Total hardness is the total amount of dissolved minerals that have built up in your pool water. The total hardness of your water increases every day. This is primarily due to evaporation, which removes only distilled water and leaves the minerals behind. Each time that fill water is added to the pool, more minerals are also added. Over time the pool builds up too many minerals. (Usually after 3 to 5 years)
The desert southwest experiences some of the hardest water conditions in the country. Out of the tap the water is already “hard” meaning it contains high levels of minerals. Combine that with some of the highest evaporation rates in the country (1/4″ per day in the summer); this climate creates a hardness problem very quickly in swimming pools.
Below is a list of issues resulting from High Hardness in a swimming pool:
– Staining on pool surface and tile
– Poor water chemistry. (Often leads to poor water clarity, algae, etc.)
– Clogged filter elements (Causes high pressure on filtration system)
– Rough plaster/pool surface
– Increased swimmer skin and eye irritation
To reduce mineral hardness and to help prevent the issues listed above, it is necessary to drain and refill your swimming pool periodically; every 3-5 years. If you are unsure whether or not you need to drain your pool the best thing to do is have a hardness test preformed on the swimming pool water. 250 ppm – 500 ppm is considered normal. Above 500 ppm is high.