2 things: CYA and PH

sredish

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 3, 2007
207
North of Dallas
#1
Holding good chlorine numbers, around 4 to 5 ppm currently and I just backed the swg off a tad to get a more consistent 3 to 4 ppm. Currently, the pumps are running 20 hours a day. I was hoping to get the CYA up to help me with that some.

Now, I added 12 pounds of CYA granules last tuesday to the skimmer. As of today, there's no real noticeable increase on the test strips. Before I added, it showed to be from 0 to the 20/30 mark (hard to tell exactly) and it's showing somewhere in the 30/40 range right now. Granted, the strips are vague but there's a definite color difference from 0 to 30 and from 30 to 100. According to the calc.; from 30, the 12 pounds should've taken me to 75 or 80 and that would be a noticeable color change. I did have to drain a few inches this past saturday but I just expected more. And of course, no backwashing was performed.

On the matter of PH, I'm currently having to add a gallon every couple days to keep it somewhat in check. It was 7.8 on Friday and I added a gallon and left for the weekend. Got back Sunday afternoon and checked it, it was right there in the 7.8 range. Today, I added another gallon. Does this seem a little much or with the new plaster/constant spa waterfall/SWG or will this be life for awhile? I opened up the main drain to the spa to try and pull water back that way to keep it from falling over so much but it still built up and started pouring over, so I'll have to live with that aeration I guess.

According to the strips, my alkalinity is in the 120 range.

In regards to testing, Alan from askalanaquestion.com assured me that my ColorQ would be shipping very very shortly like any second now. It has to come from Lamotte directly. And, I've tried every pool store within 20 miles and they're either more AquaChek test strips or some OTO 2 part tests, which I have and will check the chlorine and PH with this afternoon.
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
37,879
Silver Spring, MD
#2
It is very difficult to get plausible measurements from test strips. The CYA tests seem to be particuarly trouble prone on the strips. Unfortunatly, the ColorQ seems to be a little problematic with the CYA test in particular as well. You might want to pick up one of the WalMart HTH 6 way test kits. It can only do two or three CYA tests but it is under $20. Or you could look for the Taylor K-1721 CYA test kit on the Internet, but it isn't as good a deal.

If you lower your alkalinity to 70-80 your PH should be more stable, but with new plaster and a waterfall you will continue to need to keep an eye on the PH. Adding borates to 30-50 ppm would also help noticably with the PH drift. Even so new plaster will continue to raise the PH for several months to a year, just more slowly.
 

sredish

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 3, 2007
207
North of Dallas
#3
JasonLion said:
It is very difficult to get plausible measurements from test strips. The CYA tests seem to be particularly trouble prone on the strips. Unfortunatly, the ColorQ seems to be a little problematic with the CYA test in particular as well. You might want to pick up one of the WalMart HTH 6 way test kits. It can only do two or three CYA tests but it is under $20. Or you could look for the Taylor K-1721 CYA test kit on the Internet, but it isn't as good a deal.

If you lower your alkalinity to 70-80 your PH should be more stable, but with new plaster and a waterfall you will continue to need to keep an eye on the PH. Adding borates to 30-50 ppm would also help noticeably with the PH drift. Even so new plaster will continue to raise the PH for several months to a year, just more slowly.
thanks Jason. I'm trying to just use the strips as a guideline and won't be adding any more CYA until I can get a good test done. I'll check out the Walmart deal. I'd like to order one of the TFP test kits but being impatient, thought I'd get something quickly. Well, as time goes on and I can't find one, I would've already had the TFP one with plenty of time left over. :roll:

Anyways, thanks again for the response.
 

tagprod

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 3, 2007
489
Tomball, Texas
#6
JasonLion said:
It is very difficult to get plausible measurements from test strips. The CYA tests seem to be particuarly trouble prone on the strips. Unfortunatly, the ColorQ seems to be a little problematic with the CYA test in particular as well. You might want to pick up one of the WalMart HTH 6 way test kits. It can only do two or three CYA tests but it is under $20. Or you could look for the Taylor K-1721 CYA test kit on the Internet, but it isn't as good a deal.

If you lower your alkalinity to 70-80 your PH should be more stable, but with new plaster and a waterfall you will continue to need to keep an eye on the PH. Adding borates to 30-50 ppm would also help noticably with the PH drift. Even so new plaster will continue to raise the PH for several months to a year, just more slowly.
How do you add borates? My PH does a lot of climbing too.
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
37,879
Silver Spring, MD
#8
tagprod said:
How do you add borates? My PH does a lot of climbing too.
You add fairly large amounts of borax and enough acid to get the PH back to where it started. There is a calculation for the amount of borax and acid to use near the bottom of my pool calculator, see the link in my signature. The borates calculation in BleachCalc is wrong. Aim for 30-50 ppm of borax. There is some risk to pets if they drink large amounts of pool water. People, even kids, don't seem to be at any risk, but I would hesitate with infants.

The borax will act as an additional PH buffer to slow the increase of PH. You will still need just as much acid as before, but you can add it all at once at quite long intervals, instead of adding it constantly. There are other reported advantages, water feels and look better, algae is prevented, etc.
 

sredish

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 3, 2007
207
North of Dallas
#9
JasonLion said:
tagprod said:
How do you add borates? My PH does a lot of climbing too.
You add fairly large amounts of borax and enough acid to get the PH back to where it started. There is a calculation for the amount of borax and acid to use near the bottom of my pool calculator, see the link in my signature. The borates calculation in BleachCalc is wrong. Aim for 30-50 ppm of borax. There is some risk to pets if they drink large amounts of pool water. People, even kids, don't seem to be at any risk, but I would hesitate with infants.

The borax will act as an additional PH buffer to slow the increase of PH. You will still need just as much acid as before, but you can add it all at once at quite long intervals, instead of adding it constantly. There are other reported advantages, water feels and look better, algae is prevented, etc.
yea, i have a 9 month old and that was the main hesitant for me using it.