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Thread: Do I need to increase my Total Alkalinity based on these readings?

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    Do I need to increase my Total Alkalinity based on these readings?

    I have a reagent kit, but I brought a sample of my water to the local pool store to get tested mainly to see what my CYA level was. The results are below:

    FC 6.7
    TC 7.2
    CC 0.5 (Should I worry about this or shock/boost for 24 hours? My water is crystal clear.)
    pH 7.6
    TA 37
    CH 317
    CYA 39 (added 44 ounces of dry stabilizer today and will retest in a few days, goal is 70 with a FC of 5)
    Salt 3100
    CSI -0.3

    My main concern is my TA level. The lady at the pool store told me that I need to adjust my TA to at least 80 because I "won't get a true pH reading with the TA that low" and then readjust pH afterwards. I've been adding MA about once a week when it goes from 7.4/7.6ish to 8.0 and it's been pretty steady. Is that rate of rise too quick even with a SWG? Should I increase my TA to maybe 60 and see what happens? Thanks guys!
    15k Gallon In Ground Saltwater Gunite Pool and Spa w/ Overflow
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Do I need to increase my Total Alkalinity based on these readings?

    The lady at the pool store does not know what she is talking about.

    We do not care what the pool store test results say. What does YOUR test kit say? Which one is it?

    FYI, increasing the TA will make the pH rise even faster. 40ppm is a bit low, but you would certainly not want it up at 80ppm if the pH is already that much every week.
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    Re: Do I need to increase my Total Alkalinity based on these readings?

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    The lady at the pool store does not know what she is talking about.

    We do not care what the pool store test results say. What does YOUR test kit say? Which one is it?

    FYI, increasing the TA will make the pH rise even faster. 40ppm is a bit low, but you would certainly not want it up at 80ppm if the pH is already that much every week.
    I ran my numbers Sunday and they were basically the exact same (minus the pH, it was 8.0 and I added a little MA which got it down to 7.6). The TA with my kit was 40 when I tested it Sunday.
    15k Gallon In Ground Saltwater Gunite Pool and Spa w/ Overflow
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Do I need to increase my Total Alkalinity based on these readings?

    I am surprised your pH is still rising that fast with the TA at 40ppm. Does your spa overflow a lot and cause aeration? How long and at what % output are you running the SWG?

    BTW, just consider a 0.5ppm CC as 0, nothing to worry about.
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    Re: Do I need to increase my Total Alkalinity based on these readings?

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    I am surprised your pH is still rising that fast with the TA at 40ppm. Does your spa overflow a lot and cause aeration? How long and at what % output are you running the SWG?

    BTW, just consider a 0.5ppm CC as 0, nothing to worry about.
    Yes I do have quite a bit of aeration bc of spa overflow and two waterfalls. I tried to divert the return flow from the waterfalls to my 3 pool returns, but I'm getting a lot of bubbles (suction side leak I'm assuming) and the sound annoys the heck out of me and I haven't been able to figure out where the air leak is coming from, that's why I switched it back to the waterfalls (so I wouldn't hear the constant sputtering noise of the bubbles coming out of all 3 returns).
    15k Gallon In Ground Saltwater Gunite Pool and Spa w/ Overflow
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Do I need to increase my Total Alkalinity based on these readings?

    Well the waterfalls are probably a vast majority of your pH rise. Sounds like you need to fix that air leak. Does the pressure in the filter go up or down when you switch to the pool jets instead of the waterfalls?
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    Re: Do I need to increase my Total Alkalinity based on these readings?

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    Well the waterfalls are probably a vast majority of your pH rise. Sounds like you need to fix that air leak. Does the pressure in the filter go up or down when you switch to the pool jets instead of the waterfalls?
    Not sure if the pressure changes, but I can check. I've replaced the o-ring on the pump basket, pool water is at middle of skimmer, and I've checked the pump basket drain plug and it was tight and I am still having a lot of intermittent sputtering bubbles coming out of all 3 returns. Do you think I should replace the small o-ring in the drain plug too and see if that stops the air bubbles from the return jets? Only other thing I could think of is that my pump basket lid doesn't completely lock into place when I turn it clockwise onto the basket top. It's like the basket top is every so slightly warped. I may try sanding down the edges of the lip of the lid to see if I could engage the lid fully afterwards. Also, there is a few more air bubbles in my pool pump basket lid when primed (3-4 quarter sized bubbles) as opposed to my spa pump basket lid which only has 1 small nickel sized bubbles when primed and running. What you think?
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    Re: Do I need to increase my Total Alkalinity based on these readings?

    Are you seeing air moving around in the pump basket? Large bubble sitting at the top of the basket is not uncommon. I have a fairly large one in mine and no air is actually entering the pool.

    Does the pool pump basket look different when you have the waterfalls on vs the pool jets?
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    Re: Do I need to increase my Total Alkalinity based on these readings?

    Just a thought - but how big are the bubbles? SWG generates lots of tiny bubbles...though nothing like a leak would
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    Re: Do I need to increase my Total Alkalinity based on these readings?

    Good point, I actually do get bubbles out of my returns from the SWGs. The size varies with my pump speed. Any chance the bubbles are only visible when the SWG is on and when you have the waterfall on, you just can not see the bubbles?
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    Re: Do I need to increase my Total Alkalinity based on these readings?

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    Good point, I actually do get bubbles out of my returns from the SWGs. The size varies with my pump speed. Any chance the bubbles are only visible when the SWG is on and when you have the waterfall on, you just can not see the bubbles?
    If the bubbles being produced are due to the SWG, if I turn it off, would the bubbles stop or does the water simply passing through the cell still cause them?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Do you guys actually HEAR sputtering from the return jets from the SWG's bubbles being produced? Or just visually see small bubbles coming out the returns?
    15k Gallon In Ground Saltwater Gunite Pool and Spa w/ Overflow
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    Re: Do I need to increase my Total Alkalinity based on these readings?

    Quote Originally Posted by CajunGuy View Post
    If the bubbles being produced are due to the SWG, if I turn it off, would the bubbles stop or does the water simply passing through the cell still cause them?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Do you guys actually HEAR sputtering from the return jets from the SWG's bubbles being produced? Or just visually see small bubbles coming out the returns?
    Everyone seems to be a little different, but when my SWG is running I visually see bubbles coming out of the returns. I don't hear anything, although now that I think about it never tried to go under water by a return to hear it
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    Re: Do I need to increase my Total Alkalinity based on these readings?

    Ok I tightened the lid a little more and drain plug and the sputtering bubbles are gone...for now at least! Looks like that may have did the trick. Anyways, I turned off both waterfalls and now only have spa overflow and the rest is being returned to my 3 pool jets. So I'm assuming that will cut my rate of aeration by 66% beings only 1 waterfall (spa overflow) is now in use. Hopefully that wil slow my pH rise. Should I go ahead and raise my TA now? If so, what should I raise it to...50, 60, 70, 80?
    15k Gallon In Ground Saltwater Gunite Pool and Spa w/ Overflow
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    Main Filter Pump - 1.5HP Pentair Whisperflo connected to Triton II Sand Filter
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    Re: Do I need to increase my Total Alkalinity based on these readings?

    Great! Did you use lubricant on the pump seals? You should not really need to crank them down with a lot of force.
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    Re: Do I need to increase my Total Alkalinity based on these readings?

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    Great! Did you use lubricant on the pump seals? You should not really need to crank them down with a lot of force.
    I didn't add any lubricant this time, but when I replaced the pump basket o-ring about a month ago I lubricated it. Should I reapply some? If so, how often?

    Also, should I increase my TA now? I'm thinking I should maybe increase it to 60 and see what happens?
    15k Gallon In Ground Saltwater Gunite Pool and Spa w/ Overflow
    Dolphin Nautilus Plus Pool Cleaner
    Main Filter Pump - 1.5HP Pentair Whisperflo connected to Triton II Sand Filter
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Do I need to increase my Total Alkalinity based on these readings?

    Clean and lube the seals whenever you open them up.

    I would only raise to maybe 50 and see what happens.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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