I bought a house with a pool without knowing a first thing about pool maintenance. The previous owner said "take the water to Leslie's from time to time, do what they say, and you'll be fine".. So, I did, and, well, after much money, time, and energy spent, I found this forum and realized that they were ruining my pool (and my fun) instead of helping me. So, thank you everybody here for insightful posts and tools -- I've learned so much and now I feel like I have some understanding of the basics, and I'm staying clear from Leslie's severely flawed water testing and phosphate-reducing potions.
While spending the last two weeks trying to undo the Leslie's damage by bringing all my numbers into recommended range, one thing that I just can't keep stable is pH. Every two days I'm at 8.0+, and I'm dumping about a third of a gallon of MA to bring it to 7.5. From what I've been reading here, that seems a little on the high side, so I wanted to get your opinions on better managing this. (The pool is about 4 years old)
I understand that SWGs make your pH go up -- and I guess there's nothing I can do about that... but, but themselves, it shouldn't be this bad, right?
I also understand that waterfalls and bubblers will raise pH through aeration... I turned them down to a trickle this weekend, and it made no difference, it seems. I've now shut them off completely to see if that helps. (This leads me to another question -- I have 3 return valves going into the pool... one for the circulation jets, one for waterfall, one for bubbler. When they are all on, the filter pressure is about 11psi... and it jumps close to about 20psi when I shut off waterfall and bubbler completely. Is that still "healthy"? Is it ok to keep two return pipes closed off most of the time? The previous owner said "they should all run at least a little bit all the time", but I tend to not believe them much any more.)
I haven't ventured into trying borates... Can they help slow the pH rise in salt water pools?
TA 85 (it was 140 after Leslie's guy told me to dump 3 buckets of baking soda in.... it's been coming down slowly over the last two weeks... but pH rise isn't slowing down)
The water is at about 85 degress, it's 100+ outside during the day.
The water is very clear and otherwise very enjoyable, but having to dump so much acid in every other day is starting to worry me that something's going on that I don't understand.