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Thread: which to do first - ph, FC or TA?

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    which to do first - ph, FC or TA?

    New pool with first test today. Here are the results:
    FC: 0
    TH: 0
    pH: 8.4
    TA: 40
    CYA: 40

    Which do we do first- increase the FC and decrease the pH or increase the TA? We are wanting to do the BBB method.

    Thanks!
    16x24 Kayak pool; 11,000 gallons; Hayward Super pump 3/4 horsepower with sand filter;

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    duraleigh's Avatar
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    Re: which to do first - ph, FC or TA?

    Welcome to the forum.

    Unusual test results. How did you get 8.4 on pH? What test kit are you using?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: which to do first - ph, FC or TA?

    Assuming those results are dependable, lower PH to around 7.5 first. Then add chlorine. Finally, test TA again, and adjust as needed.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: which to do first - ph, FC or TA?

    Quote Originally Posted by hvactech14
    New pool with first test today. Here are the results:
    FC: 0
    TH: 0
    pH: 8.4
    TA: 40
    CYA: 40

    Which do we do first- increase the FC and decrease the pH or increase the TA? We are wanting to do the BBB method.

    Thanks!
    Welcome!

    New pool to you, or brand-spanking-just-set-up-and-filled today kind of new? I'm only asking because if it's a fresh fill, how did the CYA get to 40 so fast? You're not using those ,gasp. test strips are 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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    Re: which to do first - ph, FC or TA?

    We checked with a kit this morning and our pH was less than 6.8. We plugged that in to the pool calculator and added borax ( only half of the recommends). We checked again after church a couple hours later and the pH. was crazy. We are new to this and COMPLETELY confused

    Unfortunately we are waiting on our test kit to get here so we had to use strips from the pool store for now. Our pool is a new fill.
    16x24 Kayak pool; 11,000 gallons; Hayward Super pump 3/4 horsepower with sand filter;

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: which to do first - ph, FC or TA?

    Quote Originally Posted by hvactech14
    We checked with a kit this morning and our pH was less than 6.8. We plugged that in to the pool calculator and added borax ( only half of the recommends). We checked again after church a couple hours later and the pH. was crazy. We are new to this and COMPLETELY confused

    Unfortunately we are waiting on our test kit to get here so we had to use strips from the pool store for now. Our pool is a new fill.
    Okay... well, you've learned a valuable lesson the first day: the strips are unreliable. Tap water has no CYA, so there's no way you can actually have 40 in it. And if that test is so far out of whack, how can you trust the pH test?

    Until your test kit arrives, I'd stick with just adding bleach, about a quart a day, until you get some reliable test results. As long as the pool doesn't go green, everything else can be fixed in a few hours.

    You will need to get some CYA (stabilizer) in there, and today or tomorrow would be a good time to do it, because it takes a few days to dissolve. Handily, a four pound container will put your CYA about 44, which is a good number. Pour the granules in an old sock or nylon, tie it up, and hang it in front of a return or let it bob around tied to some floating pool toy.
    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: which to do first - ph, FC or TA?

    Don't know if this changes anything ( sorry told you we were new to this) but my wife just reminded me that we filled the pool up last Friday a week ago. We had to get a part for our pump so our water was just sitting. When we went to the pool store for the part he told us since it had been sitting a week, we needed to shock it once until we got the pump running. That was on Friday, so will that affect the CYA and other numbers. I know we wont be listening to him anymore. Sorry for all the questions. I hope this gets easier! !
    16x24 Kayak pool; 11,000 gallons; Hayward Super pump 3/4 horsepower with sand filter;

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    Re: which to do first - ph, FC or TA?

    Our water is also from a spring, so don't know if that makes a difference!!
    16x24 Kayak pool; 11,000 gallons; Hayward Super pump 3/4 horsepower with sand filter;

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: which to do first - ph, FC or TA?

    Quote Originally Posted by hvactech14
    Don't know if this changes anything ( sorry told you we were new to this) but my wife just reminded me that we filled the pool up last Friday a week ago. We had to get a part for our pump so our water was just sitting. When we went to the pool store for the part he told us since it had been sitting a week, we needed to shock it once until we got the pump running. That was on Friday, so will that affect the CYA and other numbers. I know we wont be listening to him anymore. Sorry for all the questions. I hope this gets easier! !
    What exactly did you put in, and how much? "Shock" can be dichlor, trichlor, cal-hypo, lithium hypo, monopersulfate, or even sodium hypochlorite liquid!

    Unless you're next to an EPA Superfund site, there will be no CYA in your well water. But there could have been some in whatever they sold 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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    Re: which to do first - ph, FC or TA?

    It was tri-chlor
    16x24 Kayak pool; 11,000 gallons; Hayward Super pump 3/4 horsepower with sand filter;

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    Re: which to do first - ph, FC or TA?

    A one pound bag
    16x24 Kayak pool; 11,000 gallons; Hayward Super pump 3/4 horsepower with sand filter;

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: which to do first - ph, FC or TA?

    Assuming the pool is indeed 11000 gallons, no harm done. 16 oz trichlor would only raise CYA 5.5 ppm, so my original advice still stands.
    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: which to do first - ph, FC or TA?

    Ok thanks. Just want to make sure its ok for the kids to swim in. Thanks again for your help'
    16x24 Kayak pool; 11,000 gallons; Hayward Super pump 3/4 horsepower with sand filter;

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    Laenini's Avatar
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    Re: which to do first - ph, FC or TA?

    Quote Originally Posted by hvactech14
    Ok thanks. Just want to make sure its ok for the kids to swim in. Thanks again for your help'

    Its not ready to swim in yet IMO. You need to know your pH and have it within acceptable range (7.5 to 7.8) and you need to have an acceptable level of sanitizer (free chlorine) which is generally considered to be 3-7 before the pool is safe for the kids-and you! If your pH is out of whack there are long term consequences for your pool equipment, but more importantly in the short term there are health consequences for you and the kids. Out of range pH can cause skin, mucous membrane, and eye irritation if its mildly off, and damage to those body structures if its more seriously out of range. Lack of sufficient sanitizer will allow bacteria, algae and fungus to grow at an exponential rate! This can pose serious risk to your family. So I would keep everyone out of the pool until you have a handle on at least these two parameters as they have the potential to cause immediate and serious harm to your family until they are at target levels and stabilized there.

    The other parameters we test for like Cya, TA, and Calcium are a bit more forgiving during this initial start up phase you are in. They need to be adjusted too, but are slower to adjust and don't have the immediate health concerns in fresh pool water that pH and free chlorine have. So its safe to swim if your TA is too high (if its low its a quick, easy adjustment) and if your CYA is too low (which is assumed in a fresh fill as the only source of CYA is product that you have added yourself to pool water). If your CYA is too high (this happens in more established pools for various reasons) the high CYA can make your sanitizer less effective and require you to run higher levels to keep your pool safe. But again, that should not be an issue on a fresh fill. Calcium can difficult to adjust and has varying levels of importance based on the type of pool you own.

    The good news is you have found the right place to learn about your pool and how to manage it safely and economically! Read through the Pool School topics that you can link to from the front page of the site. After you have read them, read them again, and again! Its a lot of information to sink in from just one read through. Feel free to ask tons of questions. This board is full of helpful, honest folks who will happily help you learn about BBB and just about anything else you might want to know about your pool! Soon you will no longer be confused!

    Welcome to Trouble Free Pool!
    Leanne
    Pool: 24' round by 48" deep AGP
    Waterway 1HP-2 speed pump, H100 Heater, sand filter, skimmer, using BBB (love it!)
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