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Thread: CYA reduction

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    TimS's Avatar
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    CYA reduction

    Not being a chemist, I may have this all wrong, but here goes:
    When someone posts here stating that they have very high levels of CYA or calcium, the recommendation is always to replace some of the water in the pool. Is there nothing that would break down or sequester the CYA or calcium? Or is there actually something that will do this, but you wouldn't want to put it in a pool and swim in it?

    Thanks,
    Tim.
    24' AG Round (vinyl replaced 0909) - 13500 gal - Sand Dollar Filter (150lb) - Dynamo DYNII-N1-1 1HP - Hayward HP380 Heat Pump - TF-100.
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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: CYA reduction

    Hi Tim,

    This subject comes up very often, as too high CYA is extremely common.
    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&s...y+to+lower+CYA

    But truthfully the easiest, most practical way is to replace water.

    As for the CH, there have been claims made about alternatives and treatments, but I don't know that they are tested and proven to work, or are anything more than just claims. Again, water replacement. Problem is in some areas the water is high in CH... but usually manageable or some bring in trucked in water.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: CYA reduction

    There are various things you can do to get rid of CYA and CH, but none of them are nearly as simple or inexpensive as replacing water. In situations where you are under severe water restrictions, it might be worth exploring some of the other options, but even then they are usually too expensive or too difficult to be practical.

    CH can be removed with a water softener. However, whole house residential water softeners are not designed to handle the volume of water in a swimming pool. You can still get this to work by pumping water through the water softener quite slowly and recharging the water softener very frequently, but the cost and level of effort is typically rather extreme and water is lost each time the water softener is recharged.

    CYA can be removed with melamine, using the same reaction used in the CYA turbidity test. There was a commercial product that worked this way for a couple of years, but it was discontinued because of the high costs and poor results. What usually happens is that the CYA will combine with the melamine and form an extremely fine powder that remains in suspension, causing the pool to become cloudy white and opaque. It is possible to clear up the cloudiness with additional chemicals and lots of work, but the amount of time, level of effort and expense quickly become prohibitive.

    There are a couple of commercial services that filter your water through reverse osmosis filters, which remove all of the dissolved solids in the water, including both CYA and CH and just about everything else as well. The size and cost of the filters required for swimming pool amounts of water are both fairly extreme, so this is normally only practical as a service. This approach also uses up a fair bit of water, since the removed solids must be flushed out of the filters with pool water, which is lost.

    There is a commercial service that removes CH from the water by precipitating it out rapidly and vacuuming up the resulting paste. This process is complex, patented, and requires heavy equipment. Currently this service is only available in the greater Phoenix region.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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  4. Back To Top    #4
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    Re: CYA reduction

    Quote Originally Posted by frustratedpoolmom
    Hi Tim,

    This subject comes up very often, as too high CYA is extremely common.
    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&s...y+to+lower+CYA

    But truthfully the easiest, most practical way is to replace water.

    As for the CH, there have been claims made about alternatives and treatments, but I don't know that they are tested and proven to work, or are anything more than just claims. Again, water replacement. Problem is in some areas the water is high in CH... but usually manageable or some bring in trucked in water.
    There are other proven treatments that work other then replacing or dumping your water to reduce TDS, CH, Phosphates, CYA and more! Truthfully, it is not practical to replace it, but recycle it! Jason, that process in Phoenix is no longer being used, as it was not cost effective and only removed CH and did not reduce overall TDS. Calsaway is also using RO now! The RO Process is competitive if you look at the cost of draining, refilling and renting a pump to do it. 15% is the concentrate that is lost during the process, but the product returned to the pool is by far better the tap water!

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: CYA reduction

    Interesting, Calsaway doesn't say anything on their web site, but if you watch some of their promotional videos it is fairly obvious that they have switched to RO. They claim that they recycle at least 75% of the water, so they allow loses of up to 25%. Of course, that doesn't tell you what loses are in actual practice, presumably well below 25% in a typical situation.

    salp, can you give us some idea of the cost of treating a residential pool using RO? Obviously the exact price will depend on the specific pool, but it would help us update our recommendations to have some kind of ballpark number.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    TimS's Avatar
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    Re: CYA reduction

    So there's a way to do it, it's just really expensive. I thought that there must be some way other than simply replacing water. Of course, in my case replacing water isn't a really big deal. Water here is cheap. Last summer I was leaking about 100 gallons per day and it only raised my water bill by about $5.00 per month. Even filling the pool completely after replacing the liner only cost about $25.00.

    Hmmm. Filtering out all dissolved solids. Swimming in distilled water. Cool!
    24' AG Round (vinyl replaced 0909) - 13500 gal - Sand Dollar Filter (150lb) - Dynamo DYNII-N1-1 1HP - Hayward HP380 Heat Pump - TF-100.
    Central Missouri

    Before I speak, I have something important to say.

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    Re: CYA reduction

    Tim,

    Yes, water is cheap (in your neck of the woods). Out West is a little different story. But you really have to add the cost of dumping (In your case $25.00) and refilling ($25.00). So its really $50.00 thats out of your pocket. Add a sump Pump rental (if you don't own one) $35 - $50. Now you closer to $100.00. If your in California, some counties are requiring a permit to drain, that will also add to the cost. How long does it take for you to drain and refill, 2 days? A RO system can purify 15,000 gallons in about 4-6 hours (Based on a 40,000 GPD System) leaving your pool with better water then what comes out of your tap!

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: CYA reduction

    No one appears to post any prices. I have seen third party claims that Calsaway charges $450 and up and that EcoKlear charges $150 to $300, but I can't confirm those prices yet.
    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: CYA reduction

    I would be happy to quote our pricing, but I think thats against the boards policy??? We do it based on gallons of water!

    Jason prices PM'd to you!

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    TimS's Avatar
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    Re: CYA reduction

    Tim,

    Yes, water is cheap (in your neck of the woods). Out West is a little different story. But you really have to add the cost of dumping (In your case $25.00) and refilling ($25.00). So its really $50.00 thats out of your pocket. Add a sump Ppmp rental (if you don't own one) $35 - $50. Now you closer to $100.00. If your in California, some counties are requiring a permit to drain, that will also add to the cost. How long does it take for you to drain and refill, 2 days? A RO system can purify 15,000 gallons in about 4-6 hours (Based on a 40,000 GPD System) leaving your pool with better water then what comes out of your tap!
    It actually took more than 2 days to refill the pool, since I didn't leave the water running over night on the 2nd night. On the other hand, this was in late September, so the DW and kids didn't want to use the pool anyway.

    I just used the main pump to drain the pool. I hooked a couple of weights to the vacuum hose and threw that in the bottom of the pool. I managed to get all but about the last 100 gallons out that way.

    If I have to drain the pool again at some point, I'll have to look into this. If the price is right, I can save the water, and wind up with water cleaner than my tap water.
    24' AG Round (vinyl replaced 0909) - 13500 gal - Sand Dollar Filter (150lb) - Dynamo DYNII-N1-1 1HP - Hayward HP380 Heat Pump - TF-100.
    Central Missouri

    Before I speak, I have something important to say.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: CYA reduction

    Based on the prices I am seeing, it seem that if you are paying $0.015 per gallon ($15 per 1,000 gallons), or more, and your CH levels exceed 1000, or CYA levels exceed 250, that it is worth getting a quote for a reverse osmosis water treatment and seeing how that compares to the costs of replacing water. Prices for a reverse osmosis treatment vary rather widely in different areas and from different companies, so this is just an approximate guideline.
    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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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: CYA reduction

    I think the information provided in this thread will prove very helpful - I'm bookmarking it for future reference (so I don't steer folks wrong in the future). Thanks for the info Salp and Jason!
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    polyvue's Avatar
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    Re: CYA reduction

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    Based on the prices I am seeing, it seem that if you are paying $0.015 per gallon ($15 per 1,000 gallons), or more, and your CH levels exceed 1000, or CYA levels exceed 250, that it is worth getting a quote for a reverse osmosis water treatment and seeing how that compares to the costs of replacing water. Prices for a reverse osmosis treatment vary rather widely in different areas and from different companies, so this is just an approximate guideline.
    I'm not understanding. Who is paying $0.015 per gallon? Tim said the cost to refill his entire 13.5K pool was about $25 -- that equates to $1.85 per 1000 gallons. Are you saying that 1.5 cents is a typical cost for metered water replacement?

    Or were you cleverly exposing Sal's pricing structure? If Pool Services Technologies can make money by sending their Magical Mystery ReverseOsmosis Machine out in Southern California neighborhoods, spend all day purifying the water of a 17K gallon pool for only $255 then I want in on that franchise. In California and the southwest, and probably other places, too, we're precariously close to losing effective water rights -- via punitive fees for excess water usage and even civil fines. (A couple of really wet winters and a rise in the water table would probably dampen enthusiasm for such actions.) But recycling makes sense, especially when noting opportunity costs, long-term damage to aquafers and other ecologies.
    14,555 gal in-ground 16'x29' white plaster Pool w/spa (2007); Goldline Aqua Logic AQL-PS-8 control w/Aqua Cell 15 Salt Water Chlorination (SWCG); Hayward TriStar 1HP (1.85 SF) main / 1.5HP (1.60 SF) spa pumps; Hayward Swimclear cart filter C4025, ColorLogic LED lights; Tankless SP-18-4 electric heater; Polaris 280 cleaner.
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    Re: CYA reduction

    Water prices vary a lot. Where I live, the starting water rate is only $0.0045 cents per gallon under 337 GPD, but it rises fairly rapidly to $0.027 cents per gallon at over 1247 GPD. Fortunately, we have winter rains so I've been using those to dilute the water, mostly to keep the salt levels in check though its good to refresh the water at least somewhat.
    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
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: CYA reduction

    Yes, in a way I am "revealing" their pricing. Of course, I didn't just use his pricing, I factored in several other price quotes I got (which varied quite a bit). And, you need to add in the usual disclaimers, that particular number is true on average right now, but will be different later, varies from place to place, etc.

    The way I look at it, if it only costs you $25 to replace all your water, then you ought to replace your water and not think twice about it. But if it is mid summer in an area with severe water restrictions and/or it costs you $500+ to replace all your water (which really does happen in some places) then it is worth looking into the cost of a reverse osmosis treatment in your area. This is a change from my previous recommendations.

    RO treatments for pools only really became available in the last few years and the prices have been coming down. So even though I still think most people will be better off replacing their water, RO has developed into a reasonable option in some arid parts of the country at some times of year when water is either unavailable or very expensive.
    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: CYA reduction

    Here's the short story on the way we (Sal and I) price our service: It runs neck and neck with the price to have a guy do a drain and refill, but we give back a superior product than a drain and refill can (Much lower TDS, much lower CH, etc.). We have a huge investment in this technology, yet we price as if this was a simple drain and refill, with the benefit of retaining nearly 85% of the existing pool water.

    If we could drain and refill our pools for $25.00 (our service includes balancing the chemicals again also, BTW) and water was plentiful here (which it is not!) then we would not have spent the time, energy or money to put this in service. This is more about recovering water and providing a better product for the consumer. We will make a few dollars along the way, but the pricing is very competitive, and the savings are real.

    Thank you for your kind comment, Jason Sal and I are more than happy to provide any additional information needed, as the board deems appropriate.

  17. Back To Top    #17
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    Re: CYA reduction

    Jason,

    One more point about draining... If you live in the Southwest during the summer months, draining your pool is not something you want to do when its hot out unless you want to damage your plaster! With our service, you never expose the plaster!

    Have a great weekend!

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