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Thread: How much acid will I have to keep buying?!

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    pulzar's Avatar
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    How much acid will I have to keep buying?!

    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?

    My numbers:

    FC 7.0
    CC 0
    Salt 3200
    pH 8.0
    CYA 70
    CH 630
    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.
    15,000 gallon in-ground plaster, oval-ish 25'x15', 3.5-7' deep
    Hayward SWG with cartridge filter, waterfall + bubbler, Taylor K-2006 kit

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: How much acid will I have to keep buying?!

    Welcome to TFP!

    In addition to the SWG, anything that aerated the water will drive up the pH. I have a sheer decent waterfall and add acid a few times a week because of it.
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    swoopman's Avatar
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    Re: How much acid will I have to keep buying?!

    Sorry I'm not any help with your questions about filter pressure or borates but found this from Moderator JohnT regarding keeping two return pipes closed off most of the time...

    "Algae won't grow in the lines because it needs sunlight. Bacteria and other critters can grow in there though. I'd want at least daily circulation for a little while on all lines. "
    TF-100 Test Kit
    22,000 gallon, 20x40 kidney-shape IG plaster pool built in 1986
    Nautilus NS-36 DE filter, Hayward Self Prime Super Pump 1HP
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    Re: How much acid will I have to keep buying?!

    Yup. Lines need a little movement once in a while. So do light niches...!!! Teehee

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    pulzar's Avatar
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    Re: How much acid will I have to keep buying?!

    Thanks for the responses. I guess I'm stuck with running the water features and dumping in acid at about a gallon a week... I was really hoping there was a way to reduce that.
    15,000 gallon in-ground plaster, oval-ish 25'x15', 3.5-7' deep
    Hayward SWG with cartridge filter, waterfall + bubbler, Taylor K-2006 kit

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    DaninFLA's Avatar
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    Re: How much acid will I have to keep buying?!

    get your TA lower is the answer, and I would consider borates as well. a gallon a week is excessive for a pool of your size I think. keep lowering your pH down to 7.2 and then rising and keep pushing it down over and over to lower your TA.
    Dan
    9,000 gallon in-ground Saltwater pool, plaster, cartridge filer, 1.0 hp pump, Hayward T-15 SWCG, TF-100
    Pool School - Chlorine / CYA Chart; Pool School - Test Kits Compared;

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    pulzar's Avatar
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    Re: How much acid will I have to keep buying?!

    Quote Originally Posted by DaninFLA View Post
    get your TA lower is the answer, and I would consider borates as well. a gallon a week is excessive for a pool of your size I think. keep lowering your pH down to 7.2 and then rising and keep pushing it down over and over to lower your TA.
    How much lower should I go? The recommended values are 60-80, I'm just barely over -- is it ok to go below 60, or aim for around 60?
    15,000 gallon in-ground plaster, oval-ish 25'x15', 3.5-7' deep
    Hayward SWG with cartridge filter, waterfall + bubbler, Taylor K-2006 kit

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    DaninFLA's Avatar
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    Re: How much acid will I have to keep buying?!

    TA values and impact on pH really vary from pool to pool. if your pool is seeing rapid pH rise, you need to lower your TA. lowering your TA is a slow process, but as you keep lowering it you should find that you are using less and less acid and not as regular. since your rise is so fast, I bet you are going to have to get down to 50 or 60. either way the process is the same. target 7.2, let it rise, lower to 7.2, etc. the process will reduce your TA.
    Dan
    9,000 gallon in-ground Saltwater pool, plaster, cartridge filer, 1.0 hp pump, Hayward T-15 SWCG, TF-100
    Pool School - Chlorine / CYA Chart; Pool School - Test Kits Compared;

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    pulzar's Avatar
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    Re: How much acid will I have to keep buying?!

    Quote Originally Posted by DaninFLA View Post
    TA values and impact on pH really vary from pool to pool. if your pool is seeing rapid pH rise, you need to lower your TA. lowering your TA is a slow process, but as you keep lowering it you should find that you are using less and less acid and not as regular. since your rise is so fast, I bet you are going to have to get down to 50 or 60. either way the process is the same. target 7.2, let it rise, lower to 7.2, etc. the process will reduce your TA.
    It hasn't been that slow for me, which is my other concern -- at this rate, I'll have to be raising my TA regularly, as well. I brought it down from 140 to 85 in just two weeks. I don't know if 85->60 will go slower, but if it goes down at the same rate, I'll be at 50 at the end of the week, and 20 or so the week after, and I'll be adding baking soda every week, too, to keep it at 50 .
    15,000 gallon in-ground plaster, oval-ish 25'x15', 3.5-7' deep
    Hayward SWG with cartridge filter, waterfall + bubbler, Taylor K-2006 kit

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    DaninFLA's Avatar
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    Re: How much acid will I have to keep buying?!

    as your TA gets lower your pH rise will slow down. you are still in the 'high' range and coupled with a SWCG and waterfall, the pH rise is gonna be fast at your current rate of 90. as you go lower it will slow down, but you are still in the high range. the TA removal will start to slow down. just stick with it, you will get to something reasonable. its not gonna be a linear process. just keep doing what you are doing and retesting.
    Dan
    9,000 gallon in-ground Saltwater pool, plaster, cartridge filer, 1.0 hp pump, Hayward T-15 SWCG, TF-100
    Pool School - Chlorine / CYA Chart; Pool School - Test Kits Compared;

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    Re: How much acid will I have to keep buying?!

    Once your TA comes down, You won't have to run your water features all the time...

    I keep a teeny bit of flow through any inside stuff (fountains, jets) and then make sure my over-water features get turned on once in a while after I add chlorine.

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    pulzar's Avatar
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    Re: How much acid will I have to keep buying?!

    Quote Originally Posted by DaninFLA View Post
    as your TA gets lower your pH rise will slow down. you are still in the 'high' range and coupled with a SWCG and waterfall, the pH rise is gonna be fast at your current rate of 90. as you go lower it will slow down, but you are still in the high range. the TA removal will start to slow down. just stick with it, you will get to something reasonable. its not gonna be a linear process. just keep doing what you are doing and retesting.
    Thanks! This morning, TA registered at barely over 60, and for the first time, the pH was not at 8.0 in the morning -- it was around 7.6... So, I guess sticking with it did pay off.
    15,000 gallon in-ground plaster, oval-ish 25'x15', 3.5-7' deep
    Hayward SWG with cartridge filter, waterfall + bubbler, Taylor K-2006 kit

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    Re: How much acid will I have to keep buying?!

    Yay!

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    DaninFLA's Avatar
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    Re: How much acid will I have to keep buying?!

    progress!
    Dan
    9,000 gallon in-ground Saltwater pool, plaster, cartridge filer, 1.0 hp pump, Hayward T-15 SWCG, TF-100
    Pool School - Chlorine / CYA Chart; Pool School - Test Kits Compared;

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    Casey's Avatar
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    Re: How much acid will I have to keep buying?!

    Quote Originally Posted by pulzar View Post
    Thanks! This morning, TA registered at barely over 60, and for the first time, the pH was not at 8.0 in the morning -- it was around 7.6... So, I guess sticking with it did pay off.
    See what happens when you do as you're told.
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: How much acid will I have to keep buying?!

    Gotta love that science!
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