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Thread: Adding acid, dialing back salt generator - TA going up?!?

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    Adding acid, dialing back salt generator - TA going up?!?

    My TA was way high, and I added a full 5 gallon bucket of dry acid over the course of several days.

    After reading here, I waited a day or so, and continued using Muriatric. I added a quart and tested TA at about 170 with FC and TC registering 5+ as the Leslie/Taylor kit only registers to 5. Maybe I need one that goes to 11...

    My salt cell was set at 100%, and I've been running that 24/7. I added about 1/2 gallon of muriatric last evening, dialed the salt cell back to 50%.

    Last night I'm pretty sure I tested TA around 150 - with FC TC still around 5.

    This evening, my test shows FC 3, TC still 5+, and PH down to 7.2 - but TA is back to 180?!?

    Salt has been stable around 3500.

    I'm letting it run overnight to get PH back up.

    Should I have left the salt cell at 100%... CYA is steady around 40-45...

    Backwashed this am, and weather is cloudy and cool. What the heck did I do wrong? Should I go back to 100% - boost on the salt cell? Did I backwash too soon?

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Adding acid, dialing back salt generator - TA going up?!

    Figure out the correct percentage for the SWG by watching the FC level. If FC is too low, raise the percentage. If FC is too high lower the percentage. It is best to always test the FC level at the same time of day, ideally in the early evening, when calibration the percentage.

    The TA increase is probably a testing error from one test or the other. The only other possibility is if you added some water and your fill water TA level is high. High TA fill water will raise the TA.
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    Re: Adding acid, dialing back salt generator - TA going up?!

    Well... It was my first day with the new kit, and it WAS Friday evening, so I may have been testing under the influence...

    My next battle after TA is getting the Polaris working properly... but that's another thread for another time...

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Adding acid, dialing back salt generator - TA going up?!

    The FAS-DPD test will read chlorine above 5. I find anything from 4 to 7 looks like 5 to me on a color-matching test.

    What test kit are you using? You can order just the FAS-DPD test if the rest of your kit is good.
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    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: Adding acid, dialing back salt generator - TA going up?!

    Thanks,

    I bought the Leslie's/Taylor FAS - DPD kit. They show a method of diluting the water with tap water for the TC test if it's continuously 5+. Haven't tried it yet, but might give it a shot today to see if it works.

    My biggest concern is getting the TA in check so I can balance the numbers and get the pool open in time for the warm days - if they ever show up this year.

    I need to get out and vacuum today, check it all this morning to see if the PH is coming up, then take a reading again this evening before I start adding/changing anything again.

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Adding acid, dialing back salt generator - TA going up?!

    Quote Originally Posted by ggoodwinj3
    Thanks,

    I bought the Leslie's/Taylor FAS - DPD kit. They show a method of diluting the water with tap water for the TC test if it's continuously 5+. Haven't tried it yet, but might give it a shot today to see if it works.
    It's more likely that Leslies sold you the DPD tester, not the FAS-DPD tester and told you it was the same kit. You wouldn't be the first person here who's had that happen to them. Look through the box. Are all the bottles filled with liquid, or does one have some grainy stuff in it?

    My biggest concern is getting the TA in check so I can balance the numbers and get the pool open in time for the warm days - if they ever show up this year.

    I need to get out and vacuum today, check it all this morning to see if the PH is coming up, then take a reading again this evening before I start adding/changing anything again.
    TA is the last thing to worry about. It doesn't make the water unsafe to swim in - the TA came from the fill water and people drink and bathe in the stuff without harm! TA will come down on its own if you just keep adjusting pH on a daily basis. Low Calcium is no problem in a vinyl pool.

    How does the pool look?
    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: Adding acid, dialing back salt generator - TA going up?!

    You're right - it's a Leslie's/Taylor DPD kit. No grainy stuff. My bad. Thought I'd save a couple dollars - it was $48.00 @ Leslie's. I'll order a separate FAS kit from TF.

    The FC was down around 2 this AM - so I bumped the salt cell back to 75% to see what it looks like this afternoon. As far as TA, I thought it was best to get that under control to keep things in balance? I do see how focusing on the ph will resolve that though: muriatrc/aerate rinse/repeat. Is it worth trying to bump up my CYA before the ph is balanced out? CYA's around 40 -45 and I was thinking about adding that to get the levels up to the recommendations on this site for SWG & help stabilize the chlorine.

    After vacuuming a little this am - the water looks crystal clear. It's a light blue liner, that's probably a bit faded. I bought the house last year, and don't really know how old the vinyl is. I can see the liner detail at the bottom of the deep end.
    It is a bit yellowed from my well water. I did the vitamin c test on the steps just to check and make sure it was a metallic stain. Lots of iron in my well. I've got a culator pack in the skimmer return. We'll see how the stain looks in a couple weeks. The way I understand it- you can just leave those in for a month and they'll gradually work on the stain - rather than going the ascorbic acid route.

    My wife and daughter keep asking to go for a swim... it's been in the low 60's during the day and 50's at night. I keep telling them - sure go ahead... I like to cool off in the pool - not warm up...LOL

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Adding acid, dialing back salt generator - TA going up?!

    Don't raise your CYA until you are done shocking. TA doesn't really affect anything other than causing the PH to drift up from the SWG's aeration. Simply lower PH to 7.2 when it reaches 7.8. The TA will gradually drop into range. It's nothing to be concerned about.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
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    Re: Adding acid, dialing back salt generator - TA going up?!

    Quote Originally Posted by frustratedpoolmom
    Don't raise your CYA until you are done shocking. TA doesn't really affect anything other than causing the PH to drift up from the SWG's aeration. Simply lower PH to 7.2 when it reaches 7.8. The TA will gradually drop into range. It's nothing to be concerned about.

    We've had a couple days of rain - some heavy, and we're finally getting a few warm sunny days to heat up the pool. Here are the latest numbers:
    FC 2
    TC 5+
    TA 120
    CYA 40
    PH 7.2 (Just added 3 qts muriatric last evening).
    I've got 2 return jets pointed up so that the stream hits the surface to help aerate and bring the PH back up.

    There's only a slight smell of chlorine to the pool water.

    What concerns me is that I've been running the SWG 24/7 at anywhere from 75 - 100% and FC dropped from 3-4 to 2-3.

    Not sure why this is happening. My salt level is around 3500 - and I'm planning on adding more this weekend.

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Adding acid, dialing back salt generator - TA going up?!

    Quote Originally Posted by ggoodwinj3
    Quote Originally Posted by frustratedpoolmom
    Don't raise your CYA until you are done shocking. TA doesn't really affect anything other than causing the PH to drift up from the SWG's aeration. Simply lower PH to 7.2 when it reaches 7.8. The TA will gradually drop into range. It's nothing to be concerned about.

    We've had a couple days of rain - some heavy, and we're finally getting a few warm sunny days to heat up the pool. Here are the latest numbers:
    FC 2
    TC 5+
    TA 120
    CYA 40
    PH 7.2 (Just added 3 qts muriatric last evening).
    I've got 2 return jets pointed up so that the stream hits the surface to help aerate and bring the PH back up.

    There's only a slight smell of chlorine to the pool water.

    What concerns me is that I've been running the SWG 24/7 at anywhere from 75 - 100% and FC dropped from 3-4 to 2-3.

    Not sure why this is happening. My salt level is around 3500 - and I'm planning on adding more this weekend.
    If the FC and TC numbers are correct, it indicates CC of 3+!!! That indicates organics in the pool and the shock process is called for. Your SWG will not be able to keep up with the demand. All you'll do is burn out an expensive piece of equipment and prolong the agony of pool clearing unless you start using bleach. How does the water look? Is it cloudy? Green? Stuff stuck to the walls? Drifts of what look like dust bunnies on the floor? By the way - that "chlorine smell" doesn't indicate high levels of chlorine, but high levels of combined chlorine. They way to eliminate that is the shock process

    Your pH is good for the the shock process. Don't worry about anything but FC and CC until the the shock process is completed. Don't even test anything but that until it's completed.
    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: Adding acid, dialing back salt generator - TA going up?!

    I looked over the shock process and the table. So I need to test and see how much bleach to add to bring the FC to 24 - shock level.

    During this time should I leave the SWG on Boost? or knock it back to 75 -100%?

    It's brand new, but I've been running 24/7 for over a week.

    BTW - I've vacuumed a couple times and do see just a little grayish dusty looking stuff showing up at the bottom of the pool. Otherwise the water looks crystal.

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Adding acid, dialing back salt generator - TA going up?!

    Quote Originally Posted by ggoodwinj3
    I looked over the shock process and the table. So I need to test and see how much bleach to add to bring the FC to 24 - shock level.

    During this time should I leave the SWG on Boost? or knock it back to 75 -100%?

    It's brand new, but I've been running 24/7 for over a week.
    Straight outta that link to the shock process:
    If you have a salt water chlorine generator, chlorine tablet dispenser, or Liquidator, you will still need to use another chlorine source for shocking. All of these devices are designed to add chlorine slowly and steadily over many hours. To kill algae or lower CC, you need to put in lots of chlorine all at once. The SWG, tablet dispenser, or Liquidator can be very helpful in the follow up stages to maintain FC at shock level, but for the initial couple of chlorine applications, you need to use another chlorine source.
    Just shut it down for a couple days. Give it the weekend off. Then, if you must, turn it on to about 50% so it can help maintain FC between additions. Do not forget to shut it off when you think you're done and are ready to perform the overnight loss test.
    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: Adding acid, dialing back salt generator - TA going up?!

    Thanks for all the info.

    I'll see what the weekend brings. The pool calculator tells me I need about 6lbs of dichlor(I have a bunch of shock bags leftover from last year) to reach 23ppm, or 4 lbs to reach 15ppm. Should I take the jump and go for 23 ppm?

    Since my CYA is still low, I can help bump it up with the dichlor.

    Thanks to all the great info I'm getting here: 1 lb of dichlor increases FC +6.6 ppm, and CYA + 6 ppm/10,000 gallons.
    So - given my 20,000 gallon pool, and current numbers FC of 2-3 and CYA around 40:
    4lbs of dichlor will raise my FC from 2/3 +13.6 to about 15/16, and the CYA from 40 +12 to 52 or so.
    6lbs of dichlor will raise my FC from 2/3/ +20 to 23ppm and CYA from 40 +18 to 58 - which still leaves a little room to bump that up to the desired 75....

    I may as well use it up the dichlor before buying more bleach. The question is - will adding 4 - 6lbs of dichlor endanger the vinyl liner or equipment - or is that only dangerous if it's allowed to stay that way over a longer period of time?

    Oddly enough the company that installed the new SWG called to follow up. I ran this same question past them and they didn't seem concerned about the FC at 2ppm. Of course - after reviewing the info here - I understand why.

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    Re: Adding acid, dialing back salt generator - TA going up?!

    Quote Originally Posted by ggoodwinj3
    Thanks for all the info.

    I'll see what the weekend brings. The pool calculator tells me I need about 6lbs of dichlor(I have a bunch of shock bags leftover from last year) to reach 23ppm, or 4 lbs to reach 15ppm. Should I take the jump and go for 23 ppm?

    Since my CYA is still low, I can help bump it up with the dichlor.

    Thanks to all the great info I'm getting here: 1 lb of dichlor increases FC +6.6 ppm, and CYA + 6 ppm/10,000 gallons.
    So - given my 20,000 gallon pool, and current numbers FC of 2-3 and CYA around 40:
    4lbs of dichlor will raise my FC from 2/3 +13.6 to about 15/16, and the CYA from 40 +12 to 52 or so.
    6lbs of dichlor will raise my FC from 2/3/ +20 to 23ppm and CYA from 40 +18 to 58 - which still leaves a little room to bump that up to the desired 75....

    I may as well use it up the dichlor before buying more bleach. The question is - will adding 4 - 6lbs of dichlor endanger the vinyl liner or equipment - or is that only dangerous if it's allowed to stay that way over a longer period of time?

    Oddly enough the company that installed the new SWG called to follow up. I ran this same question past them and they didn't seem concerned about the FC at 2ppm. Of course - after reviewing the info here - I understand why.
    The problem with that is that as you add CYA from the dichlor, the shock level goes up. Better to keep CYA low, shock it with bleach until all that CC is gone, and then chlorinate it with the dichlor. Once it's all clear and balanced, the SWG can keep things going.
    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!

  15. Back To Top    #15
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    Re: Adding acid, dialing back salt generator - TA going up?!

    Doh! Never thought about that...

    Thanks again.

  16. Back To Top    #16
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    Re: Adding acid, dialing back salt generator - TA going up?!

    So - I did add a few gallons of bleach but wanted to get a second opinion on my testing numbers and took a sample up to the local Leslie's.

    They show FC 5+ - TC 5+. Either I'm getting color blind in my old age, or I'm doing something wrong. I still see a lighter shade for FC than I do for TC... All the other tests for salt, TA, etc matched up with my numbers. Leslie's tested twice and still came up with FC & TC of 5. Go figure. I'm learning as I go along here.... I'll do another sample and take my kit with me to Leslies and have them use my chlorine test. See if it's some oddball thing with the kit?

    Anyway - the pool looks great and I'll be adding some salt today to get back over 3500. Big rains and backwashing have pushed my levels down.

    Thanks again for all the advice. We'll be getting a few days with temps in the 80's so I expect we'll be doing some swimming soon.

  17. Back To Top    #17
    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Adding acid, dialing back salt generator - TA going up?!

    Quote Originally Posted by ggoodwinj3
    So - I did add a few gallons of bleach but wanted to get a second opinion on my testing numbers and took a sample up to the local Leslie's.

    They show FC 5+ - TC 5+. Either I'm getting color blind in my old age, or I'm doing something wrong. I still see a lighter shade for FC than I do for TC... All the other tests for salt, TA, etc matched up with my numbers. Leslie's tested twice and still came up with FC & TC of 5. Go figure. I'm learning as I go along here.... I'll do another sample and take my kit with me to Leslies and have them use my chlorine test. See if it's some oddball thing with the kit?

    Anyway - the pool looks great and I'll be adding some salt today to get back over 3500. Big rains and backwashing have pushed my levels down.

    Thanks again for all the advice. We'll be getting a few days with temps in the 80's so I expect we'll be doing some swimming soon.
    If free chlorine is above 5, total chlorine has to be above 5 because FC + CC = TC

    Are you still not using the FAS-DPD test?
    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!

  18. Back To Top    #18
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    Re: Adding acid, dialing back salt generator - TA going up?!

    Haven't got the FAS-DPD yet. Just have the DPD.

    I expect to get the FAS kit next week from TFT.

  19. Back To Top    #19
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    Re: Adding acid, dialing back salt generator - TA going up?!

    Looks like my testing style is the problem.

    Just for the heck of it - I did the chlorine test and still got low FC, high TC readings.

    I re- tested, but shook up the reagent bottle before adding the R0001 drops. I did 3 tests - 1 without shaking the R0001 reagent bottle, then 2 with a shake.

    Both "shaken" tests showed a nearly perfect 5 FC with just a slightly higher(if at all) TC reading.

  20. Back To Top    #20

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    Re: Adding acid, dialing back salt generator - TA going up?!

    Just to warn you, most likely you have organics in that pool and you need to follow the shock process until you pass the OCLT, the water is clear, and CC=<.5.

    With your pool only keeping the FC at 2-4 ppm while running 24/7 at 75-100% something is wrong. You really need a FAS-DPD test and run an OCLT at shock level. That will confirm if you have organics or not. My guess is the SWG is making enough chlorine to keep the algae from blooming, but can not get ahead of the algae.
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