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Thread: I am so smart. . . S M R T

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    I am so smart. . . S M R T

    This is not a request for help, just a story about how dumb I am . . .

    So I get my pool set up a week or two ago, CYA to 40, Borates to 40, Chlorine and pH all looking fine . . . and then I take a look at my TA. Our water is really high on TA for some reason. Last year I ignored it, and just tossed in a half cup Muriatic Acid (MA) every week or so. This year I though "I'm going to do this right!" and went to the pool store.

    They confirmed that everything looked good but the lady measured my TA to be at ~ 280, which is about what the cheap test strips I had said. It was a good place to start. I grabbed an extra gallon of MA and a pound of pH up (which I noted was super expensive Washing Soda, Na2CO3).

    I got home, did the TA test myself on the Taylor kit and got a result of 330 - even better! No matter. In goes a half gallon of MA, and then it takes me almost the whole pound of pH up to get me back to a healthy pH range. Test the TA again - now it's showing 280 on my end.

    I take a sample back to the pool store and have them double check because surely, my TA should have gone down further than that, right? Nope. They confirm it's in the 270-280 range. The guy who tests it this time tells me that it's like pH and doesn't go linearly, so I shouldn't rush to dump in a gallon of MA just yet. Approach it slowly, he says. OK! I grab an extra gallon of MA, cause it sounds like I might need it anyways, but forgo the pH up because that was just super expensive washing soda.

    I get home, decide not to balance the TA again until this weekend when we won't be swimming, and ponder when I'm going to get to the few stores inconveniently located which do carry washing soda. And then I remember! Costco sells a big bag of baking soda, and that's close to the same thing, it's just NaHCO3 instead, and after all when you mix washing soda with MA that's the first thing you get. Clearly this should work, I might just need to use a little bit more, because it has already picked up one hydrogen. I know chemistry, and it's helping me with my pool! I am so smart!! I have the hubby pick some up on the way home from work Friday.

    So last night I get working! 6 cups MA in the pool, and that brings my pH down to below 6.8. Then I start adding the baking soda. 4 oz, then another 8 oz, then another 8 oz, and then 1 lb, and why isn't the pH budging, and another 1 lb, and another 1 lb of baking soda later and I still see no change in pH. What is going on?!?! At this point it's like 11 at night and I need sleep so I resolve to look it up in the morning. And that's when I see on the pool calculator that baking soda is used to increase TA. ::FACEPALM::

    At this point I have no idea how high I have pushed my TA - and I still have no washing soda in the house to raise my pH with. (Nor do I have aeration - unless you count a little aerating stone I once used on a 10 gal fish tank). But I do have an extra 10 lb of baking soda, should I ever need it for anything!

    I am so smart. S. M. R. T.

    Thanks for listening, guys!
    10'x30" Intex AG pool (~1200 gal) with 530G filter pump, Salt Lake City, UT. K-1000 and T-100 Test kits.

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    Re: I am so smart. . . S M R T

    Have you read this yet?

    Pool School - Lower Total Alkalinity

    Join the face palm club anyway, lol. Good company.

    Anyway, using the MA is right, just don't use so much where PH gets dangerous, then aerate to bring it up.
    Scott
    15,000 Gallons vinyl in-ground screen enclosed, Hayward Eco-star SP3400VSP, Hayward Aqua Logic PL-Plus, Hayward T-15 Salt Cell, Hayward S244T Sand Filter, Polaris 380 with booster pump, Hayward heat pump HP50HA. K-2006 kit.

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    Re: I am so smart. . . S M R T

    Oh I hadn't read that! I did note that the calculator just said 'aerate' and thougoht 'I can't do that, I don't have anything like an aerator'. That link has a couple of good additional links to DIY aerators, I'll have to get started on this, thanks.

    And I feel like I know just enough acid-base chemistry to get me in trouble (like in the example above) - can anybody explain why aeration alters pH?
    10'x30" Intex AG pool (~1200 gal) with 530G filter pump, Salt Lake City, UT. K-1000 and T-100 Test kits.

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    Re: I am so smart. . . S M R T

    There are a couple here that can, and tell you all about this atom goes to that one. LOL, over my head. Laymans understanding is the out-gassing caused by the PH rise reduces TA, so through repetition TA comes down. Aeration also only speeds up the rise since you have a goal, but if you stick with only dropping PH to 7.2 it would balance eventually.
    Scott
    15,000 Gallons vinyl in-ground screen enclosed, Hayward Eco-star SP3400VSP, Hayward Aqua Logic PL-Plus, Hayward T-15 Salt Cell, Hayward S244T Sand Filter, Polaris 380 with booster pump, Hayward heat pump HP50HA. K-2006 kit.

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    Re: I am so smart. . . S M R T

    OK so it looks like I got the pH up to 7.6 so we are in 'safe' range again. Checked TA to see what damage was done. . . 600!

    I cobbled together a very hax aerator - pulling out the return hose and lashing it to the frame with a strong twistie tie and positioning it witha 2x4 block, then shoving in a sand shark pool toy and securing it with twine so the water will 'spray' out instead of just fountaining. (This is obviously not a long term solution!) Can I raise the pH this way and then bring the TA/pH down with MA, instead of the other way around? It would seem obvious that I could, but that's what I thought about the baking soda/washing soda too! I only ask because now I'm a little bit leery of accidentally lowering it too much with MA so it's not safe to swim in. If I can do this then I'll just keep aerating it and use MA 1-2 cups at a time to keep the pH between 7.2 and 7.8 or so.
    10'x30" Intex AG pool (~1200 gal) with 530G filter pump, Salt Lake City, UT. K-1000 and T-100 Test kits.

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    Re: I am so smart. . . S M R T

    Yep, keep aerating and when it hits 7.8 use the MA to bring it back down to 7.0-7.2 and keep aerating.

    However, if 600 is correct, that's WAY out of my comprehension!!! I'm sure it will still bring it down, but hopefully an expert comes by on if it's feasible with it that high or if you need to drain or something instead. May be cheaper than all the MA you would need as well anyway.
    Scott
    15,000 Gallons vinyl in-ground screen enclosed, Hayward Eco-star SP3400VSP, Hayward Aqua Logic PL-Plus, Hayward T-15 Salt Cell, Hayward S244T Sand Filter, Polaris 380 with booster pump, Hayward heat pump HP50HA. K-2006 kit.

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    Re: I am so smart. . . S M R T

    I guarantee I'd just drain it down.
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    Re: I am so smart. . . S M R T

    Thanks Woody!!

    I also just noticed the pool size. Just drain and refill. I need to look more closely at provided info
    Scott
    15,000 Gallons vinyl in-ground screen enclosed, Hayward Eco-star SP3400VSP, Hayward Aqua Logic PL-Plus, Hayward T-15 Salt Cell, Hayward S244T Sand Filter, Polaris 380 with booster pump, Hayward heat pump HP50HA. K-2006 kit.

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    I am so smart. . . S M R T

    minsx,

    You need to slow down and take a refresher course in Pool School as you are adding chemicals for the wrong effects. First a list -

    Muriatic acid lowers BOTH pH AND TA at the same time.

    Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) raises TA and only very slowly and mildly raises pH

    Washing soda (sodium carbonate) raises BOTH pH AND TA at the same time

    Borax (20 Mule Team) raises pH and only very slightly raises TA.

    Aeration ONLY raises pH (I'm not going to explain why as it will just muddle the issue)

    If your fill water has high TA then you do the following - add acid to lower the pH to 7.2 (it lowers the TA as well). Then you aerate only until your pH goes back up to 7.6. Then you keep repeating that process until your TA is where you want it.

    Do not add any chemicals to raise pH. You must only raise it through aeration.

    As others have suggested, dump your pool water and start over again.
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: I am so smart. . . S M R T

    I'm just here to say I lol'd at the Simpsons reference.
    John - 16,000 gallon | in ground | pebble | Triton II sand filter | TF100 | speedstir | Hayward Phoenix 2x

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    Re: I am so smart. . . S M R T

    Update:

    So I kept my rigged aerator running overnight and after compensating for the pH increase with MA this morning, my TA dropped by nearly 200!! I think it will be faster to just aerate out the high TA than to re-start from scratch (drain and re-fill); especially seeing as how my re-fill water will need to be aerated from 300 ppm anyhow. Wow, I would never have expected something as simple as aeration to work so quickly.

    Current numbers look like this:

    FC: 10 ppm
    CC: 0 ppm
    pH: 7.3
    TA: 550
    CH: 0
    CYA: 40
    Borates: 40

    We are going to enjoy the pool today and then aerate again overnight. I'll keep that up until TA is down to 120, but in the meantime I don't think it will hurt to swim in the pool if I keep a close eye on the pH.

    I don't think I'll ever stop quoting the Simpsons. Some day I'll be too old and nobody will recognize the reference, but I'll keep doing it anyways.
    10'x30" Intex AG pool (~1200 gal) with 530G filter pump, Salt Lake City, UT. K-1000 and T-100 Test kits.

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: I am so smart. . . S M R T

    Just remember that it is the addition of acid that lowers TA. The aeration is simply raising the pH back up again so you can add more acid.
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: I am so smart. . . S M R T

    Quote Originally Posted by minsx View Post
    Update:

    So I kept my rigged aerator running overnight and after compensating for the pH increase with MA this morning, my TA dropped by nearly 200!! I think it will be faster to just aerate out the high TA than to re-start from scratch (drain and re-fill); especially seeing as how my re-fill water will need to be aerated from 300 ppm anyhow. Wow, I would never have expected something as simple as aeration to work so quickly.

    Current numbers look like this:

    FC: 10 ppm
    CC: 0 ppm
    pH: 7.3
    TA: 550
    CH: 0
    CYA: 40
    Borates: 40

    We are going to enjoy the pool today and then aerate again overnight. I'll keep that up until TA is down to 120, but in the meantime I don't think it will hurt to swim in the pool if I keep a close eye on the pH.

    I don't think I'll ever stop quoting the Simpsons. Some day I'll be too old and nobody will recognize the reference, but I'll keep doing it anyways.
    Please keep in mind that aerating doesn't lower your TA. MA does. The aerating is what brings up your PH after adding the MA.

    It sounds like you got this but the wording of the post made me want to double check.
    18*36*23 true "L" vinyl IG 29,000 gallons. SWG. TF-100 test kit.
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    Re: I am so smart. . . S M R T

    Yes - when I first wrote the post I think I was going to say something like:

    >>> after aerating, my TA dropped by nearly 200!!

    but then when I went to look at it I thought, no, it was the MA so that's why I said:

    >>> after compensating for the pH increase with MA this morning, my TA dropped by nearly 200!!

    I suppose I could have been clearer by saying:

    >>> when I compensated for the pH increase with MA this morning, my TA dropped by nearly 200!!

    I'm just so excited that this is working so well. =) Thanks you guys!!!
    10'x30" Intex AG pool (~1200 gal) with 530G filter pump, Salt Lake City, UT. K-1000 and T-100 Test kits.

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