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Thread: TA test question

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    TA test question

    Hi,

    I am relatively new to pool testing. I purchased the T100 test kit and have a question about testing the TA. In the directions it states to fill the vial to 25 ml., then add 2 drops of R007 to the vial, add 5 drops of R008 and it will turn green, then add 1 drop at a time of R009 until the "color" turns red. I am confused if this means the color of the water in the vial, or the color of the drops that come out of the R009 bottle. I have added and added and added muratic acid and still my TA is testing around 200 IF I wait for the "solution" in the vial to turn somewhat pink. My pH is down to around 7.1 or 7.2. What should I do to get the TA to its normal level?

    Thanks,

    Gina

    AG pool, 15,700 gallons
    AG pool 18x33 ft., 52 in. deep, 15,700 gal., vinyl liner

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: TA test question

    You add drops of R-0009 until the sample turns red. You have to keep swirling between drops too.

    There have been reported instances of static affecting the R-0009 and making the TA test higher than it really is. Wipe the tip of the R-0009 bottle with a damp cloth between drops when testing again and see if it comes upi the same.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/╝hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: TA test question

    Run the test again, wiping the tip of the R009 bottle with a clean, damp cloth between every drop. There is an issue with static electricity that causes smaller drops, which leads to false high readings.

    If it still reads high, follow the instructions in:


    TA is one of the LAST things you should try to adjust. pH, FC, CYA should be dealt with first.

    Post a full set of numbers and let the experts (and maybe me) weigh in.
    TFP Method Advanced Intermediate
    • 17,500 gallons - In Ground - Plaster - Hayward Swimclear 3020 Cartridge Filter - Sta-Rite Max-E-Glas Main Pump upgraded with A.O. Smith B2980 E-Plus New Centurion Two-Speed Motor - Polaris 280 Cleaner with Polaris PB4-60 Booster Pump - TightWatt2 Timer - Taylor K-2006 Test Kit - Pool Pilot Digital Nano SWCG

    Helpful Links: Pool School, BBB for Beginners, How to Shock (hint...it's a process not a product), Chlorine/CYA Chart, Jason's Pool Calculator

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    Re: TA test question

    Here are my numbers:

    FC 4.5
    CC 0
    TC 4.5
    pH 7.1 (?) color was a bit below 7.2 on blue test kit
    TA 190
    CYA 35

    I wiped the R-0009 bottle between each drop. Solution still took 19 drops before turning a light pink color.
    AG pool 18x33 ft., 52 in. deep, 15,700 gal., vinyl liner

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    svenpup's Avatar
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    Re: TA test question

    Did you the CH test? Low CH isn't a problem for vinyl pools, but high CH coupled with high TA and pH can cause scaling in any pool. You should do the lowering TA process if you also have high CH.

    Other than that the only issue with high TA is it will cause you pH to rise. Over time, additions of muriatic acid to keep pH in check will slowly bring down TA.
    TFP Method Advanced Intermediate
    • 17,500 gallons - In Ground - Plaster - Hayward Swimclear 3020 Cartridge Filter - Sta-Rite Max-E-Glas Main Pump upgraded with A.O. Smith B2980 E-Plus New Centurion Two-Speed Motor - Polaris 280 Cleaner with Polaris PB4-60 Booster Pump - TightWatt2 Timer - Taylor K-2006 Test Kit - Pool Pilot Digital Nano SWCG

    Helpful Links: Pool School, BBB for Beginners, How to Shock (hint...it's a process not a product), Chlorine/CYA Chart, Jason's Pool Calculator

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    Re: TA test question

    Like others have stated, wipe the dropper tip. Also, be sure to mix thoroughly. "Red" isn't really the color you're looking for, either. More of a Barbie pink/ Hawaiian Punch color.

    Here's an article from Pool School for you. Many people have posted about home-made aerators if you have no spa or waterfall to crank up.

    Pool Calculator will show you the effects of adding chemicals, down near the bottom, provided you have entered the coirrect volume at the top. You'll see that adding a relatively small volume of acid - 8 ounces - will drop pH like .5, but TA will only be reduced by 4-6. Or something to that effect, each pool being different. The point being that it will take many cycles of aerate/lowerpH/test/dose to get TA down. Have Patience.

    Assuming the pH is good, the FC is right, and the water's clear, TA won't keep you out of the pool. It's just dissolved minerals, that came from the same water you drink!
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: TA test question

    Well, new troubles now! The pH was in the normal range for a very short time. During this time I was pleased with the less amount of bleach that I could use and still keep my FC at the 3 to 4 range. Now, the pH is up again! And not only that a new problem! We had some rain and I didn't get out the the pool on Saturday to test it. Chlorine was 4.5 on Friday. Yesterday, (Sunday) there was green powdery stuff in the pool which after all my reading I am assuming is mustard algae! My husband and I added the amount of bleach the pool calculator told us to add that would bring the chlorine to 12 ppm to shock the pool. My husband much have added a bit more than the calculator said, because when testing this morning, the FC was 15. The water is still murky and the green powdery stuff is still visible on the bottom of the pool.

    I am beginning to get very discouraged It feels like I spend more time testing and adding chemicals to the pool than I do swimming and enjoying it! Being so new at this, I really do not know where to go. I've done so much reading and research that all of it is now just boggled in my brain!

    How can I keep my pH stabilized? How can I get the TA down to keep the pH stabilized? How do I get rid of the green powdery stuff? How do I keep clean, clear water?? I'm going crazy and now it won't be long til we have to close the pool for the season and I'll have to start all over next spring with the whole mess again! Is there anyone who can give me a step by step on what I need to do first, second, third and so on???

    Gina333
    AG pool 18x33 ft., 52 in. deep, 15,700 gal., vinyl liner

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: TA test question

    What was your FC before adding the bleach to the pool yesterday (Sunday)?
    I'm not sure you have algae. What made you think it was algae? Is it growing on the sides or just in the bottom?
    You should do an OCLT (overnight chlorine loss test) to determine whether you have organics consuming the FC or not.

    Post a new set of test results.

    To get your TA down you let the pH raise up to 7.8 or so and use muriatic acid to lower it to about 7.2. By doing that you're also lowering your TA. Allow the pH to raise by aeration. You can help it along or just let it rise on it's on.

    You need to settle yourself to the fact that as long as you have a pool you're going to have to test and add chems as required. Once you get the TA down it'll get easier but you shouldn't be fretting about it now. Just check the FC and pH every day and adjust as required.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: TA test question

    Because we had rain and I didn't get the test the chlorine Saturday, by the time I tested it yesterday it was 0. No, the powdery stuff doesn't appear to be growing, but it is thick on the bottom and the slant at the bottom of the wall. It vacuums up easily, but just reappears when I'm done vacuuming. We do have several trees near our pool.

    The problem with using the muratic acid is that we added over two gallons and it still only lowered our TA to 190. I will take a new complete test today and post the results, but the TA has never been below 190. It did the trick for lowing our pH, but as I said earlier, it is right back up to 8.2 or above.

    I do realize that owning a pool means keeping check and adding chemicals, but as of now, it has yet to be a "trouble free pool"!

    One thing I also should mention is that we do have well water that has sulfur and is very hard water. Could this be the reason we are having so much trouble with our TA and pH?

    Thanks,

    Gina333
    AG pool 18x33 ft., 52 in. deep, 15,700 gal., vinyl liner

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: TA test question

    At a TA of 190 it's just going to take a while to get it down. Your fill water could be part of the problem. Do you know what the TA of your fill water is?

    You'll get there, it just takes a while to get everything balanced out sometimes. You won't be starting from scratch next year either so don't feel that you're wasting your time. Don't stress about the TA too much. Just keep after it and it'll come down.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/╝hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
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    Re: TA test question

    I would second Dave's suggestion you do the overnight test tonight. It is described in Pool School, but in short form after dark tonight check your Chlorine level and tomorrow morning before the sun hit's the pool check it again. If you have a drop of more than 1.0 then your chlorine is killing organics and you should shock with bleach. If your loss is less than 1.0 then you do not have to shock. The reason you were asked to test the CH is if it is too high the water may be cloudy. Next time you do your testing do the CH test as well and report your numbers. While your at it, go ahead and test your fill water and post those numbers as well. I would check the CH before I spent to much time on the TA because, if your CH is high there are only two ways to lower it - drain and refill or have someone do reverse osmosis on your water. Either one of these will significantly change the TA. As for the TA what you need to know is that when you reduce PH with acid you also reduce the TA. Likewise when you raise PH with chemicals you raise the TA. But, if you use aeration you can raise the PH without raising the TA. Hence the way to get the TA down is to lower PH to 7.2 and the aerate the water until the PH goes back up to 7.8 and then repeat the process until eventually the TA is where you want it. The way I do it is to turn my return up and let the water break the surface. If you have a waterfall or make a homemade aerator that will work as well. So in summary - 1. Be sure that your PH level is OK. 2. Make sure your Chlorine level is OK. 3 Do the overnight Chlorine loss test. 4 Test your CH. 5. Test your fill water. 6. Post all your numbers and give us the result of the overnight test. Dave or others will send you in the right direction. Once you get the water balanced and sanitized the pool will only take a few minuets a day.
    Larry in Texas

    Above ground 7,700 gallons, 19 inch sand filter ( 2 sq. ft.), Liquidator, and a WaterWay Hi-Flo Pump with an A.O. Smith 1 hp SF 1.0 motor.

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    Re: TA test question

    Here are my numbers:

    Pool water:
    FC 7.5
    pH 8.2+ (off the test kit)
    TA 200
    CH 400
    CYA 40
    Fill water:
    FC 0, pH 7.2, TA 340, CH 400

    Should I not shock tonight and test to see what the FC IS IN THE MORNING? thanks for all your help!
    AG pool 18x33 ft., 52 in. deep, 15,700 gal., vinyl liner

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    Re: TA test question

    I would not shock tonight. I would do the overnight test - you want to know what CL loss you have when there is NO sun on the pool. I would add MA tonight to bring it down to 7.2. Dave or others who know more than me might suggest you go ahead and shock, but I don't think you need to until you know what your loss is tomorrow morning. If you loose 1.0 or more then start shocking with bleach. Stay away from the Cal-Hypo because that will drive your CH up. Since your fill water has a CH of 400 and you have a vinyl pool which is not as sensitive to CH as plaster I would suggest you not worry with it. However, I would work on the TA by lowering the PH with acid and raising it with aeration and repeating until you get it down. It may take a week or two to get the TA down, but it will happen. Once your TA is down and the water is clear you may want to consider adding Borates ( see article in further reading in Pool School) to help stabilize the PH. I am sure your will receive some good advice from others when they see your numbers.
    Larry in Texas

    Above ground 7,700 gallons, 19 inch sand filter ( 2 sq. ft.), Liquidator, and a WaterWay Hi-Flo Pump with an A.O. Smith 1 hp SF 1.0 motor.

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    Re: TA test question

    Larry gave you good advice. As I said earlier don't stress too much about the TA. By adjusting the pH down every time it gets high the TA will come down. It's not something you have to fight unless you have scaling issues but you're not having those.

    Post the numbers from this morning and we'll know if you need to shock.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: TA test question

    Gina,

    On Thursday your pH was reported at 7.1 - 7.2. Then on Monday, your pH was at 8.2+. It is surprising that number changed like that in such a drastic fashion. Do you have any idea why it changed?

    This may not sound relevant to your questions but it is. Your primary concern should be about pH (then FC). What did you add or change in your pool to make the pH move that much in a short period of time?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: TA test question

    Dave, all we've done is swim and add bleach. There are several trees to one side of the pool and debris does get in it. But that's it. I was puzzled by that, too. In a course of two days we added over just over two gallons of MA. As you saw, the pH was good so we stopped adding. Is there any danger to the filter unit or the pool to add so much acid? It just feels wrong to be putting so much of a volital substance in a pool we swim in. Anyway, my chlorine level this morning is 6. So I will shock it again. From what I read to shock it is to add enough bleach to get FC to 12 ppm? Is that best? Thanks yet again for your help!!

    Gina333
    AG pool 18x33 ft., 52 in. deep, 15,700 gal., vinyl liner

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    Re: TA test question

    Don't be in too big of a hurry to shock until you get a good handle on that pH. It really needs to be stable around 7.4 or so. What is your pH this AM? Have you added muriatic (which is totally harmless once it's in your pool). Give us some input on the pH and then you can start the shcok process.

    I am late to this thread.....how does your water look? Have you read the "ABC's of Pool water Chemistry" in Pool School? Have you read "How to shock your pool" up in Pool School?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: TA test question

    Oops, it's too late! I added (2) 96 oz. jugs of bleach this morning to get the chlorine up to 12 ppm. Yes, I did read the pool school. In fact I've read so much in the past that my brain is cramped!

    I hope I've haven't messed anything up by shocking this morning. I will be able to go get muratic acid this afternoon. We used all we had last week. We were adding it at 1 quart per hour and rechecking after each hour. We have been just pouring the quart right in front of the intake jet. Can we add more than a quart at a time or should we stick with that?

    I will go out and check the pH now and post the results.


    Thanks,

    Gina
    AG pool 18x33 ft., 52 in. deep, 15,700 gal., vinyl liner

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    Re: TA test question

    pH is still 8.2 or above, because the pink on the kit look deeper than the highest measure of 8.2. I'll wait to hear from you before I add any muratic acid. I should hopefully be able to get that around 1:00 today and start putting it in.

    Gina
    AG pool 18x33 ft., 52 in. deep, 15,700 gal., vinyl liner

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: TA test question

    You're pouring it in front of the return that's shooting water out into the pool right?

    You can pour as much as it takes in to the pool by pouring it slowly in front of the running return. According to the Pool Calc you need 3 quarts of 20┬║ baume (31.45%) muriatic acid to get it to 7.4 pH. I'd suggest you add it as soon as you can.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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