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Thread: Can't raise PH

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    Can't raise PH

    My husband is trying to raise the PH so we can add Yellow Out to get rid of the algae in our pool. The chlorine is very high, but he can't get the PH over 7.2. Added lots of Borax, but numbers won't budge. We have had ongoing algae problems except for 3 years we had SWG, but the cell needs to be replaced (we can't afford the $500 right now) so we are back to old style chemical management. Recently found this site. I am reading everything and realize we need to adjust our pool chemical management. Thanks for all the info!!!
    30,000gal. IG pool - applied fiberglass over gunite when pool was remodeled, cartridge filter, 1HP pump, 100 gal/min flow rate

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    Re: Can't raise PH

    I think high clorine levels will prevent correct PH test results. But someone with more knowledge will be along soon to confirm or correct my statement.
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Can't raise PH

    I don't recommend using Yellow Out. It often causes more problems than it solves.

    It would help a great deal if you could post a full set of water test results and tell us where you got them, pool store, or brand/kind of test kit.

    dravenone is correct that very high FC levels can make the PH read higher than it actually is. But how much of an effect that is depends on just how high your FC level is.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Can't raise PH

    I know a test kit seems kind of pricey, but you will save money in the long run. Having updated test results will tell you exactly what you need and elimate to need to use pricey chems such as yellow out.
    24'x52" AGP (13,500 Gallons), Intex SWG, (2)Solar Bear 4x20 panels, Hayward S220T Filter, 1/2hp Pentair Superflo

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Can't raise PH

    You should not use Yellow Out.

    If you are having an algae issue, chlorine is what you need.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
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    Re: Can't raise PH

    Yellow out is only going to be effective if your CYA is too high and then it is only a band aid. The algae will return. You need to test the water and make the proper adjustments. Yellow out will create a huge chlorine demand that is often worse than the problem it is supposed to fix.

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    Re: Can't raise PH

    I have resisted using yellow out; have been adding chlorine and testing twice a day but still have yellow algae forming on the sides. The FC is 4-5 and the ph is 7.2. Any ideas?
    30,000gal. IG pool - applied fiberglass over gunite when pool was remodeled, cartridge filter, 1HP pump, 100 gal/min flow rate

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    Re: Can't raise PH

    what you need to do is shock. see the pool school articles. I recommend all the ones on pool chemistry, and defeating algae and how to shock. as JasonLion said originally, you need a full set of test results.
    16x32 21,000 gallon in-ground exposed aggregate, 1.5hp pump, 120 sqft catridge filter, birdcage, solar panels, aquavac tigershark qc robot.

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    Re: Can't raise PH

    I would recommend using Yellow Treat Plus or Yellow Treat if you can't find Plus as opposed to Yellow Out. I know everyone says that as long as you keep your FC high that's all you need. Well sometimes it doesn't seem like that I've had 2 pools this year with mustard algae that is very resistant to chlorine (if i brought the chlorine any higher I'd risk damage to the liner) Yellow Treat works but yes it does seem to suck your chlorine right down to zero after using it.
    -Kevin
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    Re: Can't raise PH

    Quote Originally Posted by X-PertPool
    I know everyone says that as long as you keep your FC high that's all you need. Well sometimes it doesn't seem like that I've had 2 pools this year with mustard algae that is very resistant to chlorine (if i brought the chlorine any higher I'd risk damage to the liner) Yellow Treat works but yes it does seem to suck your chlorine right down to zero after using it.
    The pool in question is NOT a liner pool so it can be safely 'nuked' with chlorine.
    My question is what is the CYA? Sodium bromine and inorganic ammonia products (like those mentioned, Coral Seas Yellow out is ammonia/edta based while United Chemical's yellow Treat is sodium bromide) are most effective when the algae is caused by too high a CYA level for the chlorine level since they take CYA 'out of the loop' for a while. However, they are a band aid and not a cure. Until you run the FC at the proper level for the CYA (or lower the CYA to manageable levels) the problem will return and too much of either type of product is going to be a problem. One creates monochloramine (CC, which we usually do not want in a pool) and the other converts the pool to bromine for a while, ususlly a few weeks. However, bromine cannot be stabilized against loss from UV so often this creates conditions for algae to return with a vengence.

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    Re: Can't raise PH

    That's because it's ammonia based, which then creates an extreme chlorine demand of it's own.

    As long as you shock the pool with proper FC levels, and follow the instructions on How To Shock (correctly) you will kill the mustard algae with chlorine alone. Mustard Algae is resistant to "normal" FC levels, which is why we recommend a higher MA shock level, and maintaining a higher FC "min" and "target" for FC specifically for Mustard Algae. Most of the time people think they have mustard algae and they don't, it's just the plain old fashioned green kind.

    http://www.troublefreepool.com/chlor...art-t2346.html

    You don't need the Yellow Out, Yellow Treat or anything else with Yellow in the name.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
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    Re: Can't raise PH

    Quote Originally Posted by frustratedpoolmom
    That's because it's ammonia based, which then creates an extreme chlorine demand of it's own.
    Yellow Treat is sodium bromide, not ammonium sulfate. However, it turns the pool into a bromine pool and bromine is not protected from breakdown from sunlight so you end up with a higher chlorine demand for a while until the bromine eventually outgasses (perhaps over weeks).
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    Re: Can't raise PH

    Quote Originally Posted by X-PertPool
    I would recommend using Yellow Treat Plus or Yellow Treat if you can't find Plus as opposed to Yellow Out. I know everyone says that as long as you keep your FC high that's all you need. Well sometimes it doesn't seem like that I've had 2 pools this year with mustard algae that is very resistant to chlorine (if i brought the chlorine any higher I'd risk damage to the liner) Yellow Treat works but yes it does seem to suck your chlorine right down to zero after using it.
    See this post.

    It is true that the minimum FC/CYA levels aren't enough to prevent yellow/mustard algae growth since it's more resistant, but that does not mean that yellow/mustard algae cannot be killed by the higher yellow/mustard algae shock level. Once completely eradicated (including getting behind light niches, and soaking pool poles, etc.) then the normal FC/CYA levels are usually OK so long as the algae isn't reintroduced. Fortunately, yellow/mustard algae doesn't seem to just blow in and is often introduced via swimsuits from lakes or ponds where the algae is present.

    The Yellow Treat treatment has the same problem as yellow/mustard algae shock in that once the treatment is done, the algae can still return if not completely killed or if reintroduced (unless a higher FC/CYA level is maintained, but that's not practical for some).

    Some people on this forum did experiments with liner material soaking it in VERY high chlorine levels even with no CYA and found no fading or other obvious damage. It is mostly low pH that damages liners, as well as UV from sunlight. Also, the yellow/mustard algae shock level isn't maintained for very long (a matter of days, up to a week) and the Yellow Treat treatment is just as "harsh".

    Richard
    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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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Can't raise PH

    Thanks for clarifying that Richard, I thought I read on the forum it was an ammonia product - I guess I was confusing it with bromine...
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Can't raise PH

    There are two similar products, Yellow Out and Yellow Treat, for the same situation, with similar problems, even though one is bromine based (Treat) and one is ammonia based (Out).
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Can't raise PH

    Can someone do a chemical check between Yellow Treat and Yellow Treat Plus to see what the difference is? According to a representative the yellow treat plus doesn't have the "masking" effect of your chlorine after using it.
    -Kevin
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    Re: Can't raise PH

    If you have a bottle, just look at the ingredients list to see what it says. Yellow Treat is 88.8% sodium bromide as shown here. As shown here, Yellow Treat Plus is no longer registered (the registration was cancelled). According to this PDF file from United Chemical, there is no EPA registration number associated with the product and no patents. With no EPA registration number as a pesticide, I'm wondering what in the heck it contains and how, as not being an official pesticide, it could kill algae. I had assumed it was the same as Yellow Treat, but perhaps with some additional component.

    According to text such as found here and in the PDF file linked to above, this is claimed to be an algae stain remover (including mustard algae stain "cleanup") and they are not claiming that it kills algae which is probably how they can get away with not registering it with the EPA (or maybe they just want the product out there now and will later change the labeling and claims after they get EPA approval).
    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: Can't raise PH

    CYA = 150; FC = 6; TAC = 6; pH = 7.2; TA = 120 Calcium Hardness = 140; Phosphates = 300

    What do I do now?
    30,000gal. IG pool - applied fiberglass over gunite when pool was remodeled, cartridge filter, 1HP pump, 100 gal/min flow rate

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Can't raise PH

    If the test results are right, your CYA level is very very high. You need to replace some water to get the CYA level down below 100 for sure, and preferably down to around 50.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: Can't raise PH

    Quote Originally Posted by 1bizimom
    CYA = 150; FC = 6; TAC = 6; pH = 7.2; TA = 120 Calcium Hardness = 140; Phosphates = 300

    What do I do now?
    The high CYA is why you have algae! I assume you are using trichlor tablets for sanitizing. That is the usual cause of overstabilziation (high CYA) particularly when you have a cartidge filter (which is not backwashed so you are never diluting the CYA being added to the pool).
    Drain and refill to get the CYA to around 40 ppm. Then retest so you can balance your Calcium (which is very low right now!), pH, and TA. IF you don't want the problem to return you need to stop using trichor for chlorinating.
    I suggest you click on the Pool School link in the upper right corner of the page and read EVERYTHING there,
    Read it all again. (the articles are very short so it won't take long at all!)
    Then get yourself a GOOD test kit (as per pool school recommendations, anything else is going to be a waste of money!) and take control of your pool.
    We are here to help.

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