How To Soften Hard Pool Water
Softening the pool water may seem like an easy task to do, but in reality, this needs more accurate water treatment.
If the water s too soft, this may corrode the pool surfaces and equipment. Hence, an accurate calculation has to be observed to avoid damaging the pool.
Below are the steps to maintain a balanced pool chemical in the water:
- This may seem like a trial and error process, but this gives you much accurate results. You dont want to put too much softener as this can lead to further damage. So, be patient and do the test deliberately.
- It is also helpful to check hardness level to prevent while scale formation. As per experts recommendations, check the hardness every two weeks and do the treatment process when necessary.
- Caution has to be observed, especially if you have an above ground pool since calcium formation varies in liner pool vs the plaster pool.
Lowering Pool Calcium Hardness
What Is Hard Water
Water can be categorized as hard or soft water. Hard water is simply water with high mineral content. When rain or groundwater comes into contact with limestone, chalk, or gypsum, it picks up calcium and magnesium, giving it a higher mineral content than otherwise.
Not surprisingly, hard water is especially common in places that source their water supply from groundwater. If you get your water from a well, chances are good that you have at least slightly hard water, requiring a well water softener system.
In the U.S., hard water is particularly common across the Southwest and Midwest regions, although it is not limited to those areas.
Although in most cases hard water is perfectly healthy to drink, it can have a variety of negative effects on you, like drying out your hair and skin, and your appliances and leaving limescale buildup in your hot water tank.
In pools, hard water is sometimes referred to as calcium hardness.
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Why Does Calcium Hardness Matter
Pool water needs calcium for stability. It makes managing the chemical makeup of the water easier, and means spending less money on chemicals due to a decrease in water chemistry fluctuations.
Pool water with low calcium or magnesium content is considered soft, and can be a result of filling the pool with a local water source, or from rainwater entering the pool after a storm.
Without proper mineral content, the water will seek out minerals wherever it can find them. This leads to corrosion of metal surfaces like your pool ladder and equipment, pitting of concrete pool walls and floor, erosion of tile grout, and etching/delamination of plaster finishes.
On the flipside, pool water with high calcium or magnesium is considered hard, and can also come from a local water source, as well using too much calcium-based product like calcium chloride or calcium hypochlorite.
High calcium levels cause floating scale in the water. It can also lead to calcium deposits building up at the waterline, as well as in the plumbing and pool equipment. This can completely damage your pool pump and filter, which is all the more reason to check your calcium levels regularly.
If that wasnt bad enough, hard water can leave your skin feeling dry and irritated, may have a funky smell, and can even clog your pipes. Lowering calcium is also harder to fix as it requires dilution of your pool, or using flocculant/muriatic acid.
Why Is My Calcium Hardness Too Low
- Rain or melted snow that finds its way into your pool can reduce the calcium hardness, as water from rain and snow is naturally soft water, and lacks calcium or magnesium dissolved in it. If you live in an area where excessive rain or melting snow enter your pool, you could experience a reduction in calcium hardness.
- Your local water source will often have a calcium hardness level much less than that of your pool water. Urban water systems often have calcium hardness of about 40-80 ppm of calcium. As you add water to replace water from evaporation, backwashing, and water lost from swimmers, the fresh water added can bring the calcium hardness level down slowly.
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Why Do We Need To Lower Calcium Hardness In Swimming Pools
We need to lower the calcium level properly maintain the balance of pool water. It is one of the most difficult parts of owning a pool. The calcium hardness levels in your pool can often prove to be particularly troublesome to pool owners.
How do we lower calcium in pools?
- Test the water
First, check the pool water level before trying to lower calcium hardness. To know the current level of calcium in your pool.
- Determine how much water to drain
Determine how much water you need to drain and water that you need to add. Remember to add fresh water every time to lessen the water in your pool.
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What Increases Calcium Hardness
Two factors are responsible for a rise in calcium hardness. They are water temperature and chemical imbalance caused by an increase in calcium. If the water temperature rises, calcium will begin to build because it is soluble in cold water. As for chemical imbalance, this occurs if the water contains a high dose of calcium or too little alkaline. Imbalance leads to calcium deposits and algae buildup. Another consequence is cloudy water.
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Reduce Pool Water Alkalinity
Collect a sample of the swimming pool water, using a container.
- Add a reagent from a hardness test kit to the water sample and check the result against the guide provided by the test kit manufacturer.
- Drain some of the water in the pool if the water hardness level is too high.
Add the alkalinity indicator from the alkalinity test kit. The indicator usually produces a blue or green color when alkalinity is present. Add the reagent from the alkalinity test kit and count the number of drops it takes to change the color of the water sample to a reddish, amber color. Check the result against the guide that comes with the test kit to determine the alkalinity level of the pool water. Generally, alkalinity should remain below 120 ppm for pools with inert liners and below 125 ppm for pools with plaster-finished surfaces.
Pour full-strength muriatic acid into the deepest part of the pool. Pour about as much muriatic acid as you’d need to fill a basketball, but don’t add more than 1 qt. of muriatic acid per 10,000 gallons of water.
- Add the alkalinity indicator from the alkalinity test kit.
- Add the reagent from the alkalinity test kit and count the number of drops it takes to change the color of the water sample to a reddish, amber color.
Test the total alkalinity of the pool water. If the level is too high, repeat the procedure daily until total alkalinity reaches below 120 or 125 ppm.
Keep Pool Calcium Levels Balanced
In conclusion, calcium hardness is one of the most important aspects of your pool to keep an eye on. Failure to do so will cause major damage resulting in a large repair. Please take the tips found in this guide and use them to your advantage.
Get ahead of the calcium by being proactive. Our team is ready to tackle any questions you might have about maintaining the calcium levels in your pool. Feel free to contact us directly and we’ll be happy to assist you!
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If Levels Are Too Low
As was already mentioned, low calcium levels can be just as bad as high levels because they can corrode your pool and pool equipment.
Fortunately, increasing hardness levels is a whole lot easier than lowering them. The best remedy for soft water is to add something called calcium hardness increaser, which is calcium chloride in granular form.
To know how much to add, youll need to know your pool volume. Youve got to be careful because when calcium chloride comes into contact with water, it releases heat in an exothermic reaction.
Thats why you need to wear protective gear when doing this sort of thing.
What Happens If The Water Is Too Hard
Spa water that is too hard can be far more problematic long-term than water that is too soft. This is because the damage caused by high calcium levels in water can lead to more serious problems, including damage to the spas internal system.
When there is too much calcium in your spa pool water, calcium can start to build up in unseen places creating blockages and impeding water flow without you even realizing that it is happening.
Calcium can also build up along the spa shell, causing what is called scaling, which creates a rough surface that snags on bathing costumes and may cause water to go cloudy when the excess particles float around. Lastly, high calcium levels can affect the pH balance of your spa water, creating a higher risk for skin and eye irritation upon use.
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The Role Of Calcium Hardness In Water Balance
While hardness in water consists of both calcium and magnesium salts , only the calcium component is relevant in the water balance calculation for pools and spas. Called the Saturation Index formula, it considers the interrelationships of four chemical factorscalcium hardness pH total alkalinity, as corrected for the contribution of any cyanuric acid stabilizer in use and, to a much lesser extent, the total dissolved solids levelplus one physical factor, water temperature. All but the mathletes among us use a water balance calculator like Taylor Technologiesâ WatergramÂ® to do the number crunching involved. The value one arrives at reflects the waterâs degree of saturation with calcium carbonate.
When the SI value is zero, the water is properly balanced. Its calcium hardness, pH, and total alkalinity are acting in harmony with one another. When the SI is +0.5 or more, the unbalanced water is trending toward scaling, meaning conditions are right for calcium carbonate to come out of solution and deposit on surfaces as âscale.â When the SI is -0.3 or less, the unbalanced water is trending toward corrosivity. Corrosive water attacks plaster, concrete, grout, and metal, resulting in etching, pitting, and surface stains and/or colored water caused by metal pulled out of piping, fittings, and equipment.
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Calcium Hardness In Magnapool
Your pool shop uses testing software so they know what is needed to balance your pool water. Remember, if these software programs are not designed for MagnaPool then you will have a false calcium reading. Importantly, your actual calcium levels may be correct but an inexperienced technician may suggest otherwise. Because of this, they will suggest that you to reduce the high level of calcium in your pool water for no reason.
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How Do I Lower Calcium Hardness In My Swimming Pool
by Ken Scheer | May 3, 2016 | Calcium Hardness, Calcium Removal, Chlorine not working, Cyanuric Acid, Pool Water Purification, Recycling Pool, Reverse Osmosis, TDS, Total Dissolved Solids, Uncategorized, water chemistry, Water Hardness |
If I live in an area where calcium and other hardness minerals are extremely high coming out of the tap, how could I possibly control it in my swimming pool? We totally understand your conundrum and we promise you that we have a great solution. In the Santa Ana/Los Angeles area, water coming out of the tap can be as high as 450 parts per million . Typically, your pool likes to be in a range of 200 400 ppm, which automatically puts it above the normal average values. This is a problem that every single pool owner will have and if you let the calcium in the water get too high, youre going to deal with a variety of problems that weve highlighted below
- Calcium staining on the water tile line and decorative water features
- Calcium staining on the liner
- It will be harder to control sanitation in your swimming pool
- It will cause pool equipment to malfunction
- Calcium Hardness
- Waterborne Diseases
- And many more
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.
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Reducing Pool Calcium Hardness Levels
DILUTION: Lowering calcium hardness by dilution is often the easiest method, and for many its the only solution that is recommended. If your tap water or treated and softened house water is much lower in calcium than your pool water, and you are allowed to drain and refill in your area , lowering by dilution can be the best method to reduce water hardness in swimming pools.
HOME WATER SOFTENER: Many homes that draw their water from wells are equipped with a water softening system, limestone filters that exchange calcium ions for sodium ions. But most outside hose bib spigots arent connected to the water softener system. You can connect a hose to fill the pool with filtered, softened water by connecting a hose after the sediment tank or in the kitchen or laundry room. You may not want to fill continuously, but most systems can handle 8-12 hrs per day of filling the pool.
DELIVERED POOL WATER: In areas where pools and water wells are common, there are companies who deliver pool water taken from nearby municipal water supplies , after treatment and softening. Its not a cheap option, often costing $250 per 5000 gallons, but sure is fast and easy way to refill the pool with softer water.
Apply Water Softening Techniques
Even a small resin based water softener can handle a pool in days. I really like the idea. There are two scenarios:
- Soften the water that is in the pool. Preferred, no draining. However, high salinity is a showstopper here more than 1000 ppm. In that case the only option is:
- Soften the water used to fill the pool and drain a part of the water when evaporation causes too much hardness.An example of an installation:This one is a equipped with a proper volume based control valve, 45 dm3 per minute flow, a 35 dm3 tank and 150 kg salt capacity. The beauty is the price, wharehoused on several spots on earth and least maintenance.You may want to search the net for CoronWater, model names like cws-cst-1044. If you are experienced with this device, please drop a note below.
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Precautions When Handling Calcium Chloride
Calcium chloride gets very hot when added to water, so there are some precautions you need to take before handling calcium chloride.
- Use a bucket when pouring calcium chloride into your pool water
- Avoid adding more than 10 pounds of calcium chloride at a time to reduce the risk of burning
- Too much calcium can melt a plastic bucket
- Always add calcium to the water, not the other way around
- Make sure to use safety goggles and gloves
How To Lower Ph In Your Pool
- |October 29, 2020
Owning a swimming pool comes with plenty of perks, but it also requires a maintenance schedule that can be frustrating if not followed regularly.
Youll have to learn how to lower pH in your pool, in order to maintain the waters proper pH level at all times.
If it becomes unbalanced , it can create a host of problems for your pool and anyone who enters it.
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