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Thread: Should I Give Up on PH in AZ?

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    Should I Give Up on PH in AZ?

    I'm almost at my breaking point trying to get my PH below 8.0. Actually, it could be higher but my test's ceiling is 8.0. I've dumped an entire gallon of MA and it didn't even make a dent in my reading. Is this just typical of owning a pool of my size in AZ? It's been like this for years and I'm beginning to wonder if I should just give up on trying to manage it.

    Current readings:

    FC: 5
    CC: 0
    PH: 8.0+
    Alk: 140
    CH: didn't test

    Thanks!
    28k gallon in-ground pebbletec pool w/waterfall and grotto feature
    Triton II sand filter
    "The Pool Cleaner" 4-wheel vacuum
    1.5hp main pump; 1.5hp water feature pump
    Taylor K2006 test kit

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    Should I Give Up on PH in AZ?

    In AZ. No issues with keeping pH under control. My TA is low, but raised it up to 50 this weekend.
    I use about 1.5 gal of MA a month .... Maybe less... to keep pH at 7.5.
    What are you testing the pH with?
    2015 build (link)| 16.5 K gal | Salt Water | IG rect | 35'x16' | 568 sf | 105 ft peri | depth 3'-5' | PV3 in-floor | 2 Venturi skimmers | MDX+SDX drains | T-CELL-15 SWG | Hayward Ecostar VS pump | Hayward 7220 DE Filter | Aqua Cal Icebreaker Heat / Cool pump SQ166 | Hayward Sense & Dispense PH Controller| Omnilogic | Pebble Sheen Blue Surf | Ultra UV | Stenner acid pump | Coverstar Automatic | TF-100

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    Re: Should I Give Up on PH in AZ?

    You can do it

    It is a process and yes you will use MA like crazy at first.. Your high TA is making your PH rise fast so we need to bring both down.. it will go fast at first then slow down.. follow this page and you will beat it

    Pool School - Lower Total Alkalinity
    Pool: Intex 16x32 15000 gal, 2 speed 340042, Pentair CC320 Filter, CircuPool SJ45 Salt System, Intermatic PE653RC; Hot Tub: 650 Gal SWG Megachlor
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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Should I Give Up on PH in AZ?

    It is more difficult in the first year while the plaster is curing. It is also more important. As you said it could be much higher than 8.0 which is why it doesn't appear to be moving with acid additions, but it really is moving from say 9.0 to 8.8. The PH scale is logarithmic, so the farther you get away from center the bigger the difference in numbers. Keep adding acid until it comes into range, it will eventually get there. Lower TA 60-80 will help slow PH rise. Waterfalls, bubblers and other water features also contribute to PH rise through aeration, running them less will slow PH rise.

    Your pool is at extreme risk of developing calcium scale right now. Managing the CSI score will eliminate the risk and make your plaster and SWG last years longer. Enter all your numbers in Poolmath and it will give you a CSI score. Keep that number between -0.1 and -0.3 to prevent scale. This works even with CH above 1000 ppm.

    More here, Pool School - Calcium Scaling
    And here, Langelier and Calcite Saturation Indices (LSI and CSI)
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    Re: Should I Give Up on PH in AZ?

    Quote Originally Posted by trbvm View Post
    In AZ. No issues with keeping pH under control. My TA is low, but raised it up to 50 this weekend.
    I use about 1.5 gal of MA a month .... Maybe less... to keep pH at 7.5.
    What are you testing the pH with?
    I'm testing with the Taylor K2006 test kit.
    28k gallon in-ground pebbletec pool w/waterfall and grotto feature
    Triton II sand filter
    "The Pool Cleaner" 4-wheel vacuum
    1.5hp main pump; 1.5hp water feature pump
    Taylor K2006 test kit

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    Re: Should I Give Up on PH in AZ?

    Even though you're a sun devil, I'll offer my advice & experience.

    Keep dosing with MA as described above in the link from cowboycasey to lower the TA. You'll probably start getting much more stable when you get under 100. It's a slow and steady process to lower TA. Once you get the pH in range the first time and go through a couple cycles you'll get a feel for it.

    I had to get mine down to 70 to keep the pH stable around 7.5-7.6 with just slight upward pressure. My fill water TA was 200 when I tested last year and that pushes the TA up faster when it gets hotter.

    Also - if you have any water features or aerators that you use a lot, that will drive up the pH faster. That will be a good thing now as you slowly bring down the TA. And that impact will go down as the TA goes down.

    And I'm not sure what acid you're using, but the 31.45% stuff is usually a much better value than the lower percentage. The larger Home Depot locations carry it - but not all of them. I know the one at Alma School & Chandler Blvd carries it because I bought it there 3 or 4 weeks ago.
    John - 16,000 gallon | in ground | pebble | Triton II sand filter | TF100 | speedstir | Hayward Phoenix 2x

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    Re: Should I Give Up on PH in AZ?

    FWIW, poolmath shows that with a 28k gallon pool it takes 106 oz of the 31.45% acid to lower pH from 8.0 to 7.2. If this were me, I'd go buy 6 gallons of that acid and start by adding it 96 ounces at a time and retest after allowing for mixing. At some point you'll get into range for your test kit. But you won't over-shoot it.

    I measure my acid and bleach additions using plastic paint buckets with gradations on them.
    John - 16,000 gallon | in ground | pebble | Triton II sand filter | TF100 | speedstir | Hayward Phoenix 2x

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    Re: Should I Give Up on PH in AZ?

    I had the wife pick up some MA at Home Depot but didn't specify the 31.45% concentation so ended up with 4 gallons of 14.5%. At this concentration ,Pool Math suggested 295oz so I slowly poured 2 gallons (256oz) in tonight (I didn't want to overwhelm the pool so will apply the remaining 30oz tomorrow morning). I'll test again in about an hour and in the morning and will post the results.

    Incidenrally, I don't run my aerator ever; and the waterfall only while swimming. With this being the case, is my alkalinity high primarily due to my high PH. And just to verify, as PH drops, so will alkalinity?

    Thanks, again, for all the feedback!

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    Re: Should I Give Up on PH in AZ?

    Quote Originally Posted by asusundevil View Post
    I had the wife pick up some MA at Home Depot but didn't specify the 31.45% concentation so ended up with 4 gallons of 14.5%. At this concentration ,Pool Math suggested 295oz so I slowly poured 2 gallons (256oz) in tonight (I didn't want to overwhelm the pool so will apply the remaining 30oz tomorrow morning). I'll test again in about an hour and in the morning and will post the results.

    Incidenrally, I don't run my aerator ever; and the waterfall only while swimming. With this being the case, is my alkalinity high primarily due to my high PH. And just to verify, as PH drops, so will alkalinity?

    Thanks, again, for all the feedback!
    Your TA was probably from high TA fill water, and yes, as you lower PH TA will also lower
    Pool: Intex 16x32 15000 gal, 2 speed 340042, Pentair CC320 Filter, CircuPool SJ45 Salt System, Intermatic PE653RC; Hot Tub: 650 Gal SWG Megachlor
    links: pool school * Recommended-Levels * SLAM * CYA chart * Test kits * How To Post Pictures * Poolmath * OCLT ** Support your website if we helped you :) **

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Should I Give Up on PH in AZ?

    Right, the only thing that raises TA is fill water or baking soda. Adding MA to lower PH will also lower TA and generally TA should slowly lower over time because of this. Or you can actively lower TA doing this, Pool School - Lower Total Alkalinity
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    Re: Should I Give Up on PH in AZ?

    Measurements this morning:

    FC 5
    CC 0
    Ph Higher than the 8.0 ceiling in my test kit. Couldn't see any discernable difference
    Alkalinity 150
    CH 400

    I dumped another 64oz of 31.45% (forgot I had a bottle out back) this morning and will post results again tonight


    28k gallon in-ground pebbletec pool w/waterfall and grotto feature
    Triton II sand filter
    "The Pool Cleaner" 4-wheel vacuum
    1.5hp main pump; 1.5hp water feature pump
    Taylor K2006 test kit

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    Re: Should I Give Up on PH in AZ?

    I'm in AZ (Scottsdale) and am fighting the same battle. I drained my pool a few months ago and have been battling high PH ever since. Like your pool, mine reads 8.2+ as of 5-minutes ago! About a week ago, I ended up putting in enough MA to get it down to approx 7.2 and the TA in-line too as specified in the guidance on the site. In the blink of an eye, I'm back up to 8+! LOL When does this game of PH lowering stop for us in AZ? Should we expect to dump in a gallon of MA every other week or is this a startup issue?
    16,000 gal Pebble Sheen pool w/ spa, Jandy Aqualink, Hayward Salt system, 60 SF DE Filter, Hayward Gas Heater, Caretaker In-floor pop-up cleaning system.
    2hp Whisperflow for filter, 2hp Dynaglass for booster, 2hp for blower, 1hp Dynaglass for scuppers.

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    Re: Should I Give Up on PH in AZ?

    to start mine I was dumping 1/2 gallon of MA a day to get mine down but now I have to add maybe once a month and only a cup or 2

    Take your PH to 7 and when it raises to 7.2 to 7.4 drop it again to 7, if it raising fast it will go fast
    Pool: Intex 16x32 15000 gal, 2 speed 340042, Pentair CC320 Filter, CircuPool SJ45 Salt System, Intermatic PE653RC; Hot Tub: 650 Gal SWG Megachlor
    links: pool school * Recommended-Levels * SLAM * CYA chart * Test kits * How To Post Pictures * Poolmath * OCLT ** Support your website if we helped you :) **

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    Re: Should I Give Up on PH in AZ?

    Once you battle your TA down to a reasonable number, the pH rise will slow. Every time you lower your pH down to 7.2 and let it rise back up, you lower the TA a bit. Check the TA now and then check it after a week of lowering the pH to 7.2 from 8.0+ several times. The TA will be drifting down and eventually the pH rise will slow.

    After you get the TA where the pH is stable, the TA will only rise as fill water is added. Obviously that's fairly fast here in the summer and not so fast in the winter. So we have upward pressure on our TA (and then pH) as our water evaporates and is replaced by fill.

    But it's very manageable once you get through the initial TA lowering.
    John - 16,000 gallon | in ground | pebble | Triton II sand filter | TF100 | speedstir | Hayward Phoenix 2x

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Should I Give Up on PH in AZ?

    I would let it rise to 7.8 and then lower to 7.2.

    Here are the things that contribute to PH rise and what to do
    Less than year old plaster, wait a year
    Waterfalls, bubblers, water features, run them less or never
    TA above 80, lower it to 80, 70, 60
    After TA is at 60 and if PH still rises then you can add 50 ppm borates to help more
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    Re: Should I Give Up on PH in AZ?

    Probably dropped too much MA into the pool yesterday afternoon. Current readout this morning (after running the pool almost all night) is:
    FC: 2
    CC: 0
    PH: 6.8-7.0
    Alk: 50
    I turned up the salt cel production rate this morning so I should see some progress in chlorine over the next 1-2 nights. Will do some aeration and follow the prescription. I just didn't know that there was a tipping point where it finally stabilizes.
    16,000 gal Pebble Sheen pool w/ spa, Jandy Aqualink, Hayward Salt system, 60 SF DE Filter, Hayward Gas Heater, Caretaker In-floor pop-up cleaning system.
    2hp Whisperflow for filter, 2hp Dynaglass for booster, 2hp for blower, 1hp Dynaglass for scuppers.

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    Re: Should I Give Up on PH in AZ?

    Only on TFP would I help a Sundevil.

    I used to dump a lot of MA in when my TA was 120. Brought it down to 50-60 and PH is much more stable.
    Also, while the 31% is cheaper, be careful with it.
    Strong stuff. And you said you had a gallon "out back". I hope you do not mean outside. Too hot.
    And do not store near chlorine/ bleach.

    Other good advice given, watch your CSI. Water is hard in AZ but you can live with CH over 400 without scaling if you watch CSI. Mine CH is 490, no scale
    10000 Gal, IG Pebbletec, pop up cleaners,Hayward EcoStar VS, 425 sq ft Hayward Cartridge, waterfall feature

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    Re: Should I Give Up on PH in AZ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wildcat View Post
    Only on TFP would I help a Sundevil.

    I used to dump a lot of MA in when my TA was 120. Brought it down to 50-60 and PH is much more stable.
    Also, while the 31% is cheaper, be careful with it.
    Strong stuff. And you said you had a gallon "out back". I hope you do not mean outside. Too hot.
    And do not store near chlorine/ bleach.

    Other good advice given, watch your CSI. Water is hard in AZ but you can live with CH over 400 without scaling if you watch CSI. Mine CH is 490, no scale
    You really believe I can trust the advice of wildcat fans? I'm shocked you didn't recommend MA as a great hair conditioner.

    All kidding aside, I appreciate that input.

    I stored that 31.45% box outside but under shade 24x7. It was never exposed to the sunlight, nor near our home.

    I'm going to measure again in a couple hours and will post the results.

    Thanks, again.

    28k gallon in-ground pebbletec pool w/waterfall and grotto feature
    Triton II sand filter
    "The Pool Cleaner" 4-wheel vacuum
    1.5hp main pump; 1.5hp water feature pump
    Taylor K2006 test kit

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    Re: Should I Give Up on PH in AZ?

    Quote Originally Posted by asusundevil View Post
    You really believe I can trust the advice of wildcat fans? I'm shocked you didn't recommend MA as a great hair conditioner.

    All kidding aside, I appreciate that input.

    I stored that 31.45% box outside but under shade 24x7. It was never exposed to the sunlight, nor near our home.

    I'm going to measure again in a couple hours and will post the results.

    Thanks, again.

    Sent from my VS990 using Tapatalk
    Yuck, things aren't improving.

    Fc 5
    PH 8.0
    Cya 55
    Alk 140
    Ch 450

    Poured 128oz of 14.5% in tonight. Will measure again tomorrow morning.


    28k gallon in-ground pebbletec pool w/waterfall and grotto feature
    Triton II sand filter
    "The Pool Cleaner" 4-wheel vacuum
    1.5hp main pump; 1.5hp water feature pump
    Taylor K2006 test kit

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    Re: Should I Give Up on PH in AZ?

    I believe you just need to keep at it, remembering that each gallon of 31.45% is an investment in the long term health of the pool.

    I was wondering though, the chemicals in your test kit, have they been stored indoors and protected from sun and big temperature swings? Did you buy it from somewhere that sells them regularly or might it have been on the shelf for years? Just wondering if the test is reliable. My bet is that it is and you're just catching up from all the months you didn't add your gallon of MA or whatever it wanted. I suppose if your kit is questionable you could pick up the hth oto&ph from WalMart for $6 until fresh chemistry from TFTestkits (or other trustworthy vendor) were to arrive. Again, I bet it is testing true though.
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