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Thread: Trying to raise pH

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    elainerader's Avatar
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    Trying to raise pH

    I have been posting as a new member (and new pool owner) in a different thread about what a mess my pool is in.

    I purchased the required testing kit, tested everything (twice) and it has been determined that I have virtually no chlorine, green algae starting to grow and very low pH.

    Before I can go through the recommended shock process, I need to raise my pH.

    My water tests below 6.8 (how much lower I can't tell because the chart only goes to 6.8 but it is at least one shade lighter than 6.8)

    Over the last 24 hours I have added 10 lbs of sodium carbonate (5 lbs at a time) let it circulate for a couple of hours and re tested after each application.

    The pH remains below 6.8.

    What am I doing wrong??
    25K GALLON IG VINYL
    LASER SAND JACUZZI FILTER #250L 66GPM JACUZZI 1.0 HP PUMP
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    10 YEARS OLD, LINER 2 YRS OLD

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    Re: Trying to raise pH

    It's possible that your pH was well below 6.8. Adding 10 pounds of soda ash would raise your pH by about 1.2. If the pH was lower, you wouldn't notice the change on the test.
    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
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    Re: Trying to raise pH

    The test only goes down to 6.8, it could be 5.0 or 6.0 before you made your addition
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
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    elainerader's Avatar
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    Re: Trying to raise pH

    Should I just keep adding 5lbs at a time and test after each one? An how frequently can I do this?

    Thanks!
    25K GALLON IG VINYL
    LASER SAND JACUZZI FILTER #250L 66GPM JACUZZI 1.0 HP PUMP
    UNDER WATER LIGHT
    10 YEARS OLD, LINER 2 YRS OLD

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    Smykowski's Avatar
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    Re: Trying to raise pH

    Quote Originally Posted by elainerader
    Should I just keep adding 5lbs at a time and test after each one? An how frequently can I do this?

    Thanks!
    I would target 7.2. We already know your pH is less than 6.8, but if you put 5 lbs in while your pH is 6.7, you'll end up way too high.

    After adding, let the pump run for 30 min. That's plenty of mixing time and you can try again.
    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
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    Re: Trying to raise pH

    I would say add 2-3 pounds and retest every 30-60 minutes until it shows up above minimum, the pH test is cheap
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
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    elainerader's Avatar
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    Re: Trying to raise pH

    Thanks!
    25K GALLON IG VINYL
    LASER SAND JACUZZI FILTER #250L 66GPM JACUZZI 1.0 HP PUMP
    UNDER WATER LIGHT
    10 YEARS OLD, LINER 2 YRS OLD

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    Re: Trying to raise pH

    Just for a sanity check, what pH reagent and measuring tube are you using (reagent number and sample size)? There's different reagents and tubes based on sample size and they cannot be mixed.
    18x36 inground vinyl lined, Hayward sand filter and tablet chrolinator, approx 18k gallon

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    elainerader's Avatar
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    Re: Trying to raise pH

    @spidey07

    Sorry just now seeing your post:

    I am using my recently purchased Taylor K-1000 Basic test kit to measure the pH
    25K GALLON IG VINYL
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    elainerader's Avatar
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    Re: Trying to raise pH

    day 2 of trying to raise pH.

    In the last 2 days I have dumped 35 lbs of sodium carbonate. Today I dumped 15 lbs, 3 lbs at a time at 1 hour intervals and testing. So far it's still not the color of 6.8 on the test tube but getting close.

    Pool is VERY cloudy, but strangely the green algae is almost gone.

    Just making sure I should keep adding more sodium carbonate??
    25K GALLON IG VINYL
    LASER SAND JACUZZI FILTER #250L 66GPM JACUZZI 1.0 HP PUMP
    UNDER WATER LIGHT
    10 YEARS OLD, LINER 2 YRS OLD

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    Re: Trying to raise pH

    Yep, keep adding until the color changes to 7.2. Just wondering, have you ever tested TA?
    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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    elainerader's Avatar
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    Re: Trying to raise pH

    Yes it was 0, thats why I followed the instructions to use Arm & Hammer booster instead of Borax to help raise the TA level
    25K GALLON IG VINYL
    LASER SAND JACUZZI FILTER #250L 66GPM JACUZZI 1.0 HP PUMP
    UNDER WATER LIGHT
    10 YEARS OLD, LINER 2 YRS OLD

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    Re: Trying to raise pH

    Put it in. Sounds like your pH was below 6.0......Wow!

    Do you have any idea how your pH got so low? What is the pH of your fill water?
    Dave S.
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    elainerader's Avatar
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    Re: Trying to raise pH

    @ duraleigh:
    That's an interesting point. I just tested the fill water and its a perfect 6.8. That's normal for city drinking water I would guess??

    How did the pool pH get to be so low? Yes I know.....its called never checking it in the year I've had the pool! I was just shocking and adding algaecide once a week, and keeping the chlorine feeder full. That's what the pool guy told me to do after he installed the liner and I didn't hire him to do weekly pool maintenance! Even the pool store never asked me if I had tested the water when I told them of my algae woes this spring......

    You all have educated and started me on the correct path.....although I have a feeling its gonna be a long haul!
    25K GALLON IG VINYL
    LASER SAND JACUZZI FILTER #250L 66GPM JACUZZI 1.0 HP PUMP
    UNDER WATER LIGHT
    10 YEARS OLD, LINER 2 YRS OLD

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    Re: Trying to raise pH

    If your chlorine feeder uses trichlor tablets, which most do, trichlor adds chlorine, cyanuric acid, and lowers the PH. You need to be constantly raising the PH & TA to compensate for the PH reduction caused by the tablets. You will also have issues with CYA building up to unacceptable levels eventually.

    One thing to keep in mind is that the common PH test reports any level below 6.8 as 6.8, so your actual PH might be much lower.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Trying to raise pH

    I just tested the fill water and its a perfect 6.8
    Well, not really. Keep your pool between 7.2 and 7.8 ph. Please Read "The ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry" up in Pool School.
    Dave S.
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    elainerader's Avatar
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    Re: Trying to raise pH

    David, what I meant was I tested my tap water and it was 6.8 I thought that's what you meant as "fill water". But I understand, I am targeting 7.2 - 7.8 in the pool.

    I have read the ABC's and have it printed out along with many other sheets and they are with me next to my test kit. It was overwhelming at first but
    I'm starting to understand......I just keep re-reading and testing.

    Getting ready to dump some more Arm & Hammer!
    Thank you all so much!!
    25K GALLON IG VINYL
    LASER SAND JACUZZI FILTER #250L 66GPM JACUZZI 1.0 HP PUMP
    UNDER WATER LIGHT
    10 YEARS OLD, LINER 2 YRS OLD

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    elainerader's Avatar
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    Re: Trying to raise pH

    Jason: Should I discontinue the use of the tablets? When I am at regular maintenance levels (all things balance) is there no need to use the tablets, just keep testing and adding BBB as needed per test results?
    25K GALLON IG VINYL
    LASER SAND JACUZZI FILTER #250L 66GPM JACUZZI 1.0 HP PUMP
    UNDER WATER LIGHT
    10 YEARS OLD, LINER 2 YRS OLD

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    elainerader's Avatar
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    Re: Trying to raise pH

    Jason, I answered my own question, just read "chlorinating your pool" and I'm getting rid of the tabs, Thanks!
    25K GALLON IG VINYL
    LASER SAND JACUZZI FILTER #250L 66GPM JACUZZI 1.0 HP PUMP
    UNDER WATER LIGHT
    10 YEARS OLD, LINER 2 YRS OLD

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    Re: Trying to raise pH

    EDIT: I see you answered your question, but I will post this anyway for future readers.
    The tablets are mainly useful for vacation, but can be used for raising CYA a little if needed. Yes, you really should stop using the tablets. They are raising your CYA, which may already be too high (I don't see a current number posted) and are lowering your already WAY too low pH and TA.
    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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