[Begin long-winded story]
Well, it seems as though I've been delegated the task of pool care this summer. Since I'm new to the area, I initially just went to the pool store and had them diagnose and prescribe a treatment plan. On today's visit, my test returned the following numbers
This is for a 26,000 gal vinyl pool with a sand filter. Anyway, the alkalinity was of concern, so they prescribed 21 lbs of alkalinity rise, for the low alkalinity, and 5 gallons of hypochlorite to finish off an algae problem. The second part I was ok with, since I wanted to add more anyway, since the shocking from the previous night showed 0 FC the next morning when i tested (I assumed the algae and other organics "ate" it all). But the first part seemed like a ridiculous amount of anything to add to a pool.
Anyway, so i went over to chemical aisles to pick it up and they only had the smaller sizes which have a much higher unit price (think it was like 6.99 for 5 lbs, and the 20 lb one was only $17.99 or something).
Anyway, I was a bit reluctant to part with the money, and I had recalled hearing something about using baking soda instead. Looking at the ingredients on the alkalinity rise confirmed it for the most part. Sodium Bicarbonate
[Beginning of the end of longwinded story and start of actual question]
So I left with the sodium hypochlorite and headed over to the grocery store and grabbed a bunch of 2 lb boxes of the cheapest stuff they had that listed only Sodium Bicarbonate as ingredient, figured I'd just go home and researching how to dose it myself. It was 2 for $3.00 and was a supermarket brand "Giant".
Now I had looked at the Arm and Hammer but it was like a $1.39 a lb. So that brings me to my first question. In researching this matter I came across this site.
Almost every mention of using baking soda, specifies Arm and Hammer baking. soda Does the actual brand matter. Is arm and hammer more pure than the others? I couldn't tell the difference from a box I had in the cabinet and the one's I bought. Anyway the only ingredient it lists is
Sodium Bicarbonate USP.
In a list of uses present on the back there is
"SWIMMING POOL CARE: Baking soda helps stabilize swimming pool pH in the preferred pH of 7.4 to 8.2...."
So the question is, is this ok to use? And the suggested dosing I read was to do it gradually in 2lbs increments every 4 hours testing pH and alkalinity regularly. Is this correct? Just want to make sure. Also the amount of alkalinity rise prescribed, is that a reasonable number?
I've also been reading about Bleach as a substitute for pool store bought Sodium Hypochlorite (I know from chemistry that they are one in the same). But i'm worried about possible additives to the bleach. Obviously, I know to stray from fresh mountain scent bleach and what have you, and look for stuff with 5-6% sodium hypochlorite, and like the rest inert. Are all of the bleaches with the latter ok?
Thank you in advance, and my apologies if this question has been covered before,as an initial search turned up nothing. Still trying to get my feet wet, so to speak (I imagine you'll've heard that one quite a bit).
Looking forward to learning,