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Thread: Inconsistent alkalinity test results

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    Azmp1's Avatar
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    Inconsistent alkalinity test results

    So yesterday, I decide to take a water sample to my local pool and spa shop (Sweetwater), mainly to see what my TDS numbers are. All results looked pretty much up to par with my testing (I use Taylor K-2005 kit) except the Alkalinity.
    I'm getting a result of 130 TA with my k-2005 (tested again to confirm right after the pool shop), but in Sweetwater they're getting 100 TA and 80 AA (adjusted Alk, they said AA is based on TDS and CYA numbers and is a more accurate number to use then TA). So basically, They're telling my alk is low, their range is 120-150 for AA and basically I need to raise it. They told me their kits and formulas are all from BioGuard since this is the main product they sell. They tried to sell me their Alk increaser product which is BioGuard Maintain balance pak 100 12lbs bag and told me I need to use the entire bag to get the alk back up.
    I did not buy the product and wanted to check with you guys first.
    First i'm pretty hesitant to even do this as i'm not sure of an accuracy of their test.
    Second, even assuming that I do need to increase, looks like this product is nothing more then baking soda anyway (Sodium Hydrogen Carbonate: 100%) but with $26 tag, whereas I can get a 13.5lbs bag of baking soda in Costco for $7.

    As always any feedback is much appreciated.
    19200gl rectangular gunite/diamondbrite perl pool || Coverpools auto cover || Jandy variable speed 2hp e-pump & Polaris PB4-60 booster pump || Polaris 3900 sport cleaner || Jandy CV filter || Jandy AqualinkRS8 w/Aqualink touch || Jandy iAqualink2.0 || Jandy Watercolors LED || Jandy AquaPure 1400 SWCG || Hayward auto chlorinator (backup) || Raypak 117k BTU heat pump

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Inconsistent alkalinity test results

    You are correct on all counts.

    And even if they are correct that TA is 100, there's nothing wrong with that reading!
    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: Inconsistent alkalinity test results

    Sounds like you've read right through them. Sadly, most stores are this way now.
    Anything to sell products to the unsuspecting.

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    Azmp1's Avatar
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    Re: Inconsistent alkalinity test results

    Great, thank you folks. So I should just stick with my k2005 readings and ignore their "adjusted alkalinity" sell?

    Further, reading some more on this bioguard product looks like its not exactly like baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) and will also increase pH whereas as standard baking soda will not. I certainly don't need to have my pH up as its right at 7.4
    19200gl rectangular gunite/diamondbrite perl pool || Coverpools auto cover || Jandy variable speed 2hp e-pump & Polaris PB4-60 booster pump || Polaris 3900 sport cleaner || Jandy CV filter || Jandy AqualinkRS8 w/Aqualink touch || Jandy iAqualink2.0 || Jandy Watercolors LED || Jandy AquaPure 1400 SWCG || Hayward auto chlorinator (backup) || Raypak 117k BTU heat pump

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Inconsistent alkalinity test results

    Quote Originally Posted by Azmp1 View Post
    Great, thank you folks. So I should just stick with my k2005 readings and ignore their "adjusted alkalinity" sell?

    Further, reading some more on this bioguard product looks like its not exactly like baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) and will also increase pH whereas as standard baking soda will not. I certainly don't need to have my pH up as its right at 7.4
    Nonsense. 100% baking soda is 100% baking soda no matter what.

    If you look down low on poolmath, you can see what adding each chemical will do where it says Effects of Adding Chemicals. Baking Soda has very little effect on pH.
    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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    Azmp1's Avatar
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    Re: Inconsistent alkalinity test results

    Yep. Just found this thread as well. http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...ogen-carbonate

    Per Chemgeek: "Sodium hydrogen carbonate is a synonym for sodium bicarbonate and is the same thing as baking soda. The Bioguard Alkalinity Up product you refer to is identical to baking soda. It is sodium carbonate that is in pH Up products and that you don't want to use for raising TA since it also raises pH substantially."

    So here we have baking soda with 200% mark up lol.
    19200gl rectangular gunite/diamondbrite perl pool || Coverpools auto cover || Jandy variable speed 2hp e-pump & Polaris PB4-60 booster pump || Polaris 3900 sport cleaner || Jandy CV filter || Jandy AqualinkRS8 w/Aqualink touch || Jandy iAqualink2.0 || Jandy Watercolors LED || Jandy AquaPure 1400 SWCG || Hayward auto chlorinator (backup) || Raypak 117k BTU heat pump

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    Re: Inconsistent alkalinity test results

    Not singling out azmp1, but we see posts similar to this EVERY day on this forum...

    Folks receive their new, precision test kit, perform the tests and then rush to the pool store to "verify" the results....STOP DOING THAT!!!

    Why would you check your results against a source that is KNOWN to be wildly inaccurate.

    Post your results up here when you are a ne3wbie....you'll get quick response and you'll get advice from people who likely have the same kit you do AND you'll get advice where they are not trying to SELL you something.

    TFPC - Trust your own testing...it's one of our basic principles.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Azmp1's Avatar
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    Re: Inconsistent alkalinity test results

    No worries, don't feel singled out .

    But to point out, as I've stated above, I did not go there to double check my the results, rather than to check TDS levels since its one thing I cant test at home. Alkalinity question came up as a side effect of my visit. I'm certainly still a noob as this is only my second season as a pool owner, and that definitely worried me, hence this post. I had no idea these pool shops tests are considered inaccurate and poorly regarded... I know better know. For the record though, I'm perfectly happy with my Taylor kit
    19200gl rectangular gunite/diamondbrite perl pool || Coverpools auto cover || Jandy variable speed 2hp e-pump & Polaris PB4-60 booster pump || Polaris 3900 sport cleaner || Jandy CV filter || Jandy AqualinkRS8 w/Aqualink touch || Jandy iAqualink2.0 || Jandy Watercolors LED || Jandy AquaPure 1400 SWCG || Hayward auto chlorinator (backup) || Raypak 117k BTU heat pump

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    Re: Inconsistent alkalinity test results

    BUT ... TDS is a meaningless parameter. It is composed of all the stuff that you are now able to test individually. It used to be helpful before there was a good CYA test, but now it is more telling to know the CH and CYA, etc separately.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Azmp1's Avatar
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    Re: Inconsistent alkalinity test results

    Yes I'm aware. Was mainly curios what was the number after one season and winter chemicals. I recall reading if you go over 2500ppm TDS is not good... I suppose that would be mainly accumulated stabilizer via chlorine tabs which can be tested by CYA test, but still was just me being curious.


    19200gl rectangular gunite/diamondbrite perl pool || Coverpools auto cover || Jandy variable speed 2hp e-pump & Polaris PB4-60 booster pump || Polaris 3900 sport cleaner || Jandy CV filter || Jandy AqualinkRS8 w/Aqualink touch || Jandy iAqualink2.0 || Jandy Watercolors LED || Jandy AquaPure 1400 SWCG || Hayward auto chlorinator (backup) || Raypak 117k BTU heat pump

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