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Thread: Can not get PH to raise

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    Can not get PH to raise

    Hi All, need some help.

    Opened the pool this year and the water wasn't bad as far as algae etc. But TA and PH were low. So I've gotten the TA up to 100 but just can not get the PH up above 7.0 yet.

    I brushed the pool the 3 days ago, and that spread the algae in the water and now the water is green and has not cleared.

    My levels are PH=7.0, TA=100, CYA=120 (as far as I can tell), FC=3 (but I ran out of reagent and must go get some today)

    I have been using the calculator to determine how much baking soda to add but now that TA has gotten to 100 and PH still hasn't gotten over 7.0 I'm concerned.

    I have also been aerating like this for 12+ hours a day for 4 days:
    Pool: IG - Vinyl - 15k gallons - 16x32 3-5' depth
    Pump: Hayward Superpump - 1-1/2 HP
    Filter: Hayward Sand - 300lb with 62gpm flow rate.
    Chlorinator: None, using Chlorine bleach only

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    BoDarville's Avatar
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    Re: Can not get PH to raise

    ljurgens:

    Welcome to TFP

    To increase pH, you would use either Washing Soda (not the same as Baking Soda) or Soda Ash. You could also use Borax, but you would need to use about twice the amount of this compared to Washing Soda or Soda Ash. The aeration will also help. Use the Pool Calculator for dosing amounts.

    What do you use as your chlorine source? If it is trichlor pucks and/or dichlor, both of these products will lower pH to the point where you may need to periodically use one of the products I mentioned above along with aeration to keep pH within range.

    Another thing I see is that your CYA of 120 ppm is higher than we recommend. High levels of CYA will also tend to keep pH lower than it would otherwise be. The high CYA along with a current FC of 3 is a welcome mat for algae to come in and set up shop.

    So, before adding any chemical or doing anything else, I would first do a partial drain & refill to get CYA in the 30 -50 ppm range. After that, I would run a full series of tests, adjust your pH if necessary, and see if you need to go through the Shock Process.
    Gold Supporter, TFP Lifetime Supporter, 26,680 gal Plaster IGP 3.5 - 10' depth / Attached Waterfall Spa, Manually Chlorinated, Triton Sand Filter, 1.5 HP * 1.1 SF = 1.65 SFHP 1-speed Pentair WhisperFlo WF-26 Pump, 400K BTU NG Teledyne Laars Series One Heater, Polaris 360, Test Kit Comparison, Chlorine/CYA Chart, SLAMing Your Pool, OCLT
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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Can not get PH to raise

    Soda Ash (Sodium Carbonate -not bicarbonate) or Borax will fix your pH in a hurry. Like, within 30 minutes or so. Pool Calculator will do the math, but it looks like about 3 pounds of Soda Ash or 6 pounds of Borax will get you into range.

    You DO realize that your CYA level is way too high, correct?
    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.
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    Re: Can not get PH to raise

    Yes, CYA is to high. So with that level and 15k gallons, how much would I need to drain to get the level down to an acceptable range?

    I've got the pool cleared and everything looks good. PH is at 7.3 now.
    But when I tested today for ALK I couldn't get the sample to turn from green to red, it went to YELLOW at 15 drops... I'm going to grab another sample when it stops raining and try again. But that seemed weird to me...

    -Lance
    Pool: IG - Vinyl - 15k gallons - 16x32 3-5' depth
    Pump: Hayward Superpump - 1-1/2 HP
    Filter: Hayward Sand - 300lb with 62gpm flow rate.
    Chlorinator: None, using Chlorine bleach only

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    Butterfly's Avatar
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    Re: Can not get PH to raise

    Check out the Extended Test Kit Directions:

    Scroll down to TA and CYA.....

    extended-test-kit-directions-t25081.html
    TFP Moderator TF100 Test Kit TF100 TestKit YouTube Channel PoolMath
    You're done SLAMing when:
    1)You lose 1ppm or less FC overnight, & 2)You have .5ppm CC's or less, & 3)your water is clear.

    ~ One should not use a sledge hammer to swat a mosquito. ~

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  6. Back To Top    #6
    BoDarville's Avatar
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    High TA and low pH

    Quote Originally Posted by ljurgens
    Yes, CYA is to high. So with that level and 15k gallons, how much would I need to drain to get the level down to an acceptable range?
    To go from a CYA of 120 ppm to 40 ppm, you would need to drain and refill 2/3 (67%) of your water. That works out to about 10,000 gallons.
    Gold Supporter, TFP Lifetime Supporter, 26,680 gal Plaster IGP 3.5 - 10' depth / Attached Waterfall Spa, Manually Chlorinated, Triton Sand Filter, 1.5 HP * 1.1 SF = 1.65 SFHP 1-speed Pentair WhisperFlo WF-26 Pump, 400K BTU NG Teledyne Laars Series One Heater, Polaris 360, Test Kit Comparison, Chlorine/CYA Chart, SLAMing Your Pool, OCLT
    A good test kit is an investment, not an expense.

  7. Back To Top    #7

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    Re: Can not get PH to raise

    Quote Originally Posted by ljurgens
    Yes, CYA is to high. So with that level and 15k gallons, how much would I need to drain to get the level down to an acceptable range?
    In the future, you should use poolcalculator.com.
    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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    Butterfly's Avatar
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    Re: Can not get PH to raise

    Did you use the dilution test for the CYA?
    TFP Moderator TF100 Test Kit TF100 TestKit YouTube Channel PoolMath
    You're done SLAMing when:
    1)You lose 1ppm or less FC overnight, & 2)You have .5ppm CC's or less, & 3)your water is clear.

    ~ One should not use a sledge hammer to swat a mosquito. ~

    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

  9. Back To Top    #9

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    Re: Can not get PH to raise

    Sorry for the long post, but I've got so much spinning in my head I need to get it down and see if I'm on the right track.

    So I've got all the algae cleared and everything vacuumed clean and back washed out. New sand in the filter (300lb) and pump has been running 24/7 for 3 days now.

    Pool looks nice and clean and water is clear!

    Today even though it is still raining here (WI) I grabbed a sample from as far down as I could reach without getting my t-shirt sleeve wet. Tested and here is what I have today:

    FC = 21 (shocked 3 days ago)
    CC = .80
    PH = 7.2
    TA = 200+ (I'm guessing here, ran the test twice and both times the sample never turned red, it just turns from green to yellow. The first couple of drops I could see the red swirl, but then swirling removed that, I stopped at 20 drops...)
    CH = 50
    CYA = 70 (7ml of pool water mixed with 7ml of tap water, then dumped 7ml and added 7ml of the testing solution, shook for 30 seconds and ran the test twice, both times the black dot completely disappeared at 70). This seems better since I had drained the pool down about 1/2 way for winter storage and it filled with rain water and snow.

    I ordered a borate test kit, as I have added borates (last summer and this spring) and need to know where I am at.

    I have the following chemicals on hand:
    - 8% bleach, 3 121oz bottles
    - 1 box of 20 mule team borax
    - 1 bag of Baking Soda
    - 1 Box of Washing Soda
    - 1/2 gallon of Muriatic Acid
    - about 10 pucks of tri-chlor
    - 6 bags of shock

    So this is what I think I need to do, in order, based on pool school reading, the pool calculator and my reading of messages here, please let me know if I'm off base.
    1. Turn off the tri-chlor feeder and never use the pucks again. Done! (what do I do with the pucks and shock bags?)
    2. Get the TA down, but how do I confirm the reading I'm getting?
    3. Get the PH up after TA is down.
    4. Slowly drain out some of the water to get the CYA down even more.
    Pool: IG - Vinyl - 15k gallons - 16x32 3-5' depth
    Pump: Hayward Superpump - 1-1/2 HP
    Filter: Hayward Sand - 300lb with 62gpm flow rate.
    Chlorinator: None, using Chlorine bleach only

  10. Back To Top    #10
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Can not get PH to raise

    If the dot disappeared at 70, then you forgot to double that and your CYA is closer to 140ppm.

    I think the first step is a lot of water replacement to get the CYA down ... TA is about the last thing to worry about.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Can not get PH to raise

    With high FC, TA test colors get messed up. Don't worry about TA until you're done with the shock process.

    You're almost done with the shock process. You just need to keep that FC up there until CC drops below .5. And after it does, run the overnight loss test. When all three have passed, you're done. Let the FC come down to below 10 and then rerun the tests and we'll go from there.
    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!

  12. Back To Top    #12

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    Re: Can not get PH to raise

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle
    If the dot disappeared at 70, then you forgot to double that and your CYA is closer to 140ppm.
    Ah yes, I did forget to double, darn it all.
    Pool: IG - Vinyl - 15k gallons - 16x32 3-5' depth
    Pump: Hayward Superpump - 1-1/2 HP
    Filter: Hayward Sand - 300lb with 62gpm flow rate.
    Chlorinator: None, using Chlorine bleach only

  13. Back To Top    #13
    Butterfly's Avatar
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    Re: Can not get PH to raise

    uh oh, Time for the water dance, partial drains/refills until the CYA gets lowered to something reasonable.
    TFP Moderator TF100 Test Kit TF100 TestKit YouTube Channel PoolMath
    You're done SLAMing when:
    1)You lose 1ppm or less FC overnight, & 2)You have .5ppm CC's or less, & 3)your water is clear.

    ~ One should not use a sledge hammer to swat a mosquito. ~

    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

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