You live in an area with hard water. You also have a fun backyard swimming pool or hot tub that your family adores. But if you’re like most people, you’re probably worried about how your hard water will affect your pool or hot tub.
Let’s take a closer look at the effects of hard water, and what you can do about it.
How Hard Water Affects Your Pool
To better understand how hard water affects your pool, you need to understand what hard water is.
Water is considered “hard” when it contains a high concentration of minerals, typically magnesium and calcium.
As more of these minerals dissolve in the water, the mineral content increases and makes the water “harder.”
When water becomes excessively hard, it can leave behind a gray, white or brown coating on the floors and walls of the pool or hot tub. Some of you may be thinking: What’s the big deal? Mineral deposits on your pool’s floor and walls may not seem like a big deal.
But mineral deposits can also build up on filters, pipes, and other pool and hot tub equipment.
Eventually, scale deposists can cause water to become cloudy.
And if you know how terrible it is to bathe in hard water, imagine swimming in it.
What Can You Do About the Hard Water in Your Pool and Hot Tub?
The key to eliminating the hard water problems with your pool is to soften it – but not too much. If the water is too soft, it may actually try to rebalance itself by leeching calcium from your pool’s walls.
Over time, this can cause tile grout or plaster to corrode and crumble.
One way to prevent this from happening is to add a special chelating agent to the water. This agent makes the calcium inactive by bonding with the calcium ion.
But before you do anything, you need to give your pool a thorough cleaning and test your water to see where you stand.
Here’s what you need to test for:
- Calcium hardness (150-400 ppm is ideal)
Ideally, you want to test once every week or two weeks.
After testing your pool or hot tub water, you should know whether you need to lower or raise calcium hardness levels. Make sure that your pH and alkaline levels are balanced before you start working on the hardness of your water.
Clean, Clean and Clean Some More
If your calcium hardness level is too high and you’re already seeing evidence of limescale build-up, the first thing you need to do is remove the existing scale.
But first, you’ll want to clean your filter. Cleaning the filter will remove any potential contaminants from the filtration system.
Descaling your pool and hot tub will take some time and effort, but will prevent damage and help to keep your pool clean.
The simplest way to descale a pool or hot tub is to use a brush. The brush will loosen mineral deposits, which will make their way to the filter for removal. The filter can then be cleaned again once you’re done to completely eliminate the scale.
Descaling can be done when the pool or hot tub is filled with water or empty.
Specialized cleaners and descaling agents are also available which dissolve deposits to make cleaning a little bit easier.
Preventing Hard Water Build-Up
Removing mineral deposits from your hot tub or pool can be time consuming and exhausting. But you can prevent future build-up with the right products and methods.
Consider investing in a good prevention product that will prevent build-up in the first place, like the chelating agent we talked about earlier.
Hard water can wreak havoc on your pool or hot tub, but taking action early on and implementing prevention methods will help you keep your pool looking like new (and your water clean and clear).