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Thread: Arizona Pool Owners:Advice

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    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    Mesa, AZ
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    Arizona Pool Owners:Advice

    I've been told that I should drain my pool every two years by a couple of different pool "experts" because the water here gets too hard after a couple of years. Is this true? And what's the best way to drain it if I don't have a big enough yard to drain it on to, or a sewer clean out to run it into? In fact, I'm not even sure what they mean when they say a sewer drain out. Do they mean sewer drains in the gutters of the street? We don't have any on our block. Could I run the water into an indoor drain like a bathroom shower? I have a sump pump, so that would not be a problem. Also, has anyone ever drained their pool in Mesa and had to fill out the wastewater fee adjustment form? I'm wanting to drain it in the next couple of weeks, but the city's website said that the water usage rates are calculated from between the beginning of December and the end of March and that the monthly wastewater (sewer) rates are based on an average of your monthly winter water usage (between December and March). So, filling the pool during these months may impact your monthly wastewater fee for the following year, unless you fill out the waiver form. The thing is, I've been told that to prevent any problems with the pool's floor and walls that you should drain it before it starts to get in the low 80's temp-wise, and that starts happening here before April. Any advice would be great.
    IG, Shotcrete, PebbleTech, 30 1/2 x 13, 13000 approx. gals, 1 1/2 HP Jandy pump, 2 1/2 plumbing, cartridge filter, SWG, ozone system, PV3 in-floor pop-up cleaning, Mesa, AZ

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Arizona Pool Owners:Advice

    In some areas of the country, notably where you are, there tends to be a lot of calcium in the fill water, which will cause the CH level in the pool to rise over time. Eventually the CH level gets too high and you need to replace a lot of water. Water replacement should be done when the CH level gets too high, not once every two years. With care you can often go longer than that, and if the CH level gets too high more quickly then you will need to replace water more often.

    Most household drains can not handle the rate of water flow rate that a pool pump provides, so a normal household drain may not work. There is always a sewer clean out somewhere in your plumbing. This is a place where there is a several inch wide opening into the drainage system that is normally closed, but can be opened to clean out major blockages. If you can find that and open it up, it will handle the high flow rate from a pool pump.

    Temperature is not really an issue. However, there is a question of when the available fill water has the lowest possible CH levels. It is often the case that the CH level in the fill water is lower in the winter, so temperature can be a useful indicator in some places. This varies from place to place. I don't know how CH levels vary in your area.
    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: Arizona Pool Owners:Advice

    You can avoid the rise in Calcium Hardness (CH) if you use a pool cover to prevent evaporation. The CH is initially high from the first fill, but then it continues to climb with evaporation and refill. You then would not need to replace or regularly dilute your water as often. The evaporation rate in Arizona (see this image is around 100" (over 8 feet) per year. With an average pool depth of 4.5 feet, that would nearly triple your initial CH in one year if you don't use a pool cover.

    Since your water is probably warm enough already (at least in the summer), the pool cover should reflect most of the light that hits it so should be white or light opaque and not clear or transparent. If you plan to use the pool in the winter, then a transparent cover could be used at that time to aid in heating the pool. Either way, a cover will prevent evaporation and the buildup of CH.

    The Mesa, Arizona water quality report for 2008 is here where it shows 10.4 grains-per-gallon (178 ppm) total hardness in the city zone and 17.1 grains-per-gallon (293 ppm) total hardness in the east zone. The Calcium level is listed as 44 mg/L in the city and 176 mg/L in the east zone. It appears that these are all measurements in units of milligrams calcium carbonate per liter. You should test your fill water for CH to be sure.

    Richard
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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    Tucson area, AZ
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    Re: Arizona Pool Owners:Advice

    Tucson here. I've also heard every two years, but I don't know of anyone who's measured it to make sure! I actually think with us it's more the alkalinity that can be the problem, and with careful balancing you probably can go more than two years. We just got our pool last summer, so I don't know for sure.

    One thing we did which really cut down on the evaporation was rig a shade up over the pool. That also helped in that we could put toddlers in the pool in mid day without them getting sunburned. But before doing that I tried a blue solar cover, and ended up with a big hot tub. My pool's above ground, I probably have a little more heating and evaporation.
    Above ground soft side Omega pool
    20 feet diameter, 4 feet deep
    Hayward sand filter
    Hayward 1 HP Matrix pump
    Hayward Aquabug Automatic Pool Cleaner

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    Rockcrawler's Avatar
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    Re: Arizona Pool Owners:Advice

    In El Paso we have hard water as well, I can manage my CH level at 450, I have had my pool for 4 yrs, I use a solar cover in summer time, so yes this prevents evaporation, I have never drained my pool, there is no need too, when my CH level approaches 550, I do a partial drain, maybe 1/4 of the water, I might have to do this once a year. With my CH level at 450, I maticulously test my PH not going above 7.6, I have a SWG and have not experience with excessive calcium build up

    Rob

    engteach43 what is your CH level?????
    13,000 IG Plaster, 2hp whisperflo pump, 48 sq in pentair DE Filter, 1 skimmer, 2 eyeball outlets, 200 sq ft solar panels on second story, Auto Pilot SWG-36, Polaris ATV Cleaner

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    Re: Arizona Pool Owners:Advice

    I am at the other end of the country and I have the same problem! I have measured the CH of my fill water and it is about 200 ppm. Local sources also tell me that it often goes higher than that. So between a high fill CH and a new pool my pool CH is at 500 ppm! I hope that with the summer rains I can lower it.
    7,500 gal, IG pool, L shape 22' x 15', 1.5 hp pump, cartridge filter, AquaPlus SWG/Controller, Pebble-Tec liner.

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    Rockcrawler's Avatar
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    Re: Arizona Pool Owners:Advice

    dschlic1

    You recieve a lot more rain in FL than I do here in El Paso, we might get an inch a month in the summer time, so I think you wil have an easier time controlling your high CH than me.
    13,000 IG Plaster, 2hp whisperflo pump, 48 sq in pentair DE Filter, 1 skimmer, 2 eyeball outlets, 200 sq ft solar panels on second story, Auto Pilot SWG-36, Polaris ATV Cleaner

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    Valrico, FL
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    Re: Arizona Pool Owners:Advice

    O definitely. I have heard that we get about 52" of rain per year, most of that in May, June, July, August! However we are currently in a drought condition, and last I noticed we are running about 12 to 20" deficit of rain.
    7,500 gal, IG pool, L shape 22' x 15', 1.5 hp pump, cartridge filter, AquaPlus SWG/Controller, Pebble-Tec liner.

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