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Thread: Using High pH in pools

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    schrody's Avatar
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    Using High pH in pools

    Maybe this topic has been discussed on here but if I search "high pH" in the forums it ignores both words because they are too common.

    This is an article I read a while back and wondered if the gurus here could shed some light on it:
    http://www.poolsolutions.com/gd/hiphpool.html

    If this has been discussed before then maybe someone could just point me to the topic.
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Using High pH in pools

    This came up before towards the end of this topic. Briefly, when Ben did that write up the relationship between PH, TA, and CO2 outgassing was not understood. With that new understanding we can get the same results Ben was getting while using lower PH targets than he was using.
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    Re: Using High pH in pools

    He doesn't mention swimmer comfort anywhere in the article. The first thing Bioguard ever "taught" me was that "the pH of the human eye is 7.5" which is why they push 7.4-7.6. Obviously you can adjust your CSI and chlorine level to suit a higher pH, but you can't mandate goggles. Is the eye pH thing oversold or would that be a problem in this situation?

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    schrody's Avatar
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    Re: Using High pH in pools

    Thanks Jason...that answers my question!
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    Re: Using High pH in pools

    Quote Originally Posted by spishex
    He doesn't mention swimmer comfort anywhere in the article. The first thing Bioguard ever "taught" me was that "the pH of the human eye is 7.5" which is why they push 7.4-7.6. Obviously you can adjust your CSI and chlorine level to suit a higher pH, but you can't mandate goggles. Is the eye pH thing oversold or would that be a problem in this situation?
    I don't know about this situation, and the following is very qualitative, and at best one data point, but my experience is that the pH matters a great deal for eye comfort. Since I took over my pool I starting logging everything that went into the pool, and I also test way too much. Just saying that I think my data is reasonably good.

    My humaniform pH test strip (i.e., my 10-year old) seems to be quite reliable. He won't set foot in any pool but ours without goggles, and the aversion to ours was also true in the "Service by Pool Fool" days. I monitored eye complaints and readings and found out fairly quickly that if I had it at 7.5 the goggles were thrown on the deck. 7.4-7.6 wasn't bad, but outside that range I got complaints. I've since been checking that daily and adjusting to stay in the 7.4-7.6 range, and as close to 7.5 as I can get.

    BTW, I didn't know about the pH of the eye being 7.5 before reading the post from spishex, but this is FWIW only.

    Cheers, Gary
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    Re: Using High pH in pools

    Good reading.

    Way back on PF, I thought I remembered reading that 7.8 pH was normal for humans.

    Does anyone know if it varies from person to person?

    Actually, I know some folks whose personalites are about 5.8 pH but I'm not sure about their eyes.
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    Re: Using High pH in pools

    A quick Google search turned up this link with a pH of 7.50 with a standard deviation of +/- 0.23 so out of 20 people, 63% of their 40 eyes had tears that were with a pH from 7.27 to 7.73. From this link six people had 7.50 +/- 0.16 (SD). So it does vary a bit from person to person, but the average is around 7.5.
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    Re: Using High pH in pools

    From what I have seen, the amount of eye irritation is not symmetric around a PH of 7.5. That is to say that many people are comfortable at a PH of 8.0, while fewer people are comfortable at a PH of 7.0.
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    Re: Using High pH in pools

    I hope I'm not "hijacking", but the post from spishex had some resonance with my experience, so I couldn't resist.

    JasonLion's question about the symmetry of the response is something I can't address. I haven't let it vary that much, and probably won't.

    Concerning Duraleigh's question about person-to-person variability, I was (as usual) being a little facetious talking about the 10-year old "test strip". My 16-year old stepson and I have had similar responses. But that might be genetics at work, or autosuggestion (?), as the psychologists might say. Again, just FWIW.

    Finally, concerning,
    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    Actually, I know some folks whose personalites are about 5.8 pH but I'm not sure about their eyes.
    I can't remember who came back with this line first, but "I resemble that!"

    Cheers, Gary
    15,000 gal. IG fiberglass pool w/ 1 hp Hayward Max-Flo and 250 lb. Hayward sand filter
    Located in St. Petersburg, Florida, and enclosed in a birdcage

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    Re: Using High pH in pools

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    This came up before towards the end of this topic.
    Read my comments in the above thread that Jason referenced and remember that it was all started by United Chemical whose bromine based products are more effective at higher pH. Coincidence? I think not!

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