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Thread: Do I need to buy these at the Pool Store?

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    Do I need to buy these at the Pool Store?

    I would like to reduce my dependence pool store purchases as much as possible. Do I need to buy Calcium Hardness Increaser and Calcium Hardness Increaser at a pool store, or can I but them, or substitutes someplace else?
    19,000 gallons
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    IG vinyl, Propane heater
    SWG, 2006 Taylor Test Kit

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    Re: Do I need to buy these at the Pool Store?

    As far as I know, you can't get Calcium Chloride, which is Calcium Hardness Increaser, in regular stores. You can get it over the Internet here at a rate of around $1.70 per pound not including what are bound to be high shipping charges. This seems to be a similar price as GLB Hardness Up and similar products so the pool store pricing may not be too high for this product. [EDIT] WRONG, see later posts and correction below. [END-EDIT] One pound in 10,000 gallons raises the CH by about 10 ppm so to raise the CH by 100 ppm in a 15,000 gallon pool would cost about $25.

    The products you can usually get for a lower price at grocery, hardware and big box stores are the following:

    Arm & Hammer Baking Soda -- sodium bicarbonate aka sodium hydrogen carbonate and is the same as Alkalinity Up
    Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (careful: NOT the laundry detergent) -- sodium carbonate same as pH Up
    Muriatic Acid -- careful: check the strength to see if it's the normal 31.45% or a lower 15%-16% sometimes sold at the same price
    20 Mule Team Borax -- can be used to raise pH with less increase in TA so can be used in place of pH Up
    6% Unscented Bleach -- equivalent to chlorinating liquid except for lower strength
    [EDIT] Dow Peladow Calcium Chloride Pellets -- equivalent to Calcium Hardness Increaser [END-EDIT]

    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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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Do I need to buy these at the Pool Store?

    Calcium increaser is either calcium chloride or calcium chloride dihydrate. Calcium chloride can often be found as a deicer. Two common brands are DowFlake and Tetra.
    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: Do I need to buy these at the Pool Store?

    Jason,

    I thought about the deicers, but are they pure enough for use? I would think the requirements for purity are rather low given their usage. The MSDS for DowFlake is here so looks like just some other chloride salts as impurities while Tetra has an MSDS here where the impurities also include other chlorides and calcium carbonate. It's probably OK to use. It's only 37 cents per pound here which when adjusted for purity is still about 50 cents per pound. These companies also sell higher purity versions as well. Dow Peladow shown here is more pure and varies in price but seems quite inexpensive at 38 cents per pound here. I've updated my list in my previous post accordingly.

    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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    Re: Do I need to buy these at the Pool Store?

    Thanks guys. I meant to also ask if CYA, or a substitute was available anyplace else besides a pool store.
    19,000 gallons
    Cartridge filter
    IG vinyl, Propane heater
    SWG, 2006 Taylor Test Kit

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Do I need to buy these at the Pool Store?

    No, there is no obvious source of CYA other than pool supplies. WalMart, Home Depot, and Lowes tend to have good prices on CYA in their pool departments, when they have it in stock.

    DowFlake is fine for pools. The only issue is a small amount of bromine, but the quantities are quite small and it will "burn off" fairly quickly. The main difference between DowFlake and PellaDow is the amount of water, PellaDow has less. The other impurities are similar.

    There was an interesting study of DowFlake for aquarium usage that found that DowFlake was very competitive with other nominally purer sources of calcium.
    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: Do I need to buy these at the Pool Store?

    Some ACE Hardware stores carry the HTH Calcium Plus in 4.5lb containers.

    Some thing as this
    http://www.amazon.com/Arch-Chemical-613 ... B000HM6G7M
    18,600 Gallon 27' AG
    Hayward 1.5 HP + Sand Filter

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    Re: Do I need to buy these at the Pool Store?

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    DowFlake is fine for pools. The only issue is a small amount of bromine, but the quantities are quite small and it will "burn off" fairly quickly. The main difference between DowFlake and PellaDow is the amount of water, PellaDow has less. The other impurities are similar.
    The 6000-8500 ppm Bromide is equivalent to 3000-4250 ppm Bromine and if you added enough for 300 ppm CH this is a dilution of 300 to one million so would result in 0.9-1.3 ppm Bromine in the pool (after the chlorine oxidized the bromide to bromine). That's not very high, but I don't know how long it would take to get rid of.
    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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    Re: Do I need to buy these at the Pool Store?

    Quote Originally Posted by chem geek
    Jason,

    I thought about the deicers, but are they pure enough for use? I would think the requirements for purity are rather low given their usage. The MSDS for DowFlake is here so looks like just some other chloride salts as impurities while Tetra has an MSDS here where the impurities also include other chlorides and calcium carbonate. It's probably OK to use. It's only 37 cents per pound here which when adjusted for purity is still about 50 cents per pound. These companies also sell higher purity versions as well. Dow Peladow shown here is more pure and varies in price but seems quite inexpensive at 38 cents per pound here. I've updated my list in my previous post accordingly.

    Richard
    Tetra does list pool and spa as one of the uses for it's flake and pellet forms of calcium chloride and, for that matter, it is the brand we sell in 50 lb bags that we get from our product distributors.

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    Re: Do I need to buy these at the Pool Store?

    Finding non pool store sources for Calcium Chloride to increase calcium hardness seems hard in areas without routine road freezing.

    Here in Northern CA, Fastenal.com can get you Scotwood Industries Excel Calcium chloride pellets for $32 per 50# bag for local pickup in their stores.
    The msds http://www.fastenal.com/web/msds/getmsds.ex?sku=0602146 shows:
    CaCl2 94% min.
    Alkali Chlorides (As NaCl) 5% max.
    MgCl2 .02% max.
    and other impurities (except moisture) 0.2% max.
    Moisture seems surprisingly low. I'm assuming because it is pelletized.

    Does this seem like a good candidate for increasing CH?
    ~29K gal, 20'x36' rectangular, outdoor IG plaster, built in '74. Intelliflo VF; Sta-rite system 3 w/300sq ft. Liquidator 8Gal-3/8ug; Polaris 380 sweep & PB4 booster. Equip. is in shed on ground level pad.

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    Re: Do I need to buy these at the Pool Store?

    Quote Originally Posted by waterbear
    Quote Originally Posted by chem geek
    Jason,

    I thought about the deicers, but are they pure enough for use? I would think the requirements for purity are rather low given their usage. The MSDS for DowFlake is here so looks like just some other chloride salts as impurities while Tetra has an MSDS here where the impurities also include other chlorides and calcium carbonate. It's probably OK to use. It's only 37 cents per pound here which when adjusted for purity is still about 50 cents per pound. These companies also sell higher purity versions as well. Dow Peladow shown here is more pure and varies in price but seems quite inexpensive at 38 cents per pound here. I've updated my list in my previous post accordingly.

    Richard
    Tetra does list pool and spa as one of the uses for it's flake and pellet forms of calcium chloride and, for that matter, it is the brand we sell in 50 lb bags that we get from our product distributors.
    BINGO!

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    Re: Do I need to buy these at the Pool Store?

    Quote Originally Posted by kabbak
    Does this seem like a good candidate for increasing CH?
    Yes it does.
    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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    Re: Do I need to buy these at the Pool Store?

    OK, I have it on order.
    I'll report back if something odd happens using it.

    Thanks guys!
    ~29K gal, 20'x36' rectangular, outdoor IG plaster, built in '74. Intelliflo VF; Sta-rite system 3 w/300sq ft. Liquidator 8Gal-3/8ug; Polaris 380 sweep & PB4 booster. Equip. is in shed on ground level pad.

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    Re: Do I need to buy these at the Pool Store?

    Hi Kabbak,
    would you let us know what did you use for CH, where did you order it from, and what was the results?

    thanks,
    Tiam

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    Re: Do I need to buy these at the Pool Store?

    Quote Originally Posted by tiam
    Hi Kabbak,
    would you let us know what did you use for CH, where did you order it from, and what was the results?
    thanks,
    Tiam
    Welcome to TFP!
    The 50# bags of Excel Calcium product I bought locally at Fastenal (see my first post for details) works great and was much less expensive than I could find anywhere else.
    ~29K gal, 20'x36' rectangular, outdoor IG plaster, built in '74. Intelliflo VF; Sta-rite system 3 w/300sq ft. Liquidator 8Gal-3/8ug; Polaris 380 sweep & PB4 booster. Equip. is in shed on ground level pad.

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    Re: Do I need to buy these at the Pool Store?

    We have always used Calcium Chloride as a foliar nutrient to spray our orchard: Dow makes one product but there are also cheaper/alternate brands. You may be able to find it in fruit growing or even greenhouse growing areas. In Canada, it is not a registered chemical so I suspect anyone could go to a farm supply store and ask for it. The bag I purchased for this summer specified "tetra briners grade 94-97" and I can't remember if it had a brand logo. This product would also be used by food manufacturers to make commercially canned pickles & tomatoes--it is food grade: possibly higher quality than what you find in a pool supply brand. 50# cost me a whopping $30.98.

    My numbers have always checked out and I haven't experienced any trouble using it.

    Not only do I giggle at the cost savings on this product, but it dissolves beautifully, as it must in order to be used in an orchard sprayer. One note of caution: the heat of reaction when added to water is quite intense---don't mix it in a 5 gallon bucket or you might melt it. I have a gunite pool, so I just spread it around the perimeter, but if you have a vinyl liner or fibreglass you may want to experiment so that you don't melt holes into your pool.

    Cheers and good luck saving the $$$

    PS our local bulk food store, 50# bag food grade baking soda, $23.98 this summer.
    20 X 40 inground gunite. 38,000 gallons, Jacuzzi Dial Valve Sand Filter, Jacuzzi Magnum 1000 pump. 40 + yrs in (fairly smooth) operation thanks to cussedness and a tiny bit of hydraulic cement.

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    Re: Do I need to buy these at the Pool Store?

    Thanks a lot kabbak and applgrl. I contacted Fastenal local store but they told me they don't have it in stock and I have to order to high quanity so they would be able to order it from Fastenal. I will have to try to contact farm supply store to see if they carry it. I will keep you updated.

    Regards,
    Tiam

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    Re: Do I need to buy these at the Pool Store?

    Quote Originally Posted by tiam
    Thanks a lot kabbak and applgrl. I contacted Fastenal local store but they told me they don't have it in stock and I have to order to high quanity so they would be able to order it from Fastenal...
    I order a single bag on the phone from local Fastenal and they have it for me in ~ one week.

    FYI, Calcium Chloride sources have been discussed a lot on the forum (search Dowflake, Peladow Tetra94). There are a variety of recognized acceptable options, but what you can get at a reasonable price depends on your location and the time of year (as it's used as a deicer).
    ~29K gal, 20'x36' rectangular, outdoor IG plaster, built in '74. Intelliflo VF; Sta-rite system 3 w/300sq ft. Liquidator 8Gal-3/8ug; Polaris 380 sweep & PB4 booster. Equip. is in shed on ground level pad.

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    Re: Do I need to buy these at the Pool Store?

    I contacted Scotindustries Inc which makes the Excel Calcium Chloride and they told me this brand also is being sold under different names at different retail stores:
    Lowes (Driveway Heat)
    Home Depot (Driveway Heat)
    Sams Club (Excel)
    BJ’s Wholesale Club (Winter Heat)

    I checked Home Depot and they have it but its purity is <92% and >90%. It is about 2% lower than the Excel 50lb bag.

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    Re: Do I need to buy these at the Pool Store?

    Quote Originally Posted by applgrl
    One note of caution: the heat of reaction when added to water is quite intense---don't mix it in a 5 gallon bucket or you might melt it. I have a gunite pool, so I just spread it around the perimeter, but if you have a vinyl liner or fibreglass you may want to experiment so that you don't melt holes into your pool.
    You shouldn't need to ever add calcium to a vinyl lined pool.
    20k gal, IG Vinyl, IntelliFlo VF Pump, 60 GPM sand filter, Jandy Aquapure Ei 35, 2 skimmers, one main drain, two returns, Dolphin Diagnostic cleaning robot, Taylor K-2006 test kit

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