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Thread: Going it alone. Need help.

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    simonmoll's Avatar
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    Going it alone. Need help.

    Over the last 12 years no pool company I have hired has been able to keep my pool from going green. In exasperation I turned to the internet and found your site. I used some AquaCheck pool strips that the pool company kept in the pump room. Sure enough the Stabilizer reading was 300+. I am assuming this is basically a CYA reading and that the strips are somewhat accurate.
    The pool company would not believe that this was the problem. So I drained the pool almost empty and refilled and brought the stabilizer reading to 30-50 per the strips. Thoroughly scrubbed and vacuumed the pool and cleaned the filter. Put some bleach in to bring FC reading to 5 and watched to see whether FC reading was different in the morning (it wasn't) and now have a lovely clear pool without the chemical taste it had. And sacked the pool company!

    So while I wait for a proper test kit to be shipped to me (seems no one here sells anything other than Taylor K 2005) I have to do some guessing and need help.

    The PH was high 8.4+ and the alkalinity high 180 ish. I put in a gallon (per pool math) of muriatic acid (20% Baume) which I bought at the hardware store. The ph has hardy gone down (maybe to 8+). I am encouraging the kids to splash around to aerate the pool but there has to be a better way ( I cannot get the jets to break the surface).

    So I need advice as to whether to put another gallon of acid in to reduce ph? Any other help on what I have done so far would be appreciated. The last thing I wanted to do was add another chore to my life but I enjoy the pool so much I cannot bear to see it green again.
    11,750 gall. concrete, in ground pool in Barbados. Shallow (max depth 4'6"). New (May 2016) Hayward variable speed pump and SWG and (make?) PH controller. Hayward Star Clear filter (50 sq ft). History of algae but not since joining TFP! Surrounded by coconut trees and other palms. Serious white fly infestation of palms continues.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Going it alone. Need help.

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    Congrats on taking control and ordering a test kit

    The aerating is just raising the pH and it sounds like your pH is still high, so I am not sure I follow why you are splashing around

    You certainly want to get the pH in range, but I am not sure I would want to trust the test strips ... do you have a simple drop based pH test?
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    bridgman's Avatar
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    Re: Going it alone. Need help.

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    The aerating is just raising the pH and it sounds like your pH is still high, so I am not sure I follow why you are splashing around
    I suspect the aerating is in anticipation of adding further acid, so the combination would reduce TA, but kids are a daytime resource so the aerating started early

    IOW simonmoll is looking for confirmation that adding more acid to take the pH down further then aerating some more is what he should be doing.
    Cedar hot tub, 680 US gallons - Snorkel wood-burning heater, canoe paddle, "offline" Intex 1000 GPH pump/filter with skimmer

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Going it alone. Need help.

    It's quite believable. Your tester can't read any higher. For all you know, you started at 10! But do bear in mind that test strips are very unreliable. Follow the instructions exactly - fight the natural urge to set the strip on that color matching thing - the surface tension will wick the water all over the place and bleed the other chemicals onto the little pads. And if they say take the reading at 30 seconds, use a watch and take the reading at 30 seconds exactly.

    Once you have the proper test kit, you'll be amazed at how easy it is to adjust the water and keep it there.
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    simonmoll's Avatar
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    Re: Going it alone. Need help.

    Ok so I think more acid and aeration to reduce ph and alkalinity is what I should do. Keep you posted.
    What is the effect of having these high for a long period?
    11,750 gall. concrete, in ground pool in Barbados. Shallow (max depth 4'6"). New (May 2016) Hayward variable speed pump and SWG and (make?) PH controller. Hayward Star Clear filter (50 sq ft). History of algae but not since joining TFP! Surrounded by coconut trees and other palms. Serious white fly infestation of palms continues.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Going it alone. Need help.

    Your statements make me think you do not fully grasp what aeration does and the process of lowering TA. All aeration does is raise the pH. The acid then lowers both the pH and TA.

    Get the pH down to the low 7s and then start aeration.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Smykowski's Avatar
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    Re: Going it alone. Need help.

    Quote Originally Posted by simonmoll View Post
    What is the effect of having these high for a long period?
    Maybe nothing. What is your CH level? You may not have to mess with TA at all. Yes, it's high, but if all of the other parameters are in our recommended range, you may just have to leave the pH in the low 7s, and everything will find it's happy place naturally.

    If you're trying to lower TA because the number is high, don't worry about it. I want to see how all of the numbers interact together before you take the effort.

    Please post all results like this:

    pH
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    Temperature
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    Re: Going it alone. Need help.

    Welcome, I too would suggest you get a cheap drop based kit if you can while you wait for your good kit to come in, here in the U.S. these basic drop based (OTO chlorine test preffered, DPD color matching is acceptable) cost under about $10. They don't test for a lot of the stuff covered in the suggested kits, but do have a good pH test and an ok chlorine test at least for low ranges of chlorine. As to the TA issue, like others have said, don't worry about it, TA is really a secondary factor in pool chemistry, sort of a fine tuning thing and can wait until you get the major stuff under control, also with time and maintaining proper pH range it tends to balance itself out.
    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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    Re: Going it alone. Need help.

    What the TA tells you is how fast your pH will rebound after you have reduced it with acid. My tap water is high TA and so my pool tends to have high TA if it is not raining a lot. So I may be testing the pH and adding acid every other day to get the pH from 8.0 to 7.5. Sometimes if the TA is high I will push the pH lower, to 7.3 or 7.2, just to try to "wear away" some of the TA so that the pH will eventually start to settle out at 7.8 instead of 8.0.

    pH is important for eye comfort and plays a part in scaling issues. TA is important as it relates to pH, but not really important by itself.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

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    Re: Going it alone. Need help.

    Welcome to the forum! If you will learn the basics and follow the methods we teach, you'll never need a pool service again. You'll have a clear pool, and save a lot of money on that service as well.
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    Re: Going it alone. Need help.

    I was just going by this elsewhere in TFP.
    The acid/aeration process to lower TA:
    1. Add acid to lower your PH to between 7.0 and 7.2 (this also lowers TA)
    2. Aerate until PH rises to around 7.6 (the only way to raise PH without also raising TA)
    3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 until you reach the desired TA.

    Basically this is what I did. Maybe I didn't explain well enough. Now my TA is now 80 according to strips which is OK.
    HOWEVER I am really unsure of the PH as the strips give a color I cannot match well. I think my PH might be 8+ again. Now I am stuck because if I put more acid in my TA will be too low? What should I do if PH is high but TA is OK?

    Cannot wait for the test kit to arrive, hoping customs don't give me a hard time.
    11,750 gall. concrete, in ground pool in Barbados. Shallow (max depth 4'6"). New (May 2016) Hayward variable speed pump and SWG and (make?) PH controller. Hayward Star Clear filter (50 sq ft). History of algae but not since joining TFP! Surrounded by coconut trees and other palms. Serious white fly infestation of palms continues.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Going it alone. Need help.

    pH is the most important to keep in range. A TA of 80 is not that low. If it gets too low, then add a little baking soda.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Going it alone. Need help.

    Ph 8? reading not too clear this morning
    FC 1 just put half gallon of bleach in
    TA 80 was 240 until I put acid in last week.
    CYA 30-50 this is called stabilizer on the test strips. Was 300+ until I almost drained pool.

    The strips I have only give these four readings. Waiting for test kit from US.
    Pool clear but some green tinges in corners. Have brushed pool and will vacuum later today when settled.
    11,750 gall. concrete, in ground pool in Barbados. Shallow (max depth 4'6"). New (May 2016) Hayward variable speed pump and SWG and (make?) PH controller. Hayward Star Clear filter (50 sq ft). History of algae but not since joining TFP! Surrounded by coconut trees and other palms. Serious white fly infestation of palms continues.

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    Smykowski's Avatar
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    Re: Going it alone. Need help.

    Bring the pH down. You want it at 7.8 or below.
    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
    The most important article on this site - The ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry

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    Re: Going it alone. Need help.

    Finally got my TFT100 test kit and have tested this morning.
    pH 7.8 +?
    FC 3
    CC 0.5-1.0 ?
    TC 5
    TA 80
    CH 320
    CYA 38
    Temp guess 78

    Pool has green on concrete steps and pool floor. Not really bad and I have been controlling it by brushing and hovering.

    Do I need to raise TA? Even CYA as the sun is strong here?

    Next step to shock pool?

    Should I shock pool now?
    11,750 gall. concrete, in ground pool in Barbados. Shallow (max depth 4'6"). New (May 2016) Hayward variable speed pump and SWG and (make?) PH controller. Hayward Star Clear filter (50 sq ft). History of algae but not since joining TFP! Surrounded by coconut trees and other palms. Serious white fly infestation of palms continues.

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    Beens's Avatar
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    Re: Going it alone. Need help.

    I'm thinking your PH still looks too high. If you're gonna slam "they" will probably tell you to lower that first.

    Looks to me like it's time for a SLAM, but let's see what the experts say!

    Also, FC 3 is the bare minimum for a CYA of 40 (I'm thinking it's safe to round that puppy up since it's so close) Under normal circumstances (if you're not SLAMming) you'd have to aim higher than that (Like maybe 6 to give it some wiggle room) because you don't want it to ever drop below 3 and if you leave it there...it's gonna go too low before you test it again.

    Again, we'll see what the experts have to say! I'm just lurking today throwing my opinions around. lol
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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Going it alone. Need help.

    Beens is correct.

    The pH should come down to between 7.2 and 7.5 because you can't adjust it for a while.

    Then you need to SLAM. Leave the CYA right where it is for now. Later you can adjust iot, but it's at a good level for the SLAM right now.

    The TA is fine. It is the very last thing you adjust, after the pool is crystal clear and everything else is balanced and you're bored.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
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    simonmoll's Avatar
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    Re: Going it alone. Need help.

    So muriatic acid per pool maths. Have to wait until stores are open on Tuesday. Pool has gone green during the day but the FC says it is at 5?
    11,750 gall. concrete, in ground pool in Barbados. Shallow (max depth 4'6"). New (May 2016) Hayward variable speed pump and SWG and (make?) PH controller. Hayward Star Clear filter (50 sq ft). History of algae but not since joining TFP! Surrounded by coconut trees and other palms. Serious white fly infestation of palms continues.

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    Smykowski's Avatar
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    Re: Going it alone. Need help.

    Which test are you using for FC? The "matching yellow colors" test, or the "drops until the pink goes clear" test?
    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: Going it alone. Need help.

    Free chlorine was the drops as my understanding is that the "matching yellow" gives total chlorine and I gave that figure as TC above. Should TC = FC + CC?
    11,750 gall. concrete, in ground pool in Barbados. Shallow (max depth 4'6"). New (May 2016) Hayward variable speed pump and SWG and (make?) PH controller. Hayward Star Clear filter (50 sq ft). History of algae but not since joining TFP! Surrounded by coconut trees and other palms. Serious white fly infestation of palms continues.

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