Hi all. I found this site via google searches for this problem. After reading a few posts I was convinced to buy a TF-100 test kit to understand what my pool chemistry is doing and to be able to ask intelligently for help on this forum.
Each spring I open the pool and try to get the pH up to the correct level. However, it takes a lot of soda ash to move the pH just a little. Also, when I add the soda ash, the water clouds and silt forms on the bottom. Vacuuming it up clogs the filter quickly and I have to backflush to get rid of it. I am trying to find a way to get my pH right without the clouding.
After reading advice in other posts, and seeing the results from my tests, my high school chemistry flooded back to me and I realized by adding soda ash (sodium carbonate) I am adding carbonate ions to the pool, which is combing with calcium and precipitating out (calcium carbonate or chalk). My question is, is there any way around this? Will the problem be better if I use borax instead? Is there any other safe chemical I can add that will not precipitate out the calcium? Is this damaging the plaster in any way?
I am in Portland OR, I have a sand filter and plaster pool. 17,300 gallons. Results of TF-100 tests below.
TC > 5 (too yellow - off the charts)
The chlorine was low before i took these measurements, so I added 8.25% bleach. Unfortunately, I thought my pool was larger than I actually is and the pool calculator instructed me to add too much bleach. Now my eyes are burning from my afternoon swim and I am waiting for the chlorine to drop. Measured the pool size and came up with an accurate number of gallons, I hope.
Looking at the results from plugging these numbers in the pool calculator, I may need to replace some water in order to get the CYA as a reasonable level. Reluctant to do that due to possible drought coming this summer and I hate to suck up the water. Advice appreciated.