Calcium Line On Salt Water Pool

by Steve
(La Quinta California )

We converted our pool to a salt water system last year after replacing the pool lining and side files.


We are very upset that now we are dealing with a calcium line at the water level. Our pool maintenance company told us that simply we have hard water and have to live with the line.

We are in Southern California and do not have a water softener. Are there really no options to keep the calcium buildup down on our brand new pool?

We swim in plenty of other salt water pools in the area and don't see them having problems.

Should we invest in a water test kit? What do we do after determining the hardness?




Thanks for the question Steve

Without having the hardness numbers it's difficult to determine what's going on, but I'll give it a try.

I know the water in that part of the country is high. The fill water on my pool route in Arizona was very high, about 250 - 300ppm. It's the same here in Florida.

You should get a good test kit. I still use and recommend the Taylor K-2006 pool water test kit. It's the most accurate.

Pool Water Testing

Water Testing Kit

Next, I'd encourage you to never use calcium hypochlorite to shock your pool. You're adding more hardness to the water.

Another thing you can do is to drop your TA to 60 - 80ppm and the pH to 7.2 - 7.4. Salt pools can handle a slightly lower TA and the decreased pH will cause the water to be a bit more acidic lessening the chances of a calcium ring at the water line.

Doing a partial drain and refill with lower hardness water is one of the most effective way to reduce the water's hardness.

There are pool companies out there that can come to your house with a truck and hoses. The water is siphoned through one hose, goes into a treatment tank, and is returned back to the pool. This seemingly removes the TDS and higher levels of CYA. I have no personal knowledge to the effectiveness of this procedure but it would be worth looking into.

I hope this has answered your question to your satisfaction.

To post a reply, or if you have a similar question, you can see your post on the Q&A page in the "Calcium Hardness" category.

Check back to this post for updates or answers.

If you feel your situation is more complex and want immediate assistance (within 24 hrs) you can make a donation of $29 per hour and I'll answer your questions by phone.

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Hope this helps and have a great Summer.

Robert

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Build Up Of Mineral Deposits On The Tiles In The Pool At The Water Line

by Lynn
(Tucson, AZ)

Our small community pool (serves an HOA of 50 homes) has been plagued this year with a build up of mineral deposits along the water line on the tiles inside the pool. We were recently cited by the health inspector for the problem (saying it could be a source for the growth of algae) -

With hard work using a pumice stone and a scouring pad we removed the stuff, but it is now coming back quickly and seems to be getting worse. Our pool company service man attributes the build up to hard water and is recommending adding a solution (what I'm not sure) regularly to keep the minerals from forming -

That's the story. The question is - how do we prevent buildup on the tiles (is it a chemical problem, a hard water problem or something else) and what is the easiest way to control it?




Thanks for the question Lynn

I know about hard water levels in Arizona. For years I had a pool route in the Mesa/Tempe area. Arizona is definitely one of the states with hard water. A pumice stone and scouring pads are good but that's only a quick fix.

Without the calcium hardness reading it's difficult to say whether it's the water hardness or something else. That something else could be water leaking out of the grout. This can also cause a ring around the pool and is attributed to hardness of water scale. The only way I know to combat this issue is to remove the tile then seal it with a water proofer such as Thoroseal.

Here are some things you can to do lessen the effects of water hardness:

  • Never use calcium hypochlorite. This is a granular chlorine and the name says it all. You're adding more calcium (hardness) to the pool.
  • Keep the TA (total alkalinity) between 80 - 100ppm
  • Lower your pH to 7.0 - 7.2. This will cause the pool to become a little more acidic and soften any calcium rings that may pop up.
  • Absolutely no calcium chloride

    The pool guy might be talking about a product called Lo-Chlor Calcium Hardness Reducer. It's Hydroxyethylidene Diphosphonic Acid Complex and can be found at Sears, Amazon, and Walmart.

    Another one is called Metal Out. This is normally not a one shot deal. A metal sequestrant does not remove metal and/or hardness from the pool water, per se. It holds it in solution until it can get filtered. Then you backwash the metal out.

    Because metal sequestrants break down over time and get filtered and backwashed out, you will need to add a bottle once per week.

    If the above doesn't work the only thing to do is to drain and refill. I've had to do this many times on my route because Arizona water is simply so irritatingly hard. You also can have the water trucked in. It's normally about 1 - 2 cents per gallon.

    To post a reply, or if you have a similar question, you can see your post on the Q&A page in the "Calcium Hardness" category.

    Check back to this post for updates or answers.

    If you need immediate assistance (within 24 hrs) or for emergency personal assistance, you can make a donation of $35 for one hour and I'll answer your questions by phone.

    If you've found this site helpful please consider making a donation and help keep this site moving forward. Thank you.









    Hope this helps and have a great Summer.

    Robert

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    Well Water Hardness

    Hi Thanks for the advise. My well water is too hard and that's how I fill my pool. My water has a green tint after I added my second cup of Muriatic acid.

    I did the Taylor test and it took 8 drops to turn the water blue - so that means I'm 80ppm too hard? or my total is 80? And can you give me the suggested order of testing and remedy.

    Thanks again

    Jim




    Thanks for the question Jim

    I'll first direct your attention to my YouTube detailed video on testing calcium hardness with a Taylor K-2006 kit:

    http://youtu.be/U1bTWoaCuqs

    For 8 drops, then a blue color, that means the hardness is 80ppm. Remember it's the number of drops multiplied by 10.

    Unfortunately there's really nothing that can be done about high hardness fill water but you can lessen the effects. Never use calcium hypochlorite to shocking or regular maintenance.

    If you have a plaster pool it's important to keep the CH level between 150 - 250ppm. Vinyl and fiberglass pools can be kept around 100ppm. You can raise the CH using calcium chloride. It's 1 lb. per 10,000 gallons to raise the CH 10ppm.

    If you have a emerald green pool it normally means high metals in the water. You need a metal sequestrant. Here are some other YouTube videos on those:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T9jWWSgUHto

    Copper algaecide
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wDOWbHxsFhM

    Metal in pool water
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DOrYR2nvQ34

    Metal sequestrants that are based on HEDP, phosphonic acid and/or its derivatives are the most effective.

    Some popular brands are Jack's Magic Blue, Purple, and Pink Pink Stuff, Metal Magic, Metal Free, & Metal Klear.

    A metal sequestrant does not remove metal from pool water. It holds it in solution until it can get filtered. Then you backwash the metal out.

    Because metal sequestrants break down over time and get filtered and backwashed out, you will need to add a bottle once per week.

    It would be good to have the rest of your chemical readings:

    Chlorine, CYA (cyanuric acid/stabilizer), pH, Alkalinity, and Metals (iron and copper) and names of any algaecides you may have used along with clarifiers, phosphate removers, and/or flocs.

    I hope this has answered your question to your satisfaction.

    To post a reply, or if you have a similar question, you can see your post on the Q&A page in the "Calcium Hardness" category.

    Check back to this post for updates or answers.

    If you feel your situation is more complex and want immediate assistance (within 24 hrs) you can make a donation of your choice and I'll answer your questions by phone.

    Have I helped you find a solution to your pool problems? Did this information help you? Please consider making a donation to help keep this site going. Thank you.









    Have a great Summer.

    Robert

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    High Calcium Salt Water Pool


    (Sarasota Fl)


    My pool is only 2 years old. approx. 15,000 gallons.

    Here is today's readings. How can I lower the calcium? It does have rocks and not tile around rim.
    Service Profile Weekly Standard Service Body Main Pool

    Primary Readings
    Free Chlorine 4
    pH ** 8
    Total Alkalinity ** 100
    Cyanuric Acid 100
    Cleaned Filter Yes
    Calcium Hardness ** 1000




    Hi Ron. I live not too far from you so I'm familiar with our water. I have a CH of about 250 - 300ppm. The only way the hardness increases is to add hardness to the water. It will not increase on its own.

    Hardness increases through the use of calcium hypochlorite or over-use of calcium chloride. Salt can contribute to the total hardness but that will decrease when the chlorine cell is used.

    If you filled your pool up with fill water that's 300ppm or so and now 2 years later it's at 1000ppm, either the reading is off or some outside influence caused the CH to dramatically increase.

    The only way to reduce the CH is to do a partial drain and refill. There are chemicals that claim to reduce hardness but the don't, in any real sense of the word. Either by reverse osmosis or partial drain and refill are the most certain ways to do it.

    You can also maintain a pH level of 7.2 - 7.4 to reduce the chances of calcium rings at the water line.

    Robert

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    Pool Plaster Issues

    by Lacey
    (Louisiana )


    This is the second summer since our pool has been installed. I check the water every week and have it tested at our local pool place about every one to two months.

    When something is off, it usually isn't off by much and I adjust accordingly. Over the last year, I've notice some circles forming on some parts of the plaster in our pool.

    Mainly on the top step and bench. I have attached a picture and would like your opinion. I have done lots of research and some people say that it is a plaster mixture issue. But wanted to make sure this wouldn't have anything to due with the water being unbalanced.

    Specifically the calcium being low. Last time I had it tested, it was at 129. A little low but not tremendously. But this issue continue to gets worse as time goes on and the calcium is usually within range.




    Hi Lacey. There could be many reasons why the plaster started to bubble up or chip away. It could start with the incorrect mixture of plaster, white cement and marble aggregate. Then it's prepping the surface and correctly applying it. Then allowing it to cure properly before filling. And last you need to calculate in the pool chemistry.

    Hardness is mostly for plaster pools and is very important as lower CH will cause pitting.

    Without actually looking at the surface it's difficult to say with any degree of certainty where the process failed. It could be one, or a combination of reasons. Most of the time it's not a simple "do this one thing" and it will work.

    CH for plaster pool should be in the range of 150 - 250 ppm.

    Robert

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