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Thread: 0 Total Alkalinity verus 6.2 PH

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    0 Total Alkalinity verus 6.2 PH

    Hello, I run my Filter/ pump over night, every night. With Automatic Heyward Clorinator. In the morning when I test these are the readings I have: 0 total Alkalinity, 6.2 PH, 2 PPM Free Chlorine. When I test 2 to 3 hours later, TA and PH readings are the same, but FC then shows 0.

    From my research, it seems that since the PH is very low at 6.2 and TA shows 0, this is probably the cause of 0 FC after a few hours. So my question is (also after some research), is it better to use Baking Soda to bring up the TA before trying to up the PH? In researching it seems to be that you should first try to up the TA because this in turn will up the PH. Does this sound correct?

    Thanks!
    IG pool
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    27,000 Gal

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: 0 Total Alkalinity verus 6.2 PH

    Chlorine level has no real impact on TA and PH. Except that pucks will lower PH. In this case you should use soda ash to raise PH and it will raise TA also. Correct PH and TA should get better.

    Here is a handy article on pool chemicals, what they do and how to add them. Pool School - Recommended Pool Chemicals
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    Re: 0 Total Alkalinity verus 6.2 PH

    If your TA is truly zero then your pH is likely far lower than 6.2 and you do need to address the situation quickly. Using baking soda first to bring up your TA is the way I go because then there is less chance of overshooting your target. Once you do this then you can go about adjusting your pH and then fine tuning everything.

    Assuming your chlorinator is a puck feeder then you need to keep your TA over 100. Trichlor is very acidic and keeping your TA up helps to offset this. Also your FC drop has nothing to do with your pH or TA, I don't know where you read that. If your FC is suddenly dropping then you have an separate problem that you need to look in to once you get your pH and TA fixed. If you don't mind me asking, which kit are you using for testing?
    JD - 28' Round Above Ground Pool, 17,000 Gallons. Dual speed Jacuzzi pump with cartridge filter. Dual speed 1 HP pump, Hayward S210T sand filter
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    Re: 0 Total Alkalinity verus 6.2 PH

    Thanks for the replies. Before last year I never actually tested my pool. The pool has been operational for about 25 years (first liner lasted 22 years and replaced the liner 3 years ago). I only started testing it and not very often 2 years ago. I've been using test strips but will now purchase a Taylor test kit. A long time ago an old pool guy told me to never use anything in the pool but chlorine. So, for all these years that's all I've ever used, chlorine. Pool has always been crystal clear and never had any problems with it. And in testing it once in awhile with test strips, it always showed correct levels of PH, TA and FC. But this year just reading stories on the internet and got me paranoid... and so I started testing it with the strips and got those readings in my original thread. And since with the test strips, it didn't show anything for PH and TA. I took a bottle to the local pool store and found that TA was 0, FC was 2, PH was 0. We've had constant rain here in Pittsburgh this year and I'm sure this is compounding my low levels of PH and TA.

    So I will start by adding Baking Soda to increase the TA and go from there. I put my pool volume size in the Pool Calculator (When calculating Pool Water Volume, I'm assuming I should go by the actual water levels for depth instead of the physical Wall depths). And you are correct above when you say PH level is probably below 6.2. It is actually 0,

    I have a couple questions regarding Pool Calculator and also on adding Baking Soda for TA. After putting in my pool volume of 25,400 gallons, and the number of 0 for PH and TA under the Now column. It makes sense that I'd have to add like 37 pounds of Baking Soda to bring up the TA. But for the PH the Pool Calculator says that I'll have to add 1869 LBs of Soda Ash. Does this sound correct?? It really seems to be quite a lot. From the readings of 0 PH the pool store said I'd only have to add 2.5 LBs of their PH Up. So, I'm confused over the amount of 1869 LBs that the calculator says.

    Thanks in advance!
    IG pool
    DE filter
    18X36
    27,000 Gal

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    Re: 0 Total Alkalinity verus 6.2 PH

    Your pH is not zero. A pH of zero is like battery acid, which would have long ago eaten through everything in your pool. So unless you jump in and your skin starts to melt, I think your pH is more likely around 4ish, similar to grapefruit juice. Since you can't measure your pH below 6.2 start with the baking soda. Once you are able to get a TA reading then you can adjust your pH more accurately.

    Of course, all of this is assuming your testing is correct. You have near-impossible results from the pool store and test strips are unreliable at best. While I strongly recommend getting your hands on the TF-100, a simple drop based test from a big box store can give you accurate pH and TA results to get that issue solved.
    JD - 28' Round Above Ground Pool, 17,000 Gallons. Dual speed Jacuzzi pump with cartridge filter. Dual speed 1 HP pump, Hayward S210T sand filter
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    Re: 0 Total Alkalinity verus 6.2 PH

    Ok, thanks it must not be zero then, cause nobody has melted yet I'll go out and pick up a drop based kit to test TA and pH and get 20 Lbs or so of Baking Soda to start the process of getting the TA up. I will definitely purchase the TF-100. From what I'm reading on TroubleFree Pools, I should sprinkle the baking soda around in the deep end (I'm assuming with the pump/filter running)?
    IG pool
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    Re: 0 Total Alkalinity verus 6.2 PH

    Baking soda is the most innocuous of all the chemicals we add to the pool (well, except possibly for salt) so you can add it almost any way you like. Sprinkling around the pool is fine. Or you can add it slowly over a return flow with the pump running as you do with most other concentrated chemicals. Up to you. Whatever is easiest.
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    Re: 0 Total Alkalinity verus 6.2 PH

    Like chem geek said, with baking soda there isn't so much a wrong way to add it. I pour it in front of the return and watch the cloud expand, but sprinkling it in the deep end should work too. Make sure if any lands on the bottom to brush it up so it doesn't just sit there. After it has mixed for 30-60 minutes you can retest. You should see a decent TA reading at that point and then you can work at adjusting your pH with soda ash, which will bring up your pH as well as your TA a bit more. Your pH test will probably still read 6.2, only add enough soda ash to go from 6.2 to 7.5 at a time. It may appear that your pH isn't moving at first since you are below the testing limits, but this way will prevent you from overshooting your pH. After a couple times you should get a real reading and then can fine tune your pH and TA to get everything where you want it.
    JD - 28' Round Above Ground Pool, 17,000 Gallons. Dual speed Jacuzzi pump with cartridge filter. Dual speed 1 HP pump, Hayward S210T sand filter
    Pool School - PoolMath - HIGHLY Recommended Test Kits

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    Re: 0 Total Alkalinity verus 6.2 PH

    I'm sorry, just one more question on the baking soda. Do I mix it in a bucket before pouring it in front of a return or just sprinkle it in front of return dry?
    IG pool
    DE filter
    18X36
    27,000 Gal

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    Re: 0 Total Alkalinity verus 6.2 PH

    No need to mix in bucket first. Just add and brush the pool.

    What is the cyanuric acid?

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    Re: 0 Total Alkalinity verus 6.2 PH

    It dissolves very readily. Sprinkling it in front of a return is fine. You may have to brush it a little off the pool floor but probably not.
    Dave S.
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    Re: 0 Total Alkalinity verus 6.2 PH

    Thanks Much appreciated!
    IG pool
    DE filter
    18X36
    27,000 Gal

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    Re: 0 Total Alkalinity verus 6.2 PH

    Oh sorry, CYA I believe it around 50
    IG pool
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    Re: 0 Total Alkalinity verus 6.2 PH

    You DO realize it was the steady diet of acidic pucks in the automatic feeder that created this problem, right? Hopefully, things didn't get this bad: Maintain your chemicals correctly
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
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    Re: 0 Total Alkalinity verus 6.2 PH

    Quote Originally Posted by mmcg View Post
    Oh sorry, CYA I believe it around 50
    When was it last tested?

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    Re: 0 Total Alkalinity verus 6.2 PH

    I added 13 lbs of Baking Soda yesterday and then tested this morning. The readings I get this morning are PH 6.8, FC 4, TA 60, CYA 50. But I am concerned because my pool before adding the Baking Soda was chrystal clear. Now this morning, since adding baking soda, the pool at the deep end from bottom up about 3 feet has a slight green tint.

    So, I'm a little concerned that if I add more Baking Soda to bring TA up to 100, that it will get even a greener tint. Especially since it is always super clear and I've never seen this green tint before.

    Also for now since getting a Taylor TF-100 will require ordering off the internet. For now I purchased a Pentair test kit locally to get accurate readings instead of using the test strips.
    IG pool
    DE filter
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    27,000 Gal

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    Re: 0 Total Alkalinity verus 6.2 PH

    Are we talking cloudy green or clear green?
    JD - 28' Round Above Ground Pool, 17,000 Gallons. Dual speed Jacuzzi pump with cartridge filter. Dual speed 1 HP pump, Hayward S210T sand filter
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    Re: 0 Total Alkalinity verus 6.2 PH

    not cloudy at all. Clear green... and just a tint...
    IG pool
    DE filter
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    27,000 Gal

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    Re: 0 Total Alkalinity verus 6.2 PH

    Clear green would probably be due to iron. You should avoid shocking. Add a quart of sequestrant and a quart of poly 60 algaecide. Then bring up the ta a bit more. Backwash the filter and then put some tabs in the skimmer and let the pump run continuously for one week.

    The algaecide will help prevent algae during the time of lower fc. The tabs in the skimmer will slowly bring up the chlorine. They will also help oxidize the iron directly before the filter, which will help the iron get filtered out.

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    Re: 0 Total Alkalinity verus 6.2 PH

    Do you have a heater and/or used any algaecide this season? Also what was the source of your water, a well or city water supply?
    JD - 28' Round Above Ground Pool, 17,000 Gallons. Dual speed Jacuzzi pump with cartridge filter. Dual speed 1 HP pump, Hayward S210T sand filter
    Pool School - PoolMath - HIGHLY Recommended Test Kits

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