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Thread: One week in - pH still off the charts, TA dropping, chlorine low

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    One week in - pH still off the charts, TA dropping, chlorine low

    So pool has been up and running for exactly one week. Friday morning test results were as follows:

    FC - 2
    CC - < .5
    pH - > 8.2
    TA - 60
    CH - 500
    CYA - 40

    Added 1/2 gallon MA and three 3" trichlor tablets to the Rainbow automatic feeder Friday afternoon.

    We were out of town Saturday and Sunday, so wasn't able to do anything (though a friend did brush it for me). Got back mid-day and tested right away, and here's where I'm at:

    FC - 1-1.5
    CC - < .5
    pH - > 8.2
    TA - 50
    CH - 500
    CYA - 40-50

    So, help, please Pool looks, and feels, great, but just can't get some of these numbers right (though maybe this is entirely normal for a brand new pool?).

    Why is my FC so low? I have the Rainbow set on 1.75, per the PB's instructions, but maybe need to crank it up? I went ahead and turned it up to 2.25 to see what happens with it at that. Plasterers also gave us a whole bucket of trichlor powder. Do I need to add some of that right away, or see if I can get there with the Rainbow?

    I do not understand why I cannot get the pH down. Have added 2.5 gallons MA up to today, and just added another 1/2 gal when I saw it was still so high. Guess I will just keep adding it 'til it comes down. Anyone have any other suggestions, thoughts, etc.?

    My TA came down another 10, though I guess that may be to be expected. But do I need to start worrying about it if it comes down any further?

    CH still a little high, but I guess that's OK for now? Hopefully as other numbers get in line, so will that.

    And CYA seemed to have come up a bit, seemed closer to 50 than 40, but I guess that's fine for now? It shouldn't just keep going up on its own, right?

    I'm planning to turn it over to the pool service company this week, as we are leaving at the end of the week for a couple of weeks, so it will be their responsibility then , but I'd like to get it to as good a place as I can before then...
    New Orleans, 15,000 gallon IG free form Wet Edge Primera Stone Riviera Coast, Intelliflo Variable Speed Pump (011018), Clean and Clear Plus Cartridge Filter (160340), Rainbow R171096 Automatic Chlorine Feeder, TF-100 Test Kit, build March-June 2016, filled June 19

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    Re: One week in - pH still off the charts, TA dropping, chlorine low

    Guess I will just keep adding it 'til it comes down.
    That is exactly correct.

    You had better be cautious with the use of those pucks and giving your pool to a pool service. Your CYA will soon be unmanageable.

    read "The ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry" up in Pool School.....that should give you an idea that you need to get away from the pucks.....sooner rather than later.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: One week in - pH still off the charts, TA dropping, chlorine low

    Thanks for the reply.

    Well I had a whole separate thread about this, and sadly I just don't see any other option than having a service - we travel frequently, often for 10-14 days at a time, and we have a rental unit where the guests are given use of the pool, so even if I were to try to take care of it myself and really bring the chlorine up before going away, that just wouldn't work. Just don't have someone who will test it daily, or every other day, and add bleach regularly, etc., etc.

    Thanks for the tip; I have read that primer, and so many other pieces. And with all due respect, I completely admire all of you who are able to use the BBB method and avoid the pucks like the plague, but I also just don't see how thousands upon thousands of people can swear by these automatic chlorine feeders, and the pucks, maintain that they're the best thing since sliced bread, if they're really so awful. I mean, I've said it before and I'll keep saying it, but we have a pool in Tampa, where we spend much less time, so we've had a service there for years, and use the pucks, and have never had any problems whatsoever. And the climate here is very very similar, so if it's something with the climate, that shouldn't make a difference.

    Anyway, it is what it is, such are our lives...

    New Orleans, 15,000 gallon IG free form Wet Edge Primera Stone Riviera Coast, Intelliflo Variable Speed Pump (011018), Clean and Clear Plus Cartridge Filter (160340), Rainbow R171096 Automatic Chlorine Feeder, TF-100 Test Kit, build March-June 2016, filled June 19

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    Why can I not bring my pH down??

    Have had high pH since filling pool, one week and two days ago. First day of testing was last Monday, pH registered over 8.2, took it to pool store, they said it was 8.9. Have added three gallons of MA now over the last week, and it's still reading as over 8.2 for me. Pool Calculator says 46 oz to bring it down from 8.9 to 7.5 for a pool our size (15k gallons). What gives?? Why isn't it coming down?

    New Orleans, 15,000 gallon IG free form Wet Edge Primera Stone Riviera Coast, Intelliflo Variable Speed Pump (011018), Clean and Clear Plus Cartridge Filter (160340), Rainbow R171096 Automatic Chlorine Feeder, TF-100 Test Kit, build March-June 2016, filled June 19

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    Re: Why can I not bring my pH down??

    where are you buying MA? Any chance you are getting the "green" version at Lowes? That is half the strength. You want 31.45% baume, check the label.
    25 + year pool owner. Current pool (going on 11th year) - 38K gallon in ground Gunite/White Plaster, Spillover Spa, Hayward Cartridge Filter, Hayward 450k BTU NG Heater, Hayward Goldline Aqua Logic control with T-Cell-15 Salt Water Cell, Dolphin Explorer.
    You Need: Bleach, a A Test Kit & a Bookmark to "Pool School". Now what's your question?

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    Re: Why can I not bring my pH down??

    That is my problem... where you get the good stuff?
    IG, 25k gallons, 20x40 ft, Plaster, Pentair sand filter, variable speed pump, have a well, TF-100 test kit, Speed Stir

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    Re: Why can I not bring my pH down??

    Oh. You can still get the "good" stuff at Lowes. You just need to understand the strengths. My Lowes carries the Jasco brand. If the bottle is white with Blue labels, it's the good stuff. If it has a green label if the half strength stuff. And here's the best part. They both cost $7.88/gallon. So make sure you check the label.
    25 + year pool owner. Current pool (going on 11th year) - 38K gallon in ground Gunite/White Plaster, Spillover Spa, Hayward Cartridge Filter, Hayward 450k BTU NG Heater, Hayward Goldline Aqua Logic control with T-Cell-15 Salt Water Cell, Dolphin Explorer.
    You Need: Bleach, a A Test Kit & a Bookmark to "Pool School". Now what's your question?

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    Re: Why can I not bring my pH down??

    The lowes by me has the full strength acid in the garden department.
    In ground shotcrete 9,500 gal.w/pebbletec, Pentair Intelliflo VS Pump, Pentair Intellichlor IC 40,
    Pentair cartridge filter, Built Right heat pump, TF-100

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    Re: Why can I not bring my pH down??

    Hardware store in the paint section is a good source.
    Or the concrete/mortar section. MA is used for cleaning mortar smears off of new brick work.

    Regarding your pH reading. There isn't a good test for pH of anything above 8.2 Even though the store says it's 8.9, it may be well above even that.

    Chemically speaking, there's nothing about your pool thats any different than anyone else, and you just can't defeat physics.

    If you add enough acid, the pH Will come down.

    Quote Originally Posted by Puppiesonacid View Post
    That is my problem... where you get the good stuff?
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
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    Re: Why can I not bring my pH down??

    Also, please keep in mind that the 8.2 is the upper reading on the test......the test doesn't go above that so your PH may be much higher. Continue using pool math and dosing with MA in steps starting with 8.2 and your target as 7.5 and using the directed amount of MA. Retest and repeat.
    18*36*23 true "L" vinyl IG 29,000 gallons. SWG. TF-100 test kit.
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    Re: Why can I not bring my pH down??

    The PH could be even higher than tested. Add acid with the pump running, brush and retest in 15-20 minutes. Repeat until it shows up on the test. Use the Poolmath link above and be sure to enter all test results as it impacts the math.
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    Re: Why can I not bring my pH down??

    Are you testing 15-30 minutes after adding? Or overnight? Overnight is enough time for the pH to rise again.

    What's your TA? You may be fighting that down as well.

    And I'm not familiar with new pools, but don't they have a tendency to drive up pH as well? Hopefully someone with experience will expand on that.
    John - 16,000 gallon | in ground | pebble | Triton II sand filter | TF100 | speedstir | Hayward Phoenix 2x

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    Re: Why can I not bring my pH down??

    Quote Originally Posted by mikemass View Post
    Oh. You can still get the "good" stuff at Lowes. You just need to understand the strengths. My Lowes carries the Jasco brand. If the bottle is white with Blue labels, it's the good stuff. If it has a green label if the half strength stuff. And here's the best part. They both cost $7.88/gallon. So make sure you check the label.
    That explains so much... darn, wasted a bit of money... First one I bought was blue, and i didn't see anymore after that. so bought 3 green.
    IG, 25k gallons, 20x40 ft, Plaster, Pentair sand filter, variable speed pump, have a well, TF-100 test kit, Speed Stir

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    Re: Why can I not bring my pH down??

    Quote Originally Posted by Puppiesonacid View Post
    That explains so much... darn, wasted a bit of money... First one I bought was blue, and i didn't see anymore after that. so bought 3 green.
    3 green = 1.5 blue

    3 x 7.88 = $23.64
    1.5 X 7.88 = $11.82

    23.64 - 11.82 = $11.82

    Less than 12 dollar mistake. I'm sure we've all made more costly mistakes in our lives.
    25 + year pool owner. Current pool (going on 11th year) - 38K gallon in ground Gunite/White Plaster, Spillover Spa, Hayward Cartridge Filter, Hayward 450k BTU NG Heater, Hayward Goldline Aqua Logic control with T-Cell-15 Salt Water Cell, Dolphin Explorer.
    You Need: Bleach, a A Test Kit & a Bookmark to "Pool School". Now what's your question?

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    Re: Why can I not bring my pH down??

    Quote Originally Posted by mikemass View Post

    Less than 12 dollar mistake. I'm sure we've all made more costly mistakes in our lives.
    true i thought of that after posting it just explains why the PH wasn't dropping
    IG, 25k gallons, 20x40 ft, Plaster, Pentair sand filter, variable speed pump, have a well, TF-100 test kit, Speed Stir

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    Re: Why can I not bring my pH down??

    Sorry to start a thread and then just drop off the face of the earth 😐

    Yeah, so seems that pH can just be really high at first, and stay high for a bit. That's what pool service guy told me today, said when it's a new stone (or even Diamond Brite) finish, just stays high for a while.

    And speaking of pool services, maybe they're not all entirely evil. These folks are just starting tomorrow, but they certainly talk the talk. Had a discussion with him all about CYA and such today. He said given our climate here, they actually keep it at 70-100. And they test it weekly, make sure it doesn't get too high. And he said we'll probably only need like one puck of trichlor a week, and if the CYA starts getting high, they'll just add straight chlorine. So seems good, guess we'll see how it goes.


    New Orleans, 15,000 gallon IG free form Wet Edge Primera Stone Riviera Coast, Intelliflo Variable Speed Pump (011018), Clean and Clear Plus Cartridge Filter (160340), Rainbow R171096 Automatic Chlorine Feeder, TF-100 Test Kit, build March-June 2016, filled June 19

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    Re: Why can I not bring my pH down??

    I went through six gallons of MA the first summer of a new pebble sheen finish. Just have to keep adding it.
    Inground 22k gallon gunite 15x31 main pool, 15x7 wading pool/sunning deck, hot tub/with overflow (9' octagon with limestone top) & slide NSWG, Aqua Blue Pebble Sheen
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    Re: Why can I not bring my pH down??

    Quote Originally Posted by sbollag View Post
    Sorry to start a thread and then just drop off the face of the earth 

    Yeah, so seems that pH can just be really high at first, and stay high for a bit. That's what pool service guy told me today, said when it's a new stone (or even Diamond Brite) finish, just stays high for a while.

    And speaking of pool services, maybe they're not all entirely evil. These folks are just starting tomorrow, but they certainly talk the talk. Had a discussion with him all about CYA and such today. He said given our climate here, they actually keep it at 70-100. And they test it weekly, make sure it doesn't get too high. And he said we'll probably only need like one puck of trichlor a week, and if the CYA starts getting high, they'll just add straight chlorine. So seems good, guess we'll see how it goes.


    Sent from my SM-N910V using Tapatalk
    If your PS raises your CYA to 70-100 that 1-puck a week is not going to cut it for FC. With a CYA of 70ppm your FC target is 8ppm, at 100ppm your FC target is 12ppm.

    8oz of trichlor (I think that is one puck?) in 15K gallons will only add 3.7ppm FC, and will add 2.2ppm to CYA, 3.7ppm of chlorine a week is not going to work long term.

    Did you ask the PS what his target FC levels would be as the CYA is rising?

    If you try to mix TFP advise with your PS's advice & testing it will just lead to confusion. Do yourself a favor, get one of the recommended test kits and take control of your pool. If you are locked into the PS for a certain amount of time you can at least keep a watchful eye on the water.

    Good luck,
    Dom
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    Re: Why can I not bring my pH down??

    Thank you, Dom. I would have suspected the same thing, but this guy seems to really know what he's talking about. Bottom line is, if the pool stays algae free and levels are reasonable, I'll be happy.

    Have the test kit and plan to keep an eye on them, but as I've mentioned in various threads, unfortunately it's just not an option for me to maintain it myself. We travel regularly, for significant stretches at a time and have a rental unit here whose guests need to be able to use the pool, so I really have no choice but to use a service. But like I said, will certainly keep an eye on them...

    New Orleans, 15,000 gallon IG free form Wet Edge Primera Stone Riviera Coast, Intelliflo Variable Speed Pump (011018), Clean and Clear Plus Cartridge Filter (160340), Rainbow R171096 Automatic Chlorine Feeder, TF-100 Test Kit, build March-June 2016, filled June 19

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    Re: Why can I not bring my pH down??

    Quote Originally Posted by sbollag View Post
    And speaking of pool services, maybe they're not all entirely evil........

    but this guy seems to really know what he's talking about. Bottom line is, if the pool stays algae free and levels are reasonable, I'll be happy.
    Agree with this ^. It's a relief to hear an open minded comment. Some guys are just trying to make an honest living out there. There's no reason certain folks can't have the convenience of paying someone to maintain their pool while using the knowledge they gain here to make sure it's being done to their liking. What's that one's company motto? Something like: "A well informed customer is our best customer."

    This works for some folks. I admire that sbollag has respect for his PS, yet is wise enough to further his own knowledge.
    25 + year pool owner. Current pool (going on 11th year) - 38K gallon in ground Gunite/White Plaster, Spillover Spa, Hayward Cartridge Filter, Hayward 450k BTU NG Heater, Hayward Goldline Aqua Logic control with T-Cell-15 Salt Water Cell, Dolphin Explorer.
    You Need: Bleach, a A Test Kit & a Bookmark to "Pool School". Now what's your question?

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