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Thread: When is baking soda not baking soda (aka, tell me how badly I messed this up)

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    When is baking soda not baking soda (aka, tell me how badly I messed this up)

    So far, I've been doing a bit of reading and thought I had the basics figured out. It appears that arm and hammer washing soda is soda ash and possibly not baking soda? I'm still unsure. Anyhow...

    Pool is very new, 10,000gal IG pebbletec SWG. This morning I tested as follows:

    TH 500
    TC 5
    FC 5
    PH ~8
    TA 40
    Cya 100

    I couldn't find MA so I grabbed some dry acid, cya to have on hand. I couldn't find any baking soda at home depot, so I headed home, added some acid and tried to find in which box our baking soda is. It wasn't, so I went to the store and got what thought was baking soda. I didn't recall the quantity I needed so I grabbed a 55oz box. Turns out the quantity required was 75 oz. So I dumped the entire 55oz box in, as my wife asks if its supposed to be that cloudy.

    Two hours later, it hasn't cleared up and I decided to test again this time getting a better TA of 60, but the ph is on the high side of the 8.4 that the test strip allows.

    I also have since realized that what I bought was soda ash, and may or may not be baking soda. I don't have a test kit yet, as were just getting moved into a new house with a new pool.

    Any assistance is greatly appreciated.

    -Loring

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: When is baking soda not baking soda (aka, tell me how badly I messed this up)

    Welcome to TFP!

    Baking Soda is Sodium Bi-Carbonate, while Washing Soda is Sodium Carbonate. The latter will do more for your pH on the increase when that is what you need. Baking Soda will increase the TA, without as much boost for the pH.

    With that said, why are you adding these things, and where are you getting those numbers from? One of our basics is testing your own water with a proper test kit. Are you using a kit, or having the water tested?
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    Re: When is baking soda not baking soda (aka, tell me how badly I messed this up)

    As I mentioned, I'm using the test strips that "came with" the pool. I'll be ordering a proper test kit on Tuesday. We've only been in the house about 3 days and this will be my first pool.

    I added the baking soda because I thought it was baking soda. Since I'm clearly making rookie mistakes at this point, I'm asking before I do anything else, even if it's as obvious as adding acid.

    Thanks again.

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    Re: When is baking soda not baking soda (aka, tell me how badly I messed this up)

    Welcome to the forum.

    Wait for your test kit to get in and you can post good numbers.

    Meanwhile keep chlorine in the pool with daily small additions.....maybe a quart or so.

    Please post your pool info in your sig Pool size, type, etc.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: When is baking soda not baking soda (aka, tell me how badly I messed this up)

    Quote Originally Posted by Cry Havok View Post
    As I mentioned, I'm using the test strips that "came with" the pool. I'll be ordering a proper test kit on Tuesday. We've only been in the house about 3 days and this will be my first pool.

    I added the baking soda because I thought it was baking soda. Since I'm clearly making rookie mistakes at this point, I'm asking before I do anything else, even if it's as obvious as adding acid.

    Thanks again.
    No worries, you're taking the right steps already then trying to figure this out. Glad you found us, and we'll be here to help when you're ready. If you are willing to learn, there will be plenty of us here to help you.
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    Re: When is baking soda not baking soda (aka, tell me how badly I messed this up)

    So ph of over 8.5 is okay until I get my test kit? Just want to be clear that I shouldn't take any action right now.

    Thanks again.

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    Re: When is baking soda not baking soda (aka, tell me how badly I messed this up)

    Patrick, thanks for the warm welcome. I've been told I'm a sponge for knowledge, and am always happy to learn about something that I've previously been in the dark about. That said, I've read quite a few threads where you guys and gals have helped resurrect pools from murky swamp status and I figure my learning curve is probably more concerning to me than it is to the resident experts.

    Should I put some acid in this thing or just tell the kids to go to the neighborhood pool for the day?

    Also, the cloudiness seems to be subsiding. I presume this will continue?

    Thanks again.
    -Loring
    10,000 Gal IG PebbleTec, travertine deck, Pentair IntelliChlor SWG, 1.5hp and 1hp pumps, easytouch 4 w/remote and wifi, waterfall/firebox combo

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    Re: When is baking soda not baking soda (aka, tell me how badly I messed this up)

    Welcome to TFP! You are on the right track now. Finding us, asking questions, test kit planned, NOT doing anything without asking first LOL.

    It will get easier the more you do it.

    You are really going to need to get the test kit before we can tell you what needs to be done. The strips really should not be allowed to be sold. They are that bad.

    On your pool info can you please list your filter size and kind?

    We also love pics so................

    Keep putting in about a qt of bleach each day and letting the pump run. THat will keep you ahead of the algae monster until you test kit gets there.

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: When is baking soda not baking soda (aka, tell me how badly I messed this up)

    Starting to make sense now: nobody wants to advise based on strip tests, haha.

    The filter is 150 sq. ft. Cartridge. I'll add it to my sig.
    -Loring
    10,000 Gal IG PebbleTec, travertine deck, Pentair IntelliChlor SWG, 1.5hp and 1hp pumps, easytouch 4 w/remote and wifi, waterfall/firebox combo

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    Re: When is baking soda not baking soda (aka, tell me how badly I messed this up)

    Quote Originally Posted by Cry Havok View Post
    Patrick, thanks for the warm welcome. I've been told I'm a sponge for knowledge, and am always happy to learn about something that I've previously been in the dark about. That said, I've read quite a few threads where you guys and gals have helped resurrect pools from murky swamp status and I figure my learning curve is probably more concerning to me than it is to the resident experts.

    Should I put some acid in this thing or just tell the kids to go to the neighborhood pool for the day?

    Also, the cloudiness seems to be subsiding. I presume this will continue?

    Thanks again.
    It may subside more, but its a total guess by any of us. I would tell the kids to go elsewhere. You never want them in a murky pool. If you cant see clearly to the deep end in any pool, never let them in. Someone could be under the water and not be seen, and or, it could be full of pathogens and CC which you don't want anyone exposed too.

    And unfortunately, we don't advise on strips or even pool store testing because we see how far off they are time and again. Some of us have been burned trying to do that, and its just best not to trust it. You'd think at least that the store would have it right, but sadly they don't much of the time.

    If you are really concerned the pH might be high, you can go somewhere and purchase a basic OTO/pH test kit. Test the pH with that and adjust slowly using pool math. It will be duplication having it, but that is an option that wouldn't set you back more than 12 or so bucks.
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    Re: When is baking soda not baking soda (aka, tell me how badly I messed this up)

    waterfall/firebox combo??????? Pictures please! Maybe a night shot with the fire going?

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: When is baking soda not baking soda (aka, tell me how badly I messed this up)

    Alright, basic test kit shows ph above 8.4. I'm curious how long it takes for the dry acid to fully saturate. Even though its a pretty big jump, apparently, I'm adding small amounts at a time, several hours apart.

    I'll get some good pictures soon for you guys.
    -Loring
    10,000 Gal IG PebbleTec, travertine deck, Pentair IntelliChlor SWG, 1.5hp and 1hp pumps, easytouch 4 w/remote and wifi, waterfall/firebox combo

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    Task's Avatar
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    Re: When is baking soda not baking soda (aka, tell me how badly I messed this up)

    I'm just here for the waterfall/firebox photos

    16'x32' Inground Vinyl, 21,100 gallons, Hayward 1.5 HP Super Pump, Hayward Pro Series S244T 3.1ft Sand Filter
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    Re: When is baking soda not baking soda (aka, tell me how badly I messed this up)

    Ok, it's really just a matter of dissolving and distribution, not saturation but that is perhaps what you mean.

    How are you adding the dry acid?
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    Re: When is baking soda not baking soda (aka, tell me how badly I messed this up)

    Yes, I suppose it is. To rephrase to perhaps a better question, how long until I should wait after adding the acid before it shows up accurately on a test? When adding, I'm sprinkling it as I walk halfway around the pool at the deep end. If there's a small amount left, I carefully 'throw' it into the center of the deep end (if that makes sense).

    Thanks again.

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    Re: When is baking soda not baking soda (aka, tell me how badly I messed this up)

    Wait an hour with the pump running before testing again.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: When is baking soda not baking soda (aka, tell me how badly I messed this up)

    Excellent, thank you, sir. After 55 oz of sodium carbonate, any guesses on how much dry acid it will take to bring this back?

    Thanks again for all your help.
    -Loring
    10,000 Gal IG PebbleTec, travertine deck, Pentair IntelliChlor SWG, 1.5hp and 1hp pumps, easytouch 4 w/remote and wifi, waterfall/firebox combo

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    Re: When is baking soda not baking soda (aka, tell me how badly I messed this up)

    -Loring
    10,000 Gal IG PebbleTec, travertine deck, Pentair IntelliChlor SWG, 1.5hp and 1hp pumps, easytouch 4 w/remote and wifi, waterfall/firebox combo

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    Re: When is baking soda not baking soda (aka, tell me how badly I messed this up)

    First picture, that's a beach bubbler in the foreground.
    -Loring
    10,000 Gal IG PebbleTec, travertine deck, Pentair IntelliChlor SWG, 1.5hp and 1hp pumps, easytouch 4 w/remote and wifi, waterfall/firebox combo

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    Re: When is baking soda not baking soda (aka, tell me how badly I messed this up)

    Very nice!
    Lisa
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