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Thread: Pool store says TA is too low

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    Pool store says TA is too low

    Hi _ I am new to the forum. Just installed a new in-ground pool this season. 29,000 gallons, roughly 18x 44 lazy-L. Using cartridge filter, and in-line chlorinator, with a Frog mineral pack.

    Am targeting a lower Chlorine level - i.e. .5 ppm.

    My question is what is appropriate TA level ?

    Had my water tested at 82 degrees, and my results are currently as follows:

    TDS: 200
    CYA: 31
    Tot Chlorine: .5
    Free Chl: .5
    Ph: 7.6
    Total Alkalinity: 75
    Adj. Total Alkalinity: 66
    Total Hardness: 184

    From what I'm reading here at the forum, it seems all these readings are ok, but I was told I need to raise my TA to around 100 by pool supply house. To me it seems odd to raise TA to that level with PH at 7.6, as I understand adding sodium hydrogen carbonate will also drive up Ph, and then I have to add yet another chemical to bring Ph back down again.

    What's the real deal here ? Is this TA too low, and what do I gain by raising it to 100 ?
    Lazy-L Pool, vinyl liner, 29,000 gallons, 8 ft deep end, 18'ft wide, ~46' on longest side. 796 total square footage. Hayward 250kbtu heater, Hayward Cartridge filter, in-line chlorinator,Bioguard 1" silk Tabs. Hayward 2 speed 1.5 hp pump. Solar cover.

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Pool store says TA is too low

    Hi, welcome to TFP! Your TA is fine at 75 if you are not seeing wide swings in your pH. Usually the only good reason to adjust TA is to get a more stable pH balance.

    You may want to research the effects of the Frog and other mineral based systems on pool surfaces and sanitation. It can be a very expensive system to maintain and the pool can develop stains due to some of the metals over time. It is essential to maintain the chlorine at the recommended level at all times. Allowing the FC to drop below the recommended level will give viruses and bacteria a chance to grow inside the pool. The mineral systems are sold as an alternative to chlorine or to allow you to have very low levels of chlorine in the water. The minerals alone will not sanitize the water and their algae killing/preventing properties are moderate at best.
    I am giving you this information up front since many of our members will read that you are using a mineral system and want to tell you all the reasons why you should not. There are plenty of threads from former mineral system users that you can read for more information about their experiences. Just do a google search at the bottom left of this page and it will pull up links to several threads.
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Pool store says TA is too low

    I agree with zea3, those frog systems are just problems waiting to happen. While most of you levels look fine, I would be concerned with the FC being too low. For a CYA of 30ppm, we recommend 2ppm as a absolute minimum. Granted the metal in your water may allow you to get away with lower than that at the risk of staining and green hair.

    Is there a reason you are trying to maintain such a low FC level?
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Pool store says TA is too low

    TA at 100+ makes a lot of sense if you are using trichlor tablets, but causes lots of problems if you are using a SWG. You appear to be using trichlor tablets, and if you are going to continue doing so you should raise your TA to the 100 to 120 range. Trichlor is fairly acidic, and higher TA levels help keep that acidity from causing problems.

    On the other hand, we don't recommend using trichlor tablets routinely, as they are constantly raising the CYA level, which will eventually cause problems.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Pool store says TA is too low

    Thanks all for the suggestions. I will research the Frog. I'm certainly not married to it, and it was the pool installer who recommended it. (perhaps to sell me a mineral pak each season, which aren't cheap.) The only reason too I was targeting .5 ppm chlorine was bc again the pool company suggested, and said it can be kept that low with the mineral based system. Certainly if it causes issues down the road, I have no problem abandoning it. I'm very new to this and just trying to learn. Our water does feel soft and is quite clear thus far after starting up the pool on July 20th. It wouldn't be hard at all to raise FC to 2 or 3.

    They sold me Bioguard's Maintain 100 pak, as a way to increase TA. (Its sodium hydrogen carbonate) $32 for a 25 lb bag. Suggested I start with adding only 6 lbs or so at a time. And going up to 15 lbs total as needed. But it sounded like that is at the risk of spiking PH.

    My PH has been very steady thus far even after a couple of rains, at least as far as using strips and a phenol drop kit that I have.

    I've been reading the pool school info here, and absorbing the info. as fast as I can. Steep learning curve, but this is one of those situations where if it "ain't broke, don't try to fix it" might apply. Our water is crystal clear so far, but I guess that could change. Thanks again for all of the quick responses.
    Lazy-L Pool, vinyl liner, 29,000 gallons, 8 ft deep end, 18'ft wide, ~46' on longest side. 796 total square footage. Hayward 250kbtu heater, Hayward Cartridge filter, in-line chlorinator,Bioguard 1" silk Tabs. Hayward 2 speed 1.5 hp pump. Solar cover.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Pool store says TA is too low

    At a minimum, start keeping your FC above 2ppm at all times so the water stays clear.

    If you start using liquid chlorine, your TA is fine.

    Posted from my Droid with Tapatalk ... sorry if my response is short
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Pool store says TA is too low

    Quote Originally Posted by zbigkid
    They sold me Bioguard's Maintain 100 pak, as a way to increase TA. (Its sodium hydrogen carbonate) $32 for a 25 lb bag.
    That is baking soda, just costs more.

    I too would encourage you to discontinue using the the pool frog. No need to add metals to your water, you still need a sanitized (chlorine) and a properly chlorinated pool will stay algae free.
    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: Pool store says TA is too low

    Thanks again for the suggestion on FC. I'll target it to at least 2 ppm. Also, I'm ordering the test kit Taylor 2006 so I can get a handle on this chemical stuff right away.

    I just read a bunch of threads on the Frog. (doesn't sound too good). I only use their mineral pak, but sounds like I should dump it before it adds too much in the way of metals. Its only been active since July 20th.

    So if I take out the mineral pak out now, and leave the Frog empty, am I ok with using the Bioguard 1" Silk Tablets in my in-line chlorinator while raising FC back to 2 ppm ? Or do I need to go to the BBB method right away ? I'll be using the pool until probably around 3rd week of Sept if it stays warm enough here in Chicago-land. I've been told there is no copper in this mineral pak, and it should last from July 20th for the rest of the season (Normally can use for 6 months according to the pool installer/store).
    Lazy-L Pool, vinyl liner, 29,000 gallons, 8 ft deep end, 18'ft wide, ~46' on longest side. 796 total square footage. Hayward 250kbtu heater, Hayward Cartridge filter, in-line chlorinator,Bioguard 1" silk Tabs. Hayward 2 speed 1.5 hp pump. Solar cover.

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Pool store says TA is too low

    Quote Originally Posted by zbigkid
    Also, I'm ordering the test kit Taylor 2006 so I can get a handle on this chemical stuff right away.
    I would recommend the TF-100, since you get more reagents and Dave (username: duraleigh) has really fast shipping.

    Quote Originally Posted by zbigkid
    am I ok with using the Bioguard 1" Silk Tablets in my in-line chlorinator while raising FC back to 2 ppm ?
    If your cya is truly 31, you can probably use a few more tablets. The problem I see is that pool stores tend to be very inconsistent on measuring cya. If it was my pool, I would switch over to bleach/liquid chlorine, at least until your kit comes and you can test accurately for cya.
    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: Pool store says TA is too low

    Ok. I'll order the TF 100 kit from Dave. I just made the donation to become a TFP lifetime supporter. Worth it for all the info. I've already learned here. Just to doublecheck, I'm presuming this is his web-site http://tftestkits.net/Test-Kits-c4/ ?
    Lazy-L Pool, vinyl liner, 29,000 gallons, 8 ft deep end, 18'ft wide, ~46' on longest side. 796 total square footage. Hayward 250kbtu heater, Hayward Cartridge filter, in-line chlorinator,Bioguard 1" silk Tabs. Hayward 2 speed 1.5 hp pump. Solar cover.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Pool store says TA is too low

    that is correct. Jason should send you a code for a discount on the kit since you became a supporter ... If you were not aware of that

    Posted from my Droid with Tapatalk ... sorry if my response is short
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Pool store says TA is too low

    After adding sodium bicarbonate, how long does it take to see TA rise and when should I take a new measurement ? I'm looking to take it from 75 up to 100.
    Lazy-L Pool, vinyl liner, 29,000 gallons, 8 ft deep end, 18'ft wide, ~46' on longest side. 796 total square footage. Hayward 250kbtu heater, Hayward Cartridge filter, in-line chlorinator,Bioguard 1" silk Tabs. Hayward 2 speed 1.5 hp pump. Solar cover.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Pool store says TA is too low

    Should register within an hour after it has dissolved I believe.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
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    Re: Pool store says TA is too low

    Definitely rely on the TF-100, don't ever listen to the pool store. Do your research here. I believe you've come to the same conclusion.

    Just as an example of the products they push you to buy:

    Sodium Bicarbonate is $6.68 for 13.5lbs at my local Sam's Club

    Don't trust the pool store's CYA result. Wait for your kit before adding any stabilizer.
    Aaron
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    Re: Pool store says TA is too low

    Just to comment on the frog system
    This is the first year i am not using the frog mineral pack or the chlorine tab inserts after 14 years and my water quality is excellent and have no staining this year. I will not use the frog system again
    24K gal, plaster, concrete decking, cantelivered coping, 20 years old, raised attached stone spa - 1 1/2 HP purex triton pump, 3 yr old 48 sq ft Pentair DE filter with multiport, Polaris 380 w/pump, 2 yr old Pentair mastertemp 400k heater - live in southeastern PA outside phila.

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