Calcium Hardness Test Tips
- When using a test kit, a common problem encountered is called fading endpoint. The color change in the comparator tube starts, but returns to the original red color or turns purple instead of the expected blue. Copper or iron present in the water usually causes this problem. To correct this, do the test again, but add six drops of hardness reagent to the new water sample before adding the first reagent.
- Always test total alkalinity and pH levels before testing the calcium hardness. The reason for this is you may first discover your alkalinity or pH may need to be adjusted, requiring the addition of chemicals to raise or lower the values. Adding substances such as soda ash or baking soda can raise pool water hardness levels over time.
- If you know your calcium hardness is high before your test, you can save yourself some time with a test kit by filling the comparator tube half full , then use 10 drops of hardness reagent , 3 drops of calcium indicator , then add hardness reagent drops and multiply the drops counted by 25.
Calcium Hardness Test Kits
Quality test kits usually include a test for calcium hardness, plus other important water balance and sanitation tests.
The most accurate way to test calcium hardness is with a water hardness test kit. You can find inexpensive water hardness test kits, or more useful pool test kits that provide a wide range of water tests, including a test for calcium hardness. The following are example test instructions for a Taylor brand test kit, so they cannot be applied to all test kits. Always follow the instructions on the test kit.
Never Rely On The Machine Blindly
Even experts make mistakes. I made the mistake of trusting the machine blindly. You should not do the same. If I had checked the chlorine level manually, my daughter would not have suffered so much.
One cannot predict when a machine will malfunction. Thus, you must always keep a manual salt level test kit handy. You can either purchase a Taylor Test Kit as I have or bring home any of the portable modern salt testers. TekcoPlus 6 in 1 or the LaMotte Pocket Tester are two of my favorites. Chlorine balance has several advantages. It prevents the growth, and multiplication of germs.
It also keeps water discoloration at bay. If the level of salt in pool water is correct, then it will discourage the growth of fungi and algae as well.
Anyhow, here, I will give you a step by step guide to test the salinity level of your pool water. If you have any pocket tester, then all you need is to take some water in the tester cup and dip the sensor.
The readings will appear on the display monitor. As per my experience, these testers are very accurate and consistent. I am rather an old school and like to depend on numbers and my senses.
Also Check: Should I Convert My Chlorine Pool To Saltwater
Why Salt Level Matters
Salt is first added to the water, and a salt chlorine generator , uses electrolysis to split the salt molecules, turning them into chlorine.
Too little and your salt generator wont be able to make enough chlorine, which means your pool wont be clean enough to swim in. Too much and you end up with salty tasting water, not to mention it can potentially corrode metallic surfaces.
The ideal level for salt in a saltwater pool is 3200 ppm, but between 2700 and 3400 ppm is also acceptable.
Pro tip: Only use sodium chloride that has a purity of 99% or higher. Any other salt will not only make the chlorine less effective, but you run the risk of discoloring your pool finish, surfaces, and fittings of your pool.
Tips To Prevent Cauliflower From Turning Brown:
Cauliflower, bananas, apples, avocados, potatoes-we’ve all seen these foods turn brown when they’ve been left out too long.
The pigments respond to the environment, and cauliflower turns grayish brown due to several factors:
- pH level of the cooking water
- type of knife used
- degree of exposure to oxygen
Also Check: How To Turn On Pool Heater
Does A Salt Water Pool Dehydrate You
yes the salt will dry out your insides if you drink a cup ithelps a sour throat not to much it doesn’t only dehydrate you itkills youNo your body has a certain level of salt in it. That includesyour blood. Google isotonic solution. Isotonic means equal to bodysalt levels. An isotonic solution is easier on you than pure water.I have had a salt pool for several years. The salt pool does nothurt your eyes like a plain water pool. My salt pool also stayscleaner. The small amount of salt in a salt pool is near isotonic.You can’t taste the salt in the pool.
Is Epsom Salt The Same As Pool Salt
Saltwater swimming pools require different maintenance than ordinary, chlorinated swimming pools — and that includes the occasional addition of Epsom salt . Quite simple: Pool salt is just sodium chloride. Apart from that it does not contain the many other chemicals that most bath or epsom salts do.
Also Check: How To Clarify Pool Water
Using Sensorex Conductivity Sensors
All of the conductivity sensors that are available through Sensorex can provide you with the measurement in units of milliSiemens, microSiemens, and total dissolved solids, the latter of which is referred to as PPM. Many owners of saltwater pools consider PPM to be the optimal unit for measuring the amount of salt in the water.
If you are trying to maintain the salinity of a saltwater pool, the conductivity sensor that you can purchase likely doesnt need to be a heavy-duty one. The main light-duty sensor thats available through Sensorex is the CS150TC sensor, which is known for having reliable performance and for providing highly precise results. No matter which of these sensors you obtain, the readings that are provided to you will be enough to maintain the salinity composition of your pool.
Get Your Water Volume / Measure Your Pool
If you already have your pool water volume written down somewhere then great! No need to measure your pool. But if youve forgotten it we have a great guide on how to measure your pool here. The post also contains a handy pool water volume calculator so all you need to do is to take the measurements and the calculator will do all the math for you! Once you get your pools total volume then we can move on with lowering your pools salt levels.
Read Also: How To Clean Pool Waterline
Using A Salinity Meter To Measure A Saltwater Pool
The long hot days of summer are just around the corner. Now is the time to ensure your pool is in shape and ready for the season. If youre lucky enough to have a saltwater pool, you know salt levels need to be maintained to keep the pool clean and safe.
In this article, we will explain how to use a salinity meter to take accurate measurements from a saltwater pool, explain the importance of doing it correctly and give some tips to keep your salinity meter in prime shape.
Pool Volume Leads To Accurate Saltwater Pool Salinity
By knowing the amount of water that is in your pool currently, you can determine how much water you need to replace or how much salt you need to add. To determine your pools volume in gallons, you just need to plug the dimensions of your pool into a simple formula. Here is how you do that:
We will explain further below, but this is the basic formula:
L x W x D x 7.5 = V
You just need to measure your pools length and width if it is all the same depth. Take a tape measure and see how long each side of your pool is, stated in feet. Multiply those numbers to come up with the surface area. Take the result and multiply it by the depth. Take that number and multiply it by 7.5. Now you have the volume of your pool in gallons.
Your pool has a length of 30 feet, a width of 20 feet, and a depth of 5 feet.
30 x 20 x 5 x 7.5 = 22,500 gallons
If your pool is freeform, in a circle, and/or does not have a consistent depth, you will need to use different formulas/approaches.
Once you know the pool volume, you can use a salinity calculator to reach an accurate amount. You just need to know the dimensions of your pool , as well as the current salinity reading.
Don’t Miss: How Much Does An Inground Pool Liner Cost
Get Your Current Salt Level
First things first, you need to test your pool water for its current salt level. This can be done easily with specialized salt test strips, a saltwater liquid test kit, or with a digital tester that measures for salinity.
The best way to test is by dunking a glass of water elbow deep in the deep end of your pool. You can then take the water sample and subject it to whichever testing method you prefer.
For pinpoint accuracy, you may even want to bring the sample to a pool shop where they can measure the salt level .
What Is Saltwater Pool Salinity
Simply, salinity is the salt content of your pool water. Incorrect amounts can lead to unfortunate problems. Having too much salt in your pool water can result in unnecessarily increasing chemical expenses. But having too little salinity restricts the amount of chlorine being generated and can lead to algae and bacteria growth. You can see how having the ideal salinity for a saltwater pool is a core concern for people who own them.
You May Like: How Much To Remove Inground Pool
The Impacts Salinity Has On Your Pool
Over time, incorrect salinity levels can deteriorate your pool water quality, leading to costly repairs and cleanings. If the level is too low, you end up with less chlorine in the pool since there is not as much salt for the generator to convert to chlorine. By not having a high enough salt content, your pool may grow bacteria and algae. If this is caught quickly and your saline levels are adjusted, the algae should come off with a pool brush. But if the growing materials begin to take over, you may have to use chemical cleaners or drain your pool to clean it. Plus, running a chlorine generator with salt at low-level results in a faster breakdown of cell plates. The system may also quit operating.
It is typically not as much of a problem if the salt level for a saltwater pool is too high. However, at very high levels 5000 ppm and above you will typically see issues arise, and your system may shut down.
Avoid these issues by regularly testing salinity and maintaining the appropriate levels for your pool.
Ially Draining Your Pool Water
While you can use your pool pump to drain out the water by setting your sand filter to the waste position or using the drain valve if using a cartridge filter, we dont really recommend it for draining large amounts of water that will cause your water levels to drop below the skimmer levels as this can cause your pump to lose prime and/or burn out when it runs dry. You can either get a small submersible pump to do this or use our favorite tool when it comes to draining water, a venturi pump.
A venturi pump doesnt use your pools pump, instead it uses regular water pressure from your garden hose so its a very efficient way to drain your pool if you ever need to lower your water levels for any reason. A venturi pump can remove an average of 3,025 to 3,400 litres of water per hour. So using the example above, well need to use the Venturi pump for roughly 3-and-a-half hours to effectively drain around 11,600L of water from our pool.
Also Check: Why Is Pool Chlorine So Expensive
Causes Of Low Fcl In Saltwater Pools
On the other hand, if you have low chlorine in your saltwater pool, that means you are not adjusting your SWCG as required and the percentage is too low to produce enough chlorine to supplement used chlorine in your water.
Once again, you need to measure the FC level in your water frequently, especially after heavy pool usage and during hot weather, and adjust FCL by increasing the percentage setting of your SWCG to avoid cloudy water, algae, or ammonia.
If you can’t raise your FCL by adjusting the percentage of your chlorine generator alone, try increasing your pump’s run-time too if that will work for you.
If unable to get your FC level higher and the percentage of SWCG and pump run-time are both very high, you could be having four issues to solve fast and they are:
1. Excess Cyanuric Acid: Cyanuric acid is very powerful and consumes FC if high in your water causing high chlorine demand.
Measure and adjust your Cyanuric acid level as required. The Ideal level of Cya for a saltwater pool is between 70 – 80ppm and should not go above that otherwise you will have a low FCL problem. View this chlorine/Cyanuric acid chart and know the correct Cya levels in a give FCL.
Measure your Cya level and reduce it if high by draining and refilling part of your pool water, which apart from reverse osmosis, is the only practical way to reduce Cyanuric acid level in your pool.
Manual Testing With A Liquid Reagent Kit
As mentioned before, salt test strips can provide inaccurate results. Still, if you want to have more accurate results, we recommend conducting a salt water test using a liquid reagent kit. This test is $5 higher than a salt test strip so if you have an extra budget, go for this test.To do this test, you will fill the kits vials with your pool water and add the reagents into the vial while following the kits instructions. After the water changed its color, compare the water sample’s color to the chart on the kit to know your pools salt concentration.
Also Check: How Can You Keep Ducks Out Of Your Pool
Using A Swimming Pool Salt Chart
Once you calculate how many gallons of water is in your pool and determine your current salt levels, you can finally figure how much salt to add.
Below is the swimming pool salt chart. On the left-hand side, are the current salt levels while the pool sizes are along the top. You can determine how much salt to add by taking your fingers, one for current salt level and one for pool size, and moving it across the table until they touch or intersect.
Example: Based on this salt chart, if your pool has 18,000 gallons and the current salt level is 1600 ppm, you need to add 240 ppm of salt to reach 3200 ppm.
How Can I Measure The Salt Level In My Swimming Pool
If you choose to utilize a salt chlorine generator for your swimming pool , one important chemical concentration to maintain is that of salt. If you do not maintain the minimum salt concentration required for your swimming pool, your salt chlorine generator will produce insufficient amounts of chlorine, which will lead to algae and bacteria growth. Conversely, by adding excessive amounts of salt to your swimming pool, you unnecessarily increase your chemical expenses. With all that being said, this article explains how to measure the salt level in your swimming pool so that you can maintain appropriate concentrations.
When it comes to measuring salt levels in your swimming pool, you have a number of methods to choose from. Some methods are more accurate than others, though they are also more expensive. Some popular salt measurement methods include the following:
This entry was posted in on Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Read Also: How To Get Algae Out Of Your Pool