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How to Balance the Calcium Hardness of Your Pool or Hot Tub

When you first fill your pool and hot tub with water you will find yourself with water that somehow feels hard to play in, but soft water will cause parts of your pool and hot tub to erode faster. Finding the way to control this seemingly hidden danger can be a headache, with many first-time pool owners unaware of the danger the chemical can cause.

You the balance of calcium hardness or softness in your pool by doing a test, after which you will remove water in the pool if the water is too hard or add in the right chemicals to make the pool entirely balanced. The perfect balance of calcium in your body of water will allow you to enjoy the water without it feeling uncomfortable or causing damage.

You may be wondering just what calcium is and how it got into your pool to start with, which is the best way for you to know why you should remove or add it. Further, every town, city, state, and country have different ways of adding calcium through chemicals to pools that you will need to know about. There are several myths that you need to know about calcium and the dangers of having an imbalance of chemicals in your water.

These are the things you need to know about adding and removing calcium from your pool wherever you may be in the world.

How can you add calcium?

The first thing many people find happens to their pool or hot tub is that they need to add calcium to have everything balanced and perfect for their first swimming experience. However, you may easily find yourself at a loss for adding a few drops of calcium, never mind adding enough calcium to raise the levels for a pool that is several thousands of liters.

There are four ways to add calcium to your water, each one delivering different levels of results, with a few preferred in locations where balancing calcium becomes a constant thing. Sometimes knowing which type of additive for calcium in your area will work best can save hours of confusion and frustration.

It should be noted that all of these will be some form of calcium chloride because pure calcium won’t dissolve and can be dangerous for various reasons.

Adding Calcium through liquids

The most common way that too much calcium is added to a pool or hot tub is when someone uses their borehole to add water. Other times, people redirect some river water to quickly fill their pool and hot tub. Both of these are easy ways to add a lot of calcium to your water, however, they are not the only ways of adding calcium.

Specialized pool shops will be able to provide a few liters of concentrated calcium chloride in liquid form that you can simply pour into your water. Usually, you will have to add calcium to your pool when you have used only tap water to fill the pool, owing to tap water having low levels of calcium it can be quite soft and corrosive if you do not balance the chemicals.

Using Calcium Pills

Mostly used to help balance the calcium levels in a hot tub, calcium pills are left in the small floaters that are in the hot tubs at all times. These are long-lasting and will help you have a prolonged release of calcium in your pool than simply adding a bottle of concentrate into your hot tub. This prolonged release is loved by hot tub owners because they can leave it and forget it, which is always better for hot tubs that are a lot faster to react to chemical changes.

Using calcium pills to increase the calcium levels for pools has never been popular or amazingly effective, this is owing to the pool being such a large body of water. Most pool owners won’t be able to register any markable change of calcium levels when they use calcium pills in a floater that can support them.

Powdered Calcium Chloride

The favored way of adding calcium to larger bodies of water, powdered calcium chloride is often mixed in with other chemicals. Most of the time granular chloride, as larger pools are a lot more likely to lose the calcium levels through regular backwashing, storms, or just splashing from those inside the pool.

Many hot tub owners will not be familiar with powdered or granular calcium as the concentration of calcium in these is too high for their hot tubs to be effective. Usually, the only hot tubs that will benefit from this way of adding calcium and chlorine are the large ones used at resorts or health spas.

Floaters with the right chemicals

While the pills can be added to floaters of both pools and hot tubs, there are many floaters that you can buy that will already have these in them. Some of the best floaters in the world will have all of these chemicals in them already to have the best results for them. Floaters are meant to assist in keeping all chemicals balanced in the body of water they are in.

This is why hot tubs have floaters that can easily be refilled with pills, while pools will have larger floaters with pills of other chemical mixes already inside of them. If you have the right floater for your pool they will automatically help you in keeping everything perfect and going all the time.

Why do you have to balance the hardness of calcium?

Few people realize that water can be either hard or soft unless the water is perfectly chemically balanced. Some of the best pools in the world are monitored constantly to ensure that every single chemical in the pool is always at the perfect level.

Hard water can be found almost anywhere in nature, usually in rivers or lakes, this water feels mineral-rich and can make your skin feel almost uncomfortable. Hard water can be uncomfortable to those who swim in it and will eventually cause a build-up of calcium around the pool, with several fixtures becoming harder to remove as the build-up increases.

Hard water is undesirable owing to the many danger of having a layer of calcium everything can cause, many pool owners ignore this when they first have a pool or hot tub. However, they quickly learn that calcium is an enemy of all those that want a good-looking pool; however, it should never be below the recommended level.

What effects does adding calcium have on the water in a pool or hot tub?

Adding calcium helps to do several things to your water, chief of which is to help in balancing out the acidity of the water. This helps most of the parts of the pool and hot tub not be eroded, as a low level of calcium can cause the water to become extremely eroding to even plastic and metal parts of the system.

If the calcium levels of the pool drop too low the water will start burning your skin, causing irritation that can be hard or bothersome to remove. Some of the best pools will be actively ensuring that the water is always perfectly balanced between acidity and calcium, causing it to be neither acidic nor base when measured.

If you add too much calcium the water will turn milky and can cause a build-up of calcium with many owners of hot tubs and pools not realizing the damage that has been caused until it is already too late to fix it with ease.

How to lower the calcium levels in your pool and hot tub?

There are two ways that you can easily lower the calcium levels of your pool without having to resort to an extreme measure, both of which will only take a few minutes to complete. One of the most popular ways to do this is simply removing some water, replacing the water with normal low calcium tap water.

The second way is to chemically bind the calcium with other chemicals, causing it to settle at the bottom of the pool. Then simply vacuuming the calcium out of the pool, will usually also help to reduce the overall floating material inside your pool without having to suffer through the aches and pains of having a constantly murky pool.

In some regions around the world, the sun could be a friend as well, seeing as the sun causes chemical reactions to happen faster in the pool. Creating situations where the balancing of calcium in the pool will only ever mean adding acid to the water to keep the levels low.

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Written by Ferdi Vol
Ferdi Vol is a pool and hot tub owner who has been working in this industry for over 5 years. He has learned all the ins and outs of maintaining pools and hot tubs, as well as how to privately own one. Ferdi Vol is also passionate about blogging, researching topics that he shares with his readers online via this blog.
About Ferdi Vol
About Pool Uncle
Pool Uncle is a blog that focuses on helping pool and hot tub owners get the right tools, maintain their pools and hot tubs, and learn about how to care for them. It provides readers with all of the information they need to keep their pools clean, safe, and looking great. The website also publishes original articles about pool maintenance topics such as filtration systems or algae prevention techniques.
About the Author
Ferdi Vol has been in the swimming pool and hot tub as an owner for over 5 years. His experience ranges from owning a pools and hot tubs and maintaining them. He’s learned about pumps, filters, chemicals, cleaning products, treatment systems… you name it!
About Ferdi Vol
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