Home swimming pools are normally sparkling, not cloudy, and a few simple steps can ensure that a pool dazzles rather than disappoints. In this article, we take a look at one of earth’s most important minerals – calcium – and how you can use it as a friend rather than a foe in your home swimming pool.

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What Is Calcium Hardness?

All water contains calcium, which is a naturally occurring mineral. Calcium is the same material that grows human bones and corals in the sea, so it is an important element, but it is also responsible for generating limescale in swimming pool elements, shower heads, and kettles. The amount of calcium in water varies on the amount of chalk, iron, and carbonates in the local rocks. Water that has very little calcium is called ‘soft’ (e.g much of the East Midlands), and water that turns everything around it grey is known as ‘hard’ (e.g. Yorkshire, Kent, and Sussex). If your kettle or shower need regular limescale treatment, it’s likely that your home swimming pool water is likewise full of calcium.

Why Does Calcium Hardness Matter?

Calcium is beneficial to humans and to the earth, but this can cause problems for metal. Calcium is a building block of life, and it does this by settling in mineral-rich layers that are almost as tough as concrete. Unsurprisingly, these layers can cause mechanical parts to grind to an expensive halt. As a bio-active substance, calcium also interacts with metals, forming chemical bonds that gradually cause the metal to break down and corrode. Water that is too hard can put significant stress on any system, especially the parts that are easily clogged such as filters, pumps, and heaters.

Does Calcium Hardness Affect Pool Algae?

High levels of calcium change the pH of home swimming pool water. If this happens, the chlorine will not react properly, sending an open invitation to algae spores and bacteria. Uninvited biological guests quickly turn the water grey or milky, which is often the first sign that there is a calcium problem in the pool. Unless the issue is corrected, the pool will soon become a murky, sludgy green, which can damage filters, ruin pumps, and may take several weeks to fix.

How Do I Correct Water Hardness In My Home Swimming Pool?

Sustaining the water balance is an essential part of pool maintenance. When the pool is installed, ask a professional to check for the water hardness in your area and advise on the correct ratio of treatments. Calcium can be balanced with natural salts, so aggressive chemical treatment solutions are not always necessary, and simple salt filters can improve your water quality. Home swimming pools need to have a pH of 7.2 – 7.6, and this should be checked regularly using a dip strip or chemical testing kit, and particularly after a busy day of fun when lots of water might have splashed out.

Do I Need To Ask A Home Swimming Pool Expert?

Water hardness can cause irreparable damage to vital parts of a home swimming pool, and algae blooms can render the water out of action for weeks or longer. Therefore, it is advisable to ask an expert to look and suggest a proactive, cost-saving maintenance schedule. To find out more, please call our pool maintenance team on 0044 1299 532007.

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