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Thread: question about adding chemicals

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    question about adding chemicals

    Hello. I'm on my first year of opening my pool, and my water is green. I know I need to bring my cya up and essentially balance my water to ensure my chlorine is working properly. My question is, how long in between adding one chemical do I need to wait to add another? IE if I put stabilizer in, how long do I wait to add borax and then baking soda etc. I'm new to this all. I bought a kit last year and will be doing a test tonight when I get off of work. There aren't enough hours in the day, and I'm ready for my water to be clear like yesterday. Thanks!!
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    Re: questoin about adding chemicals

    In most cases, you want to wait 30 minutes to an hour between chemical applications. The idea is you want to get the previous application fully dissolved/integrated before adding another, to prevent any unexpected(or undesirable) interactions.
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    Re: questoin about adding chemicals

    The general purpose rule is to wait an hour between adding different chemicals. However, that is conservative, and there are several exceptions (both shorter and longer).

    For the specific chemicals you mentioned, there isn't really any waiting period, except to verify the effects of the previous addition. You can add CYA, baking soda, and borax directly after each other without delays. However, it is often worth waiting the hour anyway and testing between additions. Borax and baking soda will both raise both the PH and TA. For small additions this really doesn't matter, but when making larger shifts it is best to do one at a time, wait an hour, then retest to see where you are, and continue adjusting from there.

    The effects of adding CYA are slower to take effect, so no real point in waiting to measure the effect before adding other chemicals. In fact, it is best not to try and measure the CYA level for a week afterwards, since CYA occasionally takes that long to fully dissolve. CYA will lower the PH, again depending on how much you add this may or may not be important.
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    Re: questoin about adding chemicals

    at lunch i think i made a mistake. i was going to test my water and add some ph, but i had never used the tf-100 before. all of this stuff makes me feel so stupid, and like i have to be a chemist to use it. anyways, i could figure out the kit and so i put in some borax and TA increaser. so after going back to work to research the test kit, i come home and test for ph....it's at least 8.2 so now i',m concerned that i'm feeding my algea and that i can't start my shock treatment tonight. i'm scared of the acid you have to use to decrease ph....i'm feeling like the guy who wants to fill their pool with dirt. and that's after having it less than a year. HELP!!
    Location: Burlington (Central), NC
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    Re: questoin about adding chemicals

    The high pH is not feeding the algae, but it could put you at risk of scaling so you need to get the level down before you start shocking since the pH test is not valid for FC > 10.

    The way I add acid is to put most of the bottle in the water, with the opening above the water and then slowly pour it into the pool in front of a return jet. The bottle kind of floats there so you do not have to hold it up and there is also no splashing of the acid entering the water.
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    Re: questoin about adding chemicals

    The key is to remain calm and be methodical. It is easy to make a mistake in a calculation, or measurement, or have an incorrect estimate of the pool size, or any of several other confounding factors. That is why we say to test, adjust, and test again. If you make a mistake you go back and correct it.

    If the PH reads 8.2, be sure to bring it down below 8.0 as soon as practical. Remember that the PH test will read levels above 8.2 as 8.2, so it might take more acid than anticipated to correct the PH. As always, test, adjust, test again, and repeat until you hit the right number.

    Once you get a little more experience with it, this will all come naturally. For now, take your time and only adjust one thing at a time. With a little practice you should be able to hit your goals the first time, or at least come quite close.
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    Re: questoin about adding chemicals

    you guys make it sound so easy. so is there one product that is better than another at bringing down the ph? and again, can i put it in and retest an hour later, or should i wait long?
    Location: Burlington (Central), NC
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    Re: questoin about adding chemicals

    The easiest is Muriatic Acid. See here:
    pool-school/recommended_pool_chemicals

    Can be found at HD, Lowes, pool stores, etc ... around here come in a box with 2 gallon jugs.
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    Re: questoin about adding chemicals

    alright i went to home depot and the actually had ph down in their pool section. so i just got some of that. it may be more expensive, but i felt more comfortable with it. the bottle said wait 2 hrs. before testing again so i have another hour or so. it's raining now, i don't no if that affects anything or not. i just tested some water i had sitting out to get to room tempature for cya and i think it's okay. around 60-70, but i know that pool school says beginners usually get a higher rating. so if my ph is good later, i'm assuming i'm okay to start my shocking, which i'll wait to do until tomorrow i suppose. thanks for the help, and keep checking on me.
    Location: Burlington (Central), NC
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    Sand Filter Hayward Pro Series Model S244T 300 LBS
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    Re: questoin about adding chemicals

    As jasonLion said in another thread, you must get VERY methodical and dose your pool carefully and precisely. You should reread Pool School over and over until it makes more sense to you. You added TA "increaser" but you don't say why you did that. You asked for help finding another product to lower pH but you chose a different product....not the one suggested. That makes it tough for us to help you.

    Don't put anything in your pool unless you know what the outcome will be. This stuff only seems hard at first but you must get more precise in the way you approach it or it will stay VERY difficult.
    Dave S.
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    Re: questoin about adding chemicals

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    As jasonLion said in another thread, you must get VERY methodical and dose your pool carefully and precisely. You should reread Pool School over and over until it makes more sense to you. You added TA "increaser" but you don't say why you did that. You asked for help finding another product to lower pH but you chose a different product....not the one suggested. That makes it tough for us to help you.

    Don't put anything in your pool unless you know what the outcome will be. This stuff only seems hard at first but you must get more precise in the way you approach it or it will stay VERY difficult.

    When I first saw this I felt like the kid who got his wrist slapped at school. But going back to reread all my post, you're absolutly right. I did ask a direct question and then went against what was recommended. I can see how that would make it hard on you guys. I apologize.

    I'm getting more used to the TF-100 thanks to Jason's great instruction thread. The ph in my pool is down to 7.8, so I put a little more down in this morning. TA is good, but I'm not even sure that matters at this point. And to answer your question, I'm not sure why I put that in. I've not read anything that says I need to get that right before starting my bleach. I think I was just frustrated and didn't want to feel like I had wasted my lunch....stupid I know. But I think things are looking up. Not sure about the cya test I did last night because I just reread where that could take up to a week to register and it was a little over 24 hours last night. But other than that, I feel pretty good. If my ph is down a little lower at lunch today, could I start my bleaching tonight?
    Location: Burlington (Central), NC
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    Sand Filter Hayward Pro Series Model S244T 300 LBS
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    Re: questoin about adding chemicals

    First, take a moment and relax. You'll be fine and get through this. I know its a lot to take in at first, but its not rocket science and the folks here are willing to help people get there.

    I was going to mention something in my original post, but I cut it out to keep it succinct. I'll state it now. Its best to work on one thing a time, especially when your new. By fixing one thing at a time you reduce the variables and keep things simple. As you've discovered with the TA increaser and the borax, when you adjust more than one thing at time you can get unexpected results. In this case both the TA increaser and borax increased the TA and the pH.

    Go ahead and do all the tests. Do then one at a time, take your time, follow the directions in the test kit, review the extended directions on this forum, ask questions if you don't understand something. Don't worry about feeling dumb, all of us started there. When your done please post the results. We can help you develop a plan of attack to correct problems and walk you through it.
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    Re: questoin about adding chemicals

    gcates,

    No need to apologize. I am often a little too harsh with newbies but it sounds like you are quickly getting on track and we'll help you finish it up and get your water crystal clear.

    If my ph is down a little lower at lunch today, could I start my bleaching tonight?
    Yes.

    1. No need to retest your pH it will be fine and you won't need to test again until your shock process is finished

    2. This is gonna' take a LOT of bleach. As soon as you think you have enough on hand, go get some more it is best if you don't run out.

    3. How much CYA did you put in the pool? Did you have a target you were shooting for? That will determine your initial dose of bleach.

    4. Have you found how to use the Pool Calculator? You will need it for your bleach dosages. (There will be many)
    Dave S.
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    Re: questoin about adding chemicals

    Thanks for all the kind words. I put in a 5 pound bottle of stabilizer almost 48 hours ago...I realize that is probably not enough. My ph was still too high at lunch, but one thing I didn't think about before was I put the ph down in and about ten minutes later walked by the filter and noticed the pressure was high and that I needed to backwash. So I wonder if that may have affected things. That or I read the test wrong this morning. It was early and the sun wasn't as bright as it was today at lunch. I know I need to go to the store and get more bleach....I've only got about 7 1.42 gallon bottles. I've tinkered with the calculator and think I have a good grasp on it.

    I've switched to the one thing at a time approach and my nerves have calmed down. I now have confidence that I can get through this. Saying all that, it looks like it's gonna be Friday before I can hit the bleach. I'm off and I've set aside all day Friday and Saturday to tackle this. I'll try to do a full test tomorrow and post the results so that you guys can help me. Thanks to all for the advice!!
    Location: Burlington (Central), NC
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    Re: questoin about adding chemicals

    Well, stocking up and preparing for battle is one of the smartest things you can do. Trying to work on the shock process when you don't have enough time (or bleach) can be very frustrating and often ends up with poor results.
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    Re: question about adding chemicals

    So I didn't come on her and post this last night because my wife was worried about my mental health and felt like I should just forget about things for the night....but I got home from work last night and my pump/filter had completely stopped working. We had a thunderstorm just before and I wonder if something was struck by lighting. Either way I felt like this So I called my pool store and he said he would come out this morning sometime to take a look. I've been working so hard to try and get the water right so I could take care of this over the weekend and now I may be out of commission!!

    I tested and my ph is still way too high, at least 8.2. I need to go back to home depot, and this time I'll get the liquid acid you guys were talking about.
    Location: Burlington (Central), NC
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    Re: question about adding chemicals

    Just to let you know, HD might sell the acid in two different strengths. The full strength acid, 31%, might be sold in the paint department, and the half strength is sold in the pool department. It depends on which store you go to and it isn't uniform. If you use the 1/2 strength acid make sure your calculations account for the weaker acid.
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    Re: question about adding chemicals



    So I don't know wether to be angry or grateful, as you can see I'm leaning towards angry!! So apparently my pool guy came out today, and he got my pump runnings and fixed a couple of spots where the liner had come out of the track that I was having a hard time with. Good right? Well, it appears he's put some chemicals in my algea pool also. We talked about the fact that there was algea in the pool but I didn't ask him to put anything in it. I just went to do all my test to bring the numbers back to you guys, and the chlorine was off the charts. I've called and left him a message to call me so I can find out excatly what he did, but at this point I have no idea. I've been working hard all week to get this ready for tomorrow morning. Not sure what to do.

    Also, went to do the FC & TC test and I don't have any R0001 or R0002 in my TF-100. Jason's instructions says I need those. I'll go try and test and come back.
    Location: Burlington (Central), NC
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    Re: question about adding chemicals

    DOH!!! Hopefully it was just some liquid chlorine and not any dichlor / cal hypo. He may have just given you a bit of a head start.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: question about adding chemicals

    You need the R0001 and R0002 for the DPD test ... the TF-100 does not have that test. You want to follow the directions in the FAS-DPD test in the next post down.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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