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Thread: Really high alkalinity (300)...

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    Really high alkalinity (300)...

    Well, it's back and forth between snowing here, but I am in the process of trying to get my water cleaned up well in advance of the swimming season. This is my second year of pool ownership, and first did not go well at all.

    I had attempted a SWG system, but I believe the generator is dead (no mater how much salt I added, it registered low). So here I am, referred here by a member of another forum, and I aim to get this right without the use of the SWG. I received a sandfilter with the pool, and have found that to be 100 times better than the B cartridges I was attempting to use with my well water.

    All that stuff said, my water is currently green. It's a simple Intex 24' x 52" round pool. We left it half filled over winter (Nebraska), and I have since drained to the last 2-4 inches, and refill to get rid of most of the salt. I am currently hanging a sock near the skimmer basket with CYA, I have add PH reducer a couple of times as I had high PH (8.5 I guess but it was off the scale). The PH was down to 8.0 after the first application, and I have since added a bit more to hopefully get that closer to 7.5 or so. The PH should be under control, or at least at the right number, in the next day or two.

    My problem now is alkalinity. I have tested it several times, and it is at 300 and I have tested it a few times. For the PH, I simply grabbed some HTH PH reducer from the local wally world, but I find nothing that will will reduce my alkalinity. I guess I need to head to pool store that carries pool products exclusively?

    Just looking for any suggestion on what a guy should do to get the alkalinity down. Also, anything else I should look to check/do before the CYA dissolves?

    Since the water was fresh, I went ahead and added a bit more bleach than was called for to get the sanitizing process started. At this point, it's been green a few days, and doesn't seem to be improving much yet. I suppose the algae or whatever is killing off my chlorine too quickly, which will likely be the case until the CYA dissolves. Ugh. This is why I am starting early so I have a sparkling clean pool come swim season.

    Lastly, I have added a couple of boxes of Borax per some of the stuff I have read here. My pool should be about 15000 gallons, and it seems to call for a LOT of Borax to get it to 50ppm (something like 11 boxes). I have currently added 2, and have one left to add, but don't want to throw it in if it is just going to get abused before the other numbers get to good levels.

  2. Back To Top    #2
    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Really high alkalinity (300)...

    Welcome to tfp, mvbighead

    Quote Originally Posted by mvbighead
    All that stuff said, my water is currently green.
    This is the first thing to tackle. See: http://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-...king_your_pool To be most efficient this will require a proper test kit. See: http://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-...kit_comparison

    Quote Originally Posted by mvbighead
    My problem now is alkalinity. I have tested it several times, and it is at 300 and I have tested it a few times. For the PH, I simply grabbed some HTH PH reducer from the local wally world, but I find nothing that will will reduce my alkalinity. I guess I need to head to pool store that carries pool products exclusively?
    There is no magic TA down product. The way to lower it is following this process: http://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-...l%20alkalinity Don't worry about TA until you are done with the shocking process describe in the links above.

    Quote Originally Posted by mvbighead
    Lastly, I have added a couple of boxes of Borax per some of the stuff I have read here. My pool should be about 15000 gallons, and it seems to call for a LOT of Borax to get it to 50ppm (something like 11 boxes). I have currently added 2, and have one left to add, but don't want to throw it in if it is just going to get abused before the other numbers get to good levels.
    Wait on Borates at least until you get the algae taken care and the TA lowered. Borates are very optional.

    By the way, great detail!
    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: Really high alkalinity (300)...

    Quote Originally Posted by linen
    Welcome to tfp, mvbighead

    Quote Originally Posted by mvbighead
    All that stuff said, my water is currently green.
    This is the first thing to tackle. See: http://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-...king_your_pool To be most efficient this will require a proper test kit. See: http://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-...kit_comparison

    Quote Originally Posted by mvbighead
    My problem now is alkalinity. I have tested it several times, and it is at 300 and I have tested it a few times. For the PH, I simply grabbed some HTH PH reducer from the local wally world, but I find nothing that will will reduce my alkalinity. I guess I need to head to pool store that carries pool products exclusively?
    There is no magic TA down product. The way to lower it is following this process: http://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-...l%20alkalinity Don't worry about TA until you are done with the shocking process describe in the links above.

    Quote Originally Posted by mvbighead
    Lastly, I have added a couple of boxes of Borax per some of the stuff I have read here. My pool should be about 15000 gallons, and it seems to call for a LOT of Borax to get it to 50ppm (something like 11 boxes). I have currently added 2, and have one left to add, but don't want to throw it in if it is just going to get abused before the other numbers get to good levels.
    Wait on Borates at least until you get the algae taken care and the TA lowered. Borates are very optional.

    By the way, great detail!

    Thanks for the information! And yes, I tend to be rather long winded and provide as much detail as possible so as to not get someone wasting their time too much when I leave out important tidbits.

    Well, I guess I will stick to the shocking then.

    I will add that I just recently plumbed my pool with PVC and built in a fountain (a T'd PVC type I had seen on here). I have yet to drill holes as I am not yet sure where to put them (45 degrees vs. 60 degrees vs. etc). I am leaning towards a low angle as I get a LOT of wind. Then I just need to add enough so as to get the pressure out of there. Guess I need to start drilling so I can get started with aeration.

    EDIT: Oh, and I do have the K-2006 test kit. Just been focusing on numbers I can tackle (PH, Alkalinity, etc.) while I wait for the CYA to dissolve.

    EDIT #2: Thanks for that link. I am going to go and get some DE material to add to the filter. Hopefully that'll improve the process a bit.

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Really high alkalinity (300)...

    Get it clear, then fine tune. TA is the last thing to worry about, when you're bored and everything else is good. Just keep tabs on pH, because it will climb with your levels. Don't mess with pH while you're in the shock process, because the colors get skewed at high FC levels.

    As far as aeration goes, if you have a spa, crank it up. It will aerate the water better than anything you can devise.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: Really high alkalinity (300)...

    Well, CYA is very slow to dissolve, which I am sure is obvious.

    Just ran a test to see what, if any, the current level of CYA was in the water. Seems my gauge measures down to 30. While it was cloudy, the dot did not dissappear. Question is, can I begin shocking the pool with a CYA level of, say, 10 (best guess on where the dot would have dissappeared)?

    I'd like to start now if possible, but if I should wait for the CYA to dissolve, that's what I'll do. Thanks in advance.

    EDIT: For what it is worth, it hasn't been very sunny here lately. Overcast most days, and raining others. I understand CYA protects chlorine from the sun, so I suppose if it isn't terribly bright out, the chlorine should mostly be ok?

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Really high alkalinity (300)...

    No need to wait. How are you adding the cya?

    CYA can take up to a week to show up in the test after it has "disappeared" into the pool.

    For shocking purposes, assume the cya level is zero to start then, when the cya has left the sock (if you are using the sock method), assume it is in the pool use the assumed cya level for the FC shock target.
    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: Really high alkalinity (300)...

    I see that you filled with well water. Is there any chance that the green is from metals and not from algae? A photo may help. Did the green appear from the start or after the chlorine addition? Have you ever had a test of the well water?
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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    Re: Really high alkalinity (300)...

    Quote Originally Posted by anonapersona
    I see that you filled with well water. Is there any chance that the green is from metals and not from algae? A photo may help. Did the green appear from the start or after the chlorine addition? Have you ever had a test of the well water?
    It's possible. We do tend to have pretty hard water. That said, we haven't had it tested.

    However, initially (last year), once the sand filter was added, I was clean and clear for quite some time with this water once I got certain things right.

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    Re: Really high alkalinity (300)...

    Quote Originally Posted by linen
    No need to wait. How are you adding the cya?

    CYA can take up to a week to show up in the test after it has "disappeared" into the pool.

    For shocking purposes, assume the cya level is zero to start then, when the cya has left the sock (if you are using the sock method), assume it is in the pool use the assumed cya level for the FC shock target.
    CYA is being added via the sock method. I actually have it hanging in front of the outlet as that seems to at least get the stuff to dissolve or disappear a bit faster. When by the skimmer, the sock didn't change in size over a few days.

    Guess I'll test my sample and get started shocking at the 0 CYA level. I should have the next 5 hours or so, so testing every hour or two, and adding bleach as needed.

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Re: Really high alkalinity (300)...

    FC is currently 1.5ppm, CC is .5ppm. At 0 CYA, I should get that up to 6-8 I gather?

  11. Back To Top    #11
    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Really high alkalinity (300)...

    Go ahead and start at 10 ppm FC (I use poolcalculator.com for the number).
    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: Really high alkalinity (300)...

    Quote Originally Posted by linen
    Go ahead and start at 10 ppm FC (I use poolcalculator.com for the number).
    Awesome, thanks!

    I have just added (EDIT121 oz of 8.25% bleach (15000 gallons, 1.5 up to 7 (did this before your post)). In the next hour or so, I'll go check again and bump it up to 10. Now, when it gets closer to night, I can just up it to about 10, and check in the morning and get it back up to 10, right?

    Also, I won't have much of an opportunity to do this tomorrow (unless I work from home), is that a big problem? If it is, I'll just work it out to be here so I can keep this going throughout the next 36 hours or so. At this point, I'd like to see a little progress, but I don't want to get halfway there and lose that progress.

    Thanks all for the help, really awesome!

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    Re: Really high alkalinity (300)...

    Well, maybe I didn't calculate something quite right... I dunno. I thought I was trying to get it up to 7, and my last check (about an hour after application) showed me 10.

    I'll re-check in 2 hours and see.

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    Re: Really high alkalinity (300)...

    Ugh, well, re-checked and the FC is now at 10.5. i was curious about my previous test being at the site of where I added the bleach, so I moved to the opposite side. Now, it's about the same, but a hair higher. I guess the sun is in the process of setting, so not directly overhead. I dunno, i was expecting the number to have dropped some... Anyhoo, seems I am holding 10 pretty steady right now, this normal? Cold weather a factor maybe?

    Thanks again for the help.

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    UN1017's Avatar
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    Re: Really high alkalinity (300)...

    You are doing just fine. Location of sample shouldn't matter if the pump is running. 10.5 is not a problem. Steady levels are ok but if they don't change at all then maybe there is a different issue. Just continue the shocking instructions. If it won't clear up then we'll go to the next step.
    15'x30' IG - Roman-style - 14K - Pebble Fina Classico
    Filter: Jandy CL460 Pump: Jandy Stealth SHPF1.5 SWG: Jandy AquaPure 1400 Cleaner: Jandy RayVac Test Kit: TF-100 w/SpeedStir

    Chlorine/CYA Chart----Extended Test Kit Directions----SLAM

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    Re: Really high alkalinity (300)...

    Quote Originally Posted by UN1017
    You are doing just fine. Location of sample shouldn't matter if the pump is running. 10.5 is not a problem. Steady levels are ok but if they don't change at all then maybe there is a different issue. Just continue the shocking instructions. If it won't clear up then we'll go to the next step.
    Cool. Thanks.

    When I get some light out here, I'll be checking the water again, and posting back with results.

  17. Back To Top    #17

    Re: Really high alkalinity (300)...

    FC measured at 8, so I went and added 48 oz of 8.25% bleach to get her back up to 10. I'll be away from the pool for some time today, but I figure with sunlight and time passage of 8 or so hours, I would have my wife add 48 oz at 4pm to boost it up closer to 10, then I'll check it when I get home.

    Seems the top level of water is looking a little clearer, but still quite murky overall.

  18. Back To Top    #18

    Re: Really high alkalinity (300)...

    Approximately how long should it take for the water to start clearing?

  19. Back To Top    #19
    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Really high alkalinity (300)...

    Each pool and algae outbreak is different, but generally you should be seeing some progress (less green more blue, being able to see further through the water, at some point your FC level will stay higher longer, etc.) each day.
    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.

  20. Back To Top    #20

    Re: Really high alkalinity (300)...

    Great, thanks for the info. I keep telling myself that it is getting clearer, but sometimes I am not so sure. Unfortunately, the past 24+ hours I've either seen it early AM with minimal sunlight, or just pitch dark. I'll get my first real glance about 5 today. Wife hasn't seen much change though.

    I will say the FC is staying higher, or at least seems to be. I added what should have been enough to get it to 10 last night, and checked this morning and it was registering at 10.5. Guess I'll just keep at it, and maybe push the broom around some this weekend to get things stirred up.

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