Monday, April 1, 2013

Total Hardness

Total Hardness is a measure of the amount of dissolved calcium and magnesium in the water. This naturally occurring mineral helps prevent plaster etching, vinyl liner wrinkling, and equipment corrosion. If the residual gets too high, the water may not be able to hold all the minerals, and calcium can fall out of solution, causing scale buildup and cloudy water.

Proper hardness levels vary with water temperature, (the colder the water, the more calcium is needed), and other balancing factors. Higher levels of total alkalinity and pH will require lower levels of hardness to prevent scaling. Ideal levels of total hardness are between 175 ppm and 225 ppm. NOTE: Recommendations from the ALEX analysis may not exactly match this range. These levels might be ideal, but a wider range of values can be acceptable, meaning there will be no damage to the pool surface or problems with water clarity. The computer can assess the overall balance of the pool, and bases adjustment recommendations on the saturation index. By using this method of balancing, ALEX does not recommend unnecessary product.

Low Total Hardness:
If the hardness is low, add calcium increaser per  instructions to prevent etching, liner wrinkling or other surface damage and corrosion.

High Total Hardness:
If the fill water has a lower hardness residual, the pool can be drained partially and diluted to lower total hardness. If the fill water has a high total hardness, add 1 qt. of Scale Inhibitor per 10,000 gallons, and then add 1/2 this amount monthly for maintenance. For SoftSwim Pools, use the same amounts of SoftSwim Stain Control.

These products will not lower the calcium hardness, but it will prevent scale buildup. If you are unable to lower the calcium hardness, avoid the use of products containing calcium, such as Burn Out Extreme. Regular use of these products will raise the hardness even higher. If the hardness residual is greater than 325, consider using Burn Out 35 or another oxidizer that does not contain calcium.