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Thread: pH limit to swim?

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    pH limit to swim?

    What is the lower limit for pH me getting into a pool to work on algae? is 7.0 too low for skin and suits? We have a mask to protect eyes but I don't want to damage lips or skin!

    I need to adjust TA and also try to kill black algae spots and I think in view of the short time limit, I will spend a few hours adjusting TA. So I'll push pH down to 7.0 - 7.2 and aerate with a fountain. No time to waste, so we will at the same time be scrubbing the spots with a trichlor tablet. Once I get the TA down a bit, somewhere near to where I can leave it if we run out of time, then we will shock the heck out of the pool for the BA.

    I have to be very careful for little kids will be in this pool in 7 days and I only have 3 to do my part of the work. The friend who owns the pool will lower the FC and adjust the SWG when I am gone, hoping that is something she can learn.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: pH limit to swim?

    Not sure why you want to go all the way to 7.0, but it wont hurt you.
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    aa62579's Avatar
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    Re: pH limit to swim?

    He/she is trying to get to 7.0 as part of the process to lower his TA.

    7.0 is technically pH neutral, so it is not going to damage your skin. The pH of our eyes is closer to 7.4, so at 7.0 you might experience more burning.

    FWIW, I have been doing the MA cycle to bring down my TA as well and I find that my pH does not stay long in the 7.0 range. It quickly gets back up to 7.2 - 7.3. Not sure how bad your TA is, but I don't know if it is something that can be "fixed" in a few hours.
    ~~ Allison ~~
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    dmanb2b's Avatar
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    Re: pH limit to swim?

    7.2 is lower limit as far as eye comfort

    7.0 is recommend for lowering TA as it speeds up the overall process some, but not essential
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    Re: pH limit to swim?

    After the last time I visited and brought CYA from 0 to calculated 30, kids swimming days later had issues with burning lips and when pool co arrived they found pH "sky high". So adjusting TA and SWG setting may be more important than killing BA.

    I have maybe more than 48 hrs to get whatever can be fixed done, can't expect pool co to fix anything.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: pH limit to swim?

    Quote Originally Posted by aa62579
    He/she is trying to get to 7.0 as part of the process to lower his TA.

    7.0 is technically pH neutral, so it is not going to damage your skin. The pH of our eyes is closer to 7.4, so at 7.0 you might experience more burning.

    FWIW, I have been doing the MA cycle to bring down my TA as well and I find that my pH does not stay long in the 7.0 range. It quickly gets back up to 7.2 - 7.3. Not sure how bad your TA is, but I don't know if it is something that can be "fixed" in a few hours.
    Yes I undestand that. Just not the reasoning of all the way to 7.0
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    aa62579's Avatar
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    Re: pH limit to swim?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brushpup
    Yes I undestand that. Just not the reasoning of all the way to 7.0
    The farther you lower it, the faster you will start to lower pH. 7.0 is a nice, safe, place to lower it to. The pH will quickly start to climb back up.

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    ~~ Allison ~~
    Intex 18' x 48" Easy Set Pool, approximately 5455 gallons
    Krystal Clear 1500 GPH Filter Pump Model 56635EG - 635 with Auto Timer
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    aa62579's Avatar
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    Re: pH limit to swim?

    Quote Originally Posted by anonapersona
    After the last time I visited and brought CYA from 0 to calculated 30, kids swimming days later had issues with burning lips and when pool co arrived they found pH "sky high". So adjusting TA and SWG setting may be more important than killing BA.

    I have maybe more than 48 hrs to get whatever can be fixed done, can't expect pool co to fix anything.

    Are you testing your pH daily?
    Even with a lot of aeration, my pH was only rising .2 per day. If yours was similar, theoretically, you could lower it to 7.0-7.2 the night before and you should be able to get 2-3 days of swimming in before the pH gets back up too high. You don't have to get the TA fixed in 24 hours.

    As an FYI, the only time I have had skin issues was shortly after adding CYA. I am thinking it was dispersed out of the sock, but the particles were not fully dissolved and we were getting higher concentrations in contact with out skin. I have had to add CYA twice, and it was only 1-2 days each time that we had the skin irritiation. Nothing while most of the CYA was still in the sock and nothing after it had fully dissolved.
    ~~ Allison ~~
    Intex 18' x 48" Easy Set Pool, approximately 5455 gallons
    Krystal Clear 1500 GPH Filter Pump Model 56635EG - 635 with Auto Timer
    BBB FOR BEGINNERS ~ THIS IS A MUST READ FOR ANYONE OVERWHELMED!!

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    Re: pH limit to swim?

    never thought of CYA as an irritant. Good to know.

    Arrived to find FC 0, CYA 50, TA 150, pH 8.2+, SWG on at 100%. Grass floating and sunk in pool.

    TA 150, really want to drop that near 70 to keep pH more stable.
    Decided to get FC up some, 16, then get in and scrub with SS brush. Then go to full shock 20 FC. Darling husband is picking with a toothpick at it now. Too much.

    My choice would be to shock the pool for days and days but if it is swim season, they have g-kids & guests every few days. Pool co tests with Taylor OTO only it seems. They said pool was fine YESTERDAY.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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    aa62579's Avatar
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    Re: pH limit to swim?

    I don't know if it is an irritant or not. It just happened both times that I added the sock of CYA and had not happened at any other time.

    Might want to get you some Muriatic Acid and add a good dose in between doses of bleach.
    ~~ Allison ~~
    Intex 18' x 48" Easy Set Pool, approximately 5455 gallons
    Krystal Clear 1500 GPH Filter Pump Model 56635EG - 635 with Auto Timer
    BBB FOR BEGINNERS ~ THIS IS A MUST READ FOR ANYONE OVERWHELMED!!

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    Re: pH limit to swim?

    When FC is above 10, pH is not reliable. So now that shock has begun, no more acid.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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    aa62579's Avatar
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    Re: pH limit to swim?

    You could use your pH reading from when your FC was 0 to tell you how much was needed. Meant a one time addition.

    For a 22K gallon pool with a pH of 8.2 and TA of 150, the pool calculator tells me you would need to add around a gallon of muriatic acid.
    ~~ Allison ~~
    Intex 18' x 48" Easy Set Pool, approximately 5455 gallons
    Krystal Clear 1500 GPH Filter Pump Model 56635EG - 635 with Auto Timer
    BBB FOR BEGINNERS ~ THIS IS A MUST READ FOR ANYONE OVERWHELMED!!

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    Re: pH limit to swim?

    Did exactly that at the start. Reduced TA to 130, needto do better before we're done.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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    Re: pH limit to swim?

    As described in this post, pH from 7 to 9 isn't particularly irritating to the eyes. It's more the low salt levels in the water if you keep your eyes open a lot. Chloramines of course are irritating.
    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: pH limit to swim?

    Quote Originally Posted by aa62579
    I don't know if it is an irritant or not. It just happened both times that I added the sock of CYA and had not happened at any other time.
    Thanks for the heads up on the CYA. I checked the Pool Calculator and found that the amount we need to add will drop pH by nearly a full 1.0. Had we followed the package directions to lower pH first to 7.4 that would have been an issue for us in the pool at the time.

    With that info we added half of the CYA and saw the pH drop just as expected. We ran the fountain for awhile to raise the pH back up and after we were mostly out of the pool we added the other half of the CYA.

    Fortunately, no kids in the pool for 4 or 5 days now, so all that CYA that fell out of the stockings will have a good chance to be dissolved. I sure hope that there is no irritation at that point.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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