What is calcium hardness?
Calcium hardness defines how hard or soft your pool water is by measuring its dissolved calcium:water ratio. Hardness that is too low will erode your pool’s metal and plastering, while too much hardness will create a breeding ground for the growth of scale and cloudy water.
What makes your calcium hardness low?
The most common reason for low calcium hardness is when outside water - like rain or snow - mixes in with your pool water. Your pool’s water source can also contribute to the problem, if it’s sourced from your nearby fire hydrant or simply from your home as well.
How can I raise my pool’s calcium hardness?
To raise your pool’s hardness, you must first determine how many ppm’s you need to add to reach an ideal range. From there, consider adding calcium chloride to your water by following dosing instructions and making sure to spread or mix as recommended. Lastly, you’ll need to let the water rest approximately 6 hours for the solution to be dissolved before retesting the calcium hardness level again to ensure that your pool’s been brought up to speed.
How can I reduce my pool’s calcium hardness?
Unfortunately, as pool owners, battling disproportionate calcium hardness is one of the most difficult parts of pool maintenance because there isn’t a chemical on the market that can easily be used to reduce calcium hardness, though you can use a hardness increaser (like calcium chloride) for the opposite effect.
Reducing hardness is done through dilution, a sequestering agent, by draining your water, or by focusing on adjusting your total alkalinity, as it’s difficult for calcium to pose a problem when your pH and total alkalinity are within a healthy range.
How often should I test my pool?
It’s recommended that you test your pool water’s calcium hardness at least once a month, but it’s important to keep your eyes peeled for any signs of trouble as well. It can be difficult to recognize some subtle signs of calcium damage or to keep track of your test strip schedule/trips to the pool store, so a product like pHin is ideal. With pHin, you’re alerted every time you need to complete a test strip; it will read your results for you and make recommendations accordingly, and help maintain your pH and total alkalinity levels as well, which we now know are vital to maintaining healthy calcium hardness.