At a TA of 60, my acid demands have improved (dual spillway + SWG = upward ph creep). But with CH at 350 and CYA at 70, pool math is impressing me with the need to be rather accurate with my pH readings. This because the difference between the rather narrow ph range of 7.4 and 7.8 means a rather dramatic difference in CSI. At ph of 7.8, my CSI is a fairly good -0.3, but just up the street at a seemingly good, or OK ph of 7.4, CSI jumps to a surprisingly poor -0.7.
I guess my concern is in moving my ph closer to 7.8 to get to an acceptable CSI, I may end up not knowing that my ph is actually 8.0 or worse. And for me anyways, it doesn't seem to be the case that I can ballpark my ph between 7.4 and 7.8 and be fine with that.
So I'm toying with the idea of getting a ph meter. I've read surprisingly good things about inexpensive ph meters from a lot of brewing and aquarium forums (vs somewhat of a cold shoulder to ph meters on TPC). Seems that if one can put up with what appears to be a simple calibration step, one could make good use of such a meter - not as a regular testing method but to become more familiar with, and get a more accurate feel for, what a particular ph reading looks like, color wise, on a comparator (sp?) block. You pros know these colors/ph numbers in your sleep, unlike so many of us. I often get a color that does not square with the colors on the comparator, which plays into my concerns about getting an accurate ph read (particularly if I am to hover my ph around 7.8, which I naturally tend to resist).
I am itching to use a ph meter particularly in the context of what I found to be two useful posts on ph reading;, one that describes nicely, the different colors of the various ph numbers, and another which recommends using one or two less of the red drops to help with color matching. So in a sense, I would use the ph meter to calibrate my comparator block, which hopefully will make for more accurate ph readings on my part.
I'm still on a learning curve here, but remain somewhat surprised (amazed?) at the impact ph and TA have on CSI. Will continue to read up on posts on CSI - as perhaps I am overstating the importance of getting to and maintaining a good CSI level and/or taking an accurate ph reading. And I welcome any recommendations that will help with my CSI levels.