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Thread: Alkalinity and pH chemicals stop working after adding Potassium or Sodium Carbonate

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    Alkalinity and pH chemicals stop working after adding Potassium or Sodium Carbonate

    I went to balance my alkalinity and pH today. When I first read the water, the alkalinity chemicals change from green to red through the process (reading was 30ppm) and the pH read yellow (6.8 or below). I added a product called phUp which was Potassium Carbonate. After this point when I go to use the alkalinity chemicals I noticed the green color at start isn't as saturated, and when it transitions to red it almost doesn't go red at all, more like a pale clear orange. The r-0014 pH reading stays yellow no matter how much chemicals I add.

    This has happened to me once before when I used Soda Ash (Sodium Cabonate) to try to bring up the ph. The chemicals stop being able to read the water even though I am moving it. Any ideas what I did wrong?

    _mac

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Alkalinity and pH chemicals stop working after adding Potassium or Sodium Carbona

    Welcome to TFP!

    6.8 is the lowest the pH test can read. It is likely much lower than that. Keep adding enough to raise PH to 7.2, leave pump running and retest in 15-20 minutes. Repeat until pH start to read know the test.
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    Re: Alkalinity and pH chemicals stop working after adding Potassium or Sodium Carbona

    I tried this the last time and the pH never raised past yellow. I just thought it was weird that how the test chemicals react changed when I use potassium or sodium carbonate. I can try to keep raising pH but I'm guessing it will be the same as last time, no reaction and then I end up dumping the tub and starting over.

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    Re: Alkalinity and pH chemicals stop working after adding Potassium or Sodium Carbona

    I suggest you not use the offending chemicals and use the chemistry TFP suggests.......it really is trouble free.
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    Re: Alkalinity and pH chemicals stop working after adding Potassium or Sodium Carbona

    Is there a link to the chemicals TFP suggests?

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    Re: Alkalinity and pH chemicals stop working after adding Potassium or Sodium Carbona

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    Re: Alkalinity and pH chemicals stop working after adding Potassium or Sodium Carbona

    I tried adjusting the chemicals again today and the pH is still reading yellow regardless of what I do. What is the affect of chlorine on the pH reading? Maybe I took the PH reading too soon after I super-chlorinated? If I don't use chlorine neutralizer, would this make the pH reading turn yellow?

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    Re: Alkalinity and pH chemicals stop working after adding Potassium or Sodium Carbona

    High FC (above 10 ppm) will tend to make pH read falsely high... so not in the right direction to explain the effect you are seeing.

    Did you add more potassium carbonate (that was the chemical you mentioned in the original post, I think). How much more?

    Oh, and what did you use to 'superchlorinate'? If you used dichlor, for example, that compound is quite acidic, and would push down the pH.
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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Alkalinity and pH chemicals stop working after adding Potassium or Sodium Carbona

    The PH test is not valid when FC is above 10 ppm. It usually reads high, but not always. What is your FC level? When FC is below 10 ppm add enough borax or soda ash to raise PH from 6.8 to 7.5. Run the pump for 15-20 minutes and repeat until the pH comes into range. It will eventually. There is no telling how low your pH actually is.
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    Re: Alkalinity and pH chemicals stop working after adding Potassium or Sodium Carbona

    Ok thanks,

    I only added another ounce of potassium chloride. I will try to keep adding the soda ash until I get a reading before I post again. I was afraid to add too much and find out I need to drain the hot tub. We're in a drought in CA and I hate to waste all this water because of my chemical skills.

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    Re: Alkalinity and pH chemicals stop working after adding Potassium or Sodium Carbona

    I added 3 ounces of Soda Ash and got the pH back to where it needed to be. Thanks for the advice!

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    Re: Alkalinity and pH chemicals stop working after adding Potassium or Sodium Carbona

    Good news!
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