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Thread: Can I, or should I adjust ph before opening?

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    Can I, or should I adjust ph before opening?

    In anticipation of opening the pool in a couple of weeks, I took a water sample from the pool today and tested it. I have a mesh safety cover, so I have drained snow and rain out of the pool several times over the winter, so the chemical concentrations being pretty diluted were not unexpected. The numbers are:

    Chl 0
    FC 0 (of course)
    CC 0 (ditto)
    ph 6.8
    TA 20
    CYA 10 (this is a guess, based on some turbidity in the specimen, but could still see the dot with the vial full)
    Borate 30
    Ammonia 0
    NaCl 1270

    I am paranoid about damaging the copper heat exchanger, and am wondering if I should dump a couple of boxes of borax into the pool to bring the ph up so that I don't have acidic water moving through the exchanger when I open. If I did it, I would just open up a corner of the cover and dump the borax in. Is this a bad idea? Unlikely to dissolve or might damage the vinyl liner? Or am I worrying too much, should just relax, and add the borax on opening day and the ph will come up quickly enough that no damage to the exchanger will be done?

    Also, is there any benefit or harm to shocking the pool now, prior to opening up?

    As always, advice is very much appreciated.
    ~23,000 gallons 18' x 36', sand filter 62 gpm, IG, vinyl, Sta-Rite 1hp pump, SWG Circupool RJ-30, Indianapolis

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    May 2007
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    Re: Can I, or should I adjust ph before opening?

    In general you don't want to add chemicals unless you have the pump running. Without the pump things won't mix together properly and the levels can get way out of balance in the local area where you added something.

    Your heater will be fine as long as you take care of the PH in the first day or two after turning on the pump.

    Since your TA and PH are both low you will want to start by raising the TA, then retest PH, and finally adjust the PH from there.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Oct 2009
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    Re: Can I, or should I adjust ph before opening?

    Test again once the water is circulating, then go from there.
    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
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    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Port Neches, Tx.
    Posts
    144

    Re: Can I, or should I adjust ph before opening?

    If I was paranoid about the heater I'd put a bypass around it, or is that not a good idea.
    When I took the cover off last weekend the ph was low in our pool but it came up during shocking this week. I had to bring the TA up a little bit also so that may have helped.
    Noob Here!
    24' Above Ground
    Aquatrol SWG
    1 1/2 hp pump, sand filter

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    Re: Can I, or should I adjust ph before opening?

    Thanks for all the help guys! I'll relax, stop worrying, and have a tasty adult beverage.
    ~23,000 gallons 18' x 36', sand filter 62 gpm, IG, vinyl, Sta-Rite 1hp pump, SWG Circupool RJ-30, Indianapolis

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