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!