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Thread: Looks good, feels good, but levels are way off and kids have a rash!

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    Chelle's Avatar
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    Looks good, feels good, but levels are way off and kids have a rash!

    I had posted last week about all of my levels being way off and I thought maybe I needed a new test kit. The forum agreed so I got one and I am still getting the craziest readings. The pool is absolutely sparkly and the water feels soft but the kids are developing a terrible rash on their skin. I have retested with the new test kit and the numbers are startling. Both chlorine levels are stating zero, even though I know its in there!The pH level is pale yellow so it must be well below six. The TA is testing about 10 to 20. I have been maintaining this pool for years using the TFP method and it has worked flawlessly. We have had a lot of rain over the last couple of months and I am wondering if there isn't something weird in the water? Also, I'm not sure if it is related but my filter has always ran at about 15 psi but now it is running about 22 to even after backwashing. My question is, where would you start troubleshooting? image.jpg
    Installed April 2000
    18x36 Grecian In Ground, Vinyl Liner
    3ft. Shallow and 8 ft. Deep
    ~27,400 Gals.
    Pac- Fab Targelus TA 100 600# Sand Filter
    (Media= 300# ZeoBrite per pool store recommendation)
    Pac Fab Challenger 3/4 HP Pump
    All Day Full Sun and Use!

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    Re: Looks good, feels good, but levels are way off and kids have a rash!

    The low ph is definitely a problem. I would suspect that the fc is bleaching out the chlorine test. Can you post a full set of readings including an fasdpd test for chlorine? Use two full scoops of R-0871 (edit the powder is R-0870) powder.

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    Chelle's Avatar
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    Re: Looks good, feels good, but levels are way off and kids have a rash!

    Yes. But 2, 4 or even 8 scoops will not turn it any shade of pink.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by JamesW View Post
    The low ph is definitely a problem. I would suspect that the fc is bleaching out the chlorine test. Can you post a full set of readings including an fasdpd test for chlorine? Use two full scoops of R-0871 powder.
    I'm sorry. What is fasdpd?

    Also, a note. I got the 10-20 TA reading from a generic test kit. The Taylor kit immediately turns red instead of green so I cannot get any reading on it.
    Installed April 2000
    18x36 Grecian In Ground, Vinyl Liner
    3ft. Shallow and 8 ft. Deep
    ~27,400 Gals.
    Pac- Fab Targelus TA 100 600# Sand Filter
    (Media= 300# ZeoBrite per pool store recommendation)
    Pac Fab Challenger 3/4 HP Pump
    All Day Full Sun and Use!

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Re: Looks good, feels good, but levels are way off and kids have a rash!

    If the ta immediately goes red, the ph is below 4.5 and is going to cause irritation. That should be addressed before swimming resumes. FASDPD is a type of chlorine test. Which test kit do you have?

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    Chelle's Avatar
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    Re: Looks good, feels good, but levels are way off and kids have a rash!

    I have a Taylor k2006 and a Guardex 4in1. I can take a sample to the pool store and get a full reading for you but I think the PH is the problem as well. So I need soda ash? I already tried baking soda and that didn't work. ����

    Also, I am very curious to know what may have caused this? I have never had a low PH problem before. Don't want it again, for sure!
    Installed April 2000
    18x36 Grecian In Ground, Vinyl Liner
    3ft. Shallow and 8 ft. Deep
    ~27,400 Gals.
    Pac- Fab Targelus TA 100 600# Sand Filter
    (Media= 300# ZeoBrite per pool store recommendation)
    Pac Fab Challenger 3/4 HP Pump
    All Day Full Sun and Use!

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    Re: Looks good, feels good, but levels are way off and kids have a rash!

    The low ph and ta are probably due to excessive use of trichlor tabs. When you add the five drops of R-0008 and it goes red, swirl for five seconds and then add R-0006 one drop at a time counting and swirling until the color goes from red to green. What is the CYA?

    If the fasdpd powder (R-0870) does not turn the sample pink, then there's probably no chlorine. Why do you think that there is chlorine? Does the sample briefly go pink and then go colorless? Try an OTO chlorine test to confirm the presence of chlorine.

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    Mod Squad woodyp's Avatar
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    Re: Looks good, feels good, but levels are way off and kids have a rash!

    Baking soda only raises TA and adds a negligible amount to PH.
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    Chelle's Avatar
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    Re: Looks good, feels good, but levels are way off and kids have a rash!

    Quote Originally Posted by JamesW View Post
    The low ph and ta are probably due to excessive use of trichlor tabs. When you add the five drops of R-0008 and it goes red, swirl for five seconds and then add R-0006 one drop at a time counting and swirling until the color goes from red to green. What is the CYA?

    If the fasdpd powder (R-0870) does not turn the sample pink, then there's probably no chlorine. Why do you think that there is chlorine? Does the sample briefly go pink and then go colorless? Try an OTO chlorine test to confirm the presence of chlorine.
    Okay. I did the test you said and it took 14 drops for the red to turn clear and 20 drops for it to turn a pale shade of green. The CYA seems to be well over 100. I assume there is chlorine just because I added a gallon of bleach and there are still tablets in the feeder. The tablets are tri Chlor and they were used while we were on vaca. I'm sorry I am not familiar with OTO test?
    Installed April 2000
    18x36 Grecian In Ground, Vinyl Liner
    3ft. Shallow and 8 ft. Deep
    ~27,400 Gals.
    Pac- Fab Targelus TA 100 600# Sand Filter
    (Media= 300# ZeoBrite per pool store recommendation)
    Pac Fab Challenger 3/4 HP Pump
    All Day Full Sun and Use!

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    Re: Looks good, feels good, but levels are way off and kids have a rash!

    The effect that baking soda has on pH is dependent on the starting ph. At a ph of 8.3, baking soda has no effect on ph. At a ph over 8.3, baking soda will lower ph. Below 8.3 baking soda raises ph. The farther below 8.3 the ph is, the larger effect baking soda has on ph. At a starting ph of below 4.5, the effect will be fairly large. Raising the carbonate alkalinity to 80 to 100 will almost immediately bring the ph to above 6.3 and to above 7.2 within 12 hours. Baking soda is almost self regulating as far as not overshooting the target ph or creating cloudiness.

    20 drops of base demand puts your ta at about -130. To recover, I would suggest increasing the ta by 100 and then retest.

    You can do a 1:1 diluted sample for cya and double the result to get an idea of how high it is.

    You're probably going to have to do several partial drain and refills to get the cya down.

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Re: Looks good, feels good, but levels are way off and kids have a rash!

    If you TA has gotten down to 10 or 20, even the slightest amount of acid will cause a wild change in pH. Perhaps you were using poolmath to calculate the amount of acid to add, but you mistakenly had an old TA reading in the TA field. This would cause poolmath to suggest a much larger amount of acid than needed.

    I would actually address the TA first, get it up to 50 or 60 using baking soda.

    Wait 30 minutes to an hour after adding the baking soda, check the pH, and start getting that in line with soda ash or borax.
    25000-gallon semi-public IG concrete/plaster pool, Triton II sand filter
    750-gallon semi-public IG concrete/plaster spa, cartridge filter
    Volunteer pool caretaker for my condominium complex

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    Chelle's Avatar
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    Re: Looks good, feels good, but levels are way off and kids have a rash!

    The pool store is only open 30 more minutes. Should I get soda ash? The calculator says I need 7200 ounces? 450 pounds?Its $10 a pound at the pool store. Is my math wrong? Or this their a bulk alternative?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by JamesW View Post
    The effect that baking soda has on pH is dependent on the starting ph. At a ph of 8.3, baking soda has no effect on ph. At a ph over 8.3, baking soda will lower ph. Below 8.3 baking soda raises ph. The farther below 8.3 the ph is, the larger effect baking soda has on ph. At a starting ph of below 4.5, the effect will be fairly large. Raising the carbonate alkalinity to 80 to 100 will almost immediately bring the ph to above 6.3 and to above 7.2 within 12 hours. Baking soda is almost self regulating as far as not overshooting the target ph or creating cloudiness.
    Sorry I posted before I had your response. I can get baking soda at SAMs club. It comes in 13# bags. How many should I add?
    Installed April 2000
    18x36 Grecian In Ground, Vinyl Liner
    3ft. Shallow and 8 ft. Deep
    ~27,400 Gals.
    Pac- Fab Targelus TA 100 600# Sand Filter
    (Media= 300# ZeoBrite per pool store recommendation)
    Pac Fab Challenger 3/4 HP Pump
    All Day Full Sun and Use!

  12. Back To Top    #12

    Re: Looks good, feels good, but levels are way off and kids have a rash!

    PoolMath says, for a 27000 gallon pool, add 16# of baking soda to go from 20ppm to 60ppm. So I'd put in one 13# bag, wait 30-60 minutes, and retest.

    Once you have a TA reading of 50 - 70, plug that into PoolMath, and calculate how much Borax or soda ash to add to raise the pH.
    25000-gallon semi-public IG concrete/plaster pool, Triton II sand filter
    750-gallon semi-public IG concrete/plaster spa, cartridge filter
    Volunteer pool caretaker for my condominium complex

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    Chelle's Avatar
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    Re: Looks good, feels good, but levels are way off and kids have a rash!

    Awesome. I appreciate all of you soooo much! Off to SAMs club!
    Installed April 2000
    18x36 Grecian In Ground, Vinyl Liner
    3ft. Shallow and 8 ft. Deep
    ~27,400 Gals.
    Pac- Fab Targelus TA 100 600# Sand Filter
    (Media= 300# ZeoBrite per pool store recommendation)
    Pac Fab Challenger 3/4 HP Pump
    All Day Full Sun and Use!

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    duraleigh's Avatar
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    Re: Looks good, feels good, but levels are way off and kids have a rash!

    Please do not stop at the Pool Store. Trust your own testing
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  15. Back To Top    #15

    Re: Looks good, feels good, but levels are way off and kids have a rash!

    Your base demand test suggests that the ta is negative 130. Due to the uncertainty, be conservative in how much you add. However, you might need over 60 lbs of baking soda to recover. Add it in stages and retest after brushing and allowing for circulation. You're going to have to do one or more partial drain and refills to get the CYA into an acceptable range.

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Looks good, feels good, but levels are way off and kids have a rash!

    Do one thing at a time-PH and TA (yeah that looks like two but they work together).

    I would not allow the kids in the water until you get the PH and TA fixed. Hopefully it will be fixed in a short amount of time.

    Once you get the PH and TA fixed you will need to work on the CYA.

    Good luck!

    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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    Chelle's Avatar
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    Re: Looks good, feels good, but levels are way off and kids have a rash!

    Thanks to you good people and 26# of baking soda (and another thunderstorm) I now have a ph just about to 7 and a TA of 70. I will let this run all day and test again this evening (should I aerate?) but I am curious about the cloudiness? Will that work itself out or do I need a clarifier or DE?
    Installed April 2000
    18x36 Grecian In Ground, Vinyl Liner
    3ft. Shallow and 8 ft. Deep
    ~27,400 Gals.
    Pac- Fab Targelus TA 100 600# Sand Filter
    (Media= 300# ZeoBrite per pool store recommendation)
    Pac Fab Challenger 3/4 HP Pump
    All Day Full Sun and Use!

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Looks good, feels good, but levels are way off and kids have a rash!

    Quote Originally Posted by Chelle View Post
    Thanks to you good people and 26# of baking soda (and another thunderstorm) I now have a ph just about to 7 and a TA of 70. I will let this run all day and test again this evening (should I aerate?) but I am curious about the cloudiness? Will that work itself out or do I need a clarifier or DE?
    It will work itself out. It's probably tiny gas bubbles from the baking soda fizzing after being dumped into acid.
    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!

  19. Back To Top    #19

    Re: Looks good, feels good, but levels are way off and kids have a rash!

    Are you sure that it was baking soda and not sodium carbonate?

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    borjis's Avatar
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    Re: Looks good, feels good, but levels are way off and kids have a rash!

    One thing I learned very early here is that even water that looks "good" can still be bad for swimming.

    My PH at the time of home purchase was at or below 6.8

    The best thing anyone can do is their own testing with one of the recommended test kits.
    16x32 IG Vinyl, 13,000 Gals. Hayward S-244T sand filter, SP2810X15 pump
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