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Thread: Need advice to get pH down

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    Need advice to get pH down

    (Chem Geek, I thought I would start a new thread here to get away from my old one.) I recently had to clean and drain my spa for the second time since I got it a mere 3 weeks ago. I cleaned with Ahh-Some this time and refilled. My starting pH last night looked to be over 8 and alk was 70. I added the PoolMath recommended amount of pH/alk down. This morning, pH was still at 8 and alk at 70. I again added the recommended amount of pH/alk down. Waited over 9 hours till this evening and pH is still 8 and alk is now 60. I have ordered some boric acid and it is not here yet, but Chem Geek said to get my pH stable first. Should I continue putting the pH down stuff in it hoping it will work? I have not even started the bromine yet as I am trying to get the pH down. Thanks!
    1000-gallon Master Spas H2X Swim Spa. Installed June 2015.
    Started with chlorine and it went south (with awesome advice of spa dealer....insert sarcasm).
    My kids ended up with bad bacterial hot tub rash 10 days after installation.
    Dumped it and started over with bromine.

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Need advice to get pH down

    I use Muriatic Acid to lower my PH in my pool. I am sure it will also work for a spa.

    Use pool math to see how much to add.

    Make sure you get the good stuff 31% Be VERY careful putting it in. The fumes are bad stuff.

    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: Need advice to get pH down

    Quote Originally Posted by kimkats View Post
    I use Muriatic Acid to lower my PH in my pool. I am sure it will also work for a spa.

    Use pool math to see how much to add.

    Make sure you get the good stuff 31% Be VERY careful putting it in. The fumes are bad stuff.

    Kim
    Thank you for your response. I have been using sodium bisulfate. It's just what the spa place gave us in our start-up package. Nobody ever told us to dissolve in water first, but I have read in several places I should be doing that.
    1000-gallon Master Spas H2X Swim Spa. Installed June 2015.
    Started with chlorine and it went south (with awesome advice of spa dealer....insert sarcasm).
    My kids ended up with bad bacterial hot tub rash 10 days after installation.
    Dumped it and started over with bromine.

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    Defgufman's Avatar
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    Re: Need advice to get pH down

    Plain old m acid 31% is the best way.
    Inground 13,200 gal Vinyl, Pentair 3/4 hp pump, Pentair Sand Dollar filter, Polaris 280

    Pool School, Pool Math, CYA to FC ratio chart, Testing Kits

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Need advice to get pH down

    Wellllll it has not worked yet so...............

    We know that muriatic acid works.

    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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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Need advice to get pH down

    Wellllll it has not worked yet so...............

    We know that muriatic acid works.

    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: Need advice to get pH down

    Quote Originally Posted by kimkats View Post
    Wellllll it has not worked yet so...............

    We know that muriatic acid works.

    Kim
    No doubt! I did finally get it down to 7.6 with another dose of that. I will have to try something different in the future. Thank you.
    1000-gallon Master Spas H2X Swim Spa. Installed June 2015.
    Started with chlorine and it went south (with awesome advice of spa dealer....insert sarcasm).
    My kids ended up with bad bacterial hot tub rash 10 days after installation.
    Dumped it and started over with bromine.

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    Pops37's Avatar
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    Re: Need advice to get pH down

    you can get two 1 gal jugs of Muriatic acid 31.45% at home depot for about $11 ish.... ck your PH and use the pool calculator fill in your pool info (size, construction, etc.) good luck...
    Gunite/plaster pool w/spa built 1983, 17,000 gal. (depth 3' x 6' x 3') (37' X 16' +spa, stairs & large in-pool bench seat). Arneson (now Hayward) pool vac (rebuilt 3 or 4 times over 30 years), 350k BTU (nat gas) XE heater (in need of a serious herbal cleansing lol), 2HP Marathon pump & filter basket, DE filter NSS-48, air pump for spa bubbles, one skimmer plus in-line filter Hayward CANISTER W560 to the pool vac. Re-plastered May 2013 reinforced quartz (Marbletite) Diamond Bright. Test kit: Taylor K-2006; Bleach

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    Re: Need advice to get pH down

    Quote Originally Posted by Pops37 View Post
    you can get two 1 gal jugs of Muriatic acid 31.45% at home depot for about $11 ish.... ck your PH and use the pool calculator fill in your pool info (size, construction, etc.) good luck...
    Thank you.
    1000-gallon Master Spas H2X Swim Spa. Installed June 2015.
    Started with chlorine and it went south (with awesome advice of spa dealer....insert sarcasm).
    My kids ended up with bad bacterial hot tub rash 10 days after installation.
    Dumped it and started over with bromine.

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    poolnoob.ca's Avatar
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    Re: Need advice to get pH down

    Quote Originally Posted by Pops37 View Post
    you can get two 1 gal jugs of Muriatic acid 31.45% at home depot for about $11 ish.... ck your PH and use the pool calculator fill in your pool info (size, construction, etc.) good luck...
    Her pool info is that it's a spa, thats why she posted in the spa section
    32,000L Fibreglass Leisure Pools IG 12.5'x23'x5' Pump: AstralPools BX1 1.0HP
    Filter: AstralPools ZX-310 SWCG: AstralPools VX7T
    Heater: Hayward H250FDN Test Kit: TF-100

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Need advice to get pH down

    Yeah but look at the size of that "spa" LOL

    You are doing a great job! I hope it works out for the boys to enjoy your swim spa!

    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: Need advice to get pH down

    Quote Originally Posted by kimkats View Post
    Yeah but look at the size of that "spa" LOL

    You are doing a great job! I hope it works out for the boys to enjoy your swim spa!

    Kim
    HAHA! Thanks!
    1000-gallon Master Spas H2X Swim Spa. Installed June 2015.
    Started with chlorine and it went south (with awesome advice of spa dealer....insert sarcasm).
    My kids ended up with bad bacterial hot tub rash 10 days after installation.
    Dumped it and started over with bromine.

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Need advice to get pH down

    Here is a great overview of pool chemicals, what they do and how to add them
    Pool School - Recommended Pool Chemicals
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    If TFP helped you or saved you money - Become a TFP Supporter! <--Click here
    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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    Re: Need advice to get pH down

    Quote Originally Posted by pooldv View Post
    Here is a great overview of pool chemicals, what they do and how to add them
    Pool School - Recommended Pool Chemicals
    Thank you!
    1000-gallon Master Spas H2X Swim Spa. Installed June 2015.
    Started with chlorine and it went south (with awesome advice of spa dealer....insert sarcasm).
    My kids ended up with bad bacterial hot tub rash 10 days after installation.
    Dumped it and started over with bromine.

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    Re: Need advice to get pH down

    momof3boys, according to your manual you should not use bromine since you have an Eco-Pure filter.

    I service a spa similar to yours (mineral cartridge and ozone gen, different mfgr and about 1/3 capacity). It took awhile but I found the trick is to shock weekly with about an ounce of Dichlor granules poured slowly into the filter compartment when the spa is running full speed and let it run with the cover off for at least 15 minutes.

    I use only spa chemicals to maintain the pH. It gets heavy use with their children but the water is crystal clear. I also instruct the homeowner, as per their owner's manual, to run the spa full speed and add 1 table spoon of dichlor 10 minutes before use with the cover off. Whether they do this or not I don't know since I'm not there.

    BTW, the manual of that particular spa that I maintain specifically states "do not use muriatic acid to lower pH." I use sodium bisulfate and it is very effective. While M/A will lower pH I believe M/A and possibly bromine too will damage the Eco-Pure filter. Once that happens you effectively remove that portion of the sanitizing system. Don't ask me how I know.

    Other spas that do not employ a mineral cartridge are effectively sanitized by bromine.

    The above is based upon my experience. Others may chime in with different findings. Good luck. I'm sure you will get a handle on it.
    Simple Pool Pro App

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    Re: Need advice to get pH down

    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Fin View Post
    momof3boys, according to your manual you should not use bromine since you have an Eco-Pure filter.

    I service a spa similar to yours (mineral cartridge and ozone gen, different mfgr and about 1/3 capacity). It took awhile but I found the trick is to shock weekly with about an ounce of Dichlor granules poured slowly into the filter compartment when the spa is running full speed and let it run with the cover off for at least 15 minutes.

    I use only spa chemicals to maintain the pH. It gets heavy use with their children but the water is crystal clear. I also instruct the homeowner, as per their owner's manual, to run the spa full speed and add 1 table spoon of dichlor 10 minutes before use with the cover off. Whether they do this or not I don't know since I'm not there.

    BTW, the manual of that particular spa that I maintain specifically states "do not use muriatic acid to lower pH." I use sodium bisulfate and it is very effective. While M/A will lower pH I believe M/A and possibly bromine too will damage the Eco-Pure filter. Once that happens you effectively remove that portion of the sanitizing system. Don't ask me how I know.

    Other spas that do not employ a mineral cartridge are effectively sanitized by bromine.

    The above is based upon my experience. Others may chime in with different findings. Good luck. I'm sure you will get a handle on it.

    I had no clue. The spa guy I bought it from is the one that suggested changing to bromine since we were having problems with chlorine. Of course, the chlorine problems were mainly because it had biofilm I assume from the factory and then the spa guy told me to only use chlorine once a week and "ignore the strips" and then things got worse. I have seen nothing in the manual about adding dichlor ever, but it definitely does not tell me to add anything before use.

    I was finally able to get my pH down to 7.6 and it has stayed there. I will check it again today. I just received the boric acid in the mail yesterday and was planning to add that today.

    Chem Geek was trying to help me through my issues and I finally ended up having to use Ahh-Some and drain and start over. The first time I drained, I used Swirl Away, but I have since found out that is useless.

    Thank you for your information. I guess I have more research to do. I certainly do not want to ruin anything. I know I have read the manual they gave me cover to cover, but I also know it's the wrong one for my model because my husband found a newer one online that I then had to read. So frustrated with the spa store!
    1000-gallon Master Spas H2X Swim Spa. Installed June 2015.
    Started with chlorine and it went south (with awesome advice of spa dealer....insert sarcasm).
    My kids ended up with bad bacterial hot tub rash 10 days after installation.
    Dumped it and started over with bromine.

  17. Back To Top    #17

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    Re: Need advice to get pH down

    There is no problem using Muriatic Acid in a spa if one adds it slowly with circulation. The result in the water is lowering the pH the same as with dry acid (sodium bisulfate) except that you get leftover chloride salt instead of sulfate salt. One can certainly use dry acid if one wants to since it doesn't fume though one can use half-strength Muriatic Acid that fumes less than full-strength.

    As for bromine and the Eco-Pure filter, that may be and I don't know anything about that. Some types of mineral cartridges do not work with bromine. Nature2 for example. The reason is that they require a stronger oxidizer such as chlorine to continue to release minerals from the cartridge. The reason bromine is being used for this spa is that it should not require daily dosing the way chlorine would. I don't think the filter or cartridge will be "ruined", but rather that the minerals will not get dissolved into the water if you use bromine and the cartridge is not designed to be used with bromine.

    This manual is for the 2014 model (you can look up one for your year online) and it does say "Note: Bromine use is not recommended with Eco Pur filters." For chlorine it says "Only one type of chlorine is approved for swim spa use: Sodium dichlor which is granular, fast dissolving, and PH neutral chlorine." However, that is because they do not want to explain how you can use bleach safely -- by having CYA in the water first and by having additional pH buffering to prevent the pH rising too much.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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    Re: Need advice to get pH down

    Quote Originally Posted by chem geek View Post
    There is no problem using Muriatic Acid in a spa if one adds it slowly with circulation. The result in the water is lowering the pH the same as with dry acid (sodium bisulfate) except that you get leftover chloride salt instead of sulfate salt. One can certainly use dry acid if one wants to since it doesn't fume though one can use half-strength Muriatic Acid that fumes less than full-strength.

    As for bromine and the Eco-Pure filter, that may be and I don't know anything about that. Some types of mineral cartridges do not work with bromine. Nature2 for example. The reason is that they require a stronger oxidizer such as chlorine to continue to release minerals from the cartridge. The reason bromine is being used for this spa is that it should not require daily dosing the way chlorine would. I don't think the filter or cartridge will be "ruined", but rather that the minerals will not get dissolved into the water if you use bromine and the cartridge is not designed to be used with bromine.

    This manual is for the 2014 model (you can look up one for your year online) and it does say "Note: Bromine use is not recommended with Eco Pur filters." For chlorine it says "Only one type of chlorine is approved for swim spa use: Sodium dichlor which is granular, fast dissolving, and PH neutral chlorine." However, that is because they do not want to explain how you can use bleach safely -- by having CYA in the water first and by having additional pH buffering to prevent the pH rising too much.
    Thank you for the information. I think we will just stick with bromine for now since we finally seem to have things under control. I would assume there would be another filter option if we didn't want the Eco-Pur one too.
    1000-gallon Master Spas H2X Swim Spa. Installed June 2015.
    Started with chlorine and it went south (with awesome advice of spa dealer....insert sarcasm).
    My kids ended up with bad bacterial hot tub rash 10 days after installation.
    Dumped it and started over with bromine.

  19. Back To Top    #19
    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Need advice to get pH down

    I would skip talking to the spa store about water maintenance, they are not going to be any better than the pool store. All,it will do is cause frustration and water problems.

    You seem like you want to use bromine, so follow this tutorial
    How do I use Bromine in my spa (or pool)?

    if you ever want to switch to chlorine then follow this one
    How do I use Chlorine in my Spa (or pool)?

    i have been using bleach in my hot tub for 18 months following this process and it is great, we use it 4-5 times per week and even more in fall, winter and spring.
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    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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