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Thread: Help! Leslie's mistakenly calculated for 275,000 gallons!!

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    Help! Leslie's mistakenly calculated for 275,000 gallons!!

    Hello everyone! Please help with advice. I took a sample of water to Leslie's swimming pool service. They mistakenly put into their computer calculator that my pool had 275,000 gallons instead of 27,500 gallons - gave my son 5 5-gallon buckets of alkilinity up to put in which he did. next day, I discovered the problem and took another sample back to leslie's who have told me i must now add 20 gallons of hydrochloric acid to fix the problem! This sounds dangerous to me but I am not a chemist. They have apologized and are giving me all the chemicals for free but I wonder if it is safe to add so many chemicals to my pool. Would it be better to drain my concrete pool and just put fresh water in? Thank you so much for any advice. Much appreciated.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Help! Leslie's mistakenly calculated for 275,000 gallon

    Welcome to TFP!

    You do need to add a huge amount of acid, but you do not want to do so all at once. You don't want the PH going below 7.0 at any point. Very low PH can damage the pool. You lower the PH to 7.0 and then wait for it to come back up, and repeat. You can speed up the rate at which the PH comes back up by aerating the pool. The complete procedure is spelled out in the Lowering TA article in Pool School.
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Help! Leslie's mistakenly calculated for 275,000 gallon

    Obviously if you had your own test kit and understood the chemistry this would not have happened and you would not have wasted money on 5 buckets ... they refund that too?

    Sorry that sounded more harsh than intended. There are reasons we avoid pool stores ... this is kind of a new one.

    Posted with Tapatalk ... sorry if I sound short ... hate typing on phone
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Help! Leslie's mistakenly calculated for 275,000 gallon

    Thank you both so much. Yes, they will refund the 25 gallons of alkilinity up as well (thanks to very nice manager -not so nice owner kept blaming me for putting it all in at once. sigh.) Anyway, do you guys both think this is safe? Will these chemicals disappear - do they react and turn into something different or will that hydrochloric acid be sitting in my pool swirling around with the alkilinity up? Thanks so much. I really appreciate your help. You are right that I should own my own kit - I would have avoided this whole problem. Gwen Swett

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Help! Leslie's mistakenly calculated for 275,000 gallon

    It depends on what kind of acid you use and what your pool surface is. TA increaser and muriatic acid essentially cancel each other out, with no significant side effects. But dry acid leaves sulfates behind. Sulfates aren't a big deal unless the level is rather high and you have a plaster pool or use a SWG. The quantities you are talking about would probably get you into the rather high levels area.
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    Re: Help! Leslie's mistakenly calculated for 275,000 gallon

    That much baking soda will raise the TA by about 650 ppm. Assuming that you only wanted to raise the TA by 65, you will need to lower the TA by about 585, which will require about 32 gallons of acid (a little at a time).

    In a very limited number of areas, there is a reverse osmosis treatment service that can remove excess bicarbonate.

    What is the calcium hardness level?

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    Re: Help! Leslie's mistakenly calculated for 275,000 gallon

    I'm sorry - I don't know the calcium hardness level. I am just feeling very, very uneasy about using so much hydrochloric acid. I am worried that they are wrong and miscalculated again. I am worried that I don't know what byproducts will be left in my pool. I think I'm leaning toward just biting the bullet and draining my pool and filling it back up. I have the money to do that so I'll probably do that. Thanks so much for spending your time thinking about my problem. I really appreciate it. Gwen Swett

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Help! Leslie's mistakenly calculated for 275,000 gallon

    Add your pool details in your signature.

    There are risks to draining your pool depending on the type and construction. Liners can be ruined and concrete pools can literally float out of the ground.

    You may be able to get away with a few smaller drains if that is the route you want to go ... did they give you 32 gallons of acid? Not sure what you would do with all that. You should definitely get something out of the pool store for this hassle.

    Order one of the recommended kits now and be better prepared in the future.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Administrator Leebo's Avatar
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    Re: Help! Leslie's mistakenly calculated for 275,000 gallon

    Honestly, depending on your pool size and how long you've listened to the store there's a good chance (if your cya or calcium levels are high) that we would suggest that anyways.

    Any chance you have a full set of test results?

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    Re: Help! Leslie's mistakenly calculated for 275,000 gallon

    I'm no expert but would he better off draining about 60% of the water, refilling, retesting then go about adjusting. Seems it would be easier and safer.
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    Re: Help! Leslie's mistakenly calculated for 275,000 gallon

    The Acid will react with the Sodium Bicarbonate (Also known as Baking Soda or Alk Up) to create - Salt, Carbon Dioxide and water. There really isn't anything scary about the reactions. You'll want to add the acid slowly so that you don't crash the PH and make the water too acidic. Add enough acid to bring the PH down to 7 or so, wait a few days for the PH to rise - rinse and repeat.

    Of all the things one could mistakenly add to a pool in large quantity - Alk Up is one of the least dangerous. Currently your pool has an annoyingly high TA - which will cause the PH to rise faster than you'd like and perhaps cause problems with calcium percipitating out onto the pool surfaces - but these are fairly slow processes. Your PH is probably high at the moment as well - but the very first addition of acid is going to adjust this into range.

    Obviously Muriatic acid is very powerful and can be dangerous in it's concentrated form - but there is no need to worry about the acid lingering in the pool for years to come - it turns into salt.
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