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Thread: Low PH concerns!

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    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    North Canton, OH
    Posts
    3

    Low PH concerns!

    I purchased a house with a 21' AG pool just over 10K gallons. When I pulled the winter cover off my water was GREEN. I put in 4 gallons of liquid shock (12.5%) and fired up the filter. Over the course of the next 2 weeks my water went from Green, to cloudy, to hazy, to clear. I have done the following to get to this point......approx in this order!

    4 gallons of liquid shock
    1 container of $19 shock with stablizer from the pool store
    2 bags of powder shock (58% of Cal Hypo) from the pool store, 1 week apart
    3" Tri tabs in my skimmer
    1/2 gallon of liquid shock on Sunday
    13.5 pounds of Arm & Hammer baking soda (7 pounds on Wed night) - brought TA from 70 up to 125
    2 lbs of Borax last night

    Everything has stabilized in my pool except my PH level. My test results are as follows:

    TC = 2
    FC = 2 (these were at 3 and 1 until about a week and a half ago)
    TA = 125
    PH = 6.9 (tested this morning after 2 lbs of borax last night, was at 6.8, hard to tell exactly where it is, I swear I am color blind looking at the test results)
    CYA = 20 (thus the reason I am using the tabs still, trying to up the stabilizer some)
    TH = 233

    I have been cleaning my cartridge 2-3 times per week. The weather is finally starting to improve in NE Ohio and I would like to be able to swim this weekend. My PH level is concerning to me as I don't want to damage my pool, or cause irritations with my swimmers. My water looks very clear, at least compared to what it was when I started.

    Any thoughts on how I can increase my PH levels up to 7.5 without effecting my chemistry elsewhere? Any help is greatly appreciated! Water temp this morning was 68 if that helps.
    10000 Gallon AG, Cartridge Filter, 2HP SwimPro Voyager, 2 plastic solar panels

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Richard320's Avatar
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    Jan 2010
    Location
    San Dimas, CA (LA County)
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    18,768

    Re: Low PH concerns!

    Welcome!

    Given the TA level, some vigorous aeration might push the pH up to the safe zone without any further chemicals. You can also follow the pool calculator and use Soda ash or more borax. The search box has produced this list which may inspire you.
    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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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Jun 2009
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    SouthWest Alabama
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    Re: Low PH concerns!

    Welcome to TFP.

    Unless I'm mistaken, the first thing you need to do is get a good test kit and retest everything. I appologize if you already have one.

    How did you get those test results?

    As for adjusting the pH you can use as much borax as it takes and you won't affect the rest of the readings very much. Most pH tests only go down to about 6.8 so if you read 6.8 it could be much less. Also since trichlor is acidic it drives your pH down so it takes more borax to offset that. Before I did much of anything I'd retest the TA to make sure it's correct.

    13½ lbs of baking soda would have raised your TA by 96 ppm, so if you're at 125 now that would mean that it started out at about 30 ppm. Either that or something is wrong.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    North Canton, OH
    Posts
    3

    Re: Low PH concerns!

    WOW - thanks for the quick replies.

    So - here is my test kit: http://www.walmart.com/ip/HTH-6-Way-Test-Kit/17043668

    MY TA was tested last night BEFORE the borax went in. It was at 77 on Wed from the pool store, the 125 - 130 I got was from the above test kit last night.

    The test from the pool store on Wed night showed PH of 6.8. My test this morning looked like it was between the 6.8 and 7.2 readings....closer to the 6.8.

    I will review the aeration posts and give that a shot. I had read that aeration might help.

    I will try to get to the pool store today to retest, if not it will have to be tomorrow...they close early on Friday and I have that whole work thing to do!

    Thanks again!
    10000 Gallon AG, Cartridge Filter, 2HP SwimPro Voyager, 2 plastic solar panels

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Yukon, Oklahoma
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    220

    Re: Low PH concerns!

    Do yourself a favor and get a "real" test kit like the TF-100 recommended here or a Taylor 2006. That is the only way you will know EXACTLY what your chemical levels are. Test strips can be accurate, but generally not accurate enough for us here. Once I dumped the strips and got my test kit.....pool maintenance became much more enjoyable because I knew exactly what I needed to do and exactly how much of what chemical to add. Nothing more, nothing less.

    Use the pool store if you like until you get your test kit, beware, they will most likely be inaccurate too. Get the test kit.....best pool investment I have ever made.

    Bob E.

    Bob E.

  6. Back To Top    #6
    msgtdan's Avatar
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    Jul 2011
    Location
    SW MO
    Posts
    653

    Re: Low PH concerns!

    The HTH 6way isn't that bad, it is just limited because it doesn't have what it takes to properly test your chlorine or do as many tests as needed. It works just fine for PH, TA, CH, and CYA, it only has enough reagents to test CYA twice. I used it when I first started and just finished using up all the reagents. It is definitely better than the pool store. It really can't help with clearing a pool, for that you need a test with FAS-DPD, that's where the TF-100, TF-50 or the Taylor 2006 comes in. The TF-100 is the better overall value but has the most upfront cost. I saved up and do not regret getting the TF-100.

    Definitely get the PH up.
    Dan D
    Used 2003 Aqua Leader 27'x52", 17,800 w/10" hopper, SwimPro SW256T 250# sand filter, Hayward PowerFlo LX pump 1hp impellor, Emerson 1 1/2 hp motor, setup Aug 2012 Summer 2011 used Summer Escapes Ring pool 14' x 42", Intex 1600gph sand filter, HTH 6 way test kitTF-100 w/stirrer, Well water @ FC=0, PH=7.2, TA=290, CH=320

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    North Canton, OH
    Posts
    3

    Re: Low PH concerns!

    Thanks to everyone for the replies. I will definitely invest in a TF-100 at some time. I just bought a house and put money into chemicals and a cover so I will have to save for it. I am planning to become a full BBB user in the very near future. In the meantime TPF has become my pool bible and I have only read prob 5% of what is on here.

    So today I skipped out of work early to come home, take the cover off and make the kids jump in the pool. I also took my return and pointed it up a good bit to force the water into the air and start to aerate (worked even better when I turned the solar panels off). Between that, the kids and myself I have started to move the numbers a bit in a positive direction.

    After I was done I put the last 2 lbs of Borax in my box into the pool and added about 8-10 ounces of 12.5% liquid chlorine. I took a shower and came back down 30-45 min later and have the following readings from my HTH 6-way test.

    CL - 5+
    PH - 7.2 YEAH
    TA - 185

    I need to continue to raise my PH up to 7.5 and than check my TA again....I will post how things look tomorrow.
    10000 Gallon AG, Cartridge Filter, 2HP SwimPro Voyager, 2 plastic solar panels

  8. Back To Top    #8

    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Sayville, NY
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    53

    Re: Low PH concerns!

    You may want to consider stopping the use of the tabs until you get your pH up to where you want it. They will be fighting you bringing your pH down while you are trying to bring it up.
    16 x 32 Vinyl IGP ~22000 G

  9. Back To Top    #9

    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Howell, NJ
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    977

    Re: Low PH concerns!

    Yes, if you are still using the tablets, you may want to consider stopping them. In a 10,000 gallon pool, adding one 8 oz tablet will lower your pH by roughly .3. Although reading your post it sounds like you switched exclusively to bleach, which is pH neutral.
    John
    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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