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Thread: Help with high pH

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Apr 2014

    Help with high pH

    I partially drained my pool back in April because of extremely high CYA levels and mustard algae issues. Once I refilled, I started using the bleach method to maintain chlorine levels and I test everything regularly with my TF100 test kit. Everything seems to be pretty perfect except for the pH. I have tested and have also had the pool store test, and we are both coming up with 7.8-8.0. I have added muriatic acid 4 or 5 times since I refilled, usually 2-4 cups at a time, and I test the next day. The pH does not budge after adding the acid and I cannot figure out why. The only 2 things that I can come up with are:

    -I added PoolProof (borates) a few weeks back. This is really stumping me because, from what I understand, the PoolProof is supposed to maintain a level pH but it shouldn't be holding it at that high of a level. I was under the impression that it would help maintain the pH in the 7.2-7.6 range.

    -Even though I use bleach to maintain the chlorine, I add 2 trichlor pucks to my dispenser every couple of weeks just to make sure the chlorine never goes down to 0. This is also confusing me because I thought the trichlor pucks lowered the pH.

    Do you think the PoolProof or bleach/trichlor mix is causing the high pH?
    Do you have any other ideas I could try to lower the pH?

    My pool is 18k-20k gallons and the water looks great since doing the partial drain.

    Thanks for any feedback or suggestions....... Josh

  2. Back To Top    #2
    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Silver Spring, MD

    Re: Help with high pH

    Please post a full set of water test results, we can't really give you a complete answer without that.

    No product will maintain the PH at some specific level. A few products make it easier for you to maintain the PH. Easier doesn't mean automatic.

    Tichlor does lower PH. Obviously you have something that is raising PH by more than the trichlor is lowering it. There are a couple of candidates. My guess would be high TA, but without test results there is no telling.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    England, UK

    Re: Help with high pH

    Even with high TA, the acid should bring down the pH, shouldn't it?

    I just did a refill of my pool and the TA was so high that it is literally off the scale on my tester.

    But when I add acid, the pH comes down, at least for a while.

    Adding bleach to a pool with very high TA will push the pH back up again.

    Although the addition of bleach is supposed to be net pH neutral overall, in my experience that only works out nicely when you have managed to bring TA down to a more sensible level.

    With high TA I find that pH will only come back down again to where it was when your FC has also fallen back to where it was, which is the point where you thought FC was too low and needed to add bleach, so you add bleach and both go back up again! Then it looks like things aren't budging.

    And the only way I know of to bring down pH and TA is to add more acid.

    The pH rise when you add bleach becomes less dramatic when the TA has come down.
    90k litres, outdoor in ground pool, concrete, painted (I hate paint)
    Sta-Rite 5P2R 1.5 Hp pump, undersized sand filter (needs upgrading).

  4. Back To Top    #4
    Casey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    SW PA

    Re: Help with high pH

    As Jason has already noted; A full set of test results is in order and a description of pool specs of your pool should be added to your signature by clicking on the settings button under pool school and clicking signature. It helps to know if you have an in ground plaster pool or a vinyl pool and if you do have plaster, how old. We need these answers. Please fill out your signature.
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Join Date
    May 2012

    Re: Help with high pH

    I would like to add that putting those pucks into your skimmer basket might cause problems for your filter. fill out your sig so we know what your filtering with but until then may I ask if when using those pucks do you ever get a black ring inside the skimmer basket? those pucks are binded with something akin to crisco. telltale signs are sticky black ring inside the skimmer and a baffling reduction in filters' ability to clean the water.
    27' above ground
    voyager cartridge
    2.25 hp hayward pump 2 speed

  6. Back To Top    #6

    In the Industry
    duraleigh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Sebring, Florida

    Re: Help with high pH

    Seems like the thread has gotten a bit side-tracked. Lowering pH with just a couple of cups of muriatic in a pool that size will have VERY LITTLE affect. Are you using PoolMath? The correct dosage will get your pH down......I p[romise.

    I have no idea what PoolProof is nor why you are using it but if it's borates, it will raise pH not lower it.

    read "The ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry" up in Pool School to get a better grasp of the chemistry involved.

    Stay out of the pool are not being helped.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  7. Back To Top    #7
    Charlie_R's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Mexico, MO

    Re: Help with high pH

    From their (Nisus corp) MSDS:

    Disodium Octaborate Tetrahydrate...................... 47.6%
    OTHER INGREDIENTS......................................... 52.4%
    TOTAL....................................................... ............ 100.0%
    Equivalent boron content of:
    • 86.5% as sodium tetraborate (Na2B4O7•10H2O)
    • 32.3% as boric oxide (B2O3)
    • 10.0% B as elemental boron (B)
    CA Reg. No. 64405-50001

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    From Wikipedia:

    Disodium octaborate tetrahydrate, an alkaline salt, is produced in two forms. One is a clear, liquid concentrate, which can be mistaken for corn syrup if repackaged and not properly labeled or it is packaged as a white, odorless, powdered chemical substance that is not flammable, combustible, or explosive and has low acute oral and dermal toxicity. This salt, which is commonly confused with boric acid, is used as an insecticide [1] and fungicide, and is commonly sold as an insecticide in liquid or powder form. It is also effective against fungi and algae. It has an infinite shelf life and is not affected by temperature. "Bora-Care" is the liquid form suitable for use in a sprayer. The powdered brands are "Tim-Bor," "Borathor," "Termite Prufe" or "Board Defense" as sold in the United States. This chemical is also a flame-retardant.[2] In the liquid form, it is commonly diluted and sprayed on wood surfaces to kill termites, powder post beetles, carpenter ants, fungi and algae. It is also available as pellets for embedding in structural wood. This alkaline salt is not to be confused with Boric Acid (an acidic chemical) or the laundry detergent additive used for stains.

    In common use as a termite control or for termite prevention, the liquid concentrate is used at a ratio of 1:1 with water. The advantages to this chemical over conventional pest control treatment is that it is non-carcinogenic and has a low toxicity to humans and pets. It is also odorless and proper application lasts for the lifetime of the wood. Repeat treatment is not necessary. It is best used during new construction, however, it is more commonly used after the fact on homes originally treated with chemicals that have become inactive.

    It was shown to significantly reduce dust mite populations in the home when combined with regular vacuuming.

    - - - Updated - - -

    And you want this in your pool????????
    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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