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Thread: New Member, New Pool Owner, New Problems! High acid demand

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    New Member, New Pool Owner, New Problems! High acid demand

    Hello All,
    I'm John, from Southern California. I had a salt-water pool built last year, finished and filled mid October. It's dark gray plaster, free form shape, rock coping, jumping/sitting boulders at the edge of deep end, attached/raised jacuzzi with spillway. All Pentair Equipment, multi-speed main pump, seperate jacuzzi pump, heater, 60 gallon filter, chlorinator, auto-fill, multi-color LED lights, easy touch 8 panel with remote and a Hayward Ultra Vac sweep. It's about 16,000 gallons, approx 15x35 and 6 feet deep at deep end and big shallow end. My builder was awesome and we love the pool and use the spa 4-5 times a week. Only used the pool once or twice, waiting for warmer weather.

    So, here is my problem and what brought me to this site. My pool needs acid almost daily. Not so much for pH which is running consistently high, but for alakalinty which is really high. I have to add at least 1 pound of dry acid daily to stay in this range. My local pool store has been helping but they basically say that salt pools do require a lot of acid. I haved tried liquid acid (lots of it and some results), dry acid (almost has no effect)but I have the best luck with a product called Easy Acid which comes in 1 pound bags. I have noticed a bit of scaling which I'm told is because of the high alkalinty.

    My current numbers are:
    Salt 3250 (very steady)
    Chlorine 2.0 (Very Steady) with generator set at 15%
    pH 7.8 and up (off the scale if I don't add acid daily)
    alkalinity 220-250 (much higher if I don't add acid every day)
    The pool shop checked my CA which was good and in range but I don't remember that number.
    Equipment runs daily 8 hours.

    The filter was cleaned shortly after start-up and again a week ago and looked normal. It's had stabilizer added, I've been told thats just the way it is with salt pools, that new pools have a high acid demand that lessen with time, I have bad luck and other less helpful advice.

    I searched the forums and posts here and have found that I am not the only one to experience this but am not totally sure what the long term cure or maintainance should be. I don't want to damage the pool in the mean time. Is there any other way to lower the alkalinty and keep it in check?

    The pool stays very clean, landscaping is not in yet so no trees, pollen, dirt, water runoff etc.

    So, hello and HELP! Any ideas?

    Thanks all,
    John

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    Join Date
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    Re: New Member, New Pool Owner, New Problems! High acid demand

    Welcome! Hope you find our forum useful.

    Some of the advice you have already received matches what we see and say on this forum as well.
    - New plaster causes the pH to rise, for as much as the first year. You just have to stay on top of it.
    - A SWG can cause the pH to rise, even without the plaster effect.
    - A high TA will typically cause the pH to rise, even without plaster or SWG, especially if you have any water features (spouts, waterfalls, jets) that aerate the water.

    You, sadly, have all three of these factors in combination (new plaster, SWG, high TA). So you have lots of sources of upward pressure on your pH.

    Because you reported some scaling, that means you REALLY need to work on keeping the pH down. That's the most effective thing you can do to avoid scaling. It will also help reduce your TA.

    Because you need to add lots of acid, I would recommend going back to muriatic acid, especially if you can find it at a reasonable strength (I have 31.45% locally). Some stores carry stuff that is only about half that strength, ~15%, so you have to use twice as much--but it doesn't fume, so some people like it better. Anyway, the reason I recommend this is that muriatic is hydrochloric acid, i.e. it's basically water, hydrogen, and chlorine; it doesn't put anything into the pool that isn't already in there. Dry acid or Easy Acid will add sulfates, which isn't necessarily bad but isn't necessarily good either.

    You can also post a pic of your pool, which will induce oohs and ahhs and probably some pool envy.
    --paulr
    BBB "Intermediate Swimmer"
    IG plaster pool 18.5K gal, Hayward Pro-Grid DE filter, 3/4 HP Hydramax II; Polaris 380, 3/4 HP booster
    AG spa 325 gal, probably Sundance of some kind
    Water testing instructions on one page

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    Re: New Member, New Pool Owner, New Problems! High acid demand

    Welcome to the forum!

    Adding to Paul's good advice (and very good analysis of what's happening in your pool), I would suggest lowering your TA down around 70-80 by using the acid/aeration method found up in pool school.

    Start by dropping your pH down to around 7.0....that's very important for the procedure to work.

    Read through the article in Pool School and then post back with questions. It's not the easiest procedure and will not entirely eliminate your pH rise but I believe it will make it very tolerable.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: New Member, New Pool Owner, New Problems! High acid demand

    Welcome to the site.
    You've gotten some good advice above so I'll just add that you may want to look into an acid injection system such as the Stenner 45M1 Tank System It won't cure your problem but it'll make managing it easier.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: New Member, New Pool Owner, New Problems! High acid demand

    And I'll just chime in to say "HI and welcome!"

    and to suggest you purchase one of the recommended test kits: TF100 or Taylor K2006 (if you don't have your own kit)...
    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
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    Re: New Member, New Pool Owner, New Problems! High acid demand

    You got good advice on the acid. I just wanted to add that depending on your CYA (value unknown), your CL at 2 could be low.
    25' x 13' Roman, 12000 gal IGP, Plaster, with 500 gal Spa
    SWG, 1 HP Max Flo Pump, C-900 cartridge filter
    Solar heat

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    Re: New Member, New Pool Owner, New Problems! High acid demand

    Quote Originally Posted by Bama Rambler
    ...you may want to look into an acid injection system such as the Stenner 45M1 Tank System It won't cure your problem but it'll make managing it easier.
    Or see Mark's (mas985) home made system at this thread
    homemade-acid-or-chlorine-injection-system-t4174.html
    I posted an update of my copied system. What's the point of a SWG if you still have to pour something into the pool every day, right?
    25' x 13' Roman, 12000 gal IGP, Plaster, with 500 gal Spa
    SWG, 1 HP Max Flo Pump, C-900 cartridge filter
    Solar heat

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    Re: New Member, New Pool Owner, New Problems! High acid demand

    I've got nothing to add really, except welcome to TFP!
    10K gallon IG gunite with waterfall; Pentair CC320P filter; WhisperFlo 2 HP pump
    TF Test Kits - Pool Math - Pool School
    "It depends."- JohnT

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    Re: New Member, New Pool Owner, New Problems! High acid demand

    Hello all again!
    Thanks for the welcome and support. I will refine my numbers and post them but it seems like I need to get used to the acid drill for a while. I will look into an injector, home-made or commercial. I guess a more sophisticated test kit is in my near future as the cheapie blue box kit does not tell the whole story. I'll post a pic of the pool as it sits right now, but remember no landscaping or decorations yet! In the next month or so the trees, plants, ground cover, pool house and deck patio go in. Then the fun stuff begins. A vintage water tower, a mini roller coaster/mining cart, lights, gas lamps, and tons of neat (to me anyhow) old signs, gears wheels, stuff. Think Disneyland, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad look. It will make sense in a few months so bear with the unconventional description. My old house had a old west ghost town look, with buildings, a functioning gold mine car and tracks and all this in a normal sized backyard in a normal neighborhood but no pool, just a spa. OK, off to add acid.
    Thanks again,
    John


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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: New Member, New Pool Owner, New Problems! High acid demand

    It's purtiful.....be sure to post when the "look" is complete!
    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
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    Re: New Member, New Pool Owner, New Problems! High acid demand

    Heres an update from last week. Made my own crude, but effective automatic acid injector and have been really monitoring the results. Here it is as of today:
    Free Chlorine 6
    pH 7.6
    Total Alkalinity 120
    CA 25
    Salt 3200
    So I'm getting closer and will just continue to monitor and add as needed. One last question, after cleaning the filter last week I get more water flow. Would the increase in chlorine number be because of the increased flow through the generator?

    Thanks for the tips again all.

    John

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    polyvue's Avatar
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    Re: New Member, New Pool Owner, New Problems! High acid demand

    Quote Originally Posted by badshifter
    Heres an update from last week. Made my own crude, but effective automatic acid injector and have been really monitoring the results. Here it is as of today:
    Free Chlorine 6
    pH 7.6
    Total Alkalinity 120
    CA 25
    Salt 3200
    So I'm getting closer and will just continue to monitor and add as needed. One last question, after cleaning the filter last week I get more water flow. Would the increase in chlorine number be because of the increased flow through the generator?
    You have the IC-40 SWCG generator? I think the important factors are pump/filter time, water temperature and the % setting on the generator. Warmer water, more time operating and a higher percentage setting should produce more chlorine.

    Is CA = Calcium or Cyanuric Acid? Calcium Hardness contributes to the health of your pool as does Alkalinity. I see you've been able to reduce TA since the last post... Congrats!

    It's good to have a fair amount of CYA (conditioner, stabilizer) in the pool so that the chlorine consumption is not accelerated by the sunlight.
    14,555 gal in-ground 16'x29' white plaster Pool w/spa (2007); Goldline Aqua Logic AQL-PS-8 control w/Aqua Cell 15 Salt Water Chlorination (SWCG); Hayward TriStar 1HP (1.85 SF) main / 1.5HP (1.60 SF) spa pumps; Hayward Swimclear cart filter C4025, ColorLogic LED lights; Tankless SP-18-4 electric heater; Polaris 280 cleaner.
    __
    View of spiral galaxy in Ursa Major NGC6217 - Hubble Telescope 2009

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    Re: New Member, New Pool Owner, New Problems! High acid demand

    Hi again,
    Yes I meant CYA 25, low from what I'm told. I plan to add more conditioner. My pool store recomends 30-50 on CYA. The generator is an IC40 running @ 15% 8 hour run time. They didn't write numbers down for the Calcium Hardness, I'll be sure to ask next time.
    John

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: New Member, New Pool Owner, New Problems! High acid demand

    Quote Originally Posted by badshifter
    My pool store recomends 30-50 on CYA.
    You'll often find conflicting advice from pool stores. If you read the article "Water Balance for SWGs" you'll find we recommend a slightly higher level.
    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
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: New Member, New Pool Owner, New Problems! High acid demand

    Just to reiterate what FPM said, even the manual for your IC-40 recommends a stabilizer (CYA) level between 75-100 ppm. Always be a little skeptical of what the pool store tells you especially with levels and test results.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: New Member, New Pool Owner, New Problems! High acid demand

    OK, My water problem is under control, so I guess I'm moving the thread to the under construction area because, Trees came today! Woo hoo!

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