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Thread: PH Testing

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    meatloaf's Avatar
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    PH Testing

    I know that the causes of rising PH are scattered throughout this forum, but is it possible to get a list of possible causes?
    My pool seems to require about 10oz of 31.5% MA every other day. Is this considered normal?
    Test results:
    CL 3
    TA 80
    PH 7.6
    CYA 45
    CH 490
    Salt 2100

    Thanks
    My pool is a 10,500 gallon (420 Sq Ft ) kidney shape. A hand made sheer decent waterfeature. STA-RITE HRPB30, Sand filter 30" 98 GPM,
    1 HP Maxi-Glas 2 pump, BBB Method, Taylor K-2005 test kit, 50 Watt 12V low-voltage pond light illuminates the pool at night for a nice soft glow.
    250 gallon stand-alone hot tub. Got it FREE!

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: PH Testing

    The amount of PH increase you describe is plausible if your plaster is less than one year old or you have a significant source of aeration, for example a waterfall, negative edge, or lots of kids swimming.

    The most common cause of PH rise is high TA combined with aeration. Your TA isn't too high, but I would still expect a little PH rise from that.

    Fresh plaster, less than one year old, will raise the PH. This effect is dramatic for the first several weeks, and then slows down.

    Some off-brand bleach contains noticeable amounts of excess lye, which will raise the PH. This isn't very common and has not been seen with Clorox bleach.

    Some areas occasionally get significant amounts of very alkaline dust blown in, which can raise the PH.
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    meatloaf's Avatar
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    Re: PH Testing

    Thanks, since the plaster is 15 years old I can safely rule that out. As for the dust, it has been windy here lately and a lot of dirt did blow in the pool so I guess the desert dust is to blame.
    My pool is a 10,500 gallon (420 Sq Ft ) kidney shape. A hand made sheer decent waterfeature. STA-RITE HRPB30, Sand filter 30" 98 GPM,
    1 HP Maxi-Glas 2 pump, BBB Method, Taylor K-2005 test kit, 50 Watt 12V low-voltage pond light illuminates the pool at night for a nice soft glow.
    250 gallon stand-alone hot tub. Got it FREE!

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    Re: PH Testing

    How often do you run the waterfall? My suggestion would be to drop the TA a bit more to about 60 ppm. Your CH is high enough that this should not be a problem. your water will still be balanced.

    When you add the acid how high has your pH risen and how high are you lowering it? i would not add acid until the pH hits 7.8 and would not lower it below 7.5. The more you lower the pH the faster it will rise. (The faster CO2 will outgas.)

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    meatloaf's Avatar
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    Re: PH Testing

    I usually add 10 oz of MA when the PH reaches 7.8 I'm trying to maintain a PH of 7.6
    I haven't been running the waterfall, areator or fountain.
    My pool is a 10,500 gallon (420 Sq Ft ) kidney shape. A hand made sheer decent waterfeature. STA-RITE HRPB30, Sand filter 30" 98 GPM,
    1 HP Maxi-Glas 2 pump, BBB Method, Taylor K-2005 test kit, 50 Watt 12V low-voltage pond light illuminates the pool at night for a nice soft glow.
    250 gallon stand-alone hot tub. Got it FREE!

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    Re: PH Testing

    Quote Originally Posted by meatloaf
    I usually add 10 oz of MA when the PH reaches 7.8 I'm trying to maintain a PH of 7.6
    I haven't been running the waterfall, areator or fountain.
    Then drop the TA a bit more. Have you added borates yet?

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    meatloaf's Avatar
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    Re: PH Testing

    I haven't added any borates because I have a dog that drinks from the pool. We can't seem to stop her from doing it.
    What level do you recommend I drop the TA to?
    Thanks
    My pool is a 10,500 gallon (420 Sq Ft ) kidney shape. A hand made sheer decent waterfeature. STA-RITE HRPB30, Sand filter 30" 98 GPM,
    1 HP Maxi-Glas 2 pump, BBB Method, Taylor K-2005 test kit, 50 Watt 12V low-voltage pond light illuminates the pool at night for a nice soft glow.
    250 gallon stand-alone hot tub. Got it FREE!

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    Re: PH Testing

    Quote Originally Posted by meatloaf
    I haven't added any borates because I have a dog that drinks from the pool. We can't seem to stop her from doing it.
    What level do you recommend I drop the TA to?
    Thanks
    Drop it to 60ppm and start training the dog NOT to drink from the pool, then add the borates. I did it with three dogs and a cat. A watergun and a loud "NO" when then drink from the pool and a treat when they drink from the full dish you keep outside near the pool is effective. You DO keep a full waterdish by the pool at all times, don't you?

    This is an easy training that should not take more than a week or two if you are dedicated to it.

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    Re: PH Testing

    I understand what you're saying about training the dog but my Wife and I both work during the day and the dog just goes in and out the doggie door whenever she feels the need. We do keep a dish of fresh water in the house but the dog prefers pool water and toilet water. (Strange dog ) I'll try lowering the TA to 70-75 and see if that helps.
    Thanks again for all you're advice.
    My pool is a 10,500 gallon (420 Sq Ft ) kidney shape. A hand made sheer decent waterfeature. STA-RITE HRPB30, Sand filter 30" 98 GPM,
    1 HP Maxi-Glas 2 pump, BBB Method, Taylor K-2005 test kit, 50 Watt 12V low-voltage pond light illuminates the pool at night for a nice soft glow.
    250 gallon stand-alone hot tub. Got it FREE!

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    Re: PH Testing

    Quote Originally Posted by meatloaf
    I understand what you're saying about training the dog but my Wife and I both work during the day and the dog just goes in and out the doggie door whenever she feels the need. We do keep a dish of fresh water in the house but the dog prefers pool water and toilet water. (Strange dog ) I'll try lowering the TA to 70-75 and see if that helps.
    Thanks again for all you're advice.
    Lower the TA to 60 and train the dog. I work 2 jobs....3 in the summer, and I'm also taking college courses so I understand about time constraints but that is no excuse for not training your dog.

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    Re: PH Testing

    Quote Originally Posted by waterbear
    Drop it to 60ppm and start training the dog NOT to drink from the pool, then add the borates.
    Would you please explain the reason to add borates (Borax). I am new to BBB but when reading the pool school on BBB adding borates increases the pH and this post was about the pH raising on it's own even after adding MA. Is it because of the TA at 60?
    16,000 gal IG Double Roman Plaster Pool (16yrs - plaster redone 2014)
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    Re: PH Testing

    Borates buffer the PH, so the PH changes more slowly than it otherwise would.

    Borax raises the PH in addition to adding borates. If you are adding Borax to raise the borate level you would also add acid to cancel out the PH change. Another way to raise the borate level is to use boric acid, which lowers the PH just slightly and also adds borates.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: PH Testing

    How are you chlorinating your pool? With a SWCG, rising pH is normal and expected. If you are using bleach, then it might be that the type of bleach you are using has a high caustic soda level. I have a 7,500 gal pool with a SWCG and I add about 20 to 30 oz of acid per week. In my case the acid consumption is tied to the setting of the SWCG.
    7,500 gal, IG pool, L shape 22' x 15', 1.5 hp pump, cartridge filter, AquaPlus SWG/Controller, Pebble-Tec liner.

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    Re: PH Testing

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    Borates buffer the PH, so the PH changes more slowly than it otherwise would.

    Borax raises the PH in addition to adding borates. If you are adding Borax to raise the borate level you would also add acid to cancel out the PH change. Another way to raise the borate level is to use boric acid, which lowers the PH just slightly and also adds borates.
    Learn something everyday here I thought the TA buffered the pH. I add only Clorox bleach from Sams club, the pool is 11 years old (plaster) and I need to add MA weekly because it drifts up to 7.8 fairly fast. TA is 80-90 depending on the when I add MA. I have very little aeration either.
    16,000 gal IG Double Roman Plaster Pool (16yrs - plaster redone 2014)
    Pentair FNS-48 DE filter with WhisperFlo 2HP single speed pump
    Polaris 280 robot
    BBB all the way and tested with a TF100 kit
    Pool Calc user

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    Re: PH Testing

    I fought that pH rise constantly when the pool was built last year, until someone told me that the new pool would do that. So instead of daily worry and battling I just let it run up to 7.8 and then would add lots of acid to get it down to 7.2 and then test TA after a day... I ran the pump and waterfall 24/7 for six months after installation. I finally had to raise the TA after about 3 months....did that with (shudder) chemicals because I hadn't found this place yet

    Now after 10 months the pH rises a bit more slowly and I add a little acid now and then. TA is up a bit higher than "recommended" (100 yesterday) but pool continues to look great and other tests are pretty good though I might boost my CYA and FC (60 and 2+) a bit. My waterfall runs at least 8 hours a day. Will just boosting my SWG get my FC up or should I add the recommended bleach (23 oz). SWG is currently only running at 25% and salt is 3200.

    My real goal is ADD NOTHING 8) Is this possible? Last year my SWG ran on 10-15% 24 hours per day and my chlorine (didn't know about FC) remained above 1.5. Other than pH rise as referenced above, no issues at all.
    11,000 gal + overflow spa, IG gunnite, Pentair 48FNS DE filter, Hayward SP3210X15 pump, CompuPool CPSC36 Chlorine generator, pool valet w/5 zones, Pentair LP heater

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    Re: PH Testing

    Quote Originally Posted by chezhed
    My real goal is ADD NOTHING 8) Is this possible?
    I think so if you have no dilution issues or don't have to add water.... All I added to my pool in 2 summers is bleach. Yes, I'm bragging.

    This spring I'll have to add CYA as it was down to 20 at the end of last season. Lovin' BBB!
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
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    Re: PH Testing

    Quote Originally Posted by dschlic1
    How are you chlorinating your pool? With a SWCG, rising pH is normal and expected. If you are using bleach, then it might be that the type of bleach you are using has a high caustic soda level. I have a 7,500 gal pool with a SWCG and I add about 20 to 30 oz of acid per week. In my case the acid consumption is tied to the setting of the SWCG.
    That is a LOT of acid for a pool your size, even with a SWG. I suspect that you might have some water balance issues! This thread might be helpful to you:
    water-balance-tips-for-a-swg-t3663.html

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    Re: PH Testing

    I am still new to the pool thing, but we are having a VERY windy spring- a mild day is 20mph. At least once a week, we are seeing 40-50 mph gusts. We have clay, not sand like you, but it is very alkaline. And it blows like sand when it gets dry. I have had constant pH rise all this spring, though not as severe as yours. We do not have SWG, and right now we are not adding chlorine (still finishing out the last of the polyquat prevention cycle). I can go out and watch the pool slosh in the wind like it is full of wild kids, and see the black clay dust everywhere. I am guessing that is the main source of my pH rise. My TA is down to 70 and I have started adding borates (about 30ppm right now), but not much I can do about the wind and blowing dust. Also, the wind is evaporating water out at levels similar to summer, so I am having to add water weekly-also alkaline.
    Just my experience in a windy, alkaline environment.
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    meatloaf's Avatar
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    Re: PH Testing

    I dropped the TA to 70PPM and I'm still using 4.5 oz of MA every day. I guess I"ll just have to live with it.
    My pool is a 10,500 gallon (420 Sq Ft ) kidney shape. A hand made sheer decent waterfeature. STA-RITE HRPB30, Sand filter 30" 98 GPM,
    1 HP Maxi-Glas 2 pump, BBB Method, Taylor K-2005 test kit, 50 Watt 12V low-voltage pond light illuminates the pool at night for a nice soft glow.
    250 gallon stand-alone hot tub. Got it FREE!

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    Re: PH Testing

    Quote Originally Posted by meatloaf
    My pool seems to require about 10oz of 31.5% MA every other day. I
    Quote Originally Posted by meatloaf
    I dropped the TA to 70PPM and I'm still using 4.5 oz of MA every day. I guess I"ll just have to live with it.
    Doesn't seem to be much a a change.
    Where do you normally keep your pH and how high do you let it go before you add acid? The lower you put the pH the faster it will rise and the more acid you will need. For example, using the Pool Calculator, for a 10k pool with a TA of 60 ppm it takes 4.5 oz of acid to lower the pH from 7.7 to 7.5 but only 3.8 oz to lower it from 7.8 to 7.6 and the rise back up to 7.8 won't be as fast. In either case, with a low TA I would think it would take more than 1 day for your pH to rise that much and your first post indicates that.

    I suggested dropping your TA to 60 ppm if you reread my earlier post, btw. Your waterfall is part of the problem and keeping your TA low is part of the solution.

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