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How To Increase Hardness In Pool Water

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Maintaining The Ideal Calcium Content


Like pH and alkalinity levels, calcium content is all about finding the right balance. Water should have a calcium content in the range of 100-400 parts per million.

Know the Lingo: Parts Per Million

Parts per million often abbreviated as PPM is a unit of measurement that tells you how much of a particular substance such as a chemical or mineral — is present in water.

How Calcium Hardness Affects Your Pool

The quality of your pool water is directly related to the calcium hardness levels. Too low and your pool equipment and concrete will quickly corrode, costing you a lot of money in repairs and replacements.;

If the calcium hardness levels are too high, you might jump in for a swim, only to discover gross scaly buildup floating around with you. Not only that, but calcium deposits can build up in your pipes, clogging up plumbing and rendering your equipment useless.

If the calcium hardness levels in your pool are too high or low for extended periods of time, it can actually reduce the effectiveness of the sanitizer and other chemicals you add to the pool water. Maintaining proper calcium hardness levels, just as you do with your pH and sanitizer levels, is a great way to keep your pool looking and feeling its best.

A Swimming Pool Chemical Calculator

Adjust sliders to calculate pool calcium hardness

Swimming pool calcium hardness must be managed to maintain balanced pool water. Recommended range for pools is between 200-400 ppm. Having the calcium hardness out of range can lead to problems with water quality and equipment damage. Calcium hardness should be tested regularly using test strips or reagents.

More About Pool Calcium Hardness

  • Pitting of concrete pool surfaces
  • Plaster etching

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How Often Should I Test My Pool

Its recommended that you test your pool waters calcium hardness at least once a month, but its important to keep your eyes peeled for any signs of trouble as well. It can be difficult to recognize some subtle signs of calcium damage or to keep track of your test strip schedule/trips to the pool store, so a product like pHin is ideal. With pHin, youre alerted every time you need to complete a test strip; it will read your results for you and make recommendations accordingly, and help maintain your pH and total alkalinity levels as well, which we now know are vital to maintaining healthy calcium hardness.

Low Calcium Levels In The Pool


Calcium on the low and high end of the scales will eventually cause problems and when they do, be ready for some serious problems. Low calcium, as is often the case, will cause long-term serious damage especially to plaster, vinyl liners, grout in between tiles, metal rails, and even concrete decking around the pool. Heres why it happens. Plain old water, believe it or not, is very aggressive. By that I mean that water seeks to dissolve and bring into solution minerals, metals and other substances. Although soft water is desirable in everyday home use, calcium hardness is necessary in pool water. With sufficient levels of calcium dissolved, the aggressive nature of water is tamed and will help prevent the leaching out of certain substances in pool equipment. Low calcium levels in a plaster pool will cause the water to draw calcium directly from the plaster, causing it to pit, become rough, and eventually crumble. If youre faced with a re-plastering job on your pool youll realize that this is a HUGE expense and a very big hassle. Low calcium also contributes to vinyl pool liners losing their elasticity and supple nature. In short, its a great way to shorten the life of your liner!! Metals will corrode slowly, and you can multiply this effect even more if you let the pH of you pool plummet and stay low for long periods of time. This is starting to sound like the car needing the oil change, huh?

Read Also: How To Keep Bugs Out Of Pool

Aquarium Water Hardness Tricks

  • Figure a standardized aquarium water test kit or probably a good aquarium laboratory. You cannot run your aquarium affairs effectively alone.
  • Have a consistent timeline for your water change so that your water can achieve a perfect balance.
  • If using additives is your score, follow the guidelines on the manufacturers label.
  • If you decide to use crushed coral, limestone and the likes, give it a thorough cleaning. Algae and mucus slime could affect their effectiveness.

What Makes Water Hard

In laymans term, hard water simply means that your pool water doesnt have a balanced chemistry and the chlorine level is not stable.

Water chemistry is important and you must take note of these three things if you want to achieve the perfect chemistry for swimming, namely alkalinity, pH level, and hardness.

The hardness of the water is caused by the high levels of calcium and magnesium present in the water. The moment when white scale starts to form on your pool edges and on the pool equipment, this is an indication that the water is already too hard.

Is it really dangerous?

In all honesty, hard pool water has no serious health risks according to the World Health Organization. It is more of a nuisance. If the water is too hard, it causes your skin and hair to become dry. In addition, it messes with the pool pipes, especially in the parts that you cant reach.

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Sanitizers In A Vinyl Pool

Most chemicals need to be dissolved or they could stain a pool liner. Reading the package instructions is extremely important, and please never mix chemicals.

Chlorine tablets should never be put into a skimmer or a floater on a vinyl pool, as they could harm the vinyl. Use a Chlorinator mounted by the equipment. Salt Chlorinators are very nice used with vinyl pools, and most users find the softer water to be better for their liner.

When shocking or super-chlorinating the pool, always pre-dissolve the powder in a bucket of water, to prevent any of the undissolved granules from falling to the pool liner. Be sure to pour the powder into a bucket filled with water, not the other way around.

Its recommended with vinyl liners to shock only as needed, and to only the level needed. Needlessly high levels of chlorine are corrosive and slowly bleach or weaken the vinyl. For this reason, my final recommendation is to use a non-chlorine shock with vinyl pools for regular shocking, and save the chlorine shock for pool opening, or when fighting algae blooms.

Chemical Water Softener For Pools

How To Increase & Decrease Calcium Hardness Level in Swimming Pools

Using commercial pool products such as chemical water softener for pools to remove the hardness is another means of getting rid of the calcium levels.

They can be used once off if the hardness in your pool is in accumulation, or can be added weekly if the fill water is very hard.

Keeping the pH a little low can prevent scale problems associated with hard water.

One of such products to try is a liquid product called Metal-Out . I think it also has something relating to stain removal in sub-title under product name. Comes in a quart bottle. Follow manufactures instructions & you should be in business.

Still need more recommendations, you can continue reading for more ideas on how to reduce calcium hardness in pool.

ALSO SEE: How To Remove Water Hardness & Soften at Home

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How To Add Calcium Chloride To A Swimming Pool

How should we add calcium chloride to a swimming pool? How can we make sure we’re handling it safely, and properly, to avoid unintended consequences? Adding calcium is not as simple as it sounds…you don’t just throw it in the pool. Calcium chloride doesn’t dissolve the same way as dry acid, sodium bicarb or a non-chlorine shock; calcium chloride gives off a lot of heat. Like any other dry chemical, however, calcium chloride should be pre-dissolved in a bucket prior to adding to the pool. Let’s explain.

High Levels Of Calcium In The Pool

Excessively high levels have adverse effects too, though. Scaling , cloudiness that will not change, and even irritation to eyes and skin can occur with calcium levels above the desired range. What happens in this case is that there is simply too much calcium for the water to hold in solution, and it begins to come out of solution causing cloudiness that will NOT subside, and leaving excess calcium in the form of scaling. It will even slow down your filter system in many cases because it begins to clog the filter and limits the rate at which water may flow. High pH will compound your problem as well, since higher pH allows for more substances to come out of solution and adhere to the pools surfaces.

Calcium is one of the few chemicals that you do not want to put in a little extra for good measure. Once levels are too high it generally does not leave the water and needs to be drained partially and have fresh water added to dilute the concentration. With this in mind dont be paranoid, but test your water at a trusted professional pool expert and add only as needed. The good news about calcium is that once established at acceptable ranges it will generally remain constant throughout the season and possibly into the next year. See your local water professional, but generally calcium levels in the range of 200 to 400 ppm is where you want to be.

So check those calcium levels, adjust as needed, avoid expensive repairs andoh yeah, keep swimming!


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Effective Ways To Increase The Hardness Of Your Aquarium Water

Whether you are a fish owner or an aquarium expert, you definitely must have come across the term water hardness.

It is often a normal thing that you should positionyour fish in water that suits it the best.

If you have figured out that you need to raise thegeneral hardness of your water to ensure your fishs survival, it is all good.

You can increase the hardness of your water as much you can soften it. If you have ever pondered on how to increase it, heres how:


The Effects Of High And Low Hardness

Salt Pool Care

Specifically, water with high calcium hardness gets cloudy unless the alkalinity and/or pH are low enough to compensate. As mentioned, the excess calcium carbonate will precipitate as crusty, grayish white scale on surfaces, piping, and equipment. It’s unsightly, can cause abrasions on users and snag bathing suits, and makes a good anchor for microorganisms. It will clog filters. When it builds up in piping, circulation is reduced and pressure increases. Scaling is an especially acute problem in heaters because calcium’s solubility is inversely proportional to temperature:; As temperature increases, less calcium is able to stay dissolved. Scale on the pipes or coils acts as an insulator, slowing heat transfer. This makes it more expensive to heat the water. Over time, thick scale will cause a heater to fail.

Water with low calcium hardness will seek more by dissolving it from surfaces it comes in contact with that contain calcium, such as plaster, grout, and concrete decking. The late Dr. Neil Lowry, a well-respected instructor in our industry, preferred to call water with low calcium hardness “aggressive” rather than “corrosive” because the latter term implies the destruction of metals. The corrosiveness of unbalanced water, he would tell his students, comes from poorly maintained alkalinity and pH.

  • pitting of concrete pool surfaces
  • cloudy water
  • clogged filters and reduced circulation through piping
  • pitting of concrete pool deck
  • heater inefficiency

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Balancing Calcium Hardness Isnt That Hard

It just requires some vigilance on your part. Pool maintenance just isnt an area where you can slack off and expect things to be fine when you get back into your routine. The longer you let the water chemistry languish, the more likely it is that youll have trouble with calcium hardness, and any number of other things.

Owning a pool should be fun. The better you care for your pool, the less work it will be, and the more you can enjoy it.

Happy Swimming!

What Causes Highcalcium In Pool Water

High calcium in the water is usually the aftereffect of your pools chemical imbalance. If your waters pH, chlorine levels, and total alkalinity are messed up, calcium level rises. This is the reason why maintaining balance in your water is key. In the following section, well show you how to measure calcium hardness in a pool and make the necessary adjustments.

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What If The Water Is Too Hard

If the calcium hardness level in your pool gets too high, the water will be hard. The first indication will likely be a cloudy pool.

Normally, you can clear cloudy pool water with pool shock. But if the cloudiness doesnt dissipate after shocking, especially if you try it a couple of times, it could be too much calcium in the water.

If left unaddressed for too long, you may also notice a buildup of calcium sediment on pool surfaces. When that happens, its timepast time, reallyto reduce the amount of calcium in your pool.

How To Lower The Calcium Hardness Levels

How To Test and Adjust Calcium Hardness in a Pool

There are several ways you can take to lower the hardness level of your pool water.

  • If you know the water from your tap in your area isnt hard then you can drain part of the water in your pool and refill with fresh water.
  • If you dont have the option or option 1 then your next option is to use a flocculant to bind the excess calcium and filter it with your sand filter. It really helps when doing this to brush the walls thoroughly to lift the calcium deposits from the walls.
  • The last option is to use a dry acid to raise the saturation levels in your pool. This wont reduce your hardness but will bring your water back into balance.
  • Maintaining a properly balanced water is one of the most difficult parts of owning a pool. Calcium hardness is probably the most difficult to maintain when it get out of range. This is hindered further if you have hard water on tap. However, whist the balance can be difficult, with the right information you can overcome these problems and have a healthy safe pool.

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    Causes Of Excess Pool Calcium

    Excess calcium in your swimming pool is typically the result of a bigger issue with the chemicals in your pool water. As most pool owners can tell you, when it comes to water, balance is, well everything: If your pool waters pH is off-kilter, or if your total alkalinity is too high or too low, youll likely end up battling algae, cloudy water, and, of course, calcium deposits.

    Of course, chemical imbalances arent the only cause of excess calcium. Water temperature is also a contributing factor: As water temperature rises, calcium becomes more likely to precipitate out of solution. Calcium is actually more soluble in cold water, which is why scaling of heater equipment is so common.

    How Do I Adjust My Calcium Hardness

    If your calcium hardness is too low, it can be increased by adding calcium chloride from your pool shop.; Adding calcium to your pool will increase the calcium level right away.; On the other hand, if the calcium hardness is too high, then we suggest pumping out some water from the pool and replacing it with tap water as mentioned above.; Remember, bringing the calcium to the right level is inexpensive, permanent, and will make the water feel great again.

    If you dont know your calcium hardness level, we suggest getting it tested as soon as you can.; Also, if your pool shop is not equipped to test for calcium hardness, try another shop.; Importantly, all surfaces can react with calcium, the calcium level is important to know .

    Why Adjust Calcium Hardness

    Calcium hardness is important to have in your pool water at all times for one very simple reason. Water is hungry, and water that doesnt have the calcium it desires will try to leach it out of anything it comes into contact with. Whether its getting it from your pool shell, your paint, your piping, or even the inner workings of your pumps!

    The result of this would be brittle and breaking pool equipment and surfaces! But luckily its an easy fix!

    Does Baking Soda Increase Water Hardness

    Caribbean Spa Calcium Hardness Increaser to Raise the ...

    Hardnessraise water’shardnesssodabaking sodawater

    To soften hard water, you need to take the mineral out with a natural “water softener” such as Sera Super Peat. Another option is to use demineralized water for your fish tank. The same is true for trying to raise the pH in acidic water that is soft and doesn’t contain much mineral.

    Similarly, what does baking soda do to a pool? Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate is naturally alkaline, with a pH of 8. When you add baking soda to your pool water, you will raise both the pH and the alkalinity, improving stability and clarity. Many commercial pool products for raising alkalinity utilize baking soda as their main active ingredient.

    Likewise, people ask, how much baking soda does it take to increase alkalinity?

    Example: one pound of Baking Soda to 10,000 gallons of water provides about 7 ppm of alkalinity.

    Will baking soda soften pool water?

    Baking soda can: Help to clear cloudy water and restore sparkle. Spot-treat algae. Make the pool water softer on your skin.

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