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Thread: Fixing my TA and PH

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    Fixing my TA and PH

    Hi All,

    I was wondering if any one can give me some advice on this. I just moved into a new house and found that the water in the pool was extremely acidic. I bought some test strips at the pool shop to get a rough idea of what is going on and the PH and Total alkalinity did not even register (it just shows 0). So I decided to fix the total alkalinity first, by adding sodium bicarbonate. This did not have any effect at all...I have added 12 pounds of sodium bicarbonate so far and still the tests strips don't register any TA or PH. My pool pump is set on bypass, so nothing is being filtered out and I haven't added anything else to the water.

    Am I missing something, or are the test strips just defective?



  2. Back To Top    #2

    In the Industry

    duraleigh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Sebring, Florida

    Re: Fixing my TA and PH

    It's hard to say with test strips......they are often completely unreliable.

    You could take a pool sample to the pool store for testing, or do what we teach which is to buy you own good kit and learn how to manage your pool without relying on the pool store.

    It'll give you a whole new perspective in your pool.

    Keep reading the forum and read "The ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry" up in Pool School. That's a good start to see if you want to go further.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  3. Back To Top    #3
    borjis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Pacific NW

    Re: Fixing my TA and PH

    I had that as well in my new home purchase. PH registered nothing.

    You should get the TF100 test kit asap. Or at the very least a PH / chlorine water basic test kit (one comes with TF100)

    I'm trying to remember exactly, but it took a CRAZY amount of sodium bicarbonate to get the PH to the correct level.

    Pretty sure they were the 15 lb bucket size. I went through 3 of those (45lbs) before I saw the PH register to acceptable levels.

    I would mix in a few pounds each day with a bucket of water, dump it in different sections of the pool, then test the next day and repeat until the ph was ideal.

    It's been perfect ever since.
    16x32 IG Vinyl, 13,000 Gals. Hayward S-244T sand filter, SP2810X15 pump
    (1.5 HP motor) Raypak PR266AEN (266k btu) gas heater. TF-100 Test Kit.
    Dolphin E10 Cleaning Robot.

  4. Back To Top    #4
    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Silver Spring, MD

    Re: Fixing my TA and PH

    What you describe is quite possible if the PH was really really low to start with. When the PH is really really low, adding baking soda will raise PH for a while before it starts raising TA. This comes up sometimes when people have been using trichlor tablets for a long time without ever raising the PH.

    Of course it is also possible that the PH and TA tests are not working for some unrelated reason.
    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

  5. Back To Top    #5
    Patrick_B's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Midland TX

    Re: Fixing my TA and PH

    By all means, please dump the strips and get a good test kit. The cost of a damaged pool far outweighs the pennies comparison of a test kit purchase.
    TFP Moderator
    Essential Links:
    ABC's Of Pool Chemistry, Test Kits, SLAM Your Pool
    28K Gal IG FreeForm, CLI Quartz, Pentair 36"SF & VS Pump, Dolphin M5, Rheem

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