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Thread: Keeping pH in check with low Total Alkalinity

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    Join Date
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    Coral Springs, FL (near Ft. Lauderdale)
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    Keeping pH in check with low Total Alkalinity

    I started maintaining my own pool using the BBB method a few months ago when we fired our pool guy and the pool has never looked better. My problem is rising pH, likely due to the spa overflowing into the pool. Here are this morning's numbers:

    FC: 2
    CC: 0
    pH: 7.4
    TA: 50
    CH: 250
    CYA: 40
    Borates: 50
    Water temp: 86 F

    I keep a floater with a trichlor puck in the pool to maintain chlorine levels. It is just me and my wife and we swim on the weekends, so the pool sees no use during the week. We live in S Florida and the afternoon thundershowers fill the pool regularly, which I drain to maintain an appropriate level, so there is a lot of new rain water being added regularly. The pH always seemed to rise when I had my Total Alkalinity at 80-100. and I was adding a lot of acid. I recently lowered TA to 40 and it rose to 50 in the past few days, I assume due to rain water. According to the Pool Calculator, my CSI is -0.48, not lower than -0.6, but close. Just want to be sure I am on the right path to keeping my pH in check. Obviously I will continue monitoring the TA for the next few weeks and see if it goes back up. Thanks!
    15x30 inground concrete pool w/spa and spillover, all under screen enclosure
    Hayward C1200 StarClear Plus Cartridge Filter and Hayward Navigator V-Flex
    Jandy AquaPure 1400, Laars LX400 propane heater w/120 gal above-ground tank
    Jandy VS FloPro 2.7 HP Pump VSFHP270JEP; FlowVis FV-C Flow Meter
    Jandy iAquaLink and OneTouch controller w/PDA remotes; JVA for draining pool

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    susa's Avatar
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    Oct 2010
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    Re: Keeping pH in check with low Total Alkalinity

    At some point the trichlor will overpower the CYA level so you will have to make changes. Some people on the forum use automation, myself included, to maintain the pH. In my case I simply swap out a new muriatic acid bottle from home depot about every 2.5 weeks and dial the control to desired setting.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Keeping pH in check with low Total Alkalinity

    Yes, it sounds like you are on the right path. Between the lower TA, and the trichlor tablets, you shouldn't have any more problems with the PH drifting up. If anything, there is a risk that your PH might tend to go down now given the trichlor tablets.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: Keeping pH in check with low Total Alkalinity

    You may find your PH is more stable at a higher level. Most of us assume that if PH rises from 7.2 to 7.6 in a week it will go to 8.0 the next week. This isn't necessarily true.

    Since you are using Trichlor (which is acidic) and have lowered the TA it sounds like you have a lot of aeration. Any way to cut the amount of time the spa spill over runs?
    16K Gal Plaster | Compupool SWG | Intelliflow VF | TF-100

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    duraleigh's Avatar
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    Re: Keeping pH in check with low Total Alkalinity

    You may find your PH is more stable at a higher level. Most of us assume that if PH rises from 7.2 to 7.6 in a week it will go to 8.0 the next week. This isn't necessarily true.
    lightningguy brings up an excellent point that I would like to emphasize. Many non-SWG pools seems to find a sweet spot for pH and stabilize. Mine seems to like 7.8 for quite a long time before it goes on up to 8.0 and then I bring it down to 7.3-7.4.

    You won't hurt your pool a bit if you let it go on up to see if it can find that sweet spot....just monitor it carefully when it gets close to 8.0
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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