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Thread: First time pool owner, new pool, trouble maintaining PH

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    First time pool owner, new pool, trouble maintaining PH

    Hi All,
    I'm a first time pool owner. Pool was completed December of 2015. First thing I did after the pool company completed the pool was to register here and read through the basics of maintaining the pool. I've become quite familiar with the pool chemistry, and test it weekly with a K-2006 test kit. I also take a water sample to the local pool store (non-chain) once a month and have them check the water so can I cross check that with my readings.

    However I'm having a hard time maintaining the PH. I test the water with the Taylor kit, use the acid reagent and the pool calculator to determine how much acid it needs to get it down to PH 7.4-7.5. Then I add the acid and test it a day or two after to see it has bounced back to PH 8-8.1. I've read that a new pool needs a lot of acid to maintain the PH during the curing phase. But how can I get to a point where I can maintain the correct PH at least for a few days?

    Thanks in advance.

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    Chris19D's Avatar
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    Re: First time pool owner, new pool, trouble maintaining PH

    Aeration can also raise your PH level...do you have water features that are on frequently or have it in spillway mode (assuming you have a hot tub)?
    ~Chris - 20,000 gallons free-form gunite / Pebbletec, Aquapure 1400 SWG, 2 HP Jandy VS Main Pool Pump, 2 HP Jandy Water feature Pump, 580 Jandy cartridge filter, Dolphin M500, TF-100 w/Speedstir.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: First time pool owner, new pool, trouble maintaining PH

    Welcome to TFP!

    What is your TA? Post all your results.

    Is it a plaster pool? Fill out your signature.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: First time pool owner, new pool, trouble maintaining PH

    Quote Originally Posted by connorcp View Post
    Aeration can also raise your PH level...do you have water features that are on frequently or have it in spillway mode (assuming you have a hot tub)?
    Yes I do have spillway from the spa into the pool. It turns on with the pool filter and can't be turned off separately. I'm running the filter from 11am-4pm right now, the temperatures here in Florida are in the 70 now.
    14k IG pebblesheen pool & spa, Hayward T-Cell-15 SWG, Hayward C200S filter

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: First time pool owner, new pool, trouble maintaining PH

    Welcome!

    Yeah, what they said. If TA is high and/or you have waterfalls or a spillover spa or a fountain, pH will climb rapidly. Add some curing plaster and you've got the perfect storm.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
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    Re: First time pool owner, new pool, trouble maintaining PH

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    Welcome to TFP!

    What is your TA? Post all your results.

    Is it a plaster pool? Fill out your signature.
    I updated the signature with the specs of the pool. It has pebblesheen finish. Pool is about 15k gallons with another 800gallons in the spa which spills over.
    FC : 3.3
    TC :3.3
    PH :8 (The taylor kit only gives me up to 8, the pool store read it at 8.1)
    TA :88
    CYA:80
    14k IG pebblesheen pool & spa, Hayward T-Cell-15 SWG, Hayward C200S filter

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: First time pool owner, new pool, trouble maintaining PH

    Those numbers do not appear to be from your Taylor kit. Those chlorine and TA numbers are not possible. Please post your own test results, pool store testing is notoriously bad.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: First time pool owner, new pool, trouble maintaining PH

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    Those numbers do not appear to be from your Taylor kit. Those chlorine and TA numbers are not possible. Please post your own test results, pool store testing is notoriously bad.
    Yes, these are the number from the pool store as I had their paper with me. I will test with the Taylor kit and post results.
    14k IG pebblesheen pool & spa, Hayward T-Cell-15 SWG, Hayward C200S filter

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: First time pool owner, new pool, trouble maintaining PH

    So far, nothing seems out of the ordinary. That pool store TA is a little on the high side and will pull the pH up, plus it being a pretty new pebble pool that could be still curing will also drive the pH up. Plus a SWG when operating aerates the water and drives the pH up.

    Just continue to add acid every few days to keep the pH in the 7s, that should slowly lower the TA which should slow the rate the pH is rising.

    You can get a little more aggressive by following the Lower Total Alkalinity procedure.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: First time pool owner, new pool, trouble maintaining PH

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    Those numbers do not appear to be from your Taylor kit. Those chlorine and TA numbers are not possible. Please post your own test results, pool store testing is notoriously bad.
    Here are the numbers I just took from the Taylor kit. I run the filter from 11am to 4pm as instructed by the pool builder. I was told to change this to 12 hours during the summer months. If the aeration is driving the PH up, what's the best way to determine how long to run the filter?

    FC :8
    CC :0
    PH :8
    TA :80
    CYA:80
    14k IG pebblesheen pool & spa, Hayward T-Cell-15 SWG, Hayward C200S filter

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: First time pool owner, new pool, trouble maintaining PH

    Well, those numbers indicate that you are maintaining your FC higher than required for your CYA level. So, you could either lower the % output on the SWG or shorten the pump run time ... either of which will reduce the aeration by the SWG and slow the pH rise.

    Really a pool only needs a couple hours of pump run time for circulation. You might need more to produce enough FC though. We often see that pool builders are great at their job, but are absolutely clueless about how to actually maintain a pool. There is likely no need to run your pump for 12 hours.

    Take a look at these articles:
    Water Balance for SWGs
    Determine Pump Run Time
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    Re: First time pool owner, new pool, trouble maintaining PH

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    Well, those numbers indicate that you are maintaining your FC higher than required for your CYA level. So, you could either lower the % output on the SWG or shorten the pump run time ... either of which will reduce the aeration by the SWG and slow the pH rise.

    Really a pool only needs a couple hours of pump run time for circulation. You might need more to produce enough FC though. We often see that pool builders are great at their job, but are absolutely clueless about how to actually maintain a pool. There is likely no need to run your pump for 12 hours.

    Take a look at these articles:
    Water Balance for SWGs
    Determine Pump Run Time
    Will read through these, thanks!
    14k IG pebblesheen pool & spa, Hayward T-Cell-15 SWG, Hayward C200S filter

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: First time pool owner, new pool, trouble maintaining PH

    Have you started using PoolMath? That will tell you the required minimum FC level for your CYA level.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    txnole's Avatar
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    Re: First time pool owner, new pool, trouble maintaining PH

    Do you have a valve to regulate flow to the spa? I have basically the same spa spillover config, but I've found that I can divert more flow to pool jets than spillway and maintain pH pretty consistently.
    COMPLETED BUILD THREAD - 15'x29' rectangular offset shotcrete pool; 14,100 gal; 5'x7' raised spa with 400k btu fire feature; 7' spillover; 25' leuder stone raised bond wall w/waterfall; Pentair SWG; Pentair VS (pool); Pentair 3/4hp feature pump; 1hp spa blower; Pentair Cartridge filter; Pentair “Easy Touch 8” wireless; Dolphin Oasis Z5 robot; Solar Hydronics iSwim solar panels; Mansard Screen Enclosure; walnut travertine deck; 1 very happy kiddo.

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    Re: First time pool owner, new pool, trouble maintaining PH

    Quote Originally Posted by txnole View Post
    Do you have a valve to regulate flow to the spa? I have basically the same spa spillover config, but I've found that I can divert more flow to pool jets than spillway and maintain pH pretty consistently.
    The slower speed on the filter seems to regulate the spillover. I turned the filter to slow speed and also reduced the run time. Added acid this morning and took a reading in the afternoon but no change in PH is still high.
    14k IG pebblesheen pool & spa, Hayward T-Cell-15 SWG, Hayward C200S filter

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: First time pool owner, new pool, trouble maintaining PH

    Then you need to add more acid.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: First time pool owner, new pool, trouble maintaining PH

    I'm still in the same situation after a week. Added acid twice last week using the amount calculated by PoolMath. Checked PH after about 8 hours of adding Acid but still get the same high reading. The filter has been working only on slow speed and lowered the run time to 5hrs a day. Took readings of FC and PH this morning. We had some rain over the past week too.

    PH:8 (1 drop of acid demand brought it to 7.6)
    FC 10 (up from 8 last week)
    14k IG pebblesheen pool & spa, Hayward T-Cell-15 SWG, Hayward C200S filter

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: First time pool owner, new pool, trouble maintaining PH

    So keep adding acid. You can retest after an hour to see if you reached the target. Again, are you using PoolMath?

    BUT, when the FC > 10ppm, the pH test will read artificially high. So would be better if the FC was not so high when you are testing the pH.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

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    Re: First time pool owner, new pool, trouble maintaining PH

    My new pool easily consumes more than a gallon of 31% acid each week. I was told that the curing plaster and high TA (mine is over 160) are the cause of this. I've just been diligent about adding acid once per day to pull it down to pH of 7.5. TA has been falling slowly, and I'll keep up this routine for another few months in hopes that the plaster will finish curing and I can stop feeling like I'm turning my pool into a pickle bath.

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    Re: First time pool owner, new pool, trouble maintaining PH

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    So keep adding acid. You can retest after an hour to see if you reached the target. Again, are you using PoolMath?

    BUT, when the FC > 10ppm, the pH test will read artificially high. So would be better if the FC was not so high when you are testing the pH.
    Yes, I have been using PoolMatch. What can I do to lower FC?
    14k IG pebblesheen pool & spa, Hayward T-Cell-15 SWG, Hayward C200S filter

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