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Thread: High TA - do I need to aggressively lower it?

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    High TA - do I need to aggressively lower it?

    Hi! I'm really excited to have found this forum and hope that my first post includes all the necessary information...

    We have always had high TA, but our other numbers have been good and the water has always been clear and nice looking. This is the second year of us having a pool and we are still using shock, but want to switch to the BBB method. We have hard water where we live, so would that have anything to do with our high TA levels? The pool store wants us to use "Metal Magic", but we have always tried to use minimal amounts of chemicals, so we haven't done that. Do we really need to use "Metal Magic" or should we try to lower ph in order to lower TA? How serious is it to have high TA levels in the long term? We have a vinyl pool, so that should help a little, right? Also, is it possible to simply switch to BBB in the middle of the season or are there some issues we should be aware of?

    We just used the TF-100 test kit for the first time with the following results:
    PH - 7.5
    FC - 6
    TA - 180
    CH -390
    CYA - 50-55
    ~15K gal, AG

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: High TA - do I need to aggressively lower it?

    Welcome to TFP!

    Your TA isn't a major concern, but it may cause you to work harder to keep your pH down. If you'll keep your pH in the lower end of the range, your TA will go down over time, or you can get aggressive at keeping your pH low and aerate the water to lower the TA more rapidly. Not a major issue, and you certainly don't need metal magic because of it.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

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    pwrstrk's Avatar
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    Re: High TA - do I need to aggressively lower it?

    I agree. It seems alot of people tend to stress over the TA.


    Jeff
    24'x54" AG Morada RTR (by wilbar) 13'500 gal. Hayward Powerflo Matrix 1hp 2 speed. Hayward Perflex EC65 DE filter.

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    Re: High TA - do I need to aggressively lower it?

    The TA only need to be lowered if you find the pH tends to rise more frequently then you would like so that you are adding acid frequently. That does not seem to be the case in your situation. Another reason to lower it given your other numbers would be if your water was a little cloudy or you were getting scale on the walls because your saturation index is a little high (around +0.4). If you're not experiencing those problems, then I wouldn't worry about the TA.

    As for Metal Magic, you would only need that if you have metals in the water at a high enough level to cause metal staining. You didn't report having metal stains so probably don't need to use that product.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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    Charlie_R's Avatar
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    Re: High TA - do I need to aggressively lower it?

    Example: My TA was 180-220 from my fill water (depending on what day I test tap water). Lowered it to current 120. pH stay pretty constant now at 7.4
    15'x48" 4500 gallon Intex pool, buried 1.5 ft. Pac-Fab Dynamo 3/4 hp pump. Hayward S180T sand filter, bought used. Taylor K-2006 test kit. Rocket mass heater based wood fired pool heater.

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    Re: High TA - do I need to aggressively lower it?

    Thank you so much for the replies! This might be a stupid question, but where should I keep an eye on the metal stains? Would they appear on the liner too? Our fill water has high TA, I just don't remember the actual numbers, but I don't think we've ever had scale on the walls and the water seems very clear right now. However, we had to lower ph a few days ago, so maybe we should try to lower it further to bring down TA? We still have some ph lowering stuff from the pool store left over because we've been very conservative with all chemical use, so would it be ok to use it up or should we switch to muriatic acid or dry acid right away? Is there a major difference between the two other than cost? We have a 2.5 year old, so we try to be extra careful with any chemical use and so far have been very lucky not to have any major issues. Also, is switching over to BBB mid-season as simple as starting to use bleach instead of shock and doing the testing nightly/weekly to see what else needs to be added? Thank you so much in advance!
    ~15K gal, AG

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    Re: High TA - do I need to aggressively lower it?

    I should probably add that I don't remember us having high ph values last summer, but I do remember us always having high TA values which we mainly ignored because one employee at the pool store told us that as long as our other values were good, we didn't need to worry about it.
    ~15K gal, AG

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    Re: High TA - do I need to aggressively lower it?

    Actually in that one case, the pool store employee was right. But don't depend on them for other advise.

    If you already have a T 100 test kit and know how to use it, you are already making the switch to BBB method. It just means being aware of all the chemicals that go into your pool and making sure that you only add what is necessary. If you have read and beginning to grasp all the info in Pool School (button on top right of this page) than you are becoming a BBB pool owner. If you have some leftover dry acid and you need to lower the pH, it's fine to use it. We generally use MA because it is very effective at lowering pH while having the least undesirably side effects. Just like most here using bleach (or chlorinating liquid) because it has the least side effects compared to tablets or powdered shock.

    Lowering TA is primarily about buffering constant pH rise. If that's not a problem, ignore it. Learn to use the Pool Calculator. It will show you what you need to add to the pool. It will also help you maintain a neutral or negative CSI which will prevent scaling.
    chiefwej
    Tucson, AZ
    16x36 rectangular (19k) Pebble Tec play pool/spa, Pentair Intelliflo VS 011018, Super II 2hp (spa), Aqua Rite T-15 SWG, Pro Grid 60 DE, Hayward H400 & Heliocol Solar heating, A&A infloor system, fill water w/high CH and TA, 50 ppm borates,TF-100 test kit

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    Charlie_R's Avatar
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    Re: High TA - do I need to aggressively lower it?

    High TA and metal staining are two different things. That pool store employee that confused the two has confused you, too. TA = Total Alkalinity. Has nothing to do with metals in your water.

    You need to check Pool School again, paying special attention to the acronyms and abbreviations used in pool terminology.
    15'x48" 4500 gallon Intex pool, buried 1.5 ft. Pac-Fab Dynamo 3/4 hp pump. Hayward S180T sand filter, bought used. Taylor K-2006 test kit. Rocket mass heater based wood fired pool heater.

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