Soft Pool Water: Low Calcium Levels
“Soft water” sounds so harmless and feels so soothing but, in fact, soft water is aggressive. Pool owners can avoid costly damage caused by soft water if they understand its harmful effects and how to halt its destructive processes. Learn more below about how the low calcium levels in soft pool water are a problem.
What Does Soft Water Do?
One way to recognize that water is soft is that it tends to foam and look sudsy. Soft water craves minerals and dissolves mineral sources in an attempt to satisfy that craving. An active attempt is made by soft water to draw minerals from grout surfaces and pool plaster. Concrete pools have minerals in cement compounds, and soft water leeches the minerals, weakening the pool structure. Chemically aggressive soft water dissolves things such as flues, fittings, binders, and pipes. In addition, pool surfaces become slippery when the water is soft.
How Does Soft Water Affect Vinyl Liners?
Soft water isn’t discriminating about what it tries to dissolve in the search for minerals. For this reason, vinyl liners are also damaged by soft water. People are often misinformed on this particular issue. Research shows, however, that soft water with hardness levels ranging from 50-100 ppm can suck plasticizers out of the liners, causing them to lose their elasticity.
To protect soft vinyl pool liners from the effects of soft water, a minimum calcium hardness of 150 ppm is recommended.
How Does Soft Water Affect Metal?
Various swimming pool components contain metal, and they are at risk from soft water. Soft metals such as the copper heat exchanger in a pool heater, for example, are subject to corrosion and pinhole leaks, which are not cheap to repair. Other metal surfaces in contact with pool water are handrails, ladders, and underwater lights. All of these metals corrode due to soft water. Pool pumps and equipment that automatically cleans pools also have metal components damaged by low calcium hardness.
Test Calcium Hardness
Don’t allow your pool to be damaged by soft water. Every month, check the calcium hardness level in your pool. As needed, add calcium chloride to your pool water. Be careful, though, because a different set of problems occurs when water is too hard.
When Soft Water is a Good Thing
Sometimes soft water can be used to get a pool to the proper level of hardness. High calcium levels in pools are no more desirable than low calcium levels. Adverse effects of excessively high levels of calcium in a pool include persistent cloudiness and irritation to skin and eyes. Filter systems can begin to clog due to an overabundance of calcium.
When a pool has high calcium levels, diluting the pool with soft water can be the ideal solution. The best course of action is to regularly have pool water chemistry checked and make changes, as needed.
Contact Pool Works Today
There is no pool service company in the Lakeland FL area more trusted than Pool Works to provide reliable pool cleaning services. Backed by more than 30 years of experience, Pool Works is dedicated to great customer service. Pool technicians never use the “dump and run” approach to pool care. We specialize in weekly pool maintenance and restoring neglected pools. Making sure a pool doesn’t have soft water is one of the pool conditions we watch out for. Call Pool Works today at (863) 967-2863 for more information and to schedule pool cleaning services.