4 Balance Hardness

This is Janine with Pool zones are we are now moving to chemistry. The… where are we hardness number two, so we will look at number two and number two is hardness, which is based on calcium. 

We want a range of between 240 to 300, again, this is all based on a new pool, maybe three to four days old. Keep in mind that the tap water that we had for this pool gave us something below 100. But some of the tap water, or even all the pools they can be over 500, which can sometimes become problematic.

But here we have low hardness, as I said below 100 and we need to get that hardness; between 240 to 300, but here is a very, very important issue. If we start to just add this chemical which is calcium as I said before, this is Epsom salts, that’s what it is, and it’s much cheaper than buying Epsom salts if you go to the pool store and buy a bag of Calcium flakes. 

If we were to try to get that number up to say, 250-300, we would have to add maybe 25 pounds, I’m not going to add 25 pounds 25 pounds is a really big problem, about to happen. What I’m adding there is probably four or five pounds… I’m going to do eight here I think. I remember I doubled it up so I went four and four. So I ended at 8, knowing I needed around 20 to 22 I said let’s go with eight, I want to keep it lower, I may even want to do six sometimes, but I’m doing eight here. I think the goal can take it; eleven and a half thousand gallons. 

So in other words, what happens is that this process has to be repeated several times, so that I can get 20 to 22, pounds of calcium, which is hardness and build that level up to the 240 to 300 range. 

What happens with a lot of pool service guys is that they get very panicky about calcium so they’ll leave it out, because if it’s added too quickly and too much, it will what’s called Scale or Precipitate. And that beautiful blue interior that we see there will start to become like a faded pair of jeans. 

Now here I’m not going to pour it into the skimmer. I’m just… you know, I’ve got the grain in there or the granular units in there, and I’m adding water, this becomes really hot. In fact, the first time in adding water it boils, yes he will literally boil right in front of your eyes, and it just bubbles. 

Now here I’m just going to add it to the pool and I’m adding in the deep end near the drain so those drains will, they’re actually suction port so they’re not really drains, we never drain a pool from that. So I’m just going to pour it in slowly, gradually, It does dissolve very easily and it gets really really hot so the best place to put that bucket is in a huge cool pot, which is the pool. 

Now when I came back, I had to do this three times. I did the second time around eight, and then when I came back the third time I did around four. Now, I did it over a period of three days, that is correct and I made sure every single time before I did this, I made sure that the alkalinity reading was correct, was in range. There we go. That’s a victory and a celebration. (laughs) I’ve had enough too… I’ve had enough, when I sort of wiggle my fingers like that I say yeah I’ve had enough right now. 

There’s so much detail to think of in chemistry. So what happened with that pool just so you know it did take three days, and the hardness, I could see when I came back and I tested it, it was you know, went up like 100 parts. And then I knew when I added my final dosage that I was going to be very close to, range, the 240 to 300. 

Here is a key factor about a new pool, with a new pool, here’s what happens; at some point, is an equilibrium, so you get to that number, you know you’re there, about 250 Or so you say great, I’ve reached it, I’ve final, I’m done. 

No! What’s going to happen is over the next week, the water and the plaster are going to work each other, to balance themselves. So if the plastic doesn’t have as much calcium as the water, the calcium is going to be like an osmosis system it’ll go into the plaster or vice versa. 

If the water is… say it’s unbalanced with hardness which is calcium, then the water will attack, it will be in an attack mode on the plaster and it’ll suck the calcium out of the plaster and that’s where people have very rough surfaces for example. 

And that’s because the pool service guy was worried about calcium and said let’s just wait two or three weeks or four weeks and then we will add it, but logically that’s exactly what you don’t want to do especially when hardness is number two very, very important to get that right. So within about three to four days on a new pool, I managed to get the hardness within range between 240 to 300. 

So that’s it for this video we will go into the next video which will touch upon pH and talk about how to balance the pH.