I have an issue similar to a recent post about quickly rising pH. I didn't want to piggyback but I'm obviously paying attention to any responses to that thread as well.
Here are my numbers from this morning's final test with my TF-100 kit:
No problem, right? However, this was after testing earlier in the morning and applying my daily or at least every other daily dose of bleach and muriatic acid per the poolcalculator.com (bleach and acid added ~20 minutes apart, testing done 30 minutes later).
Here are my results from two days ago 7/30 (same time of morning) after balancing the water and then from this morning before adding chems:
FC 8 -> 2
CC 0 -> 0
TC 8 -> 2
pH 7.4 -> 8.1
TA 80 -> did not test early morning
CH 270 -> did not test early morning
CYA 45 -> 45
Temp 89 -> 87
My pool story:
We recently had a complete pool renovation done. The pool is about 16 years old and had the original plain white plaster. We've been in the house for ~8 years. My previous method of maintaining the chems in the pool was to use 3in tablets in a floating chlorinator and indiscriminately throw 1 bag of 'shock' every other week. I used Leslie's tabs and either Leslie's Power Powder Plus or their 4in1 (or is it 3in1?) powder for the shock. I wasn't picky about what I used for the shock (bought on sale) although I was somewhat aware that each one did add either cyanuric acid or calcium which would eventually mean I would need to drain the pool. About 5 years ago, we started having issues with yellow algae. After doing at least 3 'pool store recommended' treatments with lots of shock and YellowOut (which were successful at keeping the yellow algae away for about 1.5 months), I started using PhosFree (again, on recommendation from the pool store to keep the yellow algae from coming back). I'd pour one capful a week (6oz?) into the skimmer.
To be honest, contrary to all I've read on this site now, I had ~5 years of absolutely no issues with pool chemistry which made me think the pool store's recommendations weren't so bad. The chemicals I did add were not terribly expensive given the amounts I needed (yes, PhosFree is expensive but I would buy on sale and only used a capful per week). I'd test CL every other week and might have to open or close the floating chlorinator a bit based on the results. I'd test ph, and Alk once or twice a month and they never moved much at all. I long for those days...
Fast forward to now....all pool equipment and plaster/tile/coping have been replaced. Plain white plaster has been replaced with Riverbend Sandler's (local pool builder...not sure if they are national) 'riversand' product which I believe is equivalent or similar to PebbleTec's pebblesheen (basically a pebble surface but smaller pebbles). I figured I ought to learn how to take care of the new plaster which lead me to troublefreepool.com and the wealth of information here (as well as getting a TF-100 kit). I definitely like the idea of keeping it simple and inexpensive (BBB method) but so far it has been anything but that...
Reading pool school and these forums, I have been pretty much beaten into submission about the idea that I am going to have to add bleach pretty much every day if I want to keep using bleach as a sanitizer. I might be ok with that if I didn't also need to add acid almost every day and baking soda 1-2 times a week to keep ph and Alkalinity in check.
I am aware that new plaster will cause pH to rise but I'm just not sure if adding acid every day is normal. And of course adding acid every day is causing my alkalinity to creep lower so I end up adding baking soda 1-2 times a week. I am testing the water between 1-3 times a day just to keep up with To be fair, I am quite paranoid about screwing up the new finish or the new pool equipment so I am probably going overboard with the testing. But is this frequent addition of acid and baking soda normal?
I've been reading on the other threads about pH rise being caused by too high of alkalinity and that alkalinity will find some kind of sweet spot. But how low is too low for alkalinity?
Two other items of note
1. I mentioned the new pool equipment above because the returns in my spa (combo pool/spa) seem bubblier than they used to be which might be affecting my pH.
2. I have three returns in the pool (and four in the spa). I installed 2 PVC 'pool coolers' this weekend and ran them for ~24 hours and blocked the third return (spa jets unchanged). I assume the pool coolers/fountains will also affect pH although the data above is representative of what I had before they were put in as well. Even if it does cause pH to rise faster, it is worth it as it lowered the pool temp by at least 5 degrees which makes swimming much more enjoyable. Pretty impressive!
Also, couple of questions about testing:
1. Where should I collect the sample?
For years, I have been sticking the bottle down at the return which allows the bottle to fill up quite quickly. However, the sample bottle I recently got from the pool renovation company's supply store has a note on it to collect from 12-18 in deep away from the returns. So I've started doing that (collecting away from returns), this does seem to affect the sample somewhat (mostly alkalinity).
2. When dropping multiple drops from the test kit bottles, does it matter if I drop 10 drops at a time versus 1 drop at time?
It seems to make a fair difference in the results. For example, if I have a pretty good idea that my CL is going to be close to 8 based on what I recently put in, I might drop 14 drops of the R-0871 FAS/DPD bottle, swirl, and then drop one drop at a time until the solution turns clear. By experimentation, it seems that I can be 'off' by almost 1.5 ppm CL depending on if I drop/swirl/drop every drop vs. dropping a large amount at one time. This obviously applies for other tests like the CH test where you always drop 20 drops of the R-0010. It wouldn't make sense to me in that case to drop/swirl/drop each time but please let me know the 'correct' way.
Sorry for the long-winded first post. I've been doing a lot of reading but am looking for confirmation that I'm on the right track...