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Thread: Lowering TA, Raising pH

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    Lowering TA, Raising pH

    I'm currently balancing a new 22' Intex pool.
    This is my first pool, but I have done much reading on this site to try to get a good understanding of what I need to do.

    My biggest issue at the moment is my high TA / Low pH.
    When using my Taylor test kit, as well as a cheaper test kit off Amazon, my results pretty consistently read:
    TA 190
    pH 7.2
    CYA 10 (Going to get some CYA today to help get it up to ~ 30)
    CH 150
    FC 0.2 (I've only had the pool up for a couple days, added a bag of Calcium Hypo shock yesterday, going to work with liquid chlorine the next few days to get it right)

    Just for fun, I had 2 pool stores test my water:
    Pool Store 1: TA 110 / pH 7.0 / CH 110
    Pool Store 2: TA 160 / pH 7.2 / CH 200
    I'm not sure why their TA readings were so different from each other, as well as from what I get.
    I feel the people doing the testing flew through it, and their results must not be accurate... or am I doing something wrong?
    I followed the Taylor Test kit videos precisely when learning how to run the tests.

    Either way, I read the article about needing to aerate the pool to raise the pH, add Muriatic Acid to bring the TA down, then repeat.
    Pool School - Lower Total Alkalinity

    The article states "There are two reasons to lower your total alkalinity (TA) right away, because you want to slow down the rate that the PH rises, or if high TA is contributing to a high calcium saturation index (CSI) which puts you at risk of calcium scaling. You shouldn't lower TA just to reach a target number. Make sure you actually have one of the above issues before lowering your TA.". I don't feel I a problem with pH rising, or a high CSI, but everything I read suggests TA should be 80-120 to make the pH more stable.

    Do I need to get the TA down, even though the article suggests that I shouldn't just to hit a target range?

    How much Muriatic Acid should I add to the pool at a time?
    From what I have gathered, I should raise my pH to 7.6 through aeration, then add Muriatic Acid to bring pH down to 7.0 and TA will come down as well, then repeat.

    The Pool Math Calculator suggests that I add 26oz of Muriatic Acid which would drop pH back down to 7.0, and lower the TA by 10 to 180.
    A drop of 10 in TA per cycle, or 9 cycles to get TA to 100.
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/calc.html

    This Pool Acid Dose Calculator suggests that I add 63.4oz of Muriatic Acid to drop the pH to 7.0 and TA to 166.
    A drop of 24 in TA per cycle, or 4 cycles to get TA to 100.
    Pool Acid Dose Calculator - Lowry Consulting Group LLC

    Which calculator is correct?? How much acid is safe to add to the pool at once, and what is the lowest pH that is temporarily safe?

    Also, is it safe to actually ignore CH since it's a vinyl liner pool? Will the low CH cause the metal frame to corrode faster?
    I'd be great to have one less thing to worry about balancing, and less chemicals to buy.

    Thanks in advance!
    Intex 22'x52" Ultra Frame Pool (10,500 Gallons), Vinyl Liner
    Intex 16" 3,000 GPH Sand Filter Pump

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    Re: Lowering TA, Raising pH

    Increase your CYA to at least 30. How are you adding chlorine to your pool? Certain shock and 3" tablets, because they are acidic will lower your PH. You have to figure out what is causing your PH to stay low, especially if you are adding Borax to increase it to the 7.4-7.6 range.

    Please give us a description of what you have been adding to your pool, how much and how often? No more pool store testing, only your testing from the Taylor Kit. Please tell us which kit you own as well. Thanks!
    14,700 gallons IG Pool Vinyl Liner - Octal Circulation System
    Hayward Pro-Series 350 LB. Sand Filter Model # S270T - 2" Plumping
    Hayward CL2002 Chlorinator - Hayward Super Pump 2 HP Model # k48m2n111
    Hayward AQR9 SWG 25K Salt Cell & TF-100 Test Kit + Speed Stir
    Gulfstream HE125RA - 117K BTU Heat Pump - Date of Build is 11-2013

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    Re: Lowering TA, Raising pH

    Quote Originally Posted by Catanzaro View Post
    Increase your CYA to at least 30. How are you adding chlorine to your pool? Certain shock and 3" tablets, because they are acidic will lower your PH. You have to figure out what is causing your PH to stay low, especially if you are adding Borax to increase it to the 7.4-7.6 range.

    Please give us a description of what you have been adding to your pool, how much and how often? No more pool store testing, only your testing from the Taylor Kit. Please tell us which kit you own as well. Thanks!
    Kit is Taylor K-2006.

    Water came from a well, then went through my softener, tannin filter, and iron / sulfur breaker... that may be why it started a little funky.

    So far, here is what I have done:
    1. Finished filling pool Sunday night, ran sand filter all night.
    2. Tested pool water with Taylor K-2006 Monday morning:
    pH 6.8-7.0 (best guess, result was light yellow, so less than the meter on the K-2006 could tell me)
    TA 190
    CH 140-150
    3. Had Leslie's test pool water, came up with mostly different numbers than I had, but their reading of 0 CYA and 0 FC was likely accurate, as I hadn't added either yet.
    They sold me Soda Ash to lower pH, A packet of Calcium Hypo shock, and 2 jumbo Trichlor pucks thinking TA was fine, as their TA result came to 110.
    4. Added 1 puck in the floater because I figured it couldn't hurt, needed Chlorine and CYA anyway.
    5. Added package of Power Powder Plus Calcium Hypo Shock to get some Chlorine started around noon.
    6. Added 2lb of Soda Ash to raise pH after work trying to at least get it within range for me to read on the Taylor test kit easily.
    (not realizing it could raise TA, later realized adding Soda Ash was counter productive since TA was already high).
    7. Tested FC last night, got a result of 2.0
    8. Retested pH / TA this morning (Tuesday) with Taylor K-2006, and here is what I got:
    pH 7.2
    TA 190
    9. Left pool pump hose over side spraying water to Aerate the pool while at work today.

    After the Calcium Hypo shock, pool is currently crystal clear, thought I know I've got a long way to go.

    Trying to limit my CYA tests until necessary, the K-2006 doesn't seem to come with enough CYA testing supplies for more than a few tests.

    On my way home from work in a few minutes, I am going to grab some CYA and a few gallons of Chlorine.
    Intex 22'x52" Ultra Frame Pool (10,500 Gallons), Vinyl Liner
    Intex 16" 3,000 GPH Sand Filter Pump

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    Re: Lowering TA, Raising pH

    Just tested and pH is up to 7.5 from aeration all day, TA is still 190, chlorine is 0.

    Just added 50oz of liquid 10.5% chlorine to the pool, as well as 2.6lbs cya in a sock hanging over the intake.

    I guess next step is to wait a bit, then figure out how much Muriatic acid I can add to bring TA down some without bringing pH too far down?
    I still can't figure out which calculator was correct in calculating how much Muriatic acid I should add to bring pH down.
    Intex 22'x52" Ultra Frame Pool (10,500 Gallons), Vinyl Liner
    Intex 16" 3,000 GPH Sand Filter Pump

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    Re: Lowering TA, Raising pH

    Well, I just measured the pH and TA again. TA was 200, pH was 7.6.
    Added 1/2 a gallon of Muriatic Acid to lower TA, and hopefully that gets me to a pH of about 7.0.
    Aeration still going strong to work on bringing that pH backup again.
    Intex 22'x52" Ultra Frame Pool (10,500 Gallons), Vinyl Liner
    Intex 16" 3,000 GPH Sand Filter Pump

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    Re: Lowering TA, Raising pH

    Quote Originally Posted by wmblalock86 View Post
    Well, I just measured the pH and TA again. TA was 200, pH was 7.6.
    Added 1/2 a gallon of Muriatic Acid to lower TA, and hopefully that gets me to a pH of about 7.0.
    Aeration still going strong to work on bringing that pH backup again.
    I always thought about pH as primary parameter that I'm monitoring and adjusting and TA- as a buffer which makes pH more stable. This means you should add MA based on your pH needs and not let it fall too low. BTW, it took me a year to drop TA from 100+ (I forgot exact #) to 40. I didn't do any aeration though and didn't pay attention to TA much.
    44k plaster pool, Pentair 011018 pump, DE6020 filter, LED lights, K2006 test kit

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    Re: Lowering TA, Raising pH

    A TA of 40 (I believe is too low). What other members have recommended is the addition of borates when the TA is low and I believe 60 was the lowest recommended.

    A couple of items:

    1) In about a week, when all your Stabilizer has dissolved in the pool (assuming you added enough to bring the pool to 30), you will see that chlorine consumption will be less.

    2) I believe 1/2 gallon of MA is way too much for that pool. I would recommend waiting until the PH reaches 7.8 and then bring down to 7.2. Keep track of the changes and use Pool Math to determine how much MA to add. Then when needed, you can add the correct amount and repeat the cycle. With my pool, every 4 days, I added MA. When your pump and filter is reduced because of weather, this will change the frequency.

    It may take you well over a year to bring your TA down in the pool. Take advantage of rain water. Personally, I did not speed up the process of raising PH and then adding MA to lower TA and PH, etc. Your TA will come down slowly, especially at that level.
    14,700 gallons IG Pool Vinyl Liner - Octal Circulation System
    Hayward Pro-Series 350 LB. Sand Filter Model # S270T - 2" Plumping
    Hayward CL2002 Chlorinator - Hayward Super Pump 2 HP Model # k48m2n111
    Hayward AQR9 SWG 25K Salt Cell & TF-100 Test Kit + Speed Stir
    Gulfstream HE125RA - 117K BTU Heat Pump - Date of Build is 11-2013

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    Re: Lowering TA, Raising pH

    Yes, TA at 40 is nearly always too low. TA at 50 works in some pools but not all. TA at 60 is nearly always OK.
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: Lowering TA, Raising pH

    Last night TA was 200, pH was 7.6 when I added the 1/2 gallon of MA.
    I did use the pool math calculator, 1/2 gallon is what it told me to add.

    Tested water this morning, pH was down to 7.2 as expected, but TA actually increased to 210...
    I will re-test after work and try to figure out how that's even possible.
    Intex 22'x52" Ultra Frame Pool (10,500 Gallons), Vinyl Liner
    Intex 16" 3,000 GPH Sand Filter Pump

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    Re: Lowering TA, Raising pH

    I am sure you are but be diligent to wipe the dropper tip in between drops when doing the TA test. It is susceptible to static cling, which will change your drop size throwing your results askew. Keep up your process up for a week or so and then look for a trending lower TA. This prevents me from overthinking any specific test result, subject to testing error, and paints a broader picture.
    16' x 32' (21100 gal), vinyl, 1.5 hp Hayward SuperPump,
    Tagelus TA60/60D Sand Filter, Raypak 399K Digital Heater, TF-100

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    Re: Lowering TA, Raising pH

    Quote Originally Posted by Pool Tool View Post
    I am sure you are but be diligent to wipe the dropper tip in between drops when doing the TA test. It is susceptible to static cling, which will change your drop size throwing your results askew. Keep up your process up for a week or so and then look for a trending lower TA. This prevents me from overthinking any specific test result, subject to testing error, and paints a broader picture.
    I haven't cleaned the tips of the bottles, nothing I read told me anything about that, but it makes sense!
    I was just going off the white instruction cards that came with the kits.
    I will do so with both of my test kits after work, and re-test
    Intex 22'x52" Ultra Frame Pool (10,500 Gallons), Vinyl Liner
    Intex 16" 3,000 GPH Sand Filter Pump

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    Re: Lowering TA, Raising pH

    Hmm, I thought my card said it but maybe not. At any rate, this section is a good read. Also a TA link noting the static.

    Pool School - Extended Test Kit Directions

    Pool School - Total Alkalinity

    Good luck.
    16' x 32' (21100 gal), vinyl, 1.5 hp Hayward SuperPump,
    Tagelus TA60/60D Sand Filter, Raypak 399K Digital Heater, TF-100

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    Re: Lowering TA, Raising pH

    Quote Originally Posted by Pool Tool View Post
    Hmm, I thought my card said it but maybe not. At any rate, this section is a good read. Also a TA link noting the static.

    Pool School - Extended Test Kit Directions

    Pool School - Total Alkalinity

    Good luck.
    Thanks for the links. Just re-checked, neither the Taylor card, nor the Taylor instruction video on YouTube mentioned anything about cleaning the tip.
    I will post back this evening with results.
    Intex 22'x52" Ultra Frame Pool (10,500 Gallons), Vinyl Liner
    Intex 16" 3,000 GPH Sand Filter Pump

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Lowering TA, Raising pH

    Some of the Taylor kits do not mention the static issue and some do. I haven't figured out the pattern yet. The static issue goes away after a few test cycles.
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: Lowering TA, Raising pH

    This morning I added the second half of the MA gallon to the water, and let aerate all day.

    Cleaned dropper tips, TA is now reading 140-150, and pH is 7.1, so I'm getting there!

    At this point, I am going to let it keep aerating all night, retest pH tomorrow and add more MA when pH gets to at least 7.5.
    Intex 22'x52" Ultra Frame Pool (10,500 Gallons), Vinyl Liner
    Intex 16" 3,000 GPH Sand Filter Pump

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Lowering TA, Raising pH

    Good plan!
    TFP Moderator
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