Pool Opening: Treating High Calcium, Phosphates, Chlorine, Ph

open poolThe Summer of 2013 has arrived, and it’s time to open my swimming pool!

First, I took a water sample to Leslie’s and got the pool water tested.

The results are:

  • High Calcium
  • High Phosphates
  • High Chlorine
  • High Ph

Let’s cover how I dealt with this list of pool water problems.

1. High Calcium

With a 22,000 gallon pool, this is not easy to solve…

Living in Arizona, where the water from the tap is very high in minerals, it’s just part of the challenge I deal with since evaporation takes the O2 and leaves behind the mineral deposits.

Solution: I drained a foot of water at a time for 3 feet removed.

Then I backfilled with fresh new water.

Also note: at this time I was only focusing on the High Calcium.

Once the water returned to the average level, I ran the pool for a day and took another sample to Leslie’s.

Whoo Hoo! My calcium was expected, and my phosphate came down some, too!

High Calcium Problem solved.

2. High Phosphates

As I said, when I drained part of my pool water the phosphates came down almost to normal, and while I was getting the water tested I picked up some Phosfree Plus to treat the pool water.

Solution: 3 cap fulls weekly will do the trick and keep my PPM under 100.

High Phosphates solved.

3. High Ph

Treating the high pH will require extra care since I must add acid to the water. In this case, 1.25 quarts of acid are needed.

Solution: I did this by adding 2 gallons of pool water to a 5-gallon bucket, then carefully measuring and pouring the acid into the bucket of pool water, and then pouring the solution into the pool.

Beware that the acid fumes can be overwhelming so make sure you have a wide open area to work in and use a gloves, safety glasses and a mask.

High Ph problem solved.

4. High Chlorine

This problem had two solutions.

  1. Add de-chlorinator
  2. Allow the sun to burn off the excess chlorine.

I let the sun handle this as more pool chemicals are costly, and time wasn’t a constraint.

Solution: I removed the floating chlorinator for a week, and Walla, my chlorine was down to normal levels.

The high Chlorine problem was solved.


The pool is now open, and it cost me $59 for Phosfree Plus, 1.24 quarts of muriatic acid, and a couple of hundred gallons of water.

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