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Thread: Are my PH and Alkalinity to low?

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    Are my PH and Alkalinity to low?

    I have a 18x48 Ultra frame intex pool. I feel like my PH and Alkalinity is to low and I'm not sure if that will be a problem in the future. I'm using a Tf-100 testing kit. My PH is always 6.8 and the Alkalinity is 40. My chlorine is 3. Is this something I should try and higher on both? If so how to you advice I do that.
    18x48 ultra frame AG Intex pool 6423 gallons
    Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump Model SF70110
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    Charlie_R's Avatar
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    Re: Are my PH and Alkalinity to low?

    Here is a section of Pool School that you will need to review with the relevant information:

    http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...ater-chemistry

    When you are finished reviewing, there are other sections that you can read that will show you the preferred methods and chemicals to correct the problems. Post back and let us know how you are doing with this.
    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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    Butterfly's Avatar
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    Re: Are my PH and Alkalinity to low?

    Your pH & TA are too low. The pH tester cannot test below 6.8 , so it reads anything below 6.8 also as 6.8.

    Use Borax and get the pH up to 7.4ish. Then retest TA an adjust, if necessary, to 70 to 90 range.

    We cannot answer about your FC because we do not know the CYA level.

    Are you using tabs? That could explain the pH/TA.

    What is the pH and TA of your fill water?
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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Are my PH and Alkalinity to low?

    That's probably tough on eyes. 6.8 is as low as the tester reads, so anything below that will read as 6.8. Human tears are about 7.5, so keeping pH between 7.2 and 7.8 is the most comfortable. You can raise pH with washing soda or borax. Plug your numbers into poolmath and let it tell you how much to add when you target 7.5. Retest pH again after an hour or so of mixing. You might need to repeat it if it's really lower than 6.8. Once you get the pH squared away, if the TA is still too low, then you can add some baking soda. The chlorine of 3 might be fine, might be too low, depending on CYA.

    Better explanation
    What to add and how
    How much to use
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
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    Re: Are my PH and Alkalinity to low?

    I just ran another full test today and my levels are
    CYA 40-50
    Chlorine 3
    TA 50
    PH 7.2
    Last year I had an issue with a green pool and I just don't want to repeat that. This year I bought a larger pool and smartened up and I'm only doing the BBB and I have my TF-100 tester.

    - - - Updated - - -

    No I'm not using tabs. Stabilizer was granules that floated in a sock that I hung on the side of the pool for a few days and then just bleach. That's all I've added since opening.
    18x48 ultra frame AG Intex pool 6423 gallons
    Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump Model SF70110
    Test kit - TF-100

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    Re: Are my PH and Alkalinity to low?

    Quote Originally Posted by brickladyt View Post
    I just ran another full test today and my levels are
    CYA 40-50
    Chlorine 3
    TA 50
    PH 7.2
    Last year I had an issue with a green pool and I just don't want to repeat that. This year I bought a larger pool and smartened up and I'm only doing the BBB and I have my TF-100 tester.

    - - - Updated - - -

    No I'm not using tabs. Stabilizer was granules that floated in a sock that I hung on the side of the pool for a few days and then just bleach. That's all I've added since opening.
    pH and TA are low, but not so low I'd make a special trip to the store to buy something to fix it. Next time you're out and about, pick up what you need. Probably if you just raise TA to 70 with baking soda, you'll be fine. That one is easy - just toss it in the pool. You don't even have to wait to swim - it's just baking soda! People brush their teeth with that stuff!

    What is worrisome is FC at 3 with CYA possibly at 50. FC shouldn't get below 4. Keep the FC up there and you won't need to fear a green pool this year.
    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: Are my PH and Alkalinity to low?

    I actually have everything I need here already. Bleach, baking soda and borax. Ok I will get my FC up higher too.
    18x48 ultra frame AG Intex pool 6423 gallons
    Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump Model SF70110
    Test kit - TF-100

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    Re: Are my PH and Alkalinity to low?

    My TA has been raised to 70 which is what the target goal in the Pool Calculator states it should be so I'm assuming that's good. My CL is now 4.5. I will add a little more bleach tonight to try and get it to 5. My PH is at 7.2 which target goal said it should be 7.5. According to the pool calculator I should add 16 oz of borax. Will this effect my TA again by doing this?
    18x48 ultra frame AG Intex pool 6423 gallons
    Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump Model SF70110
    Test kit - TF-100

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Are my PH and Alkalinity to low?

    Quote Originally Posted by brickladyt View Post
    My TA has been raised to 70 which is what the target goal in the Pool Calculator states it should be so I'm assuming that's good. My CL is now 4.5. I will add a little more bleach tonight to try and get it to 5. My PH is at 7.2 which target goal said it should be 7.5. According to the pool calculator I should add 16 oz of borax. Will this effect my TA again by doing this?
    Better recheck that. I see 8 ounces being the dosage of Borax to get to 7.5 and it will also raise TA by 5.
    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: Are my PH and Alkalinity to low?

    I believe you should shoot for FC more in the neighborhood of 6. To check to see if this is right, dose it in the morning. Test again just at sunset. If you've dropped below your target, you need to shoot higher for your initial FC.
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    Re: Are my PH and Alkalinity to low?

    It was 8 oz I'm thinking with my last years pool. I just figured out how to update my signature. I now have a 18x48 ultra frame with 6423 gallons of water.
    18x48 ultra frame AG Intex pool 6423 gallons
    Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump Model SF70110
    Test kit - TF-100

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    Re: Are my PH and Alkalinity to low?

    So as of 5:30am this morning my TC is 5, TA 70, PH 7.5. I only ended up adding 8 oz of Borax in case the error was on my part. Better to be safe than sorry.
    18x48 ultra frame AG Intex pool 6423 gallons
    Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump Model SF70110
    Test kit - TF-100

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    Re: Are my PH and Alkalinity to low?

    Remember, it is normal to lose 2-4 ppm FC during the day. Starting out 5 and losing 2 ppm, you are walking a fine line between clear and trouble with CYA 40-50. If you aren't sure of your daily loss rate, I would try to check FC again by 2PM to make sure you are not headed down a hole. Then check again in the evening to know how much you lost today. Then adjust FC based on your results. After 3-4 days, of this, you should have a feel for your daily CL usage. You should not have to add CL more than once a day once you get a hold of your pools behavior.
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    Re: Are my PH and Alkalinity to low?

    Unfortunately I was not able to run the test this afternoon. I just ran it now at 5:30pm and I'm not happy with my results. My TA went down to 50, TC is 4.5, PH 7.3, CYA 40. I obviously need to add more stabilizer in there to increase it to I'm assuming 50 since that's what I'm reading in the ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry. It's states for an outside pool 30-50. Which I'm at 40 so I thought that was good. I'm hoping these #'s are good for all pools since I have an Intex. I'm also going to have to add baking soda, borax, and chlorine. Is it ok to put this all in at once or should I spread it out? I also noticed when my daughter and I were just in it the edges seemed a little slippery. I'm hoping that's not a start to a problem.
    Also I had added in about 8 oz of bleach this morning just to help raise it.
    18x48 ultra frame AG Intex pool 6423 gallons
    Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump Model SF70110
    Test kit - TF-100

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    Re: Are my PH and Alkalinity to low?

    CYA (stabilizer) of 40 is fine unless you are running a salt water chlorine generator.

    Don't add the chemicals all at once, give them 30 minutes to an hour between each addition.

    The only thing that varies depending on the type of pool is CH. With an Intex, CH won't matter.
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    Re: Are my PH and Alkalinity to low?

    Ok so I won't add stabilizer. And no I'm not running a salt water. Am I reading correctly that I should have my TC at 6, PH 7.5-7.8, and TA 60-120? I just want to make sure I am plugging my #'s in correctly.
    18x48 ultra frame AG Intex pool 6423 gallons
    Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump Model SF70110
    Test kit - TF-100

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    Re: Are my PH and Alkalinity to low?

    That sounds right, but keep in mind it is FC you want at 6, not TC.
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    Re: Are my PH and Alkalinity to low?

    Quote Originally Posted by brickladyt View Post
    Unfortunately I was not able to run the test this afternoon. I just ran it now at 5:30pm and I'm not happy with my results. My TA went down to 50, TC is 4.5, PH 7.3, CYA 40. I obviously need to add more stabilizer in there to increase it to I'm assuming 50 since that's what I'm reading in the ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry. It's states for an outside pool 30-50. Which I'm at 40 so I thought that was good. I'm hoping these #'s are good for all pools since I have an Intex. I'm also going to have to add baking soda, borax, and chlorine. Is it ok to put this all in at once or should I spread it out? I also noticed when my daughter and I were just in it the edges seemed a little slippery. I'm hoping that's not a start to a problem.
    Also I had added in about 8 oz of bleach this morning just to help raise it.
    40 CYA should be good. Slippery is not good. You need to check FC & CC and see what's going on there. Myself - I'd jack the FC up to shock level and head anything off at the pass.

    I also don't see how your TA dropped so much in one day. Are you running the TA test to completeion, where it stops changing colors and you subtract, or are you stopping as soon as it turns pink?
    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: Are my PH and Alkalinity to low?

    I stop it when it turns pink and then it says to multiple how many drops I put in by 10.
    Results from this morning after adding 24 oz of baking soda, 11 oz borax, 15 oz bleach last night.
    FC 6
    CC .05
    TA 70
    PH 7.8
    So you feel I should shock it? Accoding to charts I would bring FC up to 16 with having 40 CYA. How long does it usually stay that high for? And at what FC are we safe to go back in?
    Also I have been I just want to make sure I'm doing it correctly. Am I suppose to leave the filter running when I add all these chemicals in?
    18x48 ultra frame AG Intex pool 6423 gallons
    Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump Model SF70110
    Test kit - TF-100

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    Re: Are my PH and Alkalinity to low?

    For the TA test you continue adding drops until there is no discernible change in color, subtract the last drop and multiply the result by 10. For example, it turns pink at 6 drops a little pinker at 7, red at 8, and no change at 9. Since drop 9 did not change anything subtract it out, 9-1=8 drops. Multiply 8x10=80. The result is 80 ppm.

    How long FC stays elevated depends on several factors. Raise the FC to shock level and keep it there for 24 hours. Check that you have met SLAM process completion criteria for CC and water clarity, then run the OCLT. You can safely swim up to normal shock levels. Always have the pump running when you add chemicals and keep it running for at least 30 minutes after adding chemicals.
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