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Thread: just got tf-100 test kit and not registering alkalinity

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    just got tf-100 test kit and not registering alkalinity

    Hello, I'm new to this board and just got a tf-100 test kit in the mail. While everything I did gave me a reading, when I tried to to the TA test, I got a weird reading, or rather, I'm not sure what to interpret it as. The test said to add 2 drops of the r-007 mix to the sample pool water in the cylinder, and mix it, which I did. Then I added the 5 drops of the R-0008 to the solution and mixed again. The instructions said the water is supposed to turn green, however, the water is turning a magenta/pinkish color for me, before I even add the R-0009. It is turning pink when I add the R0008. What does this mean? When I did the Ph test, I got a low Ph reading of 6.8 ph, TC was 1ppm, and CYA was about 63ppm. I just wanna know if I'm doing the alkalinity test right and why my solution isn't turning green. Thank you.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: just got tf-100 test kit and not registering alkalinity

    That TA result means that your TA is zero and PH is actually much lower than 6.8 (the PH test will only test down to 6.8).

    You want to bring both the PH and TA up as soon as possible. The simplest way to do this is to use soda ash/washing soda/PH Up. That will raise both the PH and TA by about the right amount. You can also do it with a combination of baking soda and borax, just add baking soda first to about a TA of 50, then adjust the PH, then test again and adjust the TA again the rest of the way.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: just got tf-100 test kit and not registering alkalinity

    When the TA test turns pink/red immediately it means your TA is extremely low. Since you also have low PH ideally you will want to use Soda Ash if you can find it, also called "ph up" or PH Increaser at pool stores. In the laundry aisle Soda Ash is sold as Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda, if you can find it (not the detergent.) Use the Pool Calculator and select soda ash to determine how much to add. You want to target 7.4 on the PH and 90 on the TA.

    Do you know how to use the Pool Calculator?

    How does your water look? That chlorine level is awfully low. Is this a spring opening?

    Ha! Jason and I were typing at the same time....
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
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    Re: just got tf-100 test kit and not registering alkalinity

    When the TA test turns red immediately, it not only means that the TA is <= 0, but that the pH is <= 4.5 as well.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
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    Re: just got tf-100 test kit and not registering alkalinity

    thanks for the info! I got my TA to about 70 as of this afternoon, put a box of soda ash (3lb) to raise it more, however, my FC dropped to 0 (from 5ppm that it was last night) and my pH is still very low it seems, still registering 6.8. Should I go by this pH reading when I put it in the pool calculator, or do I assume it's even lower like y'all mentioned above? If my pH is still really low, do I really need to buy 40+ boxes of borax per the pool calculator or is there something stronger I can use? Thank you!

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    Re: just got tf-100 test kit and not registering alkalinity

    I'm sorry, CYA is still around 63ppm

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    Re: just got tf-100 test kit and not registering alkalinity

    I would stick with Borax. Your TA is at a pretty good level, and as you raise your pH, your TA is going to raise as well. Borax has a lower effect on TA, and you probably are not in the mood to over shoot values.

    We still do not know what your actual pH is. If it were me, I would balance a bucket of water first. This will give you a 30,000 foot level of what you will need to do to your pool. You could extrapulate the numbers to figure out actual values... but this is very unreliable.

    I wouldn't worry about your chlorine levels until you get your pH under control. Depending on how low it actually is, you might just be wasting it.

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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: just got tf-100 test kit and not registering alkalinity

    Treat your pH as if it is actually 6.8, add enough borax to raise it to 7.4, then wait a little while and retest. It may take several iterations, but you won't overshoot this way.
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