Hello TFP! First post, but have been reading a bit for several weeks now....amazing resource. As much as I am online in other forums Lord knows why I didn't seek online help last year (first season with pool)
Needless to say, I'm both overwhelmed as well as extremely impressed with the knowledge and expertise I've read so far. So on to my question...
Pool specs are in sig. I'm still using my basic 4 way test kit....I hope to order the TF100 this next week. Pool store does free tests and after last season I don't feel bad having them test it while I move to BBB
Last season it seemed like I constantly had a high pH. I turned everything on @ 2 weeks ago-starting from total swamp- and started right off with BBB. 3-4 days later I was basically crystal clear. At this point I started experimenting on the amount of bleach to add each evening which would leave me with FC of 2 the next evening. So far I've found that if I add bleach to get to FC 6 (using pool calculator) I'm pretty close to 2 the next evening. Problem is that I would adjust pH to 7.5 prior to adding bleach, only to find it at 8 or more the next evening.
TA was running @ 110 (according to cheapo 4-way kit), which is ok but the high school chemist in me kept thinking that if I would adjust this a little lower, it might help hold the pH a little better. So using the method outlined in pool school, I lowered pH to 7.2 and aerated with the spa blower for a day. Worked extremely well...maybe too well, as my TA went to 60. pH did not vary much at this point. I've measured 7.6 for the last 3 days, while TA has ever so slowly crept up to 70.
So today I finally get to the pool store for a proper test, here's their results:
FC=3.8 (sample pulled this morning, @ 10 hours earlier than I have been testing so this jives)
TA=75 (Adj. Total Alk=69)
So they tell me I'm very "acidic" which didn't make sense to me since my pH is 7.7. I asked her and she pointed to the TA and said that it was way too low. Their instructions were to add a cup of muriatic, wait 1 hr, then add 2.5 lbs of bicarb, wait 2 hrs and then add 1.75 lbs of stabilizer.
I nodded, picked up some acid and stabilizer....now I'm here. Because of my pH problems tending to be 8 or above, I'm hesitant to just add a bunch of baking soda. But I'm admittedly new, and even though I've only known of TFP for a few weeks my trust in advice definitely resides here. I know my CYA is low, and I need to add that. But what, if anything should I do about the TA and pH? What about the order of addition? Does that matter here?
Thanks in advance!
(quick shot of the pool this afternoon)