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Thread: Newb (and new pool) question: Are these things normal?

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    ITR's Avatar
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    Newb (and new pool) question: Are these things normal?

    Hey there...

    Noticed a few things while doing the last test this morning and am wondering if this is "normal".

    1) Does pH indicator raise after the water is just sitting in the test kit? I performed a pH test using the kit the PB gave me. Immediately after after shaking, the pH was a color between between 7.5 and 7.8. After letting it sit on the table (in the sun) while the better half and I took a dip (maybe 15 minutes), it was at 8.2. Is it normal for the indicator to go up? If so, I assume the immediate indication is the correct one to record?

    2) Does TA fluctuate up and down? Since this is a new pool, I have been adding acid daily to keep the pH in range. I have noticed TA has gone from 90, then to 80 a few days later, then to 95, and now it is at 90. Still not in the recommended ranges for TFP. Since pH is fluctuating up and down and being controlled with acid daily...is it safe to add soda about 30 minutes after the acid is added (and circulated on high) or would you wait longer?

    3) My CC is at 6, but my pool builder recommends 1.5 since I have an O3 Ozonator. Do you guys agree with this advice? Can I really go that low with Chorline and still prevent algae?

    Thanks,
    JB

    P.S. - Since everyone likes to see numbers, this morning's test was:
    FC: 6
    CC: 0
    pH: 7.8
    TA: 80
    CH: 375
    CYA: 50
    Water Temp: 70


    10,300g IG Plaster-StoneScapes Tropics Blue, cartridge filter, 2-spd Pentair pump, with RS-8 iAqualink

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    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
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    Re: Newb (and new pool) question: Are these things normal?

    Your initial pH reading is the one to use. Many tests will change color after being left to sit (such as the FC/CC test). The immediate reading is the one that counts.

    TA should not go up and down unless you intervene to do so. Adding acid will lower TA, adding baking soda will raise it. Be sure when you're testing to wipe the tip before adding each drop of the titrating reagent (last reagent you add to change color) It's safe to add any chemical 30 minutes after another has been added and circulated. TA is a number that the recommended level is a guideline, a suggestion. Maintain proper pH (add acid when the pH goes ABOVE 7.8) and your TA will find its own "happy" spot for your pool. Do not simply adjust TA to meet a suggested amount, within reason.

    Your target FC should be 6, your minimum should be 4 at a CYA of 50. See the CYA/Chlorine Chart You'll find that the advice here on TFP is that ozonators are not worth the trouble in residential outdoor pools and can actually increase chlorine demand in some cases and do not excuse letting FC levels drop too low.
    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
    40x20 Pool: 32K Gallons * Vinyl * Bleach Chlorination * Hayward S270T Sand Filter * Pentair SuperFlo 1 HP * Teledyne/Laars Heater * AquaVac Tigershark * TF-100 w/ SpeedStir
    Isolated Spa - 345 Gallons

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    Re: Newb (and new pool) question: Are these things normal?

    Hi and WElcome to TFP.

    hopefully I can help with some of your quesitons.
    1. Yes, its normal that PH will change while sitting in the tube after a few minutes. Whatever the reading is immediately after adding the reagent is what the PH is.
    2. TA may fluctuate slightly. If the changes were 30 or 40 in a short period of time, I would say something is whacky.
    3. The FC needs to be kept in range relative to what your CYA is to prevent alagae and kill pathogens in the water. I doubt anyone here at TFP will give an ozonator a thumbs up. If you keep your chlorine in the TFP recommended range, then all of those "green" methods of sanitation are just another gadget or gimmick of little or no use.

    Also, how was all of the other values measured? Pool Store? Or using a reliable selt test kit, such as the Tf-100 or Taylor K2006 which is what most of us recommend.
    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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    ITR's Avatar
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    Re: Newb (and new pool) question: Are these things normal?

    Thanks guys...so it looks like everything is okay. I will add some soda tonight. Also, using the tf100 I ordered from here...but want to get rid of the all the Reagents the PB provided in case they were not as "fresh". Probably a bit stupid on my part...but men will be men.

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    Re: Newb (and new pool) question: Are these things normal?

    What soda are you planning to add, and why are you planning to add it?

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    Re: Newb (and new pool) question: Are these things normal?

    Baking soda...to raise the TA from 80 to at least 100 per the pool calc spreadsheet. I haven't added it yet...is that not the right thing to do?

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    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
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    Re: Newb (and new pool) question: Are these things normal?

    See our recommended levels here: Recommended Levels

    TA of 70-90 is recommended for most pools, slightly less if you have a SWG.

    The TA level in your pool is what will typically determine the rate of pH rise in your pool. pH rises due to aeration and carbon dioxide being released, driving the pH upward. The higher the TA, the faster this outgassing takes place. If you're trying to get your pH to stabilize, adding baking soda (raising TA) is the last thing you want to do. Right now, I would recommend just using acid to keep your pH at 7.8 or less. Add acid when the pH goes above 7.8 and target 7.2-7.4 when adding acid. Use the Pool Math link to calculate how much acid to add. Your TA will come down some and your pH will likely stabilize. I'd only be worried about raising TA if it drops to less than 50 ppm.

    Also, your pool details are in your first post, but please add them to your signature (Settings -> Edit Signature) so that they appear in every post you make. It's easier to give advice that way.
    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
    40x20 Pool: 32K Gallons * Vinyl * Bleach Chlorination * Hayward S270T Sand Filter * Pentair SuperFlo 1 HP * Teledyne/Laars Heater * AquaVac Tigershark * TF-100 w/ SpeedStir
    Isolated Spa - 345 Gallons

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    Re: Newb (and new pool) question: Are these things normal?

    Thanks for the advice. I have updated the signature.

    After looking at the PoolMath spreadsheet (downloaded from here) I show the recommended level of TA is 100-120 with the use of trichlor (which is what the PB started me on). Jan (the better half) is so happy you said this...she is pretty sharp with science and said also said it didn't make sense to use baking soda is the pH is raising quickly...but if it doesn't make sense...is there something wrong with the spreadsheet (since it says 100-120 with trichlor)...or should the TA truly be higher with triChlor? (and why?)

    Again...I appreciate the advice and help. This is certainly a bit overwhelming for me (and enjoyable for Jan when she is right....like most of the time).

    JB
    ----
    15' x 29' 10,300 gal w/ spa, IG-Plaster (Stonescapes Tropics Blue), 2spd WhisperFlo pump (1.5hp WFDS-26), Pentair Clean and Clear CC200 cartridge filter, Pentair MasterTemp 300BTU heater, Clear o3, RS-8 iAqualink

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    Newb (and new pool) question: Are these things normal?

    +1 to what JVTRAIN posted.
    Too many people worry about the TA if it's not inline with what's recommended on paper. Your TA is in the right spot when your PH is pretty stable regardless of what the recommended TA level is.
    I'd leave it alone. It's the last thing you should worry about adjusting.
    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: Newb (and new pool) question: Are these things normal?

    Got it. So stop being anal about alkalinity. Got it. And Jan says thank you....for getting me to listen to her. Lol. Seriously though. You guys are great!


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    15' x 29' 10,300 gal w/ spa, IG-Plaster (Stonescapes Tropics Blue), 2spd WhisperFlo pump (1.5hp WFDS-26), Pentair Clean and Clear CC200 cartridge filter, Pentair MasterTemp 300BTU heater, Clear o3, RS-8 iAqualink

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    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
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    Re: Newb (and new pool) question: Are these things normal?

    A higher TA is suggested with trichlor usage because trichlor itself is acidic. A higher TA would counteract this side effect of using trichlor.

    I would only suggest using trichlor as a short term method of chlorination, such as on vacations or absences. Long term use of trichlor will constantly be raising your CYA level (which does not break down) and resulting in needed to maintain a higher FC level to keep the pool algae-free. Then you'll have to drain some pool water and refill to lower CYA to be able to keep up with FC demands. Every 8 oz trichlor tab added will add about 5 FC and 3 CYA to your pool. The FC is consumed daily, the CYA is not so you can see how it will accumulate over time.

    Bleach is effectively pH neutral (and has 0 CYA) and SWGs recommend lower TA because they increase the amount of aeration in the pool.
    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
    40x20 Pool: 32K Gallons * Vinyl * Bleach Chlorination * Hayward S270T Sand Filter * Pentair SuperFlo 1 HP * Teledyne/Laars Heater * AquaVac Tigershark * TF-100 w/ SpeedStir
    Isolated Spa - 345 Gallons

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    Re: Newb (and new pool) question: Are these things normal?

    Ok so I stopped being anal about alkalinity, but now I'm worried about CH level. I added some acid last night as the pH test showed it was 7.9 or 8.0. Here is today's test:

    FC: 6
    CC: 0
    pH: 7.4-ish
    TA: 40 (its low...but trying not to worry....)
    CH: 425 (high....)
    CYA: 50
    Water temp: 75
    CSI: -0.52

    So CH is now out of the recommended range and has been raising. I'm worried since this is a new pool and the last thing I want to tackle is scale. The water definitely feels hard...but any idea why it is increasing (leaching from the plaster)? I'm also worried since I've been reading the only way to reduce CH is to drain the pool. Obviously not something I want to do since it was just filled three weeks ago.

    Any suggests for this noob?

    Thanks,
    JB
    ----
    15' x 29' 10,300 gal w/ spa, IG-Plaster (Stonescapes Tropics Blue), 2spd WhisperFlo pump (1.5hp WFDS-26), Pentair Clean and Clear CC200 cartridge filter, Pentair MasterTemp 300BTU heater, Clear o3, RS-8 iAqualink

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    pwrstrk's Avatar
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    Newb (and new pool) question: Are these things normal?

    Your CH is going to raise since your pool is new. It can do this up to a year although it will slow down as your plaster cures. How long has it been since the pool was finished.
    Your not that far out of range. Keep your PH in range and you should be fine for scaling problems. You might think your adding a lot of acid but this is the nature of the beast until your plaster cures. Lots of folks deal with CH that is double what your's is by keeping PH in range.
    Has your TA dropped that much by adding acid from the 80 in your first post ? I would bump that up a bit as long as it's not a test error.
    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: Newb (and new pool) question: Are these things normal?

    The pool is about three weeks old. Plaster was done and the fill was done the next day. TA was originally 90 on 12/21 and has dropped slightly since. On 12/29 it was 80 and today it was 40. I was rather surprised that it was so low. Since the temperature was higher today (87 air temp) do you think that would affect it?

    I was originally going to add baking soda to raise the TA, but someone suggested that is the last thing I should do if I want to stabilize pH...so I didn't do. Should I do it now (using the correct amount via the pool math calc)? Or should I leave it alone as it should raise as pH raises?

    JB
    ----
    15' x 29' 10,300 gal w/ spa, IG-Plaster (Stonescapes Tropics Blue), 2spd WhisperFlo pump (1.5hp WFDS-26), Pentair Clean and Clear CC200 cartridge filter, Pentair MasterTemp 300BTU heater, Clear o3, RS-8 iAqualink

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    pwrstrk's Avatar
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    Newb (and new pool) question: Are these things normal?

    The air temp won't affect your TA. The suggestion to leave TA alone was when you wanted to raise it up from 90. Higher TA levels make the PH rise faster. The TA will drop from the acid additions. TA being to low will affect your PH also by making it swing around. I'd bring it up to 70-80. That should help keep the PH somewhat more stable although it's going to rise naturally from the plaster curing. If the TA drops out of range bring it back up some. Your TA will not rise on its own or from the PH rising. If you have high fill water TA that will make it rise.
    It's going to be a back and forth thing to things calm down. You'll need to have some POP. Pool Owner Patience. This is where accurate testing comes into play to keep things in range. Your PH being important just like your FC.
    If you need to go back and read the ABC's of pool water again do so.
    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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    ITR's Avatar
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    Re: Newb (and new pool) question: Are these things normal?

    Got it. I am definitely testing pH daily (sometimes twice a day) since it is swinging so much. Adding acid to bring it down when it goes high. Thanks for the help. Adding the soda next and will retest TA and pH in the morning. The good news is FC and CC have seemed to stabilize. We are getting there (with everyone's help!).

    Thanks again!

    JB
    ----
    15' x 29' 10,300 gal w/ spa, IG-Plaster (Stonescapes Tropics Blue), 2spd WhisperFlo pump (1.5hp WFDS-26), Pentair Clean and Clear CC200 cartridge filter, Pentair MasterTemp 300BTU heater, Clear o3, RS-8 iAqualink

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