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Thread: Does BBB really make since when bleach raises PH so much?

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    Does BBB really make since when bleach raises PH so much?

    Does BBB really make since when bleach raises PH so much? I'm just saying if your using bleach your PH problem is needing to lower it. Maybe some places don't have this problem but I also have a spa with couple falls into the pool which only adds to my rising PH problem. BBM? Also maybe since my gunite pool only 9 months old the plaster still adding to problem. Adding something to raise PH when adding bleach just not something I'm thinking about.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Does BBB really make since when bleach raises PH so much

    Bleach doesn't actually raise your PH very much at all. Or more technically, it raises the PH temporarily, but when the chlorine you just added gets used up the PH goes down to almost exactly as low as it was to start with. There is some minuscule net PH change from using bleach, usually too small to measure.

    Waterfalls, on the other hand, raise the PH, sometimes quite dramatically, depending on how high your TA is, the size o the waterfall and how long each day it gets run. Waterfalls raise the PH more quickly the higher your TA is.

    And, as you said, paster that is less than a year old also raises the PH.
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    Re: Does BBB really make since when bleach raises PH so much

    As I noted in this post in response to your other thread, it is your hybrid approach where you are using Trichlor and therefore needing a higher TA that makes it more difficult to then later use bleach because the higher TA causes more carbon dioxide outgassing which makes the pH rise. As Jason noted, aeration can accelerate such outgassing and he also noted the curing of plaster which is like adding calcium hydroxide as a base to the pool that makes the pH rise and requires Muriatic Acid to lower it.

    BBB does not mean you literally regularly use bleach, borax and baking soda. In fact, one only regularly needs to use bleach (or chlorinating liquid) and on occasion some acid (assuming you keep your TA level lower). If you use Borax, then that's usually a one-time dose (along with Muriatic Acid) to get to 50 ppm Borates, though by itself it can be used to raise pH but as you point out that is not normally needed when using bleach. You wouldn't normally need to use baking soda. The origin of the term BBB came from examples of grocery store equivalent chemicals to what is offered in pool stores as chlorinating liquid (or other forms of chlorine), ProTeamĀ® Supreme, and Alkalinity Up. While you are using Trichlor, the TA will drop slowly over time so you could use baking soda to raise the TA and you could use Borax to raise the pH.

    Perhaps this table may be helpful for you to figure things out for what happens over time:

    Product/Process ...... pH .... TA .... CH .... CYA
    Higher TA .................. + ...... 0 ....... 0 ....... 0
    More Aeration ............ + ...... 0 ....... 0 ....... 0
    Plaster Curing ............ ++ ... ++ .... + ....... 0
    Trichlor Pucks/Tabs ... -- ..... -- ...... 0 ....... +
    Dichlor ....................... - ....... - ........ 0 ...... ++
    Cal-Hypo .................... 0 ....... 0 ....... + ....... 0
    Bleach ......................... 0 ....... 0 ....... 0 ........ 0
    Chlorinating Liquid ..... 0 ....... 0 ....... 0 ........ 0

    The above shows the net effects assuming that any added chlorine is consumed/used either by breakdown from sunlight or from oxidizing ammonia or organics, both of which are acidic processes so net pH of hypochlorite sources of chlorine is roughly pH neutral (slightly increasing pH from excess lye). This recent thread shows how a much lower TA led to pH stability, but in that case it is lower than would be recommended or needed to protect plaster (that particular pool is fiberglass).
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    Re: Does BBB really make since when bleach raises PH so much

    Centex,

    the important thing to take away from this is bleach can be considered pH neutral.

    There are several other issues at play causing your pH to increase but bleach is not the culprit.

    I have used it every summer for seven years or so and I NEVER see an increase in pH (other than temporary) from it's use. Thousands of others here on the forum have the same experience.
    Dave S.
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    Re: Does BBB really make since when bleach raises PH so much

    Quote Originally Posted by Centex
    ... Also maybe since my gunite pool only 9 months old the plaster still adding to problem...
    Bingo!

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    Re: Does BBB really make since when bleach raises PH so much

    Thanks for all the reponses. My PH rises about .1 per day so when it gets up to 7.8 I knock it back down to 7.4 or 7.5. So adding MA more than once a week. Currently my TA is 110 but thinking the constant adding of MA will gradually lower it, why I bumped it to higher side of suggested range 80-120. My CH is 275 and CYA about 25-30. Got some better testing kits last month where I could more actually follow my CL levels and amazed how little CL I'm losing in the winter. This is why switched to manual/bleach this time of year, don't need a clorinator to keep CL levels. Some days I lose none for several days which surprised me a little. I really like the TFT kit, before I could not tell what CL was when it was greater than 3 with the other kits. Recently I bumped it up to 4.5 and even with 25/30 CYA it sticking at 4.5 going for 3 or 4 days. I'm not going to bump it as much next time. So still leaning the seasonal changes completing my first year.

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