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Thread: New to pool - adjusting pH and TA

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    New to pool - adjusting pH and TA

    Just moved into a house which has an inbuilt in ground pool. I have never owned a pool before and trying to learn the chemistry portion of maintaining the pool.
    I ran a test yesterday (using Pool Master kit) and here are chemical numbers
    - Total Chlorine: 5
    - pH: 8.5
    - Total Alkalinity - 50

    I had a local pool company come in today to walk me through Pool 101 (equipment etc). We also chatted about pool chemical levels and the technician recommended to get the TA level up first by using baking soda and then work on pH levels.

    - From the little I have read so far, will adding baking soda increase my pH level drastically? Any other recommended chemicals?
    - How do I get Chlorine level low? (for last 1 week i have not added any chlorine and chlorine floater are empty) (we get little sun at this time of year in Nortwest)
    - Any other hints on getting started here

    Pool Specs:
    - Pool Size: 28000 gallons
    - Above Ground Pool (plastered)
    - Sand Filter
    - 20 year old pool
    - Round spa next to pool with water falling out of spa into pool (likely 2 feet drop)
    - Location: North west (50 degrees with no sun and little rain here and there)


  2. Back To Top    #2

    Re: New to pool - adjusting pH and TA

    Pool water is very clear right now, and the pump is running 11 hrs everyday.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Silver Spring, MD

    Re: New to pool - adjusting pH and TA

    Welcome to TFP!

    I would lower PH first, and then raise TA, but it doesn't make a huge difference either way. Baking soda will only raise the PH just a little bit.

    The TC test you are using probably maxes out at 5, showing anything above 5 as 5. Sunlight (if you ever get any) will bring the FC level down in any outdoor pool reasonably well, you just haven't seen it coming down since the test showed the initially really high level as 5.

    I strongly recommend getting a top quality test kit. It is impossible to tell what is really happening without good test results. The FAS-DPD chlorine test, included in all of the kits we recommend, will read FC levels up to 50.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Howell, NJ

    Re: New to pool - adjusting pH and TA

    Yes, a good test kit is essential. The TF-100, and Taylor K-2006 are recommended. They can be bought at
    7 year old ~13,500 gal 24' AGP with 1.5 hp Proline pump, 150 sqft Pleatco cartridge, filled with well water with pH of about 4.5.
    Wanda the Whale pool vacuum, home made heater, Taylor K-2006
    Cloudy Pool? 1) Order test kit. 2) Follow SLAM
    New to TFPC? Read Pool School a few times, then post questions. PoolMath will help with chemical additions.

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    Smykowski's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Gurnee, IL (North Suburban Chi-town)

    Re: New to pool - adjusting pH and TA

    Unfortunately, FC (and TC) means nothing without knowing your CYA levels. Take a look at the getting started articles in pool school. Those will help build the foundation, then you can really start asking the questions you didn't even know to ask.
    33' round, 23,000 gal AG vinyl , 1HP 2spd PowerFlo Matrix downsized with 3/4HP impeller (X2), Hayward S180T 150# sand filter (X2), Hayward H250 NG heater Pool Store year 1 - $850 for 2 months; Pool Store year 2 - $440 for 2 months, TFPC year 1 - $170 for 4 months; TFPC year 2 - $95 for 4.5 months
    The most important article on this site - The ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Re: New to pool - adjusting pH and TA

    Thanks to you all. Just ordered a taylor kit

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