Calcium Hardness Balance

Animal827

Member
Apr 26, 2021
10
East Norwich, NY
Pool Size
16500
Surface
Vinyl
I have been having an issue with getting my calcium hardness to increase and maintain at a level of 200. I thought it was my reagents for LaMotte ColorQ, but that didn't quite do it. I have the following readings:

FCL 1.74; TCL 1.97; CCL .23; pH 7.3; Alk 97; CH 163; CYA 53

I have added nearly 15 lbs of Calcium Hardness Increaser and the highest I got in CH reading was 185 and now it is back to 165.

I thought I had a leak last year, but nothing noticeable in dye or bucket tests. What can be the issue?

I have a kidney bean ungrounded vinyl pool about 15,000 gallons with a DE filter and automatic chlorinator.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
44,042
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Welcome to the forum!
First, you do not need to increase the CH of pool water for a vinyl liner pool.
Second, how are you sure the ColorQ is giving you accurate CH test results? Our experience is that is one thing the ColorQ does not provide accurate results for.
If you add calcium, it is in the water. Much like CYA.
I would recommend you review our Recommended Levels and FC/CYA Chart. If you believe the test results from the ColorQ, your FC is much too low.
I suggest you read ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry.
 

Animal827

Member
Apr 26, 2021
10
East Norwich, NY
Pool Size
16500
Surface
Vinyl
Welcome to the forum!
First, you do not need to increase the CH of pool water for a vinyl liner pool.
Second, how are you sure the ColorQ is giving you accurate CH test results? Our experience is that is one thing the ColorQ does not provide accurate results for.
If you add calcium, it is in the water. Much like CYA.
I would recommend you review our Recommended Levels and FC/CYA Chart. If you believe the test results from the ColorQ, your FC is much too low.
I suggest you read ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry.
 

Animal827

Member
Apr 26, 2021
10
East Norwich, NY
Pool Size
16500
Surface
Vinyl
Thank you Manassas for your response!
This is the first I have seen variations from keeping FCL above a 1-3 range. I have seen 3-5, but never this dependent on CYA (at least mathematically specific).
I also have heard that CH is not critical for vinyl pool, but I do have pavers that run up to the liner and are constantly get in contact with pool water from pool vaccum or just going in to the pool. I always tried to keep this around 200 to prevent the pavers from being stripped or coming loose, which seems to have happened in the past.
My battle with CYA has been ongoing as I use Trichlor tablets which constantly increase my CYA over time. I'll have to do a partial drain and refill at least 2 to 3 times a season.
I ordered new reagents for the CH and it seems to be slightly more stable in my test results, but I am still needing to add CH Increaser just less amount and less frequent. In addition to using the ColorQ, I use test strips and also take samples to pool store.
After reading these articles, which mostly align to what else I have been researching, I think I'll try to keep my FCL around 5, it just feels real awkward to go swimming in a pool with FCL between 7-9. The ColorQ doesn't even go past 10. The CYA will be the more annoying and expensive number to maintain.
 

BenB

Gold Supporter
Jul 24, 2020
268
San Jose, CA
Pool Size
19500
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Jandy Aquapure 1400
You are trying to mix and match methodology and it just won't work out. This isn't a recipe you can just 'split the difference' the amount of seasoning. The TFP levels are based on more recent science, and most other internet sources and the pool store are just parroting highly outdated and unscientific levels and are only too happy to sell you services or other potions when it doesn't work out.

My battle with CYA has been ongoing as I use Trichlor tablets which constantly increase my CYA over time. I'll have to do a partial drain and refill at least 2 to 3 times a season.
For the reason you note (rapidly increasing CYA), tabs are not recommended here. Liquid chlorine is the preferred method as it does not have any extras to complicate the water balance.
tried to keep this around 200 to prevent the pavers from being stripped or coming loose, which seems to have happened in the past.
I am not an expert in this area at all, but I really really doubt that the CH level in your pool water has any impact on the life of your pavers.

it just feels real awkward to go swimming in a pool with FCL between 7-9.
Why? You're likely anchoring off numbers you've seen elsewhere and that doesn't make them right.

Since you're based in the US you can get a test kit that works with higher FC levels no problem. Even without though, at a reasonable level of CYA (say, up to 80), you wouldn't need to be above 10 anywayb unless you're doing a SLAM.
 

Animal827

Member
Apr 26, 2021
10
East Norwich, NY
Pool Size
16500
Surface
Vinyl
You are trying to mix and match methodology and it just won't work out. This isn't a recipe you can just 'split the difference' the amount of seasoning. The TFP levels are based on more recent science, and most other internet sources and the pool store are just parroting highly outdated and unscientific levels and are only too happy to sell you services or other potions when it doesn't work out.


For the reason you note (rapidly increasing CYA), tabs are not recommended here. Liquid chlorine is the preferred method as it does not have any extras to complicate the water balance.

I am not an expert in this area at all, but I really really doubt that the CH level in your pool water has any impact on the life of your pavers.


Why? You're likely anchoring off numbers you've seen elsewhere and that doesn't make them right.

Since you're based in the US you can get a test kit that works with higher FC levels no problem. Even without though, at a reasonable level of CYA (say, up to 80), you wouldn't need to be above 10 anywayb unless you're doing a SLAM.

I love how responsive this community is...i understand that some of my equipment (chlorine delivery, test kits, etc.) may not be aligned to this community. However, instead of buying and replacing all recently bought equipment, products, and services, I am trying the best to manage with what I currently have setup.

I am already considering switching to salt, but need to plan and cost out. When you say deliver liquid chlorine, outside SWG, is there an automatic delivery system I should be looking into to replace my auto chlorinator?

As my equipment needs to be replaced, I will start coming here for recommendations. I dont think you can blame for “anchoring” to numbers I have seen in several independent sources. I understand the sale job on pool owners, hence my membership to this and several other forums. Most of my knowledge and purchase decisions come from communities like these.
 
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