Raising hardness level


Jul 4, 2016
Pownal, Vermont
Hello there,
Simple question. I need to raise hardness level, pool store tested water and says mine is VERY low. recommend 2 12lb bags of their product but it comes to $40 and I really don't want to spend that much.
How can I raise my hardness? Many have told me that ice melt, (calium chloride) works great and is cheap.
Please advise. All my other chemical levels are on the money so I don't want to mess anything up.
Thanks for your time.


Bronze Supporter
Jul 14, 2017
Jenkintown, PA
Calcium chloride is what u want. Ice melt products may not be 100% calcium chloride. Ive never used ice melt but have read posts of those who have without ill effects. Ive also read plenty of posts to stay away from it....so hows that for help??

If you do use ice melt make sure calc chloride is the dominant chemical as theres a lot of ice melts out there
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Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 11, 2014
Franklin, NC
I guess my first question would be, what is your pool made out of?

Vinyl pools don't generally need additional calcium, so if you have a liner - ignore the pool store advice.

We find that many times pool store employees primary goal is to sell stuff, not necessarily get your pool in perfect condition. As to whether that is because of improper training, lack of knowledge or just to sell stuff I will leave up to you. While you would think that a "professional" would be the best, unfortunately in most cases it is quite the opposite. Between employees who blindly trust the word of chemical sales representatives and high school kids working in the pool store for the summer you end up with poor results from their advice and testing.

To know what is going on with your pool we need accurate test results we can trust, and those don't come from a pool store. We base our pool care system on your personal accurate testing and only adding what the pool needs, when it needs it. To do that you need your own accurate test kit. Order a TF100 test kit.

While entirely optional, I also have the SpeedStir and Sample Sizer. They speed testing and accuracy.


Jul 4, 2016
Pownal, Vermont
Thanks for the info. Very helpful. Kind of supports the direction I was going in. I'll check the ingredients first. Then dicide.
If I am at all 'iffy' about it, I'll just bite the bullet and buy some pool store stuff.
Have a a good one :)


TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 12, 2009
NW Ohio
Just doubling up on what Tim said, looks like you have an above ground pool, right?

If that's the case the pool store is not only trying to sell you $40 of something overpriced, they are trying to sell you something you do not need at all.