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Thread: PH Won't Budge

  1. #1
    Member scubasteve's Avatar
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    PH Won't Budge

    I have made two attempts to raise my PH and after each addition of Borax, no change. I have been sitting at 7.2. The pool calculator tells me to add 57oz of borax to bring it up to 7.6. I've added roughly 110-115 oz of Borax total with no changes. Is something preventing the PH from coming up? Off the top of my head, my levels are:

    FC: 3
    PH: 7.2
    TA: 90
    CYA: 80 (on monday)
    CH: 300

    sS
    16,000 Gallon Inground Pool
    Hayward DE Filter
    Polaris 280 Pool Cleaner

  2. #2
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    Re: PH Won't Budge

    Were you adding CYA at the time? IF so, the acid in the CYA could be counteracting the Borax. Is the pool constantly covered?

    Maybe try some soda ash or Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda instead...
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
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  3. #3
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    Re: PH Won't Budge

    2 questions:
    What are you chlorinating with?
    Why do you feel you need to raise the pH? It's actually OK at 7.2 and if you are not using trichlor or dichlor it will most likely slowly rise on it's own over time.

  4. #4
    Member scubasteve's Avatar
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    Re: PH Won't Budge

    I am using Tri Chlor - 73%. I was sitting at 3 yesterday evening, added some to bring it up to 5 or 6 before we left for the Astros game. I think that since it rained just a little while we were gone, that kept my level around 3 until this morning.

    I have not been adjusting the CYA. It has been up in the 70-80 area for the last couple of weeks or so. I like it there for now so the sun doesn't kill the pool....and neither does the daily use it has been getting since schools out.

    I added baking soda on Monday and brought my TA up to where it is almost immediately. After adjusting my TA, the PH had jumped from 6.8 to 7.2, but is holding steady at that 7.2 after adding the Borax twice. My thought was to adjust the TA first then fine tune the PH. I guess I was expecting the PH to rise just as fast. I'll leave it be and just watch for a little bit, since all my other levels are about where they should be.

    sS
    16,000 Gallon Inground Pool
    Hayward DE Filter
    Polaris 280 Pool Cleaner

  5. #5
    Administrator JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: PH Won't Budge

    Trichlor is constantly adding CYA and lowering the PH. When you add borax, the borax raises the PH and then the trichlor lowers it again, so it looks like it hasn't changed.

    Your CYA level is already fairly high, if you keep using trichlor it is going to continue to go up and will likely lead to problems eventually.

    When using trichlor, it is often best to use soda ash/washing soda to raise the PH. Soda ash will actually raise both the PH and the TA in just about the same proportions that trichlor lowers both of them. You can also use borax and baking soda, soda ash is just a little simpler in the long run.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    TFP Admin. Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  6. #6
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    Re: PH Won't Budge

    With a CYA at 80 at the start of the pool season and contnued trichlor use you might be heading for trouble come the heat of August! Just be aware of this!

  7. #7
    Member scubasteve's Avatar
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    Re: PH Won't Budge

    Due-ly noted....Bring my CYA down.

    I guess I also nee to add that I am not using all three B's. Just Borax and Baking Soda. Until my Tri-Chlor is gone, I was going to put off using bleach. Should I go ahead and start using bleach and keep the tri-chlor for back up?

    sS
    16,000 Gallon Inground Pool
    Hayward DE Filter
    Polaris 280 Pool Cleaner

  8. #8
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    Re: PH Won't Budge

    That's what I do. Bought a bucket of tabs before I figured out BBB... now I use tabs only for vacations, and it's probably a lifetime supply.
    --paulr
    BBB "Intermediate Swimmer"
    IG plaster pool 18.5K gal, Hayward Pro-Grid DE filter, 3/4 HP Hydramax II; Polaris 380, 3/4 HP booster
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  9. #9
    Administrator JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: PH Won't Budge

    If you are thinking about switching to BBB, it is best to do so before your CYA gets too high. Your CYA level is already as high as I would ever want to see it, so best to stop using trichlor now, rather than later.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    TFP Admin. Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  10. #10
    Guest

    Re: PH Won't Budge

    IF your DE filter is the backwashing kind (not all are) then you will lower the CYA a bit over time with backwashing so there might come a day when you NEED to use some trichlor for a while to bring it back up. Just keep the trichlor tightly sealed, dry, and away from climate extremes and it will last a very long time.

  11. #11
    Member scubasteve's Avatar
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    Re: PH Won't Budge

    Funny you mention DE backwashing, because I was just doing some thinking about that. I have no idea what my CYA was before last weekend, I backwashed Sunday - tested on Monday. I will be backwashing again this weekend, most likely friday. It will be interesting to see what my CYA is when I do a full test this weekend.

    sS
    16,000 Gallon Inground Pool
    Hayward DE Filter
    Polaris 280 Pool Cleaner

  12. #12
    Senior Member taekwondodo's Avatar
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    Re: PH Won't Budge

    Quote Originally Posted by PaulR
    That's what I do. Bought a bucket of tabs before I figured out BBB... now I use tabs only for vacations, and it's probably a lifetime supply.
    --paulr
    I found a great usage for my tabs... drop one in the back of the tank of your toilet... and your bowls will stay clean and fresh! (and it's a whole-lot cheaper than the tablets you get that do the same thing from Safeway...).

    - Jeff
    ~45Kg Pool with attached Spa, NSP-72 DE, Minmax 400 Heater, Tahoe Blue Pebbletech, Jandy SWG via Aqualink RS-8, The Pool Cleaner (black)
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