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Thread: ph won't increase despite dumping lbs of baking soda (new pool owner here)

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    ph won't increase despite dumping lbs of baking soda (new pool owner here)

    First time poster here!

    Pool details:
    12k gallons, 14*28
    In Ground
    Vinyl
    Sand filter
    Community well

    I just moved into a house and got the pool water tested from my local pool store. Here are the details:
    Total chlorine - 4.3
    Free chlorine - 2.7
    pH - 6.1 (woah)
    Total Alkalinity - 100
    Ca hardness - 38
    Stabilizer - 110
    Copper, Iron - 0
    Shock Treatment - 1.6

    Here's the recommendation from the pool store:
    Add 2.5 lbs pH Increaser.

    Well, I did that and nothing changed. We then went to the grocery store and bought five 4-lb boxes of generic sodium bicarbonate. I dumped each of those in and waited (hours now) and measured. The pH is still yellow (per the TFTestkits result). By 'yellow' I mean it's beneath the starting point of the 7.0 scale on the tester, at least a couple shades beneath the starting red point.

    I'm about to head to the grocery to pick up more boxes. Am I doing the correct thing or am I missing something big?
    Thanks!

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    Re: ph won't increase despite dumping lbs of baking soda (new pool owner here)

    If you have a tf100 kit why are you posting pool store tests? Those are pretty meaningless. Post a full set of tests from your tf100 kit.
    18' x 38' Pool, 3' to 8' Depth
    Vinyl Liner
    SWG
    Variable Speed Pump
    Sand Filter

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: ph won't increase despite dumping lbs of baking soda (new pool owner here)

    Quote Originally Posted by steve_ View Post
    First time poster here!

    Pool details:
    12k gallons, 14*28
    In Ground
    Vinyl
    Sand filter
    Community well

    I just moved into a house and got the pool water tested from my local pool store. Here are the details:
    Total chlorine - 4.3
    Free chlorine - 2.7
    pH - 6.1 (woah)
    Total Alkalinity - 100
    Ca hardness - 38
    Stabilizer - 110
    Copper, Iron - 0
    Shock Treatment - 1.6

    Here's the recommendation from the pool store:
    Add 2.5 lbs pH Increaser.

    Well, I did that and nothing changed. We then went to the grocery store and bought five 4-lb boxes of generic sodium bicarbonate. I dumped each of those in and waited (hours now) and measured. The pH is still yellow (per the TFTestkits result). By 'yellow' I mean it's beneath the starting point of the 7.0 scale on the tester, at least a couple shades beneath the starting red point.

    I'm about to head to the grocery to pick up more boxes. Am I doing the correct thing or am I missing something big?
    Thanks!
    Sodium bicarbonate, aka baking soda, does not significantly raise the pH. It does, however, raise your alkalinity. You need sodium carbonate, aka, washing soda, to raise both pH and TA. Now that you've raised your TA, you'd be better off using borax to raise the pH so that your TA doesn't increase in anymore.

    Please read through Pool School's Recommended Chemicals to know what to add.
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: ph won't increase despite dumping lbs of baking soda (new pool owner here)

    Good idea, I'll get started on that. Any suggestions in the meantime?

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    Mod Squad woodyp's Avatar
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    Re: ph won't increase despite dumping lbs of baking soda (new pool owner here)

    Borax = 20 mule team btw
    16x32x52" Steel Cornelius Miramar AGP Vinyl liner 13,100 gal. Buried 2 ft.
    2 Speed Hayward Power-Flo Matrix 85 g.p.m. 22" 250lb. sand filter hard plumbed
    Pool Rover Jr., Pool Blaster Max, Diver Dave TF100 Test Kit/Speed Stir
    Margaritaville Frozen Concoction Maker, Liqour Chiller, & Drink Mixer & Party Tub----Collect 'um all!

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: ph won't increase despite dumping lbs of baking soda (new pool owner here)

    Also, based on those numbers (which you really can't trust), you have bigger problems than pH. Your stabilizer is way too high, your FC is way too low and you have over 1.6ppm CCs (combined chloramines). So, before you go dumping in anymore chemicals into your pool, I would respectfully suggest that you slow down, get your TF-100 test kit out and more thoroughly analyze your water. Then post those results here and ask for advice. The experts here on TFP will be happy to help you help yourself but only if you take the time to patiently evaluate your pool. You should also spend some significant time in Pool School reading the recommended articles on how to care for your pool and what the TFPC Method is. You will learn a lot.

    Good luck.
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: ph won't increase despite dumping lbs of baking soda (new pool owner here)

    Quote Originally Posted by JoyfulNoise View Post
    ...The experts here on TFP will be happy to help you help yourself but only if you take the time to patiently evaluate your pool. You should also spend some significant time in Pool School reading the recommended articles on how to care for your pool and what the TFPC Method is. You will learn a lot.
    Sorry for the haste, I had visited my local pool store and thought their water analysis would be sufficient. Obviously, I have a lot to learn from you guys. I'll be working on getting the results back today, hopefully tonight.

    Thanks, all!

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: ph won't increase despite dumping lbs of baking soda (new pool owner here)

    Quote Originally Posted by steve_ View Post
    Sorry for the haste, I had visited my local pool store and thought their water analysis would be sufficient. Obviously, I have a lot to learn from you guys. I'll be working on getting the results back today, hopefully tonight.

    Thanks, all!
    you would think a professional would get it right, but sadly we see way too many testing horror stories from pool stores. I'm sure there are some great ones out there, and my gut feeling is they are concentrated in sunny year round pool areas. In those areas a mom & pop store doesn't have to try to make all their money in a 5 or 6 month pool season and can take the time to learn their customers and their needs. Most chain stores are pushed from corporate for sales, plain and simple.

    Trust your testing, you care about your pool.
    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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