Calcium Hardness In Swimming Pool S by Ronald137Mosier

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									Calcium Hardness In Swimming Pool S
Calcium hardness or CH for short, is the measure of the amount of dissolved calcium content present
in your pool water. Calcium as we know it is a mineral that is naturally present in water and it is
usually found in high concentrated levels. Whenever your pool or spa has high concentrations of
calcium present, you have what is called hard water. On the other hand when the calcium level is low
, you will have what we call soft water. To properly manage your pool water chemistry, you must
remember that total hardness and calcium hardness in a spa or pool are different; although , they are
related entities.
Total hardness is the sum of calcium , magnesium, iron, manganese, and other elements found in
your water facility. It is usually expressed in grains of hardness (i.e. 1 grain = 17.1 ppm).the calcium
hardness in swimming pools and spa water systems is ordinarily measured as calcium carbonate.
However it is not in solution, calcium carbonate is exhibited in your pool and spa as scale. This is a
white scale formation that is also a type of natural salt. This scale like salt can be found in nature in
the form of one of the following
• Chalk.
• Calcite (check spelling ).
• Aragonite.
• Limestone.
Calcium carbonate is not very soluble in water and unless your pool water chemistry is properly
maintained, it can drop out of solution very easily. Another concerned behavior that pool owners and
operators have with calcium, is that unlike most other pool chemicals, it becomes less soluble as the
temperature goes up. Because of this basic understanding, proper management of hot water systems
become more perplexed.
In order for you to maintain proper water chemistry in your swimming pools, your calcium hardness
level should always be in the range of 200 to 400 ppm. If the level of the hardness in your calcium
content rises above 400 ppm, you must take extreme measures to maintain your total alkalinity and
pH at lower levels. This is a precaution that will help you avoid any scale formation in your pool and
spa. This is an absolute must if the water in your aquatic facility is heated. You will be faced with an
impossible task of maintaining your pool or spa water balance, if your Calcium level reaches 1000
ppm.
When your calcium hardness is too low!
Whenever the CH level in your swimming pool or spa is too low, the water in your facility will become
very aggressive or very corrosive. Low levels of calcium is also a major contributor to foaming in spas
or hot tubs. This is a pool water problem that is not good for the plaster or concrete surfaces in your
pool or spa. The truth of the matter is that you should test the calcium content in your water regularly
and if it is too low, take the necessary steps to correct it at once. Failure to take action, will result in
your water having the capacity to leech or dissolve calcium carbonate from your pool and spa
surfaces.
Pool and spa water that is corrosive, will lead to some very costly damages to their surfaces. Some of
the problems that can occur are as follows:
• Etching or pitting of your pool and spa surfaces. This water problem can occur in a very short time
  period if you fail to monitor your pool water chemistry.
• Staining of your pool or spa surface walls.
• Failure of your pool or spa heating system.
Raising your CH levels
It is reported that low levels of CH or soft water is a major contributor to a lot of surface damage to
pools and spas around the country. So once you have done a calcium hardness test and determined
that you have to take immediate steps to raise it, the required pool chemicals must be added. The
recommended pool chemical of choice for this task is calcium chloride. This pool chemical comes in
two different forms which are sold at different strength as well.
• Hydrated Chloride is the first of the two that we will mentioned. This pool chemical can be purchase
  at 77% strength.
• The next one is the anhydrous calcium chloride. This is one of the two pool chemicals that you can
  get at full strength if you so desire. It is sold at 100% full strength.
It does not matter which of these two pool chemicals you choose, just remember to read the
manufacturer warning and instructional labels. This is for your safety because both of these calcium
chlorides can generate a significant amount of heat when they are added to water. For this reason a
good practice to get into is , to dissolve either one of these pool chemicals in a bucket of water and
thoroughly mix them prior to slowly adding them to your pool and spa.
Now depending on which one of these two calcium chlorides you decide to use, the rate at which you
will added it to your pool/spa, will be determine by the their strength. For instance, if you use the 77%
strength hydrated calcium chloride, your rate of addition will be at 1.25lbs for every 10 ,000 gallons of
water. A calculation for this dosage will help you achieve a 10 ppm increase in your CH level.
On the other hand , if you decide to use the 100% strength anhydrous calcium chloride your rate of
addition will be a little different. For this chloride your dosage will be 1.0lbs for every 10,000 gallons of
water. Again the calculation for this dosage will give you a 10 ppm increase in your calcium content
level.
When your calcium hardness is too high
High levels of calcium in a swimming pool or spa can be just as problematic as low levels. Truth be
told, balancing your pool or spa water is not an easy task but nevertheless this is vitally important. Not
only for your pool but also for the many swimmers that will be using your water facilities. We have
found that it is much easier to lower the pH or total alkalinity in your pool than it is to lower your
calcium content.
Lowering your pool/spa calcium content can be very difficult. Why ? Because it usually involves you
partially draining and replacing your existing pool water. To help maintain a low level of calcium after
partial drainage , you have to use a source or make-up water that has a low level of hardness.
However if you conduct a calcium test to determine the hardness of your make-up water and found
that it is too high , you can allow the water to pass through a water softener prior to entering your
pool/spa. Once the water passes through the water softener, it will reduce the level of hardness found
in the water before it enters into your pool or spa.
Problems caused by high calcium content
High levels of calcium will result in scaling water. Other problems include the following :
• Your pool or spa surfaces will become very rough. This condition can harbor bacteria or scratch the
  skin of your bathers.
• Your pool or spa filters can become clogged very quickly; thus , reducing your filtration capabilities
  and increasing your backwashing (filter cleaning ) frequency.
• Your pool water will become or look very cloudy. This is the same condition that is experienced
  when your alkalinity is too high.
• Your pool spa heater element can become clogged as well. This problem can eventually cause you
  to replace your pool heater system.
• You will experience a reduction in your pool or spa water circulation. This will lower or reduce your
  pool or spa turnover rate considerably.
When it comes to balancing the water of a swimming pool/spa, the pH is will be the most influential
variable in the CSI; however, the calcium content is the most important. This means that a significant
amount of calcium present in your pool water is an absolute necessity. Therefore you have to
maintain a well balance saturation index at all cost.
If the case of hardness of calcium levels that are too high, you can lower your pH range and your total
alkalinity levels to compensate for it. Also, to prevent any type of scale formation or keep your calcium
content in solution , you can use some sort of sequestering agent. This chemical will help by
interfering with the development of calcium carbonate crystal (scale) formation. Again , please
remember to read and follow all the directions found on the labels of all pool chemicals.
That way you will learn the potential dangers of the chemical you are about to use and the necessary
safety procedures to avoid any miss use of it. And remember that you should never add water to pool
chemicals. Instead add pool chemicals to water, especially when dealing with pool chemicals like
calcium chloride.

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