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Thread: Vinegar to Lower pH

  1. #1
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    Vinegar to Lower pH

    This is purely hypothetical, not something I would actually try, but could distilled vinegar actually be used to lower pH? If so, what other side effects would it have?Would it effect any other readings (TA, etc)?

    Again, not something I'm actually considering - just an idle thought.
    ~15k gal IG pebble pool/spa w/ water features, Goldline ProLogic + SWG, 2x Hayward Northstar pumps, Hayward Booster Pump, Hayward 60sqft DE filter, 400k BTU Hayward heater, Hayward Viio Turbo pool cleaner, TF100 test kit

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    Re: Vinegar to Lower pH

    Household vinegar is fairly diluted at only 8%. It's acetic acid which is a weak acid, but with a pKa of 4.76 that's low enough below pool pH that it behaves much like a strong acid in terms of lowering the pH, but of course takes a lot more volume of it to move the pH since it's so diluted -- because of molecular weight differences, Muriatic Acid which is 31.45% Hydrochloric Acid is (31.45 * 60.05) / (8 * 36.46094) = 6.5 times more concentrated on a molar basis than household vinegar. Unlike Muriatic Acid that just leaves chloride ion leftover, Vinegar leaves acetate ion so an organic molecule. Though it doesn't react readily with chlorine, we generally don't add extra chemicals to the water that aren't needed.

    [EDIT] In addition to lowering the pH, it would lower the TA in the same way as Muriatic Acid since the pKa is so low. Technically, it increases TA if you add enough of it though I'm not sure it would be that measurable -- the TA test measures chemicals that accept a proton down to a ph of around 4.5 so the acetate ion may be at least partially measured as TA. [END-EDIT]
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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    Re: Vinegar to Lower pH

    Probably wouldn't make the pool smell all that good either.
    10K gallon IG gunite with waterfall; Pentair CC320P filter; WhisperFlo 2 HP pump
    TF Test Kits - Pool Math - Pool School
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    Re: Vinegar to Lower pH

    Would it do anything to CH?
    ~15k gal IG pebble pool/spa w/ water features, Goldline ProLogic + SWG, 2x Hayward Northstar pumps, Hayward Booster Pump, Hayward 60sqft DE filter, 400k BTU Hayward heater, Hayward Viio Turbo pool cleaner, TF100 test kit

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    Re: Vinegar to Lower pH

    No. CH is Calcium Hardness and acetic acid has no calcium. It's just a simple organic acid.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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    Re: Vinegar to Lower pH

    Yeah, I knew it wouldn't *raise* it, but I wonder if it would lower CH. I'm just thinking of how you can use it to remove scaling
    ~15k gal IG pebble pool/spa w/ water features, Goldline ProLogic + SWG, 2x Hayward Northstar pumps, Hayward Booster Pump, Hayward 60sqft DE filter, 400k BTU Hayward heater, Hayward Viio Turbo pool cleaner, TF100 test kit

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    Re: Vinegar to Lower pH

    If what you are getting at is removing scale then this is the proper process: http://www.troublefreepool.com/ascor...ins-t2298.html. Post a full set of test results and we can help.
    TFP Moderator 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: Vinegar to Lower pH

    No no, this is all just idle speculation - I don't even own a pool (yet)

    I'm thinking if you can use vinegar to remove limescale off of kitchen items, would it "remove" calcium from the water (ie lower CH)?
    ~15k gal IG pebble pool/spa w/ water features, Goldline ProLogic + SWG, 2x Hayward Northstar pumps, Hayward Booster Pump, Hayward 60sqft DE filter, 400k BTU Hayward heater, Hayward Viio Turbo pool cleaner, TF100 test kit

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    Re: Vinegar to Lower pH

    Well, then the answer which has already been stated...is it is better to use Muriatic Acid since the acetic acid will leave acetate where the MA will only leave salt (starts as chloride ion and often finds Na to form salt). Also MA will be much cheaper(you will use a lot less 31.45% MA then 8% Acetic). Vinegar is not a bad choice for cleaning swg cells however...
    TFP Moderator 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: Vinegar to Lower pH

    As was noted, it's the acidity that removes calcium carbonate scale, not the specifics of the acid itself.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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    Re: Vinegar to Lower pH

    what's that acetate ion do? just hang out?
    ~15k gal IG pebble pool/spa w/ water features, Goldline ProLogic + SWG, 2x Hayward Northstar pumps, Hayward Booster Pump, Hayward 60sqft DE filter, 400k BTU Hayward heater, Hayward Viio Turbo pool cleaner, TF100 test kit

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    Re: Vinegar to Lower pH

    Pretty much yes, though it will very slowly react with chlorine to form some chloroacetic acids and these haloacetic acids are regulated disinfection by-products in drinking water since they are potentially carcinogenic. Again, we generally recommend against adding anything to the pool that is not needed.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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    Re: Vinegar to Lower pH

    good to know!
    ~15k gal IG pebble pool/spa w/ water features, Goldline ProLogic + SWG, 2x Hayward Northstar pumps, Hayward Booster Pump, Hayward 60sqft DE filter, 400k BTU Hayward heater, Hayward Viio Turbo pool cleaner, TF100 test kit

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