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Thread: New - High CH

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    New - High CH

    Hello, this is my first post. Last summer, we bought a house with an IG pool so we are fairly new to pool care. There is scaling above the water line on the tiles. I also saw a half-dollar sized hard bump below the water line. I just received my TF 100 Testkit and the results are as follows:

    FC 5.0
    TC 5.5
    pH 7.5
    CYA 80
    TA 90
    CH 1000 (?)
    Salt test strip says 2640; SWG says 3100

    Here are my questions:

    1. When testing for CH, the test kit directions say to add drops until the water turns blue. I'm not sure what "blue" means exactly. At 95 drops, I have purple-ish water. At 100 drops, the water is sky blue. At 105 drops, the water is unquestionably blue. What would the color be for a correct reading?

    2. The Pool Calculator recommended that I drain most of the water and refill with water with CH of 0. My tap water is testing at 350-400 CH so right off the bat, we are starting with high CH. Any suggestions on how to start off with and maintain the proper CH in an area with hard water?

    3. Despite the recent rains, our water district still has us on rationing and prohibits the draining of swimming pools. Is there another way to get the calcium out without draining the pool?

    4. Regarding the salt reading, the control panel of the SWG says we have 3100 but the Aquacheck Test Strips say 2640. Does anyone have any ideas why there might be a discrepancy and how I would know what the real salt level of the pool is?

    By the way, until I found this site, I didn't know I could test CYA and CH at home. I was also frustrated with the limitations of the standard chlorine testing. The new TF 100 was just what the doctor ordered Thank you for the great advice!

    Karen
    IG, plaster, 18,500 gallons, DE Filter, Hayward pump, Aqua Rite SWG

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: New - High CH

    Welcome Karen.
    Lets take this one step at a time.

    1) If your CH really is 1000 (not saying that it isn't) you basically have 2 options.
    a) Drain most of you water and replace it with low CH water.
    b) Consider having your water ran through a reverse osmosis sustem to remove the CH.

    2) See #1 and you could use a water softener to refill the pool. If you already have one you can use it or even consider buying a small one just for this use.

    3) See #1.

    4) You're within 500 ppm and that's about the accuracy of the strips. As long as your SWG is happy with the reading it's seeing, within reason, don't worry too much about it.

    This is a great place ain't it?
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: New - High CH

    Yeah, depending on water restrictions in your area the RO treatment may be the way to go.

    Welcome to the forum!
    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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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: New - High CH

    A CH reading of 1000+ is the price you pay for living in California.

    Mine's about 1100. I intend to have R/O done eventually, as I don't see them easing our water restrictions any time soon. A drain & refill is pretty much out of the question this year.

    I suggest you use the technique described here. The * at the end of the CH instructions. You'll use much less R-0012. With our levels, it's plenty accurate. Is it 1050 or 1100? Who cares!

    When I test, I add about 20 drops all at once and swirl quite a while, then add 5 at a time until 40 - somehow hoping the CH miraculously dropped. Then one at a time swirling a looooong time between. If it looks like it might have changed color, even a little, I swirl some more then set it down for a minute. The red stuff will settle some and the maroonish color may look blue. When I see that the liquid part is blue, I stop. It doesn't really matter to me to get any more accurate, the number's astronomical.

    BTW my CH has started climbing as I keep the pH under control - some of the scaling is fading, where I assume it's dissolving back into solution. Keep plenty of acid on hand.
    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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    Guest

    Re: New - High CH

    Check out this thread for some good info: cya-and-ch-too-high-help-please-t18700.html

    PM me if you like and I may be able to suggest an R/O treatment company that you might want to consider.

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    Re: New - High CH

    Thank you everyone. I will look into the R/O treatment and let you know how it goes. -- Karen
    IG, plaster, 18,500 gallons, DE Filter, Hayward pump, Aqua Rite SWG

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    Re: New - High CH

    Is trucking in water an option with the restrictions? I've never had such a restriction and don't know if the draining of pools is prohibited because of the water going "into the system" from the pool, or the act of refilling the pool.

    Trucking in water may be cheaper than RO, although I have no idea what the cost of either is.
    45,180 gallon 26' x 53' IG Vinyl, irregular shape. Hayward sand filter / pump. Polaris AutoClear SWG, supplemented with a Hayward Automatic Chlorinator (In-Line). Hayward 400K BTU heater. Paramount "turnover" system. Polaris 480 PRO cleaner.

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    Re: New - High CH

    Quote Originally Posted by baudilus
    Is trucking in water an option with the restrictions? I've never had such a restriction and don't know if the draining of pools is prohibited because of the water going "into the system" from the pool, or the act of refilling the pool.

    Trucking in water may be cheaper than RO, although I have no idea what the cost of either is.
    Around here, water is in short supply. Using a R/O company isn't as much about being "cheaper" as it is about being respectful of the resource. However, that being said, it is usually priced around the price of a drain and refill, without wasting a large quantity of water in the drain or consuming an equally large amount in the refill. Trucking in water wastes the initial water and costs for the new water, so there is no conservation with this method. You also get higher CH level water from trucked water than you get back from R/O, expose the plaster during the drain, open the pool up to floating out of the ground during the drain (if there are water table issues), etc.

    It is tough to beat the quality and conservation afforded by R/O! Not to mention the savings in time the pool is down during a drain and refill, which does not happen in a R/O treated pool

  9. Back To Top    #9

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    Re: Update on R/O (was New - High CH)

    It has been a few months since I posted these questions and I wanted to give you an update. But first of all, thank you to everyone here at TFP. You are all so helpful and generous. It is such a relief to understand what is going on with the pool (at least most of the time) and not to have to rely on the pool store.

    Our CH was so high that our choices were either to completely drain the pool or do reverse osmosis. We opted for R/O for two reasons:
    (1) local water district says no draining (we live in So Cal); and
    (2) the water coming out the tap already has a high CH of 350

    Although many folks here at TFP talk about R/O, we could not find anyone in Orange County, CA who actually provides this service. Lucky for me, through this forum, I was able to connect with Bruce and Sal of Pool Services Technologies. Bruce and Sal came all the way up from San Diego County a few weeks ago to do the reverse osmosis on my pool.

    We are so pleased with the results! Bruce and Sal's Puripool Process could not be easier or more convenient for a homeowner. My family was able to carry on with its normal routine; in fact, if the kids wanted to, they could have swum in the pool the whole time. There was no pool down-time. The equipment was quiet and unobtrusive. And the entire process created zero mess.

    Since I know we're all crazy for pool chemistry here at TFP, here are the before and after numbers:

    Before After
    FC 8.5 0
    TC 9.0 0
    pH 7.8 7.2
    TA 110 50
    CH 580 180
    CYA 80 below 30
    TDS 4680 1600

    The only thing I had to do after Bruce and Sal left was put salt and CYA into the pool. I did put some liquid bleach in so we'd have chlorine until the SWG was back up and running.

    We found the benefits of the Puripool Process to be: effectiveness, ease, convenience, water conservation, no pool down time, no plaster concerns. But this story would not be complete if I did not also mention that Bruce and Sal are two of the nicest people you could ever meet. It was truly a pleasure to work with them.

    Thanks everyone at TFP! We are enjoying our pool and spa this summer.

    Karen
    IG, plaster, 18,500 gallons, DE Filter, Hayward pump, Aqua Rite SWG

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    Re: New - High CH


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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: New - High CH

    Thanks a bunch for the update. I'm very glad it worked out for you. That's a great testimonial.

    Bruce and Sal have become a great asset to the team and I'm glad that they provide an avenue to suggest to people besides draining and refilling when things get out of control.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Butterfly's Avatar
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    Re: New - High CH

    Great update and testimonial!

    Here's one for Bruce and Sal
    TFP Moderator TF100 Test Kit TF100 TestKit YouTube Channel PoolMath
    You're done SLAMing when:
    1)You lose 1ppm or less FC overnight, & 2)You have .5ppm CC's or less, & 3)your water is clear.

    ~ One should not use a sledge hammer to swat a mosquito. ~

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