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Thread: Test kit? High PH creep?

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    Test kit? High PH creep?

    First off, let me say that I don't have any problems with my pool, it's pool care that I'm questioning. The money and time I'm supposed to spend. Is it all necessary in my case? I read pool school last Spring and then went back to school again this Summer after asking a question on the "deep end" about a creeping PH problem I've had ever since going TFPC and getting corrected about not following TFPC on several points in which I thought I understood. Now, except for still not having the appropriate test kit, I think I'm doing everything right, except that, w/o the FAS-DPD kit, I may not be finding CCs when they first show up in the pool and I don't know my CYA level until getting it from the pool store, and I know that TPFC wants me to test everything myself, but I just can't justify it from an economic standpoint thus far with my little, 18' round vinyl pool.

    I do find, probably because of my age and how my generation learned how to learn, that it's hard to totally comprehend information presented in web-site format in order to turn the information into action or like a set of instructions. I do better learning from a book format and then re referencing information via an index or table of contents, and it has been hard for me to put all of the elements of the information together on this site by clicking back and forth through tabs, links, articles, etc. But just today, I found the closest thing to an instruction manual on here, and I found it in the forum; under a sticky thread, for beginners. So that helps a little.

    First for the kit; why I haven't bought the Taylor 2006. How does it make sense to buy a kit that cost maybe $68 that will give me 25 FC tests, when I need to test the FC every day, all summer and half the Spring and it's been shown that OTO tests work? And therefore, if I spend the bucks to get that kit, I'll have to start getting refills before the first 30 days comes around. The kit I've got is Swimline. It has been predictable on TA with an acid drop, PH, and approx. FC via OTO tests, so I trust it and I'm still not even close to using any of the drop bottles. It's July; and it was $20, and I've still got a crystal clear pool and chlorine in it every day according to my results.

    But the problems I can see with using it, instead of a "do it all" test kit, is: (1) my FC is approximate and not very accurate, but I don't see how that's a big problem as long as I keep the test results daily in the color range based on my CYA. And that brings me to CYA. (2) This kit doesn't give me CYA level. So I get CYA level from the pool store with a once-per-month sample. I've been blasted on here for trusting their results, but they seem consistent based on the products I've used and adjustments I've made and see no reason to think it's wrong. And then (3) there is the bigger problem of CCs. I'm supposed to use my OTO and relook in the vial after 2-minutes to see if it turns darker, and if so, I've got CCs. I don't really trust it for that, so I also get a sample from the store every three weeks or so for the CCs, but I guess that's the biggest weakness of my kit. I don't really know when I need to shock, so if I can't get to the pool store, I'll shock every three to four weeks. I know it's wrong and not the TFPC way, but I just can't get myself to spend that much money on a kit that doesn't get me through the Summer.

    Now for PH creep: I asked about it on the "deep end". I told the group that my pool tries to be 8.0 or a little higher all the time; for one and a half years now; at least since I quit using chlorine products that are acidic on a regular basis. I made the mistake of telling the group that I had recently adjusted my TA from 49 to 100, because that's one of the things I missed on the site; that is the TFPC recommended levels; that there was a difference between their recommendation and traditional pools. I think I didn't know the meaning of "traditional pool care" and had that in the calculator as a preset. I didn't realize that meant industry recommendations, so I thought that was the recommended level. Some of the group stated my PH was drifting high, because my TA was too high. I couldn't make them understand it creeps high at all different TA levels; all the time when using bleach, even after the daily dose of chlorine has been consumed and FC is down near minimum level for my CYA level; it will still be above 7.8 if I skip a small dose of MA for a couple of days. Anyway, I've had my TA in line for weeks now. It actually tends down over time, so when it drops down into the 40s or 50s, I'll raise it back up to 60-65. I think I'm dropping TA, because I'm almost daily adding around 6-7 oz. of muriatic acid four or five days a week, and according to the calculator and my own pool, I lose some TA periodically adding MA.

    I researched looking for an answer to my problem. I want to know if higher PH is a problem and worth dealing with daily; should I keep adjusting it down almost all the time. If for some reason I'm using dichlor or trichlor for my daily dose back up to target range, it'll stay balanced pretty well on PH, but if I use Cal-hypo or bleach, it'll creep up. I don't really know if it'll keep creeping up past 8, because I've never tried living it alone. I found an article at poolsolutions.com that states that it may be best to let it stay high, but no real details as to when this is acceptable and when it is not, and that's what I'm trying to get a second opinion about.
    7600 gallon; 18'X54" round; vinyl; sand filter and 110V pump, 2-speed.
    Near Cookeville, TN--1/2-way between Nashville--Knoxville along I-40; Highland Rim part of the Appalachian Plateau (we call the Cumberland Plateau for the southern half of this geological region).

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Test kit? High PH creep?

    First, unless your CYA is high and you need to run high FC to compensate we generally don't recommend using the FAS-DPD test every day. Instead of the K-2006 I would recommend the TF100 as it comes with both the DAS-DPD and a OTO test. Once you learn your pools chlorine appetite you can just give it it's daily dose of bleach and test every second or third day OTO saving the FAS-DPD test for the weeknd when you may want to run a full battery of tests.

    Pools tend to rise in pH and you are correct, the muratic acid is slowly pushing down your TA. My pool also rises, mainly because my biggest return to the pool is a sheer decent which produces a lot of aeration, thus pH rise. My rise is slowest when the TA is down around 50.
    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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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Test kit? High PH creep?

    You don't use the FAS-DPD test every day. You use the OTO for the daily test. I only use the FAS-DPD when I suspect a problem or when I haven't tested for a while due to vacation or business travel.

    Assuming you don't have calcium issues, you can get away with higher pH. Water seems to have it's own peculiar characteristics.
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    Re: Test kit? High PH creep?

    First, the K-2006 is $55 on Amazon. Second, where do you see that you can only test 25 times with it? I've been using the same kit for two seasons, and you should probably replace the kit every two years anyway. Buy the kit and be done with that issue.
    As for pH creep, do you have anything that might be causing aeration?
    SLAM * Chlorine/CYA Chart * Pool Math * Pool School
    17.5k gal IG Fiberglass, Triton II TR60 Sand Filter, Jacuzzi Magum Force Pump 1.5 hp, 3/4 hp booster, Polaris 280, TF-100 Test Kit with Speed Stir

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    Re: Test kit? High PH creep?

    I only check ph once a week. There shouldn't be a need to add acid daily. Just do it one day a week.
    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 tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Test kit? High PH creep?

    Quote Originally Posted by Defgufman View Post
    I only check ph once a week. There shouldn't be a need to add acid daily. Just do it one day a week.
    If I don't test two or three times a week my pH would be off the scale. Each pool has it's own personality with pH rise.
    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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    Re: Test kit? High PH creep?

    Well gregsfc, you ask a lot of questions in your post, and I''ll go out on a limb here and say you will probably receive some candid feedback. But a couple things I can reply to regarding some of your comments:
    - You appear to have faith in the pool store testing, and that is your choice. For the most part here at TFPC, we do not for a variety of reasons such as lack of standardized training/testing, part-time hires, incorrect lighting, pressure to sell store products (most of which are a waste), etc. Most importantly many of us can recall personal examples of receiving different test results from the same pool store (same day) or same sample to different stores. Simply put, we believe no one will take better care of your pool and get accurate results other than you with the proper test kit.

    - Now we do recommend two test kits, and while you may burn through reagents quickly if you are going through a SLAM, each kit has its own pros & cons. We post those comparisons and let buyers know the comparative value of each kit in advance. But there's no doubt those kits are the foundation of proper pool care. Without those accurate numbers, there's no way to know what your pool needs.

    - You have a modestly sized pool at just under 8K, but having the proper readings is still critical. In addition, once balanced, FC is what most of us check everyday. The others weekly or longer. So those reagents can last a good long while.

    - As for your PH troubles, I haven't followed your history, but it certainly is important to maintain that PH in the mid-7 range if possible. Important for your eyes, skin, and materials in/around your pool. Ideally, the TA works in unison to help keep PH steady. If not, then we try to assist forum members through trial and error with people who have great experience.

    But the fact of the matter is that some pool owners simply don't want to use the TFPC method, and that's certainly their prerogative. You can't have both - pool store with TFPC maintenance. So the choice inevitably will be yours. Either way, I hope you find resolution to your PH issues and have a great swimming season.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
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    Re: Test kit? High PH creep?

    Now, except for still not having the appropriate test kit, I think I'm doing everything right
    Sorta' strikes me as "Except for putting gas in the car, there appears to be nothing wrong with it.....why can't I make it go?"

    TFP begins and ends with precision testing. That you choose not to do that is certainly your choice but it is tough for us to help you when you openly refute the things we teach.

    Nevertheless, here's a second opinion you asked for....pH needs to stay in the range of 7.2 - 7.8.

    pH outside that range can be problematic.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: Test kit? High PH creep?

    Quote Originally Posted by tim5055 View Post
    If I don't test two or three times a week my pH would be off the scale. Each pool has it's own personality with pH rise.
    Good point....
    Inground 13,200 gal Vinyl, Pentair 3/4 hp pump, Pentair Sand Dollar filter, Polaris 280

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    Re: Test kit? High PH creep?

    I appreciate everyone taking the time to read my long OP and provide useful feedback. Again, I don't think instructions on how to proceed with the TFPC method is all that easy and straight forward for those who are not adept at pulling all necessary info from web pages and just trying to follow a program. For instance, I never found in Pool School that I need two kits or the combination kit for FAS-DPD and OTO testing along with CH (which I don't care), and CYA and CCs and TA and PH. I picked up what I thought were the approximate prices and number of tests from links to charts on this site. Perhaps they're dated or I'm misunderstanding, but one of the cheaper Taylor kits shows $68 and that little symbol indicating approx. with the number 25 after it. I'm sure that recommendation is here, it's just that everything is not in one place that I've found.

    Please don't take me for being ungrateful...The information on here is invaluable and I appreciate everyone sharing. I know I've not been testing the TPFC way, however, just applying the FC based on CYA concept and the concept of daily dosing bleach and the effects of Cal-hypo, Dichlor and Trichlor on other levels, w/o any other information, revolutionizes pool care as compared to traditional advice. Now I know the first response to that is that I don't really know my numbers, because I don't have a TFP-aprroved test kit kit, but I've been doing this a while. While using the recommended kits would be better, it's not as if what I'm getting is all wrong. At least with my pool, and my store and my Swimline kit, I'm confident of everything I'm getting, since the pool store is giving me CYA and CCs and that's all I care about from them. I ignore the rest. So I'm not going to get a kit and throw this Swimline out till it's close to gone. The Swimline has a neutralizer, and that's great for PH testing when I'm in target range, so I really like it, and I'll probably get another even if I do opt for the FAS-DPD. And I've not really been convinced by experts that my pool store can't give me a decent CYA number once per month other than alot of folks on here don't trust them.

    Just like the last time I tried to inquire about this, most are skeptical of my numbers; PH and otherwise, so it's been hard to get past that point to address my real question, though some did and I thank you. I even thank those who think my numbers are all wrong, because they don't come from a Taylor or similar kit, but I get the point already. I'll get one next year. Let's just pretend for a moment that my CYA @ 45, CH @160; TA @65; FC@5; and CCs@0 and no disolved metals; no other junk put in the pool all season all are accurate. I know the TA is a little low, but I usually don't add soda till it gets in the 50s (from the continual acid adds, I assume)--does Ben Powell's article on running a pool at high PH levels have any credence? Why or why not? I'd save lots of time and hassle w/o all the MA and BS. This question is for the experts who didn't already answer. I've read Chem Geeks posts about how FC is more effective at lower PH levels, especially for shocking; but other than that; if my pool water is trying real hard to be 8.0, what's going to go wrong if I let it stay there?

    Someone suggested adjusting PH once per week, but if I do that, it'll be out of range most of the week, and if I try to overcompensate just a little, like I did a couple of times last year, the PH will drop to the low end (around 7.2), and the TA will drop to near nothing. But even when that happens, PH is back up near 8 in two days whether I get the TA back on track quickly or not. So this year, I've been adding 6 or 7 oz every time it hits 7.8, which is 4 or 5 days a week, I'm using less soda and not as often, and Ben's article recommends these small increments as well.
    7600 gallon; 18'X54" round; vinyl; sand filter and 110V pump, 2-speed.
    Near Cookeville, TN--1/2-way between Nashville--Knoxville along I-40; Highland Rim part of the Appalachian Plateau (we call the Cumberland Plateau for the southern half of this geological region).

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    Re: Test kit? High PH creep?

    I agree - sometimes the TFPC method feels random and there isn't a set of step-by-step instructions that will work for those who can't put the necessary info together. I'm actually working on doing that because a friend of mine is getting a pool soon. It's not easy. I wish it were that easy, but it is just not. Each pool, each situation, each climate, fill water, temp, trees, etc etc etc makes a difference. Those variables will definitely have an impact on how a pool is treated. However; there is one rock solid constant that you will see over and over and over here at TFP forum - get a recommended test kit. The pool school section needs to be more clear on that.
    You are obviously intelligent and have thought and read a lot about this stuff. Just from reading your posts I can tell that you can handle any pool problem that comes your way and that you are more than capable of gleaning the necessary information from various locations on TFP in order to solve problems. Even if they aren't in book format with an index. Why do you rail against suggestions of buying particular test kit? It can't be that you are trying to save money because you're using a pool store. Yes we are skeptical of numbers obtained from pool stores and we have every reason to be so.
    So - to answer your question. Yes. The money and time you spend is necessary. (it would be a lot more money if you didn't use TFP methods)
    You said you don't have any problems with your pool so you must be caring for it correctly! Way to go! Don't worry about pH so much and enjoy the pool.
    SLAM * Chlorine/CYA Chart * Pool Math * Pool School
    17.5k gal IG Fiberglass, Triton II TR60 Sand Filter, Jacuzzi Magum Force Pump 1.5 hp, 3/4 hp booster, Polaris 280, TF-100 Test Kit with Speed Stir

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    Re: Test kit? High PH creep?

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh View Post
    Sorta' strikes me as "Except for putting gas in the car, there appears to be nothing wrong with it.....why can't I make it go?"

    TFP begins and ends with precision testing. That you choose not to do that is certainly your choice but it is tough for us to help you when you openly refute the things we teach.

    Nevertheless, here's a second opinion you asked for....pH needs to stay in the range of 7.2 - 7.8.

    pH outside that range can be problematic.
    Gas in my car won't make it go. Put in diesel and it does great. I've not refuted your kit or anything you teach; let alone openly refute it.
    7600 gallon; 18'X54" round; vinyl; sand filter and 110V pump, 2-speed.
    Near Cookeville, TN--1/2-way between Nashville--Knoxville along I-40; Highland Rim part of the Appalachian Plateau (we call the Cumberland Plateau for the southern half of this geological region).

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    Re: Test kit? High PH creep?

    As you can see from Test Kits Compared the TFTestkits TF-100 has about 70 chlorine tests using the FAS-DPD and has about 100 tests using the OTO test. That's way more than 25. I think you are talking about the Taylor K-2006 and you are right that it doesn't have that many chlorine tests which is why we generally recommend getting the TF-100 even though it costs more because it's more economical giving you more of the tests you need and fewer of the ones you don't.

    As for running a pool at higher pH, it's not a big problem for chlorine since with Cyanuric Acid (CYA) in the water the active chlorine level doesn't drop much with rising pH. It only drops by 15% from a pH of 7.5 to 8.0. The only real issue with operating at a higher pH is if you have metals in the water since that can cause metal staining. The other difficulty is not having a pH test that can read beyond 8.0 or 8.2 so you don't really know if it's too high.

    The rate of carbon dioxide outgassing that causes the pH to rise occurs faster at higher TA levels and at lower pH levels so you want to not lower your pH too much as you've found out. Also, don't worry about your low TA and don't raise it much (so 50 to 60 or perhaps even 40 to 50 would be OK). Since you have a vinyl pool and don't have to protect plaster surfaces you don't need calcium so with your lower number for that and for TA you can operate at a higher pH and not worry about calcium carbonate scaling.

    The only other thing you could do is to use 50 ppm Borates to less the frequency of your acid additions, but make sure you don't have swim jets or other massive sources of aeration because we found one situation where the borates made things worse -- but it's the only time we've seen that (mostly it's better; some haven't seen much difference). Do you have waterfalls, spillovers, fountains, or other sources of aeration?
    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
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    Re: Test kit? High PH creep?

    Quote Originally Posted by chem geek View Post
    As you can see from Test Kits Compared the TFTestkits TF-100 has about 70 chlorine tests using the FAS-DPD and has about 100 tests using the OTO test. That's way more than 25. I think you are talking about the Taylor K-2006 and you are right that it doesn't have that many chlorine tests which is why we generally recommend getting the TF-100 even though it costs more because it's more economical giving you more of the tests you need and fewer of the ones you don't.

    As for running a pool at higher pH, it's not a big problem for chlorine since with Cyanuric Acid (CYA) in the water the active chlorine level doesn't drop much with rising pH. It only drops by 15% from a pH of 7.5 to 8.0. The only real issue with operating at a higher pH is if you have metals in the water since that can cause metal staining. The other difficulty is not having a pH test that can read beyond 8.0 or 8.2 so you don't really know if it's too high.

    The rate of carbon dioxide outgassing that causes the pH to rise occurs faster at higher TA levels and at lower pH levels so you want to not lower your pH too much as you've found out. Also, don't worry about your low TA and don't raise it much (so 50 to 60 or perhaps even 40 to 50 would be OK). Since you have a vinyl pool and don't have to protect plaster surfaces you don't need calcium so with your lower number for that and for TA you can operate at a higher pH and not worry about calcium carbonate scaling.

    The only other thing you could do is to use 50 ppm Borates to less the frequency of your acid additions, but make sure you don't have swim jets or other massive sources of aeration because we found one situation where the borates made things worse -- but it's the only time we've seen that (mostly it's better; some haven't seen much difference). Do you have waterfalls, spillovers, fountains, or other sources of aeration?
    Now that's an answer from the MAN who knows everything! Thank you so much. I was hoping you'd come along and help!

    I'll get the TF-100 and I'll have everything except maybe a chlorine neutralizer when my other tester runs low. Maybe use the distilled water trick that I read somewhere for testing PH with FC in the pool. I'll give those recommendations a try as soon as I get the nerve to try it. The limit on PH higher readings has been one of my biggest deterrents for letting the PH just go where it wants. I don't know what happens after bright red and understand that point completely.

    Just figured out why I can't get the Pool Doc or his followers to explain his article on "running high PH" over on his site, and therefore had to come over here and aggravate you guys about it. None of the moderators have communicated with him since April, but your analysis explains "in a chemical sense" why his experiences show why it might work; when done correctly and monitored regularly.
    7600 gallon; 18'X54" round; vinyl; sand filter and 110V pump, 2-speed.
    Near Cookeville, TN--1/2-way between Nashville--Knoxville along I-40; Highland Rim part of the Appalachian Plateau (we call the Cumberland Plateau for the southern half of this geological region).

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    Re: Test kit? High PH creep?

    Quote Originally Posted by Razorhog View Post
    Why do you rail against suggestions of buying particular test kit? It can't be that you are trying to save money because you're using a pool store. Yes we are skeptical of numbers obtained from pool stores and we have every reason to be so.
    So - to answer your question. Yes. The money and time you spend is necessary. (it would be a lot more money if you didn't use TFP methods)
    You said you don't have any problems with your pool so you must be caring for it correctly! Way to go! Don't worry about pH so much and enjoy the pool.
    I didn't mean it to come across as railing. I'm just using critical thinking and asking...why do I need to purchase this kit? It was a question that came upon me only after asking questions on the forum and then learning that "oh, they really, really, strongly advise these kits; not just recommend a few kits as 'best'.

    As for the pool store. I bought the pool there, and yes, the first year I took their advice. It was all I knew. It was actually their pool tester guy that got me searching the web for an answer when my CYA read 68 after opening last year. He said; "don't use trichlor or shock (I know, it's not a noun) with stabilizer until my CYA works it's way down over the season". Those words got me thinking...what's going on with chemistry that I don't know about. That's when I did some google searching and found the revelations that I found on here. I just don't want to be wasteful if I can help it. My current kit tests PH and TA the same as the Taylor as far as I can tell. I've considered getting the K1515a, but on the other hand, if I wait just a month, I can get a kit that will test everything. But then it'll be August, so I don't know. I do now understand though, the importance of this kit. It's just that, like you say, that importance doesn't really come out in the School or the articles on this site.
    7600 gallon; 18'X54" round; vinyl; sand filter and 110V pump, 2-speed.
    Near Cookeville, TN--1/2-way between Nashville--Knoxville along I-40; Highland Rim part of the Appalachian Plateau (we call the Cumberland Plateau for the southern half of this geological region).

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    Re: Test kit? High PH creep?

    I am sure that you have seen this BUT just in case you had not I wanted to show you this. I use is all of the time when helping others.

    Pool School - Pool School Index

    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: Test kit? High PH creep?

    Quote Originally Posted by gregsfc View Post
    I'll get the TF-100 and I'll have everything except maybe a chlorine neutralizer when my other tester runs low. Maybe use the distilled water trick that I read somewhere for testing PH with FC in the pool. I'll give those recommendations a try as soon as I get the nerve to try it. The limit on PH higher readings has been one of my biggest deterrents for letting the PH just go where it wants. I don't know what happens after bright red and understand that point completely.

    Just figured out why I can't get the Pool Doc or his followers to explain his article on "running high PH" over on his site, and therefore had to come over here and aggravate you guys about it. None of the moderators have communicated with him since April, but your analysis explains "in a chemical sense" why his experiences show why it might work; when done correctly and monitored regularly.
    You have chlorine neutralizer in the TF-100 because that is used for the TA test, but you do not use that in a pH test even when the FC is high because sodium thiosulfate is high in pH on its own so will negatively affect the test. The Taylor pH test reagent has built into it a proprietary blend of chlorine neutralizers that overall do not significantly affect the pH themselves. This is really important and is why this is a superior pH test compared to some other test kits (including, it sounds like, what you have that you presume to be like Taylor, but it's really not). And yes, you can always dilute with distilled or deionized (the key is that it MUST be unbuffered) water if the FC is high (usually above 10 ppm).

    As for the limit on higher pH readings, what you can do is get the acid demand reagent, R-0005 (say from Amato Industries), and use that to see how many drops it takes to get down to lower pH in the pH test. It's just a rough guide but should let you know when you are way too high.

    Ben at The PoolForum has gone AWOL again (he did that before) and without new registrations the site has little traffic and TFP has grown (it was growing before as well). TFP gets nearly half a million unique visitors per month during peak swim season.

    Quote Originally Posted by gregsfc View Post
    He said; "don't use trichlor or shock (I know, it's not a noun) with stabilizer until my CYA works it's way down over the season".
    :
    My current kit tests PH and TA the same as the Taylor as far as I can tell.
    You were lucky to get a pool store guy who was honest and knowledgeable enough to tell you the truth. Many just say that CYA doesn't matter, either out of intentional deceit or, more likely, out of ignorance.

    As I noted above, your current pH test is not the same as Taylor's if it has a separate chlorine neutralizer since if it's the same reagent used in the TA test then it's probably sodium thiosulfate and will affect your pH test results.
    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"

  18. Back To Top    #18

    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Cookeville,TN
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    96

    Re: Test kit? High PH creep?

    Quote Originally Posted by chem geek View Post

    Ben at The PoolForum has gone AWOL again (he did that before) and without new registrations the site has little traffic and TFP has grown (it was growing before as well). TFP gets nearly half a million unique visitors per month during peak swim season.

    You were lucky to get a pool store guy who was honest and knowledgeable enough to tell you the truth. Many just say that CYA doesn't matter, either out of intentional deceit or, more likely, out of ignorance

    As I noted above, your current pH test is not the same as Taylor's if it has a separate chlorine neutralizer since if it's the same reagent used in the TA test then it's probably sodium thiosulfate and will affect your pH test results.
    I wasn't looking for another site when I found Ben and his site; didn't even know about Ben. I was actually google searching; trying to find an answer to my very minor problem, and that is the creeping PH that keeps coming back multiple times per week that is more aggravating than anything else. I wasn't expecting to find an article stating that it might be beneficial just to let it run high. I was more looking for an article explaining what might be going on that explains it or what to do. I had taken all the advice on here and it was still happening. I've even taken steps to keep aeration to a minimum if possibly that were the cause. I was surprised when I found that article and didn't want to take action based on that article alone, because it had tons of "don't do it if" statements and disclaimers, and "this one is for professionals" disclaimer and one couldn't join the site or ask questions, so I came back here and asked here.

    Absolutely the pool testing clerk was a great, smart fellow. He's not there this year. They've got a dummy there this year who doesn't think. I wanted to try and pick his brain this year and ask him about the TFP method aspects, because he was a young guy, but he was a conscientious, free-thinking kind of guy. I bet he knows alot about pool chemistry; not as much as the chem geek of course, but alot more than the average pool clerk. That's probably why he moved on. He was too good to be in a pool store selling unneeded chemicals to unknowing customers.

    Lots of great info in this reply; especially explaining the kits and the differences. This one is a keeper for future reference. I've been using my neutralizer drops prior to PH test. That's what the instructions say do. I'm not sure of the reagent. Regardless of this particular test, I know my PH drifts up and drifts up fast with any test kit I've ever used or using the pool store, so I'm confident of that...but still yet...I think it's time just to get the TF-100. Much better deal than the K-2006 with no OTO and only about 25 FAS-DPD test. That was my problem with that kit. I didn't want to pay $50 or whatever it is and just have 25 chlorine tests.

    Thanks again.
    7600 gallon; 18'X54" round; vinyl; sand filter and 110V pump, 2-speed.
    Near Cookeville, TN--1/2-way between Nashville--Knoxville along I-40; Highland Rim part of the Appalachian Plateau (we call the Cumberland Plateau for the southern half of this geological region).

  19. Back To Top    #19

    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Cookeville,TN
    Posts
    96

    Re: Test kit? High PH creep?

    I just remembered and then looked to make sure. The kit I've got has 5 bottles: 1-(clear) supposedly tests FC, total chlorine or bromine. It turns yellow, gold, brown or orange, so I assume it's an OTO; 2-(red) test PH; 3-(clear)TA acid drops, added one at a time after adding the two blue drops; 4-(clear) labeled as chlorine neutralizer and has instructions to add one drop for every three ppm FC or something like that before adding red drops for the PH test; 5-(blue or purplish) add two drops to large vial with water level at the 1/2 full line, however, there is no line at the half-way point, swirl before beginning the one-at-a-time acid drop test for testing TA. None of them have chemicals listed on the bottles. It's Swimline, but it looks like they are repackaged and sold under various names all over the internet.
    Last edited by gregsfc; 07-06-2015 at 03:07 PM. Reason: added info
    7600 gallon; 18'X54" round; vinyl; sand filter and 110V pump, 2-speed.
    Near Cookeville, TN--1/2-way between Nashville--Knoxville along I-40; Highland Rim part of the Appalachian Plateau (we call the Cumberland Plateau for the southern half of this geological region).

  20. Back To Top    #20

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    San Rafael, CA USA
    Posts
    12,082

    Re: Test kit? High PH creep?

    Yes, the yellow/orange chlorine test is an OTO test. You also have a pH test that isn't as good as the Taylor one, at least at higher chlorine levels, and you have a TA test. You do not have a Calcium Hardness (CH) or Cyanuric Acid (CYA) test. Without knowing the CYA level accurately, there's no way to know whether the FC is high enough to prevent algae growth since it is the FC/CYA ratio that determines the active chlorine level that kills pathogens and algae and oxidizes bather waste. You also do not have the FAS-DPD test which can accurately determine chlorine levels to within 0.5 ppm or 10% of the FC level, whichever is greater, and does not bleach out so can measure up to 50 ppm (useful when doing a SLAM). The CH would only tell you if it were high so that you could prevent scaling, but for a vinyl pool if your fill water isn't high in CH then that test isn't going to be useful.

    If you just had a small pop-up play pool, then I'd agree that a simple test kit is all you'd need since you could just dump and start over in such a pool, but with 7600 gallons that's not that small for doing a dump and refill.

    Since the pH tends to rise in your small pool and since it is vinyl you should 1) keep the TA low, even at 50 ppm is OK and 2) have a higher pH target of 7.8 and do not lower the pH below 7.5. In addition, you could consider adding 50 ppm Borates to your pool for additional pH buffering. It would take 18 pounds of Boric Acid so you could get 15 pounds from Duda Diesel or from The Chemistry Store, but this is extra cost. If your TA is at 50 ppm and pH truly at 7.8, then I'm surprised you are still seeing the pH rise. Maybe the chlorine bleach or chlorinating liquid you are using is of poor quality and has a lot of excess lye in it.
    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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