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Thread: Having a problem we never had before.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011

    Default Having a problem we never had before.

    Our pool is very old, over thirty years. Itís an above ground, 30,000 gallon, vinyl lining pool. Usually we just take our water into Ace Hardware, or a pool supply store in our little and get it tested and then follow the instructions. Usually our pool for opening it for the year is alright. Maybe a little PH minus or Plus here and there, but spot on most of the time. This year however our hardness is apparently 0ppm. We were told we needed 105 pounds of Calcium Plus to fix the problem. I do believe this is correct because we just started getting some yellow stains on our liner that we never had before, and I heard low hardness can do this.

    The problem is 105 pounds. That is a lot, over 150 dollars for the cheapest we can find (online we found you can get a 25 pound bucket for 22 dollar, but with 20 dollars shipping we might as well buy it in the store for 45 dollars).

    Is it really safe to just dump 105 pounds of this in there? I know we are supposed to do in over the course of 3-5 days, doing about 1/5 of the needed amount each day. But I just wanted to know the proper procedure.

    After putting this much Calcium Plus in the pool couldnít it de-balance other chemicals in the water?

    Also what could have caused this problem? Like I said up until this year and we have had the pool for 30 years we never had any problems like this.

    I should add, is there anyway to fix the yellow stains? They are rather unslightly I might say.

    Finally, is there a cheaper alternative to this instead of buying Calcium Plus?

    Thanks for all the advice and help.

  2. #2
    PoolDoc's Avatar
    PoolDoc is offline Administrator Quark Inspector PoolDoc 5 stars PoolDoc 5 stars PoolDoc 5 stars PoolDoc 5 stars PoolDoc 5 stars PoolDoc 5 stars PoolDoc 5 stars
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    Jan 2005

    Default Re: Having a problem we never had before.

    A much cheaper alternative!

    Don't buy ANY at all! It's not needed on your liner pool, and has nothing to do with your stains!

    I'm moving this in to the metal section so you can get help ID'g and (maybe) resolving the stains.

  3. #3
    waterbear's Avatar
    waterbear is offline Lifetime Member Sniggle Mechanic waterbear 4 stars waterbear 4 stars waterbear 4 stars waterbear 4 stars
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    Nov 2004
    St. Augustine, Fl

    Default Re: Having a problem we never had before.

    are the yellow stains rough to the touch? IF so they are scale deposits and explain where all the calcium went (ASSUMING that the water testing at Ace was correct. Ace Hardware uses the Lamotte Waterlink Express testing in many parts of the country--little square vials with dry reagents in the bottom that pool water is added to with a special pipette and then the results are either read in a machine or compared against color charts--and, while this is a good testing method, it has to be done properly so ask if the operator has passed LaMotte's certification test on the unit and ask to see their certificate. I personally know about this since I have the certification and it is to make sure the operator knows the limitations and possible interferences that can give 'off' test results and how to avoid them or when to use a different testing method). Also, there are some limitations in the LaMotte's calcium test and it can actually read low then the calcium is very high (above the range of the test which , if I remember correctly, is around 400 or 500 ppm)

    Anyway, getting back to your stains... If they are rough feeling and yellow in color they are most likely scale deposits. If you can scrap some off with a fingernail (carefully so you don't damage your lner) and put then in a glass of vinegar and they fizz then they are scale (calcium carbonate).
    You can try loweing your pH to 7.2 and keeping it there ( you really need your own good test kit to do this and I would recommend spending the money ont he Taylor K-2006 in the link in PoolDoc's signature for FAS-DPD test kits). Over time the lower pH and a lot of brushing might cause the calcium carbonate to redissolve. Be sure you do not lower the pH below 7.2 because liner pools can be damaged by low pH.

    The problem is most likely caused by a combination of high calcium, high Total Alkalinity and high pH. If you have been following the computer printout from the DataMate software then you have been overdosing on the baking soda and your Total Alkalinity is probably too high. Also, as PoolDoc said, there is NO NEED for calcium in a liner pool. Calcium is needed in plaster pools.
    Bad news is if the scale deposits are bad you might need to replace the liner (assuming the stains are scale). However, yellow stains are usually scale and the fact that your calcium 'dissappeared' reinforces this.
    Retired pool store and commercial pool maintenance guy.

  4. #4
    CarlD's Avatar
    CarlD is offline SuperMod Emeritus Vortex Adjuster CarlD 4 stars CarlD 4 stars CarlD 4 stars CarlD 4 stars CarlD 4 stars CarlD 4 stars
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    Dec 1969
    North Central NJ

    Default Re: Having a problem we never had before.

    No one's told you WHY you don't need calcium, which, of course, you don't.

    Calcium Carbonate is a key ingredient in concrete, mortar and plaster...all used in hard-sided pools. But not in vinyl pools. Water will leach the calcium carbonate out of the walls of the pool. The way to prevent this is to put enough calcium in the water to offset the leaching action (If you try to add sugar to unsweetened iced tea, it dissolves instantly, but far slower, if at all in heavily sweetened tea). This is the SOLE reason for adding calcium to a pool. It has NO effect on algae.

    You don't have to worry about Calcium Carbonate leaching because you have a vinyl pool.

    Since you are here, take a look at our sister site, Poolsolutions.com, more for the general care items than for calcium per se. Hopefully you'll find it very enlightening and money saving.


  5. #5
    waste is offline PF Support Team Whizbang Spinner waste 3 stars waste 3 stars waste 3 stars
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    Dec 1969
    S.E Maine

    Default Re: Having a problem we never had before.

    Nice iced tea analogy!! (Hope you don't mind if I 'borrow' that from time to time )
    Luv & Luk, Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill libraries

  6. #6
    Watermom's Avatar
    Watermom is offline SuperMod Emeritus Quark Inspector Watermom 4 stars Watermom 4 stars Watermom 4 stars Watermom 4 stars Watermom 4 stars Watermom 4 stars
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    Charleston, WV

    Default Re: Having a problem we never had before.

    Ted, I agree. That is a good analogy. Nice one, Carl!

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