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Thread: Alkalinity Test Turns Yellow, PH act'n a fool.

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    Join Date
    Jul 2014
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    Palm Desert, CA
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    2

    Unhappy Alkalinity Test Turns Yellow, PH act'n a fool.

    Short Version: Chlorine test is good, confirmed by pool store.

    Long version:

    I live in the mojave desert, pool is VERY warm.

    I acid washed my pool and filled it, about 18-22K gallons. I added a bottle of descaler and 4lbs of conditioner, and a 2x bottle of chlorine, add PH up . The next week I installed an offline tablet chlorine dispenser and started feeding chlorine. Had trouble getting my PH to stay up and the pool was very strong smelling of chlorine, going through tablets pretty quickly (low ph I guess and spent chlorines). So I added the remainder 4lbs of conditioner and shocked the pool. Smell came back a few days later, shocked again. I was having trouble holding PH, I would add ALK-up 2 lbs at a time about 4 lbs. Then realized my TA was low so started adding Baking soda to raise TA and PH. PH would rise to normal then fall, so would ALK, add more baking soda, PH normalized then fell, and again and again after a day or 2, about a 2 month has passed by now Pool smelled chlorine again, enough to burn eyes a bit when very close to water, heavy shock this time overnight (3 bags).. Next morning chlorine tests a little low(though I turned off feeder overnight during shock), PH low, Alk test goes from green-yellow, ugh... take sample to Leslie Pools.

    Leslie does their test. Chlorine good, combined chlorine good, phosphates, conditioner, all good. PH low, but ALK test turns green to yellow(ok, in my head, my chemical testers are confirmed stable). While testing the other stuff the chlorine level in the tester plummets and the PH spikes up crazy bright purple. He tests PHP and chlorine again to be sure and sure enough same thing, you can actually see them change color over a minute long period. They tell me low ALK is the problem and Baking soda doesn't work for pools my size, and low alk i what causes PH to go squirly and send me on my way with a 10lb bag of ALK-up which I add 8lbs of as recommended by them.

    3Hours later.

    I test water, PH high 7.6 and raises more after sitting 2 minutes. Chlorine is a little low and drops very low after 2 minutes. ALK test goes green-yellow/clear.

    Uhg, anyone know what is happening here?

  2. Back To Top    #2
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    May 2007
    Location
    Silver Spring, MD
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    37,879

    Re: Alkalinity Test Turns Yellow, PH act'n a fool.

    Welcome to TFP!

    Your description of the test results fits with the FC level being very high. The chlorine test is bleaching out, the PH test is completely disabled, and the colors are different on the TA test all due to the high FC level. The TA test results are still valid counting to when it goes yellow, just different colors.

    The PH is constantly going down because of the trichlor tablets. They are very acidic.
    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 2014
    Location
    Palm Desert, CA
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    2

    Re: Alkalinity Test Turns Yellow, PH act'n a fool.

    wow thanks, confirmed.

    I added 15 drops of the reagent #1 instead of 5 drops to weaken chlorine further then added 5 drops of reagent #2 and the chlorine test results where still off the chart but not by much. I turned the chlorine feeder off...pool closed for about a week w/ no cover I think to get it back to normal. After that I will nonchlorine shock and get the feeder adjusted right. Thanks a bunch.

  4. Back To Top    #4
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    May 2010
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    37,389

    Re: Alkalinity Test Turns Yellow, PH act'n a fool.

    Welcome to TFP!

    I disagree with your entire plan. Please check out Pool School, starting with the ABCs of pool chemistry.

    It seems your maintenance is far different from what we recommend. Plus you are getting fed a lot of nonsense from the pool store.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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  5. Back To Top    #5

    Join Date
    Jun 2014
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    Tucson, AZ
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    860

    Re: Alkalinity Test Turns Yellow, PH act'n a fool.

    What test kit are you using?

    It's going to be very difficult to help you out if you don't post test results based on one if the many recommended test kits (either a TF-100 or a K-2006 all DPD-FAS type kits using Taylor reagents)

    Also, please read PoolSchool as suggested by others.

    One other point which new site users typically don't like to hear - TFP tries hard to give the best advice possible based on the information you provide. This means that the preferred method of water testing is for the pool owner to do all his own testing. The vast majority of TFP users and TFP experts do not rely on Pool Store testing nor do they trust their test results. There are many reasons for this as you will see when you get a chance to peruse the many forums here. I know there's a reluctance to shell out money for your own test kit when the pool stores will "test for free". But what you will find over time is that pool store testing is inaccurate at best and mostly used as a marketing trick to get you to buy their expensive brand name chemicals.

    But please let us help you help yourself. The best way to do this is by getting your own kit and asking us lots of questions.



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