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Thread: first test results - ph off the scale

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    first test results - ph off the scale

    Super excited to get the tf-100 kit in the mail today and I ran my first round of tests. The pool has been up for almost a month now and from the InstaTest3 test strips I had, I knew the PH was too high. Here are my more exact numbers from today's test:

    FC - 2
    CC - 0
    TA - 250
    PH - looks like 9+, beyond the scale on both the quick test in the tf100 and the test strips (more purple, if that makes sense)
    CYA - 60
    CH - 280
    Salt - 4400

    Questions!
    1.) What do I need to add? When I plug the info into the calculator, I'm thinking I need to add 154 oz muriatic acid, 36oz bleach and 61oz liquid stabilizer (though need to look again, b/c I have powdered stabilizer from the big box store, rather than liquid). Is that about right?

    2.) I would like to borax the pool. Reading pool school, I see that's going to raise the heck out my ph. Given my current ph problems, should I first stabilize the PH, then add the borax...or balance it all at once?

    3.) I see the test kit needs to be kept in climate control. I have a minifridge under the pavilion at the pool...can I store the reagents in the fridge, or is that too cold?

    Thanks!
    15K gal, 16'x32' oval, AG vinyl, 1.5 HP Splapool pump, Astralpool 120sqft cartridge filter, Hayward AquaTrol Digital SWG with Turbocell t-cell-5, Pool installed 6/1/2013, Wanda the Whale cleaning robot
    I like the TF-100 test kit | Pool Calculator

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: first test results - ph off the scale

    1) You need muriatic acid and chlorine/bleach right away. Raising the CYA level is also a good idea, but not any rush. Use granular stabilizer/cyanuric acid/conditioner, not liquid. Liquid costs like twice as much to no advantage.

    2) Wait to add borates until you have things completely under control.

    3) The test kit does not like rapid temperature swings. Going from inside the fridge to outdoors in the sun will shorten it's lifetime. If you were storing it unused for months, a fridge would be alright. But taking it in and out of a fridge even as often as once a week is not a good idea.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: first test results - ph off the scale

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    1) You need muriatic acid and chlorine/bleach right away. Raising the CYA level is also a good idea, but not any rush. Use granular stabilizer/cyanuric acid/conditioner, not liquid. Liquid costs like twice as much to no advantage.
    Good deal. I just added the muriatic acid and bleach. I'll run another test tomorrow...maybe the ph will be on the chart.

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    2) Wait to add borates until you have things completely under control.

    3) The test kit does not like rapid temperature swings. Going from inside the fridge to outdoors in the sun will shorten it's lifetime. If you were storing it unused for months, a fridge would be alright. But taking it in and out of a fridge even as often as once a week is not a good idea.
    Gotcha -- okay, I'll find a better place for the kit. We have a little building next to the pool. It's not exactly climate controlled, but it usually doesn't get too hot. Definitely not in the sun anyway! I was looking for somewhere handy for the K1000 so that I make sure to do my daily tests.

    Thanks!
    15K gal, 16'x32' oval, AG vinyl, 1.5 HP Splapool pump, Astralpool 120sqft cartridge filter, Hayward AquaTrol Digital SWG with Turbocell t-cell-5, Pool installed 6/1/2013, Wanda the Whale cleaning robot
    I like the TF-100 test kit | Pool Calculator

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    Re: first test results - ph off the scale

    Put the K-1000 in that little shed out of the sun. You would be better putting the rest of your kit in the house to get maximum use from the reagents. I encourage everyone to test with the "big" kit indoors.....it really makes it easier and your reagents will serve you well. Naturally, I ALWAYS keep fresh refills in stock
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: first test results - ph off the scale

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    Put the K-1000 in that little shed out of the sun. You would be better putting the rest of your kit in the house to get maximum use from the reagents. I encourage everyone to test with the "big" kit indoors.....it really makes it easier and your reagents will serve you well. Naturally, I ALWAYS keep fresh refills in stock
    Aww, but those videos look so cool with the guy testing poolside. That makes a lot of sense though -- testing inside will also make it easier to use those excel spreadsheets to track the levels.
    15K gal, 16'x32' oval, AG vinyl, 1.5 HP Splapool pump, Astralpool 120sqft cartridge filter, Hayward AquaTrol Digital SWG with Turbocell t-cell-5, Pool installed 6/1/2013, Wanda the Whale cleaning robot
    I like the TF-100 test kit | Pool Calculator

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: first test results - ph off the scale

    Quote Originally Posted by einhard
    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    Put the K-1000 in that little shed out of the sun. You would be better putting the rest of your kit in the house to get maximum use from the reagents. I encourage everyone to test with the "big" kit indoors.....it really makes it easier and your reagents will serve you well. Naturally, I ALWAYS keep fresh refills in stock
    Aww, but those videos look so cool with the guy testing poolside. That makes a lot of sense though -- testing inside will also make it easier to use those excel spreadsheets to track the levels.
    I do my testing seated at the patio table. Except the CYA test, where I move out of the shade and stand. I have a measuring cup with a spout I use for my sample water, which I fill by using a 4' piece of " PVC as a pipette.
    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: first test results - ph off the scale

    Alright! 26 hours after the muriatic acid and a bit of bleach, the levels are looking much better. PH is down to 7.5 and FC is up to 2.5. I had our SWG at 30%, so I've raised that up to 40% (with filter currently running 10am to 8pm). My TA is still high, though lower than the first test. Looking at Pool School, I know I'm not shooting for a target #, but given the high PH initially, should I repeat the muriatic acid and aeration round?

    FC 2.5
    CC 0.5
    TC 3
    PH 7.5
    TA 200
    CH 260
    CYA 55

    Test Kit is now inside btw.
    15K gal, 16'x32' oval, AG vinyl, 1.5 HP Splapool pump, Astralpool 120sqft cartridge filter, Hayward AquaTrol Digital SWG with Turbocell t-cell-5, Pool installed 6/1/2013, Wanda the Whale cleaning robot
    I like the TF-100 test kit | Pool Calculator

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: first test results - ph off the scale

    You can do it either way, lower TA now, or lower it more gradually over time. Given how high your TA is now, it is probably worth getting it down some more right away, but waiting can work nearly as well.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: first test results - ph off the scale

    I've been going back and forth with the PH and TA, trying to get the TA down to a reasonable level (mainly hoping to get it stabilized, so that the PH won't rise so much). So far, it's been working pretty well and the TA is steadily coming down. Last night, I had the following test result:

    FC 7.0
    CC 0.0
    PH 8
    TA 150
    CH 430 (?? - not sure why this has swung up so high as I haven't added anything but muriatic acid -- going to retest this pm)
    CYA 55

    With my high PH, I added 1 gallon (128 oz) of muriatic acid, which was too much, but I figured I still have a way to go and I'm planning to add borates anyway. The Pool Calculator shows that should have dropped the PH 1.76... (I have the eyeball pointing up, which is generating a pretty good churn and I ran Wanda the Whale all night to help mix.)

    Anyway, I tested this afternoon and I'm surprised that my PH is still high. I'm looking at a 7.8 PH and a TA of 120. It didn't take long for the PH to drop the last time I put the MA in...is it taking longer because the TA is moving closer to the stable target? Is my gallon of MA still working on the water or do I need to add more? We did have a pretty good 1-2" of rain this morning.
    15K gal, 16'x32' oval, AG vinyl, 1.5 HP Splapool pump, Astralpool 120sqft cartridge filter, Hayward AquaTrol Digital SWG with Turbocell t-cell-5, Pool installed 6/1/2013, Wanda the Whale cleaning robot
    I like the TF-100 test kit | Pool Calculator

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: first test results - ph off the scale

    The whole process does slow down as you get closer to the recommended TA level.

    If it has been more than half an hour since you added acid, it will have already had whatever effect it is going to have.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: first test results - ph off the scale

    Thanks Jason -- I'll add another dose of acid. I've been hitting up all the stores around here to get ready for the borax blast. Most places only have 2 or 3 boxes of the 20 mule in stock, so it's been a bit of a scavenger hunt.
    15K gal, 16'x32' oval, AG vinyl, 1.5 HP Splapool pump, Astralpool 120sqft cartridge filter, Hayward AquaTrol Digital SWG with Turbocell t-cell-5, Pool installed 6/1/2013, Wanda the Whale cleaning robot
    I like the TF-100 test kit | Pool Calculator

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