have not seen anywhere on the pool school where it talks about maintenance. Does TFP suggest using chlorine pucks in a chlorinator?? Or just adding bleach as needed from testing regularly? I have some of the pucks, so I have some in the pool now, but wasnt sure if people find it easier to just dump in chlorine as needed?
    Dayton, Ohio
    21x42x52" 21,000 gallon AG
    New Ecco 22" sand filter with 1.5 hp pump
    14 year old used pool given to us this year, so first year in current location

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: How do I remedy hard water I have to use for our pool

    Yes, it makes sense. If you added it Saturday, it probably wasn't out of the sock all the way until Sunday or Monday and it still takes a couple days more usually to register on the test. You can't even test to 15 anyway -- those graduations aren't equidistant.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: How do I remedy hard water I have to use for our pool

    Ok, thanks!! I will recheck saturday or so and hopefully I hit it right, pretty sure I put in the right amount per the calculator. Loving the clear water!
    Dayton, Ohio
    21x42x52" 21,000 gallon AG
    New Ecco 22" sand filter with 1.5 hp pump
    14 year old used pool given to us this year, so first year in current location

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