White Calcium All Over The Bottom Of The Pool

by Bryan
(Yuma)

I have a gray bottom pool and in the last two years a white scaly substance (I think Calcium) has taken over the entire pool. You can scrape it off with a brush or even your fingernail but there is far to much to scrap it all off. It covers the entire pool and my pool is not white not the gray that it one was.


If you scrape the white part far enough you can see the gray bottom below. My pool now has a rough surface and the algae seems to stick to the sides of the pool now.

The maintenance of my pool used to be very easy and now it's very difficult and requires more chemicals.




Thanks for the question Bryan

I'd like to have your complete chemical readings:

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

It makes troubleshooting much easier and the process of clearing up your pool will go much faster.

It could very well be the water or a higher than normal calcium saturation. I know how hard the water is in Arizona, assuming that's the Yuma you live in. Mesa has a calcium hardness around 300ppm.

Calcium buildup is usually through already hard fill water, use of calcium hypochorite (chlorine granules), over-use of calcium chloride, or some kind of combination.

If you're using cal. hypo. I'd encourage you to stop immediately and go to either bleach or liquid chlorine (sodium hypochlorite). And with already hard water you'd never use calcium chloride. Also, a high pH of 8.0 or over and/or a high alkalinity reading of over 120 ppm can contribute to scaling.

If you're readings are in line: chlorine 1.5 - 3.5ppm, pH 7.4 - 7.8, TA 80 - 120ppm, and CYA 30 - 50ppm but have a high CH of 300ppm or over the only remedy is to either do a partial or full drain and refill or have pool water trucked in.

Unfortunately there's no quick and easy way and no chemical to reduce CH once it starts to climb and gets out of range. Only the two ways above can remedy it.

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 your choice 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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Calcium Chunks Attached To Bottom Of Liner

by Kim
(Arkansas)

Day 1) I added 2 pounds of Calcium plus to my 16X32 in ground pool
Day 2) I added another 2 pounds.
Day 3) I noticed chunks of hard white balls on the bottom of my liner.

There are several and they are about the size of a quarter or gumball. I am assuming it is the calcium that had not broken up. I did exactly as the instructions said as far as spreading it out evenly over the pool. I even used the jets to help spread it out by sprinkling the calcium in front of them so the water would push the calcium outward helping it mix with the water.

I tried to pick them up with the net but they wouldn't budge. They seem to be attached to the liner. Someone told me to just swim to the bottom and pull them off with my bare hand. That didn't sound like a good idea to me since the bottle said do not get in contact with eyes or skin.

We started swimming after 8 hours of adding the calcium plus but as soon as I noticed the balls, we got out because I wasn't sure if it could hurt us or not.

My question is: How do I get rid of them and can they hurt us if we continue swimming in the pool?




Thanks for the question Kim

First you'll need to know that the hardness level for vinyl pools is really not that important. The reason for calcium hardness is to fulfill the water's need for calcium, but this is mostly for plaster pools. If there's no hardness the water will draw out the calcium carbonate from the plaster and cause pitting. For vinyl pools you can keep the calcium around 100ppm. Anything more and you're wasting money and chemicals.

It sounds like you may have put too much calcium in the pool or the calcium that was added is not being absorbed into the water. For a 16 x 32 pool with an average depth of 4.5', you have 17,300 gallons. You put in a total of 4 lbs. This would only raise the calcium hardness level 30 - 40ppm.

My question is, what was the hardness of the fill water when you started? It may have been already high and by adding calcium you put it over the edge. The only way to get the hardness down is to do a partial drain and refill but with liners you want to be very careful to not let the water dip below 6 - 8". Drain from one side and fill from the other side. If the drain is faster than the fill, turn off the drain side and allow the fill to catch up.

Without having your chemical readings this part is a little more difficult to say. Be sure the total alkalinity (TA) is between 80 - 100ppm and get the pH to around 7.0 - 7.2. This will help reabsorb the calcium into the pool.

If you could post your chemical readings it might clue me into something else.

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

If you would like personal assistance, I do phone consultations for a donation of your choice. It makes things go much faster. If you choose to not go that route, we can correspond by email.

Contact Me

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Hope this helps.

Robert

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How Do I Reduce The Hardness In My Water?

by Tina
(Versailles, MO)

I tested my fill water and the levels read like this:

chlorine=0
ph=8.4
alk=240
cya=100
hardness=400-1000

The test strip for total hardness is a color closest to 400 but looks like it my be a little lighter which would make it more than 400.

I know that we live in an area with hard water because of the calcium buildup on my fish tank. I don't want this to happen to my pool.

This is our first time having a pool so I am not sure how to go about adding chemicals. What do I add first? How do I reduce my hardness? etc, etc. How do I reduce the hardness as well as the other levels that are way to high.




Thanks for the question Tina

First off, are you sure these are the readings for the fill water? I have a reading of 100ppm for the CYA. Fill water, or city tap water, normally contains no CYA.

The range for the CYA is 30 - 50ppm. 100ppm is a little high. With the amount you'll need to run the chlorine at 8 - 9ppm in order for it to be active.

CYA is 7.5% of your chlorine. The math is easy. 2.5 chlorine divided by 7.5% = 33CYA. As the CYA increases through the use of dichlor and trichlor tabs, the chlorine must also increase to keep the 7.5% relationship.

The most effective way to reduce the CYA is to do a partial/full drain and refill. This is also true with calcium hardness (CH). Or you could have treated pool water trucked in.

You need to take positive control of testing your pool and test strips won't do it. You need to get the Taylor K-2006 kit. Here's a link to my video starting with the chlorine:

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

If you want to keep the water the way it is and try to balance it out, the first thing is to get the pH and TA down. The ranges are 7.4 - 7.8 and 80 - 100ppm. The way to do this is to use muriatic acid. It's 0.8qrts of acid to lower the pH 0.2 and decrease the TA 10ppm. Broadcast the acid around the perimeter of the pool, sweep, FILTER for 10 hours, then retest and make another small adjustment. Don't pour all the acid in at once. Make the adjustments in increments.

You're going from 240ppm to 100ppm. The question doesn't state the gallons of the pool but this will get you started.

To lessen the effects of a calcium ring at the water line, try to keep the pH a bit lower, around 7.0 - 7.2. This will keep the water a bit more acid and can loosen up any ring that may start to form.

Only use liquid chlorine, NEVER use calcium hypochlorite. As the name implies it's calcium and you don't want to be adding anything extra to the pool.

With a chlorine level of 0 you need to shock the pool with liquid chlorine. It's 3.5qrts to increase the level 10ppm per 10,000 gallons.
Broadcast around the perimeter, sweep, and FILTER for 10 hours, then retest.

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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