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Thread: Very High Total Alkalinity 300ppm from City Water. How can I get it down? Please help

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    Very High Total Alkalinity 300ppm from City Water. How can I get it down? Please help

    So I filled my pool from my city water source. It is an old pool. Concrete bottom with Stainless Steel side panels. My best estimate is that it is 30-35K gallons. My total alkalinity is through the roof from the city water at 300ppm. The only thing I have read on how to lower TA is to dump muriatic acid in to lower both the TA and the PH. Then wait for the PH to come back up (pointing the return jets up to the surface) and then dump more muriatic acid in, repeat endlessly. or so it seems.

    So I made a TA reading at 300ppm. Dumped in two gallons of muriatic acid. Next day it was a high 290ppm (29 drops titrant).

    Based on that I would need to repeat this process 14 or so more times to get it down to 150ppm. My pool will be closed by the time I get that done and something about adding 30 gallons of muriatic acid to my pool doesn't sound safe or helpful.

    Any ideas on what I can do to get my TA down?

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    JamieP's Avatar
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    Re: Very High Total Alkalinity 300ppm from City Water. How can I get it down? Please

    The TA test can be very finicky if the drop size isn't exactly right. Are you wiping the tip between each drop to get rid of any static buildup? If not, you may be getting smaller drops and therefore a higher than accurate reading. Just something to rule out.
    28,000 gallon freeform, Stonescapes Tropics Blue Minipebble with abalone, 3.5' to 8.5' depth. 2 skimmers, 5 returns, dedicated vacuum port, Dolphin Z5 robot. All Pentair equip: EasyTouch 8, IC60 SWG, VS pump, 520 Cartridge Filter, 3 Intellibrites, 2 Color Cascade Bubblers. TurboTwister Slide and 8' Salt System Jump Board. TF-100. My Jan-Mar 2016 build:
    Waxahachie, TX Owner Build - A race to beat the baby!!

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    Re: Very High Total Alkalinity 300ppm from City Water. How can I get it down? Please

    Quote Originally Posted by JamieP View Post
    The TA test can be very finicky if the drop size isn't exactly right. Are you wiping the tip between each drop to get rid of any static buildup? If not, you may be getting smaller drops and therefore a higher than accurate reading. Just something to rule out.

    I was not wiping that tip. I will try that. I was using a different test kit too. I will try both of them next time. I didnt use my fancy taylor kit.

    Still it must be very high. Is the most productive way to lower TA the muriatic acid way?

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Very High Total Alkalinity 300ppm from City Water. How can I get it down? Please

    You are correct - acid/aeration as noted on the TFP Pool School - Lower Total Alkalinity page. You're not the first to mention such high TA numbers in that part of the country, but stick with that link and it will help. Try to rig-up a good way to create aeration to expedite raising the pH back up so the cycles don't take as long. Good luck!
    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: Very High Total Alkalinity 300ppm from City Water. How can I get it down? Please

    Do you think it will be dangerous to swim in a pool after adding 30 gallons of muriatic acid over a month or so?

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Very High Total Alkalinity 300ppm from City Water. How can I get it down? Please

    When you follow the acid/aeration method, you let the pH rise fully to 7.8 then add the applicable amount of acid per the Poolmath calculator to reduce the pH to 7.0 then aerate. The water is safe during this entire period as long as those levels are met. It just becomes repetitive, but in time it will work and be just fine for the pool and swimmers.
    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.
    If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

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    cubbienate's Avatar
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    Re: Very High Total Alkalinity 300ppm from City Water. How can I get it down? Please

    Quote Originally Posted by dank5190 View Post
    So I filled my pool from my city water source. It is an old pool. Concrete bottom with Stainless Steel side panels. My best estimate is that it is 30-35K gallons. My total alkalinity is through the roof from the city water at 300ppm. The only thing I have read on how to lower TA is to dump muriatic acid in to lower both the TA and the PH. Then wait for the PH to come back up (pointing the return jets up to the surface) and then dump more muriatic acid in, repeat endlessly. or so it seems.

    So I made a TA reading at 300ppm. Dumped in two gallons of muriatic acid. Next day it was a high 290ppm (29 drops titrant).

    Based on that I would need to repeat this process 14 or so more times to get it down to 150ppm. My pool will be closed by the time I get that done and something about adding 30 gallons of muriatic acid to my pool doesn't sound safe or helpful.

    Any ideas on what I can do to get my TA down?
    Dank5190,

    I am floating in that same boat... My tap water was 300ppm. I have done the acid drop 3 times now and have the pool down around 200-220. Going to have to buy more R-0009 using all these drops but atleast I am moving the right direction! I am going to switch to MA from the Dry Acid i think because the Dry Acid is getting pricey... Good luck!!
    15'x24'x52" Saltwater 5000 Oval AGP, Hayward S180 Sand Filter / 1.5 HP Power Flo Pump, Hayward AquaTrol Chlorinator, TF-100 + Taylor K-1766

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    Re: Very High Total Alkalinity 300ppm from City Water. How can I get it down? Please

    You may also find that the pH rises quickly from 7.0 to 7.5 then slows down considerably when trying to get up to 7.8. That's how mine works. So when I'm trying to work my TA down, I just go down to 7.2 and it will be back up to 7.5 overnight and I can repeat the process daily. If I were really motivated I could probably do it twice per day.

    And as Texas Splash noted, it's perfectly safe provided you keep the pH in the range he noted.

    Are you emptying the pool at the end of the season? Or will some of this work at least be applied to next year's opening?
    John - 16,000 gallon | in ground | pebble | Triton II sand filter | TF100 | speedstir | Hayward Phoenix 2x

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