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Thread: High PH, High TA, High CH, Low CL, Low CYA-what to do first?

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    High PH, High TA, High CH, Low CL, Low CYA-what to do first?

    I'm giving the pool maintenance a try since my husband who only really focused on the FC level using HTH test strips. We could never get our FC to register on the test strips (said 0) unless we added a Trichlor puck or shocked it. I have obtained a Taylor K-2006 test kit.

    Our pool water is sparkling clear; our test results have some issues though...

    On July 10, I tested with the Taylor K-2006 and received these test results:
    FC: 1 (A Trichlor puck was added plus a shock treatment on July 6 since we were going to be out of town for the weekend and didn't want to return to a green pool. SWG was not run during this time.)
    CC: .5
    PH: over 8 (wouldn't register on test)
    TA: 425
    CYA: under 30 (wouldn't register on test)
    CH: 800 (kept getting purple result so had to mix with distilled water)

    After getting these results on July 10, we added a gallon of Muriatic Acid to lower PH and TA and then started the SWG. Our CH is so high that our SWG can only run for about 12 hours and it stops with 91 low salt alarm. Since our FC is always low, we try to run it in 12 hour spans but we need to clean it after each cycle. Since our FC was so low and we had at least 100 water boatman bugs swimming in the pool, I threw a Trichlor puck in the skimmer (July 10).

    On July 11, I added 1 lb of CYA to the skimmer basket directly.

    I didn't have time to do a full CYA test so I used a test strip and didn't see any change in CYA. PH was down to 6.8 according to the test strip.

    Water boatman are all dead now--not a single one there. Yeah!!

    Today, at 10 AM, I added another 1/2 lb CYA in a sock in the skimmer basket. By 4:00 I was able to get it all dissolved in the sock.

    I tested today at about 5 PM and these are my results:
    FC: 5.5 (with 1 Trichlor tab--only ran SWG one 12 hour cycle on July 10
    CC: 2
    PH: 7.4
    TA: 400
    CYA: under 30 (wouldn't register on test)
    CH: 800 (didn't retest)

    I just don't know where to go from here? Should we be shocking with bleach since the CYA just doesn't seem to move? Is my CH of 800 so high we should forget about trying to use a SWG?

    Thank you for your help!!!!!
    6700 gallons; 18"x52" round Intex vinyl above ground, Intex 2,650-Gallon Sand Filter Pump, Intex SWG, 0.95 horsepower pump; 2,650 gallons per hour; put up June 1, 2012, Intex Saltwater CS8110

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    Re: High PH, High TA, High CH, Low CL, Low CYA-what to do fi

    Here's my NEWB opinion, do NOT follow my advice. I am putting this post out there to see if I've got everything down.

    1) Make sure your CH test results are good, that is way high and only partial drain/fill can fix that. If you need to do a partial drain/fill then no use starting to shock now or address other issues
    2) You need to follow the shocking process described in pool school with your FC and CC levels.
    3) Your TA levels are way high but can be dealt with following pool school of lowering pH and aeration but at those levels it's going to take a lot of muratic acid and time. Make sure the drops are fully formed, the TA titrant can be subject to static electricity producing much smaller or empty drops. Wipe with damp paper towel every few drops to make sure you're getting nice big and FULL drops.

    In my totally NEWB opinion, and it is only that, an opinion and not direction to do anything I say...you need to do a partial drain/fill to take care of CH (which should help with your TA depending on fill water), then start shocking and getting your CYA up.

    I say again, do not do what I'm saying, this is NEWB opinion only. For sure re-test your CH and maybe test again, it can be a difficult test to reach end point so read the extended test instructions here.
    extended-test-kit-directions-t25081.html
    18x36 inground vinyl lined, Hayward sand filter and tablet chrolinator, approx 18k gallon

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: High PH, High TA, High CH, Low CL, Low CYA-what to do fi

    Welcome to tfp, lyn37

    Another Minnesotan, we will be the majority on tfp

    Quote Originally Posted by lyn37
    I have obtained a Taylor K-2006 test kit.


    Quote Originally Posted by lyn37
    Should we be shocking with bleach since the CYA just doesn't seem to move?
    Not having cya show up in test and needing to shock are unrelated.

    From what I have read, you have added 1.5 lbs of granualr stabilzer which should have raised your cya level to about 24 ppm...plus the trichlor you have put in. Do you know how many pucks you have put in? Stabilizer can take up to a week to show up in the test.

    Quote Originally Posted by lyn37
    Is my CH of 800 so high we should forget about trying to use a SWG?
    It is high, but if it isn't causing any problems, then you can live with it. Problems would include cloudy water, scaling on surfaces and build up on the swg plates. My guess is that the "shock" you have used is calcium Hypochlorite?

    To use the swg with that high ch, may require lower TA and keeping you ph level down around 7.2. You will not know until you run it for awhile though.

    Since you water is clear, you may not need to do the shocking process. To see if you need it, I would run an Overnight Chlorine Loss Test (OCLT). I would bring your FC up to 10 ppm to do the test.
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    Re: High PH, High TA, High CH, Low CL, Low CYA-what to do fi

    Thanks for the input! Regarding draining the pool---since this will only be up for two more months and then taken down for the winter, we really do not want to drain it and refill.
    6700 gallons; 18"x52" round Intex vinyl above ground, Intex 2,650-Gallon Sand Filter Pump, Intex SWG, 0.95 horsepower pump; 2,650 gallons per hour; put up June 1, 2012, Intex Saltwater CS8110

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    Re: High PH, High TA, High CH, Low CL, Low CYA-what to do fi

    Quote Originally Posted by lyn37
    Thanks for the input! Regarding draining the pool---since this will only be up for two more months and then taken down for the winter, we really do not want to drain it and refill.
    That's why you don't listen to me and listen to the experts.
    18x36 inground vinyl lined, Hayward sand filter and tablet chrolinator, approx 18k gallon

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    Re: High PH, High TA, High CH, Low CL, Low CYA-what to do fi

    I think linen missed your CC of 2, which indicates that you DO need to do the shock process.

    Quote Originally Posted by spidey07
    2) You need to follow the shocking process described in pool school with your FC and CC levels.
    Follow the shock process in Pool School.
    TFP Moderator TF100 Test Kit TF100 TestKit YouTube Channel PoolMath
    You're done SLAMing when:
    1)You lose 1ppm or less FC overnight, & 2)You have .5ppm CC's or less, & 3)your water is clear.

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    Re: High PH, High TA, High CH, Low CL, Low CYA-what to do fi

    Quote Originally Posted by Butterfly
    I think linen missed your CC of 2, which indicates that you DO need to do the shock process.
    I sure did! Thanks BF (and spidey too)
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    Re: High PH, High TA, High CH, Low CL, Low CYA-what to do fi

    Quote Originally Posted by linen
    Another Minnesotan, we will be the majority on tfp


    Quote Originally Posted by linen
    Not having cya show up in test and needing to shock are unrelated.
    I wondered if algae/bacteria were "consuming" it.

    Quote Originally Posted by linen
    Do you know how many pucks you have put in?
    We put in 6 pucks

    Quote Originally Posted by linen
    My guess is that the "shock" you have used is calcium Hypochlorite?
    Yes it is, we have added 3 bags. 1 of those was a "super shock"

    Last night I added enough bleach to bring it to 12.5 PPM; this morning I tested and it is 11.5 PPM. CC didn't change at 1.5 PPM.

    I noticed the water boatman are back. They left after adding the muriatic acid and are back now. The PH was 6.8 5 days ago when they left and now it is 7.7. We have only ran the SWG for 12 hours during that time since we keep getting a low salt error and the salt level is fine. How does the PH increase that much if we aren't using the SWG and we have only swam in it twice?

    I appreciate the help!!!!!
    6700 gallons; 18"x52" round Intex vinyl above ground, Intex 2,650-Gallon Sand Filter Pump, Intex SWG, 0.95 horsepower pump; 2,650 gallons per hour; put up June 1, 2012, Intex Saltwater CS8110

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    Re: High PH, High TA, High CH, Low CL, Low CYA-what to do fi

    Hi lyn37 and welcome to TFP!
    Your high TA is causing the pH to swing up a lot.
    You need to continue to add muriatic acid, lowering your pH to 6.8-7.0
    Then airerate the water to raise the pH back up until you get back up 7.8 of 8.0, test TA again, do the cycle all over again to continue to lower TA.
    Lowering to 130-120 would be a lot better.

    Mine was 170 and pH kept going up, lowered TA to 100 and problem fixed, my pool stays pegged at 7.5 all the time, even when the pool is full with wild kids!

    Chuck
    Swim n Play 21' round, expandable 72" liner, 6FT deep center, buried 14", 12,750 Gallons
    Waterway 1HP-2 speed with 22" Sand filter
    TF-100 test kit
    Thanks to TFP my pool is perfect all the time :party:
    I now suffer from Sparklypoolitis! :whoot:
    I am a Platinum contributor because I want everyone who comes here to Trouble Free Pool to have the same success that I enjoy with my pool and family.

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    Re: High PH, High TA, High CH, Low CL, Low CYA-what to do fi

    Since my last post, I have added bleach to keep the FC level up and the CC level under .5 PPM. I used muriatic acid to lower the PH and aerated the pool. I have stopped aerating today and I added water to the pool.

    Here are my latest results:
    FC: 8.5
    CC: under .5
    PH: 7.4
    TA: 120
    CYA: before adding the water today it was 50-60
    CH: 800 (didn't retest) It's high but since this is a seasonal pool we will just deal with it.

    I'm really happy with the results and thank this forum for having the information I needed! I seem to have noticed a coorelation between pH level and the water boatman. I haven't found the magic number yet but it is somewhere between 7.0 and 7.3. They leave or die when our pH is around that level.

    We have disconnected the SWG so I am hoping the pH stabilizes now.
    6700 gallons; 18"x52" round Intex vinyl above ground, Intex 2,650-Gallon Sand Filter Pump, Intex SWG, 0.95 horsepower pump; 2,650 gallons per hour; put up June 1, 2012, Intex Saltwater CS8110

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    Re: High PH, High TA, High CH, Low CL, Low CYA-what to do fi

    Well, I was thinking 80-120 was the recommended TA level but just looked at the recommendations page and now I see it is 70-90. I will probably continue aerating...

    I would like to get the water boatman out of the pool so if I have the pH lower than recommended (like at 7.0-7.3) will that cause any problems?

    Thanks!
    6700 gallons; 18"x52" round Intex vinyl above ground, Intex 2,650-Gallon Sand Filter Pump, Intex SWG, 0.95 horsepower pump; 2,650 gallons per hour; put up June 1, 2012, Intex Saltwater CS8110

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    Re: High PH, High TA, High CH, Low CL, Low CYA-what to do fi

    Quote Originally Posted by lyn37
    Well, I was thinking 80-120 was the recommended TA level but just looked at the recommendations page and now I see it is 70-90. I will probably continue aerating...
    I wouldn't continue aerating now, just let you pool find it's sweet spot now. Since you are going to try to maintain lower ph, you will be adding MA often (most pools do not regulate that low of ph), and that will drive down your TA.

    Quote Originally Posted by lyn37
    I would like to get the water boatman out of the pool so if I have the pH lower than recommended (like at 7.0-7.3) will that cause any problems?
    If you do not consistently go below 7, it should be fine. Let us know how your experiment goes.
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    Re: High PH, High TA, High CH, Low CL, Low CYA-what to do fi

    Ok, thanks. I'd prefer not to keep buying muriatic acid to lower pH but will do it if it helps.
    Any other suggestions on how to get rid of the water boatman. They don't bite we just prefer not to have them in the water.
    6700 gallons; 18"x52" round Intex vinyl above ground, Intex 2,650-Gallon Sand Filter Pump, Intex SWG, 0.95 horsepower pump; 2,650 gallons per hour; put up June 1, 2012, Intex Saltwater CS8110

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    Re: High PH, High TA, High CH, Low CL, Low CYA-what to do fi

    I thought that I read that having borates (50ppm) helps with that...maybe someone will chime in.

    Chuck
    Swim n Play 21' round, expandable 72" liner, 6FT deep center, buried 14", 12,750 Gallons
    Waterway 1HP-2 speed with 22" Sand filter
    TF-100 test kit
    Thanks to TFP my pool is perfect all the time :party:
    I now suffer from Sparklypoolitis! :whoot:
    I am a Platinum contributor because I want everyone who comes here to Trouble Free Pool to have the same success that I enjoy with my pool and family.

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    Re: High PH, High TA, High CH, Low CL, Low CYA-what to do fi

    Will adding borates make the water boatman leave?
    6700 gallons; 18"x52" round Intex vinyl above ground, Intex 2,650-Gallon Sand Filter Pump, Intex SWG, 0.95 horsepower pump; 2,650 gallons per hour; put up June 1, 2012, Intex Saltwater CS8110

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    Re: High PH, High TA, High CH, Low CL, Low CYA-what to do fi

    Quote Originally Posted by lyn37
    Will adding borates make the water boatman leave?
    Some people have said it does...making sure you maintain a proper FC level (for your cya level) sometimes can also prevent their presence.
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    Re: High PH, High TA, High CH, Low CL, Low CYA-what to do fi

    Check around for the muriatic acid - I use a lot of it! Found it at the "rural king" for 3.99/gallon --- it's over $11 at the hardware store. BIG difference.
    Vogue Vectra 30' Round (21,200 gallons), Waterway 2HP 2-speed, 27" sand filter - TF100 -- Southern IL - Install 06/2012
    Last minute upgrade from 27' due to error in dealer inventory *yikes*

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    Re: High PH, High TA, High CH, Low CL, Low CYA-what to do fi

    Quote Originally Posted by lyn37
    Ok, thanks. I'd prefer not to keep buying muriatic acid to lower pH but will do it if it helps.
    With an swg, you most likely will need to lower your ph occasionally. If you don't like to use Muriatic Acid, you can use dry acid (sometimes called ph down) from the pool section (or pool store). It is more expensive but works fine.
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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