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Thread: pH over 45? Is that even possible?

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    pH over 45? Is that even possible?

    My pool is a green slimy mess again. I have removed the leaves, brushed the walls, vac'd to waste, and cleaned the cartridges. Now, I am ready to slam this thing. I tested my water using the Taylor TF-100 (kit purchased new last year.) My pH was too high to get a reading using the comparative chart, so I diluted the pool sample with tap water. I got a reading of 7.8 using 1 part pool water to 5 parts tap water. Could my pH be 46.8? Is that even possible without sustaining burns? My dog drinks out of that mess for pete's sake!

    I have posted my results below.

    Thanks!

    FC 0
    pH ?
    TA 90
    CH 210
    CYA 0
    16.8k gallons, IG fiberglass (installed approximately 2000), 1 HP Challenger Pentair pump, Hayward SwimClear cartridge filter (none of the particulars are marked, but it has four 100 sq ft cartridges), UltraPure oxidizer, TF-100 test kit

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: pH over 45? Is that even possible?

    No, because pH isn't a dissolved compound like CYA. Dilution doesn't affect it the same way. Your tap water has a pH probably somewhere in the 7's. But it's a logarithmic thing, so straight arithmetic won't solve it. Whatever pH reads undiluted, that's what it is. If it's pinkish red, it's high. If it's yellow-orange, it's low.
    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: pH over 45? Is that even possible?

    It is electric pink. I used 8.2 as my reading and added 31 oz of muriatic acid. I waited 20 minutes and tested again. I still had the electric pink color, so I added 16 oz more of muriatic acid. Again, I waited 20 minutes. Again, the color was electric pink.

    How much do you suggest I add. I need to get that pH down so I can add the bleach. Also, do I need to start cya going in?
    16.8k gallons, IG fiberglass (installed approximately 2000), 1 HP Challenger Pentair pump, Hayward SwimClear cartridge filter (none of the particulars are marked, but it has four 100 sq ft cartridges), UltraPure oxidizer, TF-100 test kit

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    Re: pH over 45? Is that even possible?

    You're doing things perfect. Just test pH and TA and plug the numbers into pool math and one of these times, you will see the pH color shift. You will probably notice TA is dropping and so is the amount of acid it tells you to add.

    CYA can be added any time. Use the sock method. You want to aim low, no higher than 30, to do the SLAM. You can raise it if you want once the SLAM is complete.
    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: pH over 45? Is that even possible?

    This is one of those rare times when the acid/base demand tests in the Taylor K-2006 would be useful to see how much acid is needed to be added to the pool to get to a certain pH. You can just add an amount of acid that would go from the highest level on the test (8.0 or 8.2 depending on your test kit) to 7.5. For your 16,800 gallon pool with a TA of 90 ppm, it takes around 4 cups of full-strength Muriatic Acid (31.45% Hydrochloric Acid) to lower the pH from 8.2 to 7.5. So your adding 32 ounces at a time is reasonable until you start to see the color drop. I suspect you are pretty close though. 48 ounces would go from 8.6 to 7.5 while 64 ounces would go from 8.9 to get to 7.5.
    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
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    Re: pH over 45? Is that even possible?

    I have added more acid and started the cya using the sock method. I'll test again in about 20 minutes. I guess the bright side is that the bleach won't be burned off by the sun. There are only a few more hours of daylight here today.
    16.8k gallons, IG fiberglass (installed approximately 2000), 1 HP Challenger Pentair pump, Hayward SwimClear cartridge filter (none of the particulars are marked, but it has four 100 sq ft cartridges), UltraPure oxidizer, TF-100 test kit

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    Re: pH over 45? Is that even possible?

    Couple days ago someone else experienced the same as you. I think eventually, she added 90+ oz of MA, but finally got there.
    Unusual? Maybe. Unheard of? Not at all.
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

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    Re: pH over 45? Is that even possible?

    We are finally getting there. The pH appears to be 8.2. The TA is 60. I am going to add more acid. Do I need to be concerned with the TA prior to shocking?
    16.8k gallons, IG fiberglass (installed approximately 2000), 1 HP Challenger Pentair pump, Hayward SwimClear cartridge filter (none of the particulars are marked, but it has four 100 sq ft cartridges), UltraPure oxidizer, TF-100 test kit

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    Re: pH over 45? Is that even possible?

    No don't worry about the TA before SLAMming.
    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: pH over 45? Is that even possible?

    My FC appears to be a 5 using the comparative chart that comes with the test. Because 5 is the highest number on the chart, how do I know when my FC is 10?
    16.8k gallons, IG fiberglass (installed approximately 2000), 1 HP Challenger Pentair pump, Hayward SwimClear cartridge filter (none of the particulars are marked, but it has four 100 sq ft cartridges), UltraPure oxidizer, TF-100 test kit

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    Re: pH over 45? Is that even possible?

    You use the FAS DPD part of the kit to check FC Levels instead of the comparator
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    Re: pH over 45? Is that even possible?

    That makes sense. Sometimes I overlook the obvious!
    16.8k gallons, IG fiberglass (installed approximately 2000), 1 HP Challenger Pentair pump, Hayward SwimClear cartridge filter (none of the particulars are marked, but it has four 100 sq ft cartridges), UltraPure oxidizer, TF-100 test kit

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    Re: pH over 45? Is that even possible?

    Did you get your pH down yet?
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

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    Re: pH over 45? Is that even possible?

    Yes, I did get the pH down, and started the SLAM process. I checked my chlorine level a few minutes ago using the FAS DPD method. It is 13.

    I am hoping that the water continues to clear today. It currently looks like lake water (dingy brown), but that is an improvement over the thick pea soup that I did have! The pump is running 24 hours a day. I am cleaning filters and brushing. I vac'd Wednesday. It rained almost all day Thursday, and I was gone all day yesterday. I haven't yet vac'd today, but I plan to do so.

    I sure would appreciate any additional advice. Thanks so much for all your help!
    16.8k gallons, IG fiberglass (installed approximately 2000), 1 HP Challenger Pentair pump, Hayward SwimClear cartridge filter (none of the particulars are marked, but it has four 100 sq ft cartridges), UltraPure oxidizer, TF-100 test kit

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    Re: pH over 45? Is that even possible?

    I couldn't decipher from the above posts where your CYA ended up (I assume 30?). If so, keep doing what you're doing. The more often you can test/dose, the better, and the same goes for scooping/vacuuming/brushing.
    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: pH over 45? Is that even possible?

    Just a note on the TA - TA lower than 50 can cause contribute to extreme fluctuation in PH - so if it goes much lower than where you're at, add a little baking soda - which shouldn't raise the PH much. Just keep an eye on it going forward...

    oh and...
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: pH over 45? Is that even possible?

    Quote Originally Posted by frustratedpoolmom View Post
    Just a note on the TA - TA lower than 50 can cause contribute to extreme fluctuation in PH - so if it goes much lower than where you're at, add a little baking soda - which shouldn't raise the PH much. Just keep an eye on it going forward...

    oh and...
    I agree with the pictures, disagree on the TA. He's in the middle of the SLAM. One thing at a time. pH and TA are easy to fix once the pool is clear.
    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: pH over 45? Is that even possible?

    CYA was initially 0. I began adding cyanuric acid using the sock method. I haven't checked it because I thought it took about a week before you got a real reading, and I didn't think it was a part of the slam process. We git a ton of rain, and I have vac'd to waste so I wouldn't be surprised to discover that it is still at or close to 0.

    I also haven't checked pH because I read it was unreliable during the slam. I haven't checked TA either because of the slam. I did just check my chlorine level again with the FAS DPD method. It is holding steady at 13.
    16.8k gallons, IG fiberglass (installed approximately 2000), 1 HP Challenger Pentair pump, Hayward SwimClear cartridge filter (none of the particulars are marked, but it has four 100 sq ft cartridges), UltraPure oxidizer, TF-100 test kit

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    Re: pH over 45? Is that even possible?

    I took two pictures. I can't explain the foam. It appeared after the bleach additions. I don't have any air in the lines, my pressure is good, and my baskets are clear.

    The photos are viewable on photobucket. I apologize for the trouble of having to view them there. They are only 100kb each and 400x300, but they would not upload successfully so I was forced to do something else.
    16.8k gallons, IG fiberglass (installed approximately 2000), 1 HP Challenger Pentair pump, Hayward SwimClear cartridge filter (none of the particulars are marked, but it has four 100 sq ft cartridges), UltraPure oxidizer, TF-100 test kit

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: pH over 45? Is that even possible?

    Foam during a SLAM is not uncommon. Very often it is caused by algaecides that were added in the past. Don't worry about it, just get that water clear! And you are correct about ignoring everything but FC & CC during the SLAM and waiting to test CYA. You're learning quick!
    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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