New member, new pool, new to forum life, high calcium hardness, possible chlorinator problem

Sandi DC

Bronze Supporter
Dec 16, 2019
South TX
Thank you so much for this forum. I am hoping to learn quickly and be able to contribute to others in the future. I am finally posting for the 1st time and feeling a bit overwhelmed. Our pool construction was complete in early October. All of the plaster creme was not sufficiently removed during the initial acid wash before filling the pool, causing what looked like streaks in the pebble finish, so in mid November, the plaster company added 7 gallons of MA and put a submersible pump in the pool with a hose attached that circulated the acid around for 4 days. The pool school guy then came and rebalanced our water. I remember him adding a LOT of baking soda (12 or 24lbs) and shocking the pool with powdered shock. Since then, I have had to add MA weekly because the PH continues to rise back up to 8 or more (was only using test strips...we just rec'd a taylor K-2006 test kit via Amazon last night...yikes...a bit intimidating there a learning curve to using the test kit?). According to our contract, we must have water tested monthly by a company with a computer generated system so we have been taking monthly samples to Leslie's. This is how we know the calcium level is high. The water straight out of the tap before they filled the pool showed a calcium harness of 150. 1 month later, after start up, calcium hardness was 210, acid wash was done on 11/20, december 2nd test showed CH at 430 and now the 1/3/20 test shows 500.

Problem #2 I have read enough on this forum to know that you will not recommend using the chlorine tablets (because it raises CA levels??), however, that is the type of chlorinator we have and there seems to be a problem because the same 3 pucks have been in the canister for many weeks now. They look like they are dissolving but barely. Maybe this is a gift? or should I be concerned about chemical imbalance causing this? We had the dial set to 1, as per pool school instructions for the winter. We were told that during the winter months, FC was ok to be at .5 - 1.0 The last time the pool was shocked was on 11/26 and 11/30 it was at a 5.0 and by 12/7 it was at a .5 and I THINK it held at .5 for the next couple of weeks (truly hard to tell with the strips, in my opinion) but on 12/29 it was definitely a zero. Should the chlorinator keep that from happening?

I add 2.25 oz of polysheen blue each week, as per pool school guys instructions and our water has remained clear the entire time so far.

Last chemicals added 12/30 1/3 gal liquid chlorine, 2.25oz polysheen blue, 1/2 gal MA

1/3/2020 Leslies readings FAC 1, TAC 1, CH500, CYA 30, TA 90, PH 7.8

We are hoping to learn how to use the new test kit right away and would greatly appreciate any advice to get us on the road to regular maintenance and a trouble free pool. (I hope that the signature information appears once I hi the post thread button, as I don't see it here to verify it.)


Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
Laughlin, NV
Welcome to the forum!
First - great decision to get a quality test kit! See this K-2006 Completeâ„¢ Kit with FAS-DPD - YouTube for a visual on testing.
Next, go to Pool School. Below is a link to the basics. You will see the TFP water chemistry levels are different than the pool store. Ours are based on science, not chemical sales.
You do not need the Polysheen stuff. That is clarifier. It is slowly plugging your cartridge filter. Discontinue.
Your high CH is due to all the calcium introduced by the poor startup procedures of your pool builder. It should stabilize now and hopefully you can replace some of the water with rain water over winter.
I suggest you read ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry.
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Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Oct 25, 2017
Ocala, FL
Im a super newbie too! I got the Taylor 2006 test kit too, a week or two ago. I was horrible in chemistry at school, so I had little doubt Id flunk this test kit too. BUT...if you read the instructions on the inside of the box lid, its very easy. Just do exactly as it says, and it will walk you thru exactly what to do. Its actually very easy. If you can follow simple directions, you can do it. In fact, Ive found it to be kinda fun now. Sort of in a Mad Scientist sort of way.
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