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

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

The first thing I do is to take a water sample to Leslie’s and get the pool water tested.

The results are in:

  • 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 an easy one to solve…

…and 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 a total of 3 feet of water removed.

Then I back filled with fresh new water.

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

Once the water was back to normal level I ran the pool for a day then took another sample to Leslie’s.

Whoo Hoo! My calcium was down to normal and also my phosphate came down some too!

High Calcium Problem solved.

2. High Phosphates

Like 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: Basically 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 some extra care since I will need to add acid to the water. In this case 1.25 quarts of acid are needed.

Solution: How I did this was by adding 2 gallons of pool water in a 5 gallon bucket, then carefully measuring and poring the acid into the bucket of pool water. Then poring 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 chose to let the sun handle this as more 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.

High Chlorine problem solved.


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

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