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How To Reduce Hardness In Pool Water

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How To Soften Hard Water

How To Balance The CALCIUM HARDNESS In Your POOL | Swim University

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If youre tired of clogged drains, spotty glasses, and dried-out hair and skin, softening the water in your home can really help make a big difference. You can soften small amounts of water, like each time you do dishes or laundry, or you can soften your entire households water supply so you never have to deal with hard water again. Either way, weve got you covered! Below well walk you through exactly what you need to do to soften the water in your home.

Magnesium Will Show As Calcium In A Water Test

This is because the reagents that measure calcium hardness will also include the magnesium salts that are in your water. This means that your calcium hardness reading will be substantially higher, even though it may be at the right level. In short, if you have a tested calcium hardness level of 800ppm the actual calcium level will be closer to 200ppm. Also, make sure your pool shop actually knows about MagnaPool! Finally, this information is verified on the MagnaPool website which discusses this issue in greater detail.

Finding A Balance: How To Properly Balance Your Pool Water Chemistry

Louie Warco

Most pool owners know that their water should be clean and clear, but the importance of balancing pool water chemistry is often overlooked by homeowners.

Balancing your pool water is essential to successfully take care of your pool vessel, protecting your pool equipment and maintaining healthy pool water. Balanced water will protect your pool from damage to the plaster, vinyl liners, heat exchangers, lights, ladders, etc. as well as your pool pump, seals and cones. It will also keep your pool safe and healthy for your family to swim in.

By consistently measuring your pool water chemistry and taking a proactive approach to managing your pool water, you can avoid costly repairs and add years to the life of your equipment.

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Softening Water For The Kitchen

  • 1Boil your water. Boiling water only removes some types of hardness , so it will not work for all homes. Try this once to see if it works for you:XResearch source
  • Bring the water to a boil for a few minutes.
  • Let it cool for a couple hours. White minerals should settle to the bottom of the pot.
  • Siphon or scoop up the top of the water, leaving the minerals behind.
  • Tip: Before drinking, remove “flat” flavor by pouring back and forth between two containers. This restores air lost to boiling.

  • 2Buy a small ion exchange filter. Some models attach to a kitchen faucet, while others come in pitchers for you to store drinking water. The softened water often has a better taste, but the effect depends on the exact minerals in your water.
  • This “filter” does not actually remove most contaminants, unless the device has a secondary filter .XResearch source
  • Most coffee fanatics dislike the taste of soft water coffee.XResearch source Look for a faucet model with a switch-off valve, so you can keep your hard water brew.
  • How To Balance The Calcium Hardness Level In Your Pool

    How Do I Iower the Alkalinity in My Pool

    Just when you get the alkalinity, pH, and chlorine levels perfect, something sneaks up on you from behind, and throws your pool into chaoscalcium hardness. Should there even be calcium in your pool? How did it get there? How much is too much? Is it possible for there to be too little?

    All good questions. And its your lucky day, because weve got all the answers. Learning how to manage and control the calcium level in your pool is a big step toward keeping it clean, clear, and swimmable all season long.

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    How To Raise The Calcium Hardness In Your Pool

    Ah, this is the one I love!! You see, we can ALWAYSadd more calcium hardness increaser to the pool to get it in the correct range of 150 – 250 ppm. Taking out calcium hardness, well, that one is a little tricky. If you’re one of the lucky few that have soft fill water, your best option for raising the calcium hardness in your pool is calcium chloride. This chemical is readily available in any pool store or can be found online.

    How To Raise Calcium Hardness Levels

    Good news! Bringing the hardness level up is much easier than lowering it. All you need to do is add a calcium hardness increaser to your pool. Be sure to carefully follow the instructions on the package in order to obtain the best results.

    To add the proper amount of hardness increaser, youll need to know your pools volume, which you can easily determine with a pool calculator.

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    How To Lower The Calcium Hardness In Your Pool

    There are a couple of options to lower your pool’s calcium hardness. Of course, this is after you’ve tested your water.

    • Drain some water and refill: This is the best option, but you may not want to fill from your water source. Check out the many places that have pool water delivery services. This water has already been treated and is ready to go in your swimming pool.
    • Mobile Reverse Osmosis for Swimming Pools: Yeah, this one is really cool. A truck pulls up to your house that contains filters. One hose from the truck is placed in the shallow end of your pool. This is the return hose. The other hose goes in the deep end. The deep end hose is the suction side that carries the water through the filters in the truck and reduces the hardness of the water. Some of these filters are equipped to also reduce metals and stabilizer. The shallow end hose returns the treated water back to the pool. The entire process can take about 2 hours to treat a 20,000 gallon pool. These mobile RO units have been known to effectively reduce a pool’s calcium hardness level by more than 75%. Now that’s effective!!

    The Pool Wizard And High Calcium Hardness

    How To Increase & Decrease Calcium Hardness Level in Swimming Pools

    One of the “side effects” of the Pool Wizard is to isolate calcium. In practice and in field tests, we have found that despite adverse conditions, pools tend not to scale with the Pool Wizard. We have also observed that existing scale softens and erodes in the presence of the Pool Wizard minerals. Light brushing can then easily loosen any unsightly scaling.

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    Increase Low Calcium Hardness

    The calcium hardness level can simply be increased through the addition of calcium chloride or any commercial calcium increaser .

    Alternatively, in swimming pools that suffer constantly of low hardness due to the quality of the fill water, calcium hypochlorite could be the chlorine of choice. This chlorine adds calcium to the pool water with each addition keeping the level up. Care must be taken to test Conditioner a couple of times a year as this chlorine does not contain conditioner in its formulation.

    How Do You Reduce Calcium Hardness In Pool

    How to Lower Calcium Hardness in Your Pool

  • Drain and replace some water. Before you replace the water, test your water source.
  • Use pool flocculant. If you can’t or don’t want to drain any water from the pool, try using pool floc to clump the excess calcium.
  • Try muriatic acid.
  • The Calcium Hardness can be increased by the addition of Calcium Chloride. It is important to dissolve the Calcium Chloride in a bucket of water before adding to the pool. If you just pour it into the pool without pre-dissolving, it may form scale on the pool surface.

    Similarly, what causes high calcium in pools? A: In most cases, excess calcium happens when your pool water is not properly balanced. Common culprits are high pH, fluctuating temperatures, and evaporation.

    In this regard, what does calcium hardness do for a pool?

    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.

    Does baking soda increase calcium hardness?

    Adjusting HardnessYou can raise water’s calcium hardness easily by adding calcium chloride . Adding calcium chloride in the hours before or after treating with soda ash or baking soda will result in cloudy water.

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    Calcium Hardness In Pools

    The main reason that your concrete swimming pool may have a high calcium hardness is because of the concrete surface. In this case, a concrete surface will release calcium hydroxide into your pool water. However, this increase in calcium is reduced when water is removed from your pool. For example, splashing out water when swimming, or back washing the filter all remove water from your pool. Because of this, most pools do not suffer from increasing calcium levels over time.

    Calcium Hardness In Fibreglass Pools

    Alkalinity and Water Hardness in Your Pool

    Some pool shops are unaware that the calcium levels in fibreglass pools is often different to concrete pools. Consequently, some pool shops will incorrectly advise customers to significantly increase the calcium levels in their water. This mistake happens because the water testing software used at pool shops is primarily designed for concrete pools rather than fibreglass. Remember, most concrete pools have a suggested calcium range of 200-300ppm while fibreglass pools are often much lower.

    So, to ensure that your water is at the right level, check the suggested calcium levels with your pool manufacturer. For example, the pool shown here is from a client who had heavy calcium build-up on their fibreglass pool from poor water balance. In addition to surface problems, excessive calcium in a fibreglass pool can clog salt cells, damage the heater, and obstruct pipework.

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    Total Hardness Information For Balancing Your Pool

    Testing Calcium Hardness: We recommend taking a sample of your pool water to a dealer test station or using an advanced test kit.

    What is Calcium Hardness?Calcium hardness is the measure of how hard or soft your pool water is, and measures the amount of dissolved calcium and magnesium in your swimming pool. Just like pHand total alkalinity, its important to keep the calcium hardness balanced to prevent your pool water from becoming corrosive or scaling. However, before you attempt to balance your pools calcium hardness level, first make sure your pools total alkalinity level is balanced, then the pH and lastly calcium hardness. The ideal range for calcium hardness is 150-400 ppm . To determine if your swimming pool is properly balanced use our Langelier Saturation Index calculator.

    How To Treat Hard Pool Water

    While owning a swimming pool has a lot of benefits like an area for relaxation during the hot summer days and a great venue for house parties with friends, this too requires a lot of responsibilities.

    One of the concerns that many pool owners have to consider is when the water becomes too hard for swimming.

    What does hard pool water mean? And is it really dangerous?

    In this article, we will explain the factors that contribute to making pool water hard, necessary steps to soften it, and some tips and reminders.

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    Testing And Decreasing Water Hardness

  • Test the pool water for hardness. Dip a test strip approximately 18 inches below the water surface, or as directed by the test manufacturer. Remove the strip and wait until the color changes to indicate the hardness level. Compare the results to ideal levels of between about 200 and 400 ppm.

  • Drain a portion of the pool water to adjust the water hardness. In areas with extremely hard water, it’s common practice to drain a portion of the pool water yearly or every two years. Consult a local pool supply or pool professional for more information. Water varies tremendously even within a small region, and a professional can test your water precisely and explain what works best in your area.

  • Fill a portion of the pool water capacity with softened water or order water to be delivered by a truck. Softened water, such as tap water treated by a water softener, will lower the hardness. Too much, however, will decrease the hardness to detrimental levels and necessitate a hardness increaser. Commercially purchased pool water is already treated and balanced, giving you a head start on conquering your pool chemistry problems, and is as easy as running the truck’s hose to your pool.

  • Test the hardness level again after seven days. During this period, the minerals bind with the chemicals to form larger molecules, which are then flushed out of the pool through the filtration system. If the hardness levels in a week still test high, re-treat the pool.

  • Things You Will Need

    Softening Water For The Whole Household

    Calcium Hardness Ring/Deposits In Pool – Reduce Hard Water Ring At Water Line
  • 1Measure your water hardness. Look online for cheap test strips, or a more accurate water hardness test kit.
  • 2Find the right size softener. Most test kits in the United States measure the hardness in “grains per gallon.” Multiply this result by the gallons of water your household uses each day, on average . This is the number of “grains” of hardness the device would soften each day. Choose a softener labeled for about 10 times this number of grains. This means the softener will work for about ten days before it needs some downtime.XResearch source
  • The average US resident uses 100 gallons of water a day .XTrustworthy SourceUnited States Environmental Protection AgencyIndependent U.S. government agency responsible for promoting safe environmental practicesGo to source
  • For example, your household water hardness has 9 grains per gallon. You use 300 gallons per day, so 9 x 300 = 2,700 grains per day. A softener in the 27,000 grain range is about the right size.
  • 3Choose a type of softener. Ion exchange softeners are by far the most effective home softener. Most other devices are much less effective, or even just scams. Ion exchange softeners come in two types:
  • Sodium chloride: the most common and most effective type. This adds a tiny amount of salt to your water.
  • Potassium chloride: less effective, but useful if you can’t have sodium. The potassium can harm people with damaged kidneys or on certain medications that prevent potassium absorption.XResearch source
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    How Do I Remove Calcium Hardness From My Pool

    Reducing Pool Calcium Hardness Levels

  • Place the filter system on Recirculate or remove filter media.
  • Raise the pH to 10.0 by adding ph Increaser.
  • Circulate pool for 8-12 hours, water should be cloudy, retest pH using diluted sample*.
  • Shut off filter system for 8-12 hours, allowing precipitate to sink to the bottom.
  • Lowering Your Calcium Hardness With A Flocculant:


  • Use a flocculant to rid the pool of free-floating calcium carbonate.
  • Vacuum the walls and floors of the pool, so the excess calcium carbonate particles are pulled into the pool filter.
  • Backwash or clean out your pump filter.
  • Drain a portion of your pool water and refill with fresh water.
  • Test the pool water for calcium hardness. With the excess calcium carbonate removed and fresh water added, you can should notice a reduced calcium hardness level.
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    Maintaining A Hard Water Pool

    There are many pools that operate in the 400-800 ppm range, with special care of pH and alkalinity, and use of a Stain & Scale chemical, to keep the water clear and prevent precipitation and scale formation on plaster, steel and tile surfaces.

    The most important thing with hard water pools is to maintain low pH and low Alkalinity levels, especially as the water temperature increases each summer. Hard water pools are less likely to become cloudy or produce scale when the pH level is kept around 7.2 and Alkalinity is below 100 ppm.

    The second most important thing with a hard water pool is to make regular use of a good Stain & Scale chemical, aka sequestrants or chelators. These chemicals bind up minerals and metals to keep them dissolved, to prevent staining and scaling, but they deplete rapidly. Add an initial dose each spring, and maintenance dosages every week or two, for continuous protection from cloudy water, stains and scale.

    Thirdly, for pools with high calcium hardness levels, you may want to discontinue use of calcium hypochlorite pool shock, which adds a small amount of calcium to the pool when used. You can use Dichlor, Lithium, Non-Chlorine Shock or bleach as alternatives to Cal Hypo pool shock.

    To more accurately determine your pool waters propensity for scaling, which is the main concern with hard water pools, you can run a Langelier Saturation Index, using the Pentair LSI calculator.

    How To Lower The Calcium Hardness Levels

    How to Balance The Calcium Hardness Level in Your 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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