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Thread: Concerned about damage from low PH

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    Concerned about damage from low PH

    Hi everyone,

    I recently bought a house that has an in-ground plaster pool. It's my first pool, so I'm learning as I go along and trying to get things right. As such, I'm also a little paranoid. The previous owner moved out months ago, so the pool has largely been left to itself for quite a while (fortunately it's been winter). The water is still very clear. However, after taking my first reader I discovered that my PH is 6.7. It's likely been that low for quite a while. A lot of the initial reading I've done says that a PH that low can cause damage to the pool, including pipes, seals, the lining, etc. I'm concerned that maybe the pool has sustained damage if it's been that acidic for months on end. Should I be worried and what should I do (besides obviously correcting the PH immediately)? Thanks!

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Concerned about damage from low PH

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    No sense in worrying about in now. Just get the pH back up in range.

    Is the pump running?
    What are the rest of the test results? What test kit are you using?

    Please add your location (City, State) to your profile and pool details to your signature as described HERE as it will help us help you.
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    Re: Concerned about damage from low PH

    Thanks for the reply! I appreciate the "no use crying over spilled milk" philosophy. I guess I'm just wondering how bad 6.7 is in the grand scheme of things? Realistically should I be worried?

    The pump is definitely running and seems to be in pretty good shape. I'm uploading the results of my most recent test results from a local pool store. So far I'm just using one of those simple testing kids at home that uses the phenol red.


    Also, my pool is in-ground, around 30,000 gallons and uses a DE Filter.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Concerned about damage from low PH

    You need to invest in one of the recommended test kits. We generally do not trust pool store testing, so who knows what your actually pH was.

    What type of pool is it? Signature does not say.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Concerned about damage from low PH

    Welcome, Rockit. It appears from the pool store test (not that we generally trust those) that your TA has crashed from neglect/pool sitting idle etc., ergo the low ph...but normally a true 0 on TA would mean even lower ph than that reading.

    I bought a foreclosed house with a "swamp" in same condition. Ours had a vinyl liner. So first, I will say we were fortunate that everything, including the heater, is still working well 5 years out -- though sitting like that did likely degrade the liner somewhat. You may be fine.

    But you will want a good test kit and to remedy the TA-ph situation right away if you get a 0 TA when you test. As soon as that's sorted, you will want to confirm your CYA since the TFP method involves dosing liquid chlorine to a known level of CYA (see link in my signature.)

    What does the water look like right now?
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    Re: Concerned about damage from low PH

    First, I want to make it clear that I do not trust pool store results, but if they got the TA correct then your situation is worse than you think. The pH test only has a range of about 6.7 to 8.5, depending on the test used. If you pour vinegar in to the test it will still look like the pH is 6.8, even though vinegar has a pH of about 4.5.

    The reason I bring up vinegar is because with no TA your pH is likely closer to 4.5, so realistically yes you need to be extremely worried. If you don't have a heater then you will likely get through this without major problems but it still needs corrected right away. In a situation like this I go a bit off-script and recommend going out right away and getting any drop based test kit that can measure pH and TA. Verify that your TA is truly zero (the green drops will turn red instantly) and figure out how much baking soda you need to bring that up, something like the 50-80 range. Add that, let it mix for a few hours, and then retest your pH and TA. Hopefully at that point you can get a reading on both and can fine tune it from there.

    Going forward a TF-100 or K-2006 will really help you maintain the pool efficiently and simply and I would highly recommend getting one. Taking care of a pool can seem daunting at first, but hey, it isn't rocket science!
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    Re: Concerned about damage from low PH

    Welcome to the forum!

    I agree that if your TA is zero, your pH cannot be as high as 6.7, but is lower as Donaldson points out.

    Your pipes aren't damaged from it unless they are metal, seals maybe, pool lining likely if it's plaster. Still, grab a good test kit, make the corrections and move on. We will be happy to help with any questions.
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    Re: Concerned about damage from low PH

    Here is what we are looking for in a signature, Pool School - Read This Before You Post
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Concerned about damage from low PH

    Well shoot, missed the TA number. I should go to be earlier
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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