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Thread: High alkalinity, conditioner.

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    DesertPete's Avatar
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    High alkalinity, conditioner.

    We're in a drout and trying to avoid full drain. Conditioner seems to be in every product, so switched to liquid chlorine n acid? First tried Bio-active cyanuric acid reducer with some success, but not into range. Did 4" water removal from 'top water', then 1' then 3 feet and still >100. Guess I should have drained all at first go, too late so I gotta make do with what's there.
    1. Any suggestions to lower conditioner?
    2. Ph 7.8 every morning despite daily additions of acid. .????
    3. alkalinity demand 24 oz daily. .???
    4. chlorine <1 daily despite adding 24oz liquid chlorine. .????

    Any tips or suggestions r welcome.
    15 K gal play pool (3.5' either end n 5.5' in middle) with attached 6 seat spa, all plaster. Built 2012. 3/4hp Pentair Whisper-Flo pump (model 177449) and a 2hp Pentair Super-Flo for spa (model 196240), Pentair Clear-Plus 350 sq ft filter (model CCP320) Master-Temp 400 gas heater. Use 16 mil blanket to control heat n evap. Live in desert, summer 114 winter 70's.

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: High alkalinity, conditioner.

    Welcome to TFP!!

    First, please post a full set of test results. Are you doing your own testing or a pool store?

    100 is the limit of the CYA test, so at this level we are unsure if it is 100 or some number above 100. The thought that CYA is near the surface is an old wives tale (no disrespect to wives of any age meant) so draining from the top did not make a difference other than the amount of water you changed. Additionally we have had several members conduct trials of BioActive with less than stellar results.

    So, with that being said, the only way to reduce CYA is through the changing of water. How does the water look? I'm afraid that with the chlorine demand you are describing that there is an underlying algae issue that has not totally taken bloom. I would suggest an Overnight FC Loss Test (OCLT) to confirm something is living in the water.

    We can teach you how to get it sparkling and keep it that was for a lot less money than the pool store.
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    BoDarville's Avatar
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    Re: High alkalinity, conditioner.

    Welcome to TFP!

    +1 to what Tim said about the possibility of something organic living in the water even though it is not visible. I would run the Overnight Chlorine Loss Test test that Tim suggested. I would make this Job One and wouldn't worry about alkalinity right now. Also, if you are using a pool store or multi-test strips for testing, I would strongly suggest replacing either of those with one of the Recommended Test Kits. I use the TF-100 because it's the best value and they have a freshness guarantee. You can order it here: TFTestkits.net. They ship fast - you should have it in your hands in 2-3 days with normal shipping.

    A couple of other resources to get you started:
    1. ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry
    2. Chlorine CYA Chart
    3. Recommended Pool Chemicals
    4. Recommended Levels
    5. Pool Math
    Gold Supporter, TFP Lifetime Supporter, 26,680 gal Plaster IGP 3.5 - 10' depth / Attached Waterfall Spa, Manually Chlorinated, Triton Sand Filter, 1.5 HP * 1.1 SF = 1.65 SFHP 1-speed Pentair WhisperFlo WF-26 Pump, 400K BTU NG Teledyne Laars Series One Heater, Polaris 360, Test Kit Comparison, Chlorine/CYA Chart, SLAMing Your Pool, OCLT
    A good test kit is an investment, not an expense.

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: High alkalinity, conditioner.

    Hey Pete!

    Welcome to TFP. No worries, we can help you figure this out.
    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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    DesertPete's Avatar
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    Re: High alkalinity, conditioner.

    Thanks for the welcome and suggestions. Will give oclt a try. Do have yellow algae that pops up when chlorine level drops.
    15 K gal play pool (3.5' either end n 5.5' in middle) with attached 6 seat spa, all plaster. Built 2012. 3/4hp Pentair Whisper-Flo pump (model 177449) and a 2hp Pentair Super-Flo for spa (model 196240), Pentair Clear-Plus 350 sq ft filter (model CCP320) Master-Temp 400 gas heater. Use 16 mil blanket to control heat n evap. Live in desert, summer 114 winter 70's.

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    Re: High alkalinity, conditioner.

    Hey any luck overnight? Did Pool School make sense? It can be overwhelming. And overwhelming in dealing with a drought on top of water chemistry issues! Good luck to you, there are a bunch of great folks on this forum, lots of years of experience, and you probably won't come up with a problem no one's ever seen before. Pretty much if there's a problem to be had or a mistake to be made someone (usually me...) has done it! So have fun hanging out and I hope you have clear, sparkly water in no time!
    Central VA, just northeast of RVA with a small AG Intex pool, and sand filter
    Using TF-100 Test Kit

    "Feels like silk, sparkles like diamonds." Prettiest water in the county, yes siree!

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    DesertPete's Avatar
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    Re: High alkalinity, conditioner.

    A) I think I'm up on my reading, good stuff.
    B) Ordered TF-100 test kit.
    C) It takes 5-7 days for kit to arrive in California
    D) May I continue adding acid for Ph once a day and Chlorine twice a day until the kit arrives and can do OCLT.
    15 K gal play pool (3.5' either end n 5.5' in middle) with attached 6 seat spa, all plaster. Built 2012. 3/4hp Pentair Whisper-Flo pump (model 177449) and a 2hp Pentair Super-Flo for spa (model 196240), Pentair Clear-Plus 350 sq ft filter (model CCP320) Master-Temp 400 gas heater. Use 16 mil blanket to control heat n evap. Live in desert, summer 114 winter 70's.

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: High alkalinity, conditioner.

    Quote Originally Posted by DesertPete View Post
    A) I think I'm up on my reading, good stuff.
    B) Ordered TF-100 test kit.
    C) It takes 5-7 days for kit to arrive in California
    D) May I continue adding acid for Ph once a day and Chlorine twice a day until the kit arrives and can do OCLT.
    Yes, keep pH in range to prevent scale formation. And keep some FC in there to prevent algae formation.
    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!

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    Re: High alkalinity, conditioner.

    Did a 'quick n dirty' test using my original test kit to see about whats eating our chlorine.
    1) At 7pm the fc was 3.0, ph was 7.4, temp 84, acid demand 3
    2) At 4am, it was 0

    Suggestions?
    15 K gal play pool (3.5' either end n 5.5' in middle) with attached 6 seat spa, all plaster. Built 2012. 3/4hp Pentair Whisper-Flo pump (model 177449) and a 2hp Pentair Super-Flo for spa (model 196240), Pentair Clear-Plus 350 sq ft filter (model CCP320) Master-Temp 400 gas heater. Use 16 mil blanket to control heat n evap. Live in desert, summer 114 winter 70's.

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    Re: High alkalinity, conditioner.

    Get some chlorine in the pool to help keep the algae from exploding into a bloom.

    Does the spa overflow into the pool all day long? Any type of aeration will make the pH rise and if you can eliminate the aeration the pH will not rise as quickly.

    Read up on the SLAM process, see my signature, as this needs to be done after you receive the test kit. The CYA level needs to be addressed to make the SLAM a reality. Since you think the pool does have mustard algae we need to determine if it really is mustard algae. The SLAM for mustard algae is the same process as it is for all SLAMS but, the FC needs to be raised to mustard algae levels for one day after the pool has completed the SLAM process.
    16k gal plaster with raised spa, Jandy DEV60 filter, 2 HP 2-speed SHPF Jandy Stealth pump
    Hayward Aqua Rite T-15 SWCG, Jandy LXi 400k BTU NG heater, 350 sq.ft. of Sun Star solar panels, TF-100 Test Kit, Dolphin s300i Cleaner
    Test Kits . Pool Math . Chlorine/CYA Chart . The SLAM Process

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    DesertPete's Avatar
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    Re: High alkalinity, conditioner.

    Again, thanks for the help, have confidence we'll get there.
    1) Aeration: Our spa flows into the pool, but does not aerate, as it's a level flow.
    2) Spa Flow: Spa makes lots of bubbles/aeration, as it's a 6 person spa, but it has its a 3/4 hp pump and it'll cost a fortune to run that for very long. So I've reviewed the designs and an gonna make one in case we go there.
    3) Drain: Called the water company and for a small permit fee and $100 fine, I can drain the pool. So city hall here I come.
    The Big Question: Is there anything special I should do before/during/after the drain?
    We know I have yellow algae in there, is there anything to do about that?
    Lastly, as there are a few dirty spots, what can I clean the white plaster with?
    15 K gal play pool (3.5' either end n 5.5' in middle) with attached 6 seat spa, all plaster. Built 2012. 3/4hp Pentair Whisper-Flo pump (model 177449) and a 2hp Pentair Super-Flo for spa (model 196240), Pentair Clear-Plus 350 sq ft filter (model CCP320) Master-Temp 400 gas heater. Use 16 mil blanket to control heat n evap. Live in desert, summer 114 winter 70's.

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    Re: High alkalinity, conditioner.

    Post a complete set of test results using the new test kit before doing the drain. There wasn't anything in this thread yet that says you need to replace all the water.

    Yellow algae can be eliminated with the SLAM process by raising the FC level to mustard algae levels for 24 hours after a SLAM has been completed. This process requires that new test kit.
    16k gal plaster with raised spa, Jandy DEV60 filter, 2 HP 2-speed SHPF Jandy Stealth pump
    Hayward Aqua Rite T-15 SWCG, Jandy LXi 400k BTU NG heater, 350 sq.ft. of Sun Star solar panels, TF-100 Test Kit, Dolphin s300i Cleaner
    Test Kits . Pool Math . Chlorine/CYA Chart . The SLAM Process

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    DesertPete's Avatar
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    Re: High alkalinity, conditioner.

    Decided to drain for three reasons:
    1) The CYA is >100 after 2 trials of Bioactive and 3 partial drains.
    2) The chlorine demand for CYA 100 is too much.
    3) The final push was that I can drain this year, for a fee, but no promise of being able to drain after 12/15.
    Started draining at 4PM yesterday and it's still going at 10AM, so covered plaster in old flannel sheets and am keeping it wet.
    15 K gal play pool (3.5' either end n 5.5' in middle) with attached 6 seat spa, all plaster. Built 2012. 3/4hp Pentair Whisper-Flo pump (model 177449) and a 2hp Pentair Super-Flo for spa (model 196240), Pentair Clear-Plus 350 sq ft filter (model CCP320) Master-Temp 400 gas heater. Use 16 mil blanket to control heat n evap. Live in desert, summer 114 winter 70's.

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    Re: High alkalinity, conditioner.

    You might try using a pressure washer on the plaster to clean it. After the pool has drained, I would scrub the yellow algae areas with a strong bleach water mix. Make sure you remove any lights and scrub the niches and lights.
    16k gal plaster with raised spa, Jandy DEV60 filter, 2 HP 2-speed SHPF Jandy Stealth pump
    Hayward Aqua Rite T-15 SWCG, Jandy LXi 400k BTU NG heater, 350 sq.ft. of Sun Star solar panels, TF-100 Test Kit, Dolphin s300i Cleaner
    Test Kits . Pool Math . Chlorine/CYA Chart . The SLAM Process

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    Re: High alkalinity, conditioner.

    Didn't think of the pressure washer, but did scrub plaster with diluted bleach, took all the jets out of pool/spa n washed, looks great.

    Here are the opening numbers:
    Temp: 86
    Ph: 7.8
    CalciumHardness: 250 (forgot the letters)
    TA: 120
    FC: 0
    Br: 0
    CYA: 0
    As I've given up on pool store and going it with a TF100 and TFP.
    What next?
    15 K gal play pool (3.5' either end n 5.5' in middle) with attached 6 seat spa, all plaster. Built 2012. 3/4hp Pentair Whisper-Flo pump (model 177449) and a 2hp Pentair Super-Flo for spa (model 196240), Pentair Clear-Plus 350 sq ft filter (model CCP320) Master-Temp 400 gas heater. Use 16 mil blanket to control heat n evap. Live in desert, summer 114 winter 70's.

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    Re: High alkalinity, conditioner.

    Quote Originally Posted by DesertPete View Post
    Didn't think of the pressure washer, but did scrub plaster with diluted bleach, took all the jets out of pool/spa n washed, looks great.

    Here are the opening numbers:
    Temp: 86
    Ph: 7.8
    CalciumHardness: 250 (forgot the letters)
    TA: 120
    FC: 0
    Br: 0
    CYA: 0
    As I've given up on pool store and going it with a TF100 and TFP.
    What next?
    Get some bleach in there. Since you have zero CYA, target 2 right now. Then it's your choice: CYA or acid next. Poolmath will tell you how much to add. And if you have too much CYA to have it all fit in the skimmer in socks, you can dangle a sock in front of a return or off something that floats. Pictures of both in Recovering my old inspirational links
    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!

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    DesertPete's Avatar
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    Re: High alkalinity, conditioner.

    Numbers and actions for 1st 3 days of fresh water:
    sorry, i tried to make columns.
    At the moment i'm concentrating on Ph and Chlorine, not doing anything with TA yet.
    Ph up to 8.2 twice added Mercuric acid each time.
    CYA started but not there yet.
    TC from 0 to 16.5 after added C, then fall to .5 and added chlorine.
    NOW:
    FC .5
    CC 1
    TC 1.5
    Ph 7.5
    TA 160
    CH 160
    CYA 375
    Advice?


    6-19-15 6PM 6-20-15 8AM 6-20-15 2PM 6-21-15 8AM 6-21-15 2PM
    Air Temp: 114 90 115 92 114
    Water Temp: 84 Water Temp: 82 Water Temp: 85 Water Temp: 82 Water Temp: 85
    FC: 0 (+15oz 75% C) 13 15 1 .5 (added 10oz 75% C)
    CC 0 1 1.5 1
    TC 0 14 16.5 1.5
    Ph 8.2 (+900ml MA @6PM) 7.5 7.5 8.2 (+900ml 75% acid)
    TA 110 160 160 160
    CH 300 300 375 375
    CYA 0 (Started CYA) <20 <20 <20

    At the moment I am concentrating on the Chlorine and Ph until the CYA increases.
    Not doing anything with TA.
    Suggestions/thoughts?
    15 K gal play pool (3.5' either end n 5.5' in middle) with attached 6 seat spa, all plaster. Built 2012. 3/4hp Pentair Whisper-Flo pump (model 177449) and a 2hp Pentair Super-Flo for spa (model 196240), Pentair Clear-Plus 350 sq ft filter (model CCP320) Master-Temp 400 gas heater. Use 16 mil blanket to control heat n evap. Live in desert, summer 114 winter 70's.

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    DesertPete's Avatar
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    Re: High alkalinity, conditioner.

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard320 View Post
    Get some bleach in there. Since you have zero CYA, target 2 right now. Then it's your choice: CYA or acid next. Poolmath will tell you how much to add. And if you have too much CYA to have it all fit in the skimmer in socks, you can dangle a sock in front of a return or off something that floats. Pictures of both in Recovering my old inspirational links
    Do basic check 2x day right now, and full numbers once or twice.
    At 6AM:
    Ph 8.2
    C 4
    Added 24oz Mercuric Acid
    10AM:
    Temp: 82
    FC: 5
    CC: 1.5
    TC: 6.5
    Ph: 7.5
    TA: 150 (Had been 160 on all prior tests).
    CH: 275
    CYA: <20

    Thoughts?
    15 K gal play pool (3.5' either end n 5.5' in middle) with attached 6 seat spa, all plaster. Built 2012. 3/4hp Pentair Whisper-Flo pump (model 177449) and a 2hp Pentair Super-Flo for spa (model 196240), Pentair Clear-Plus 350 sq ft filter (model CCP320) Master-Temp 400 gas heater. Use 16 mil blanket to control heat n evap. Live in desert, summer 114 winter 70's.

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: High alkalinity, conditioner.

    What did you target for CYA? After the first day you want to start chlorinating as if it's there, even if it does not show up on the test.

    The CC bothers me as usually anything over .5 signifies the need for a SLAM

    How does the water look?
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    DesertPete's Avatar
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    Re: High alkalinity, conditioner.

    Quote Originally Posted by tim5055 View Post
    What did you target for CYA? After the first day you want to start chlorinating as if it's there, even if it does not show up on the test.

    The CC bothers me as usually anything over .5 signifies the need for a SLAM

    How does the water look?

    CYA Target:
    30. Started 2lb test 0, 3 lb, test 0, 4th lb, test at 30
    FC: Been adding almost daily since refill. Now that the CYA is up to 30, it seems to be holding longer, without big dips.CC: Bounced around a lot, has been stable at .5 for last 3 days.
    Basic Test: 5-26-15 6AM
    Temp 90
    Ph: 7.2 (added Acid 7PM yesterday)
    FC: 3 (added chlorine 11PM)
    Questions:
    1) With air temps >110 and water temps in high 80's to 90, do chems burn off faster? Any thoughts on desert pools?
    2) Was told that its required to sweep the pool after every chem addition. T or F.
    15 K gal play pool (3.5' either end n 5.5' in middle) with attached 6 seat spa, all plaster. Built 2012. 3/4hp Pentair Whisper-Flo pump (model 177449) and a 2hp Pentair Super-Flo for spa (model 196240), Pentair Clear-Plus 350 sq ft filter (model CCP320) Master-Temp 400 gas heater. Use 16 mil blanket to control heat n evap. Live in desert, summer 114 winter 70's.

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