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Thread: Pool guy put a little too much muriatic acid in my pool....advice please!

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    Pool guy put a little too much muriatic acid in my pool....advice please!

    So for some reason my pool guy put a gallon of muriatic acid in my pool bc my pH was 8.0 and he was obviously trying to get it down. I wanted to get it down around 7.2-7.4 range but unfortunately it is now probably about the 6.8-7.0ish range when testing with my Taylor 2006 kit. My TA also dropped (of course) from 60 to 40. I asked him why he put so much MA and he said "bc I shocked the pool (15k gallons swg pool) with 2 bags of shock and it will raise the pH so I was added more than it called for of MA to counter this". Regardless, what's done is done. It's 3 days now and hasn't come up above 7.0 and the TA is still 40, so I was going to adjust it back myself. My plan is as followed:

    1) Adjust TA first with Baking Soda (Sodium Bicarb) to bring it up to 60-70 range then...

    2) Test pH to see where I stand, and adjust accordingly with Soda Ash (Sodium Carbonate) to bring up to 7.2-7.4 range

    Does this sound right?
    15k Gallon In Ground Saltwater Gunite Pool and Spa w/ Overflow
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    Re: Pool guy put a little too much muriatic acid in my pool....advice please!

    I would raise the pH right away as that can be the most corrosive to your water/equipment. You can use Borax which may also raise TA slightly. After adjusting pH back to the mid 7s, your TA may make it to the 50 range which is fine for now. Then tell the pool guy to never come back.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
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    Re: Pool guy put a little too much muriatic acid in my pool....advice please!

    Quote Originally Posted by Texas Splash View Post
    I would raise the pH right away as that can be the most corrosive to your water/equipment. You can use Borax which may also raise TA slightly. After adjusting pH back to the mid 7s, your TA may make it to the 50 range which is fine for now. Then tell the pool guy to never come back.
    Can I find Borax at like Wal-Mart, Lowe's, Home Depot, etc? I plan on going pick some up today. What is the best way to add it to the pool? Pour in deep end and brush? Can I leave the pump on? I only have him to clean the pool, vacuum, empty baskets, etc every other week and test the chemicals. He wasn't suppose to ADJUST chemicals, but I never implied that to him, I thought he understood that from the beginning but maybe that's my fault.
    15k Gallon In Ground Saltwater Gunite Pool and Spa w/ Overflow
    Dolphin Nautilus Plus Pool Cleaner
    Main Filter Pump - 1.5HP Pentair Whisperflo connected to Triton II Sand Filter
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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Pool guy put a little too much muriatic acid in my pool....advice please!

    Yup, fire the pool guy. Why is he "shocking" the pool. Following TFP methods we don't shock for the heck of it. Maintain proper FC level and you are good to go.

    He is taking money from you that could be better spent on family.
    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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    Re: Pool guy put a little too much muriatic acid in my pool....advice please!

    Dichlor shock is acidic while cal-hypo shock is relatively neutral (iirc). Either way, no reason to add acid to "counter" it. FIRE THE POOL GUY!
    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
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    Re: Pool guy put a little too much muriatic acid in my pool....advice please!

    CG, Borax is available as 20 Mule TeamŽ Borax Natural Laundry Booster. It is sold in the laundry detergent section of most larger grocery stores and some big box stores. Borax is best added by pre-dissolving it in a bucket of water and then pouring that slowly in front of a return. Yes, leave the pump running while you add and make sure it's blended into the water.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
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    Re: Pool guy put a little too much muriatic acid in my pool....advice please!

    Quote Originally Posted by Texas Splash View Post
    CG, Borax is available as 20 Mule TeamŽ Borax Natural Laundry Booster. It is sold in the laundry detergent section of most larger grocery stores and some big box stores. Borax is best added by pre-dissolving it in a bucket of water and then pouring that slowly in front of a return. Yes, leave the pump running while you add and make sure it's blended into the water.
    Thanks for the instructions, I'll be sure to mix it up first with some water then pour in pool in front of return jet! Pool Calculator says for 15,000 gallon pool with Alk of 40, to add 40oz of Borax to bring pH up from 6.9 to 7.2 does that sound about right?
    15k Gallon In Ground Saltwater Gunite Pool and Spa w/ Overflow
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    Re: Pool guy put a little too much muriatic acid in my pool....advice please!

    And as you are firing him, explain to him what he did and how irresponsible it was. Then deduct the cost of additional chemicals from his bill, or you will destroy him on Yelp.
    SWG: CircuPool (May 2014) SI30+Plus; 3000ppm seems ideal;
    My Ideal Specs:
    FC 5; PH 7.4-7.6; TA 90; CH 350; CYA 75; = SI ~ 0.19
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    Re: Pool guy put a little too much muriatic acid in my pool....advice please!

    Here is our chemical cheat sheet, Pool School - Recommended Pool Chemicals
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    Re: Pool guy put a little too much muriatic acid in my pool....advice please!

    Also just a note: If the pH is near the bottom of the scale, it might actually be off the bottom. So it may take more than one attempt to get it up where you want it.
    Bob - Palm Beach by San Juan Pools. approx 5000 gals., Pentair 320 cartridge filter (all new guts installed by me), Goldline SWG, 'New to me' Kreepy Krauly Sand Shark, Intermec 104 Timer Test kit: TF-100 w/Speed Stir

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    Re: Pool guy put a little too much muriatic acid in my pool....advice please!

    Thanks for the instructions, I'll be sure to mix it up first with some water then pour in pool in front of return jet! Pool Calculator says for 15,000 gallon pool with Alk of 40, to add 40oz of Borax to bring pH up from 6.9 to 7.2 does that sound about right?
    I got 42 ounces, but close enough. But curious, why stop at 7.2? Your IG SWG pool should have a min 7.6, so you could add 70 ounces to get to a pH of 7.6.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
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    Re: Pool guy put a little too much muriatic acid in my pool....advice please!

    The only reason I had him was bc we just moved into the new house and needed a little help with CLEANING the pool (every other week) for just month or two until my wife and I were able to get the house and yard situated. He actually has done a really good job cleaning the pool....he needs to just stick to that! I've already let him know my concerns and NOT TO ADJUST ANY CHEMICALS. He said he will leave me the numbers he gets and I can adjust chemicals from there, he will just clean pool. I've got my Dolphin Nautilus Plus in and most of my other cleaning supplies, so I will only need him to come maybe 1-2 more times and that's it bc we are almost done unpacking (it's hard two small children to get everything accomplished in a timely manner lol). Thanks for y'all advice!!!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Texas Splash View Post
    I got 42 ounces, but close enough. But curious, why stop at 7.2? Your IG SWG pool should have a min 7.6, so you could add 70 ounces to get to a pH of 7.6.
    Well I have a little calcium buildup around waterfalls and it was my understanding that to keep the CSI at zero or slightly negative (to fix the issue), that I need to keep my pH around 7.2-7.4ish range?
    15k Gallon In Ground Saltwater Gunite Pool and Spa w/ Overflow
    Dolphin Nautilus Plus Pool Cleaner
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    Re: Pool guy put a little too much muriatic acid in my pool....advice please!

    Oh, gotcha. That's fine then. You're watching it ... good.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
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    Re: Pool guy put a little too much muriatic acid in my pool....advice please!

    Update: So I'm a bit confused now. Yesterday evening I went out and added 16 ounces of soda ash (sodium carbonate) to bring my pH up from 6.9 to 7.2 because according to the pool calculator for my 15k gallon pool it would take 18 ounces (I just put 16 ounces to be safe). Checked it again this morning and it is now OVER 8.0 again!? Any ideas why? Did I calculate something wrong?

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    Re: Pool guy put a little too much muriatic acid in my pool....advice please!

    Did you have all of your other test results loaded in Poolmath? PH chemistry is relational to some of the other measurements. What is your TA?
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    Re: Pool guy put a little too much muriatic acid in my pool....advice please!

    That should have only raised your pH by 0.4 to 0.5 and your TA by about 7. However, since your starting TA was at 40, your water may not have great buffering capacity, leading to the wild swing in pH. TA is a measure of your water's ability to buffer pH changes due to environmental and chemical additions (in general). I would retest your TA, then increase your TA to 60 using baking soda, without attempting to change the pH again yet. After you've brushed and circulated for an hour, retest your pH.
    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
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    Re: Pool guy put a little too much muriatic acid in my pool....advice please!

    Quote Originally Posted by JVTrain View Post
    That should have only raised your pH by 0.4 to 0.5 and your TA by about 7. However, since your starting TA was at 40, your water may not have great buffering capacity, leading to the wild swing in pH. TA is a measure of your water's ability to buffer pH changes due to environmental and chemical additions (in general). I would retest your TA, then increase your TA to 60 using baking soda, without attempting to change the pH again yet. After you've brushed and circulated for an hour, retest your pH.
    Ok thanks! I added a little bit of MA this morning to at least knock it down a little. I will picking up some baking soda and adjust TA accordingly. It was at 40 last time I checked, but I'll recheck again before I add baking soda. I'll report back with the results.
    15k Gallon In Ground Saltwater Gunite Pool and Spa w/ Overflow
    Dolphin Nautilus Plus Pool Cleaner
    Main Filter Pump - 1.5HP Pentair Whisperflo connected to Triton II Sand Filter
    Spa Pump - 2HP Pentair Whisperflo w/ 2HP Polaris Spa Air Blower
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    Re: Pool guy put a little too much muriatic acid in my pool....advice please!

    So just to clear things up...when both the pH AND TA are low, is it best to adjust TA FIRST, THEN pH or vice versa?
    15k Gallon In Ground Saltwater Gunite Pool and Spa w/ Overflow
    Dolphin Nautilus Plus Pool Cleaner
    Main Filter Pump - 1.5HP Pentair Whisperflo connected to Triton II Sand Filter
    Spa Pump - 2HP Pentair Whisperflo w/ 2HP Polaris Spa Air Blower
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    Re: Pool guy put a little too much muriatic acid in my pool....advice please!

    In my opinion, pH should be adjusted first. Low pH can be more immediately harmful to pool equipment, mostly heater element plumbing but other items as well if left low for long periods. pH can fluctuate a lot with low TA so a small adjustment to bring it to 7.2 or above is best, then look at adjusting TA. Low TA is not harmful to equipment on it's own, but a low TA with low CH and (combining for a very negative CSI) could damage plaster pool surfaces over time. A concern but not as immediate as pH.
    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
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    Re: Pool guy put a little too much muriatic acid in my pool....advice please!

    Quote Originally Posted by JVTrain View Post
    In my opinion, pH should be adjusted first. Low pH can be more immediately harmful to pool equipment, mostly heater element plumbing but other items as well if left low for long periods. pH can fluctuate a lot with low TA so a small adjustment to bring it to 7.2 or above is best, then look at adjusting TA. Low TA is not harmful to equipment on it's own, but a low TA with low CH and (combining for a very negative CSI) could damage plaster pool surfaces over time. A concern but not as immediate as pH.
    Ok sounds god, thanks for your advice! I'll get another set of numbers today and adjust accordingly. Should I use maybe half of what the pool calculator says and then recheck? I'm kinda worried about putting the full amount after what happened when I added the soda ash.
    15k Gallon In Ground Saltwater Gunite Pool and Spa w/ Overflow
    Dolphin Nautilus Plus Pool Cleaner
    Main Filter Pump - 1.5HP Pentair Whisperflo connected to Triton II Sand Filter
    Spa Pump - 2HP Pentair Whisperflo w/ 2HP Polaris Spa Air Blower
    Resilience PSC3 SWCG

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