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Thread: help, weird problem: low pH but HIGH Total alkalinity

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    help, weird problem: low pH but HIGH Total alkalinity

    HI all,

    this is my first post on this forum. I am real glad i stumbled across it, i hope to be on here a long time and learn some really useful info. I am new to opening and taking care of a pool. We opened our pool May 26.

    My first question i have for an expert is this: what do you do if you have low pH but HIGHT Total Alkalinity? my PH is 6.9 but my TA is 190 ppm. My chlorine ppm is very low, so i know i need to add some Shock in ASAP--but should i fix the pH BEFORE i add chlorine? (since i have heard that having low pH means it will just eat up chlorine very rapidly?)

    I have heard that if you try to raise your pH, then you will also end up RAISING your T.A. but on the other hand, if you try and lower TA (through muriatic acid, eg), then you will LOWER the pH...so what the heck do you do if my pH is low by my TA is high? how the heck do i take care of one without worsening the other??

    i have been given conflicting answers from local pool companies, so could i please get some advice from anyone reading this tonite? i would really appreciate it (and if this question has already been asked before, sorry, but i couldn't find anythign under "Search")

    --Tom
    Intex 16'x48" AGP 5,000 (uk) gallons
    Intex 635 pump
    Bio Diesel filter bags
    4 solar radiators and a solar cover

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    Re: help, weird problem: low pH but HIGH Total alkalinity

    Hi, Tom,

    Welcome to the forum....lot's of nice people here.

    In a nutshell, the only way you can lower your TA is thru aeration (blowing bubbles in the pool ....lot's of 'em)

    Anyway, once you start getting bubbles in the pool, your currently low pH will start to rise. When the pH get's to7.6 or so, you add muriatic acid to lower it again to 7.0 (this will lower your TA)

    You simply continue the process of aeration while constantly returning your pH down to 7.0. Each step of lowering the pH will bring your TA down.

    There's no other way to do it and you will need to be able to test pH and TA several times during this procedure.

    More info is available here...

    http://www.troublefreepools.com/sticky.php?s=5341
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  3. Back To Top    #3
    thanks Dave.

    What is your opinion (or any other expert for that matter) regarding Borax in the pool? a neighbor friend down the street said if i threw some Borax (the kind you buy at the grocery store) in the pool, it would have the effect of raising pH but keeping TA constant.

    Does anyone know if this is true??

    thanks,

    --Tom
    Intex 16'x48" AGP 5,000 (uk) gallons
    Intex 635 pump
    Bio Diesel filter bags
    4 solar radiators and a solar cover

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    Guest
    Borax has very little impact on TA but it will cause a slight rise so your neighbor is essentially correct. It is best to use when your TA is about where you want it but yor pH is low. In your case with low pH and high TA aeration like duraleigh suggested is your best course since you need to lower TA and that is the process--drop your pH and aerate to raise it and repeat until the TA is where you want it.

  5. Back To Top    #5
    In the short term, you want the low pH. The low pH is what will let you burn off the TA. Once you get that to a level you like, then you can add borates.

    6.9 is a bit low anyways... probably ok in the short term for gunite or concrete pools, but bad for vinyl lined (keep them 7.2+). You can use borax immediately to bring the pH up to a range that is safe for your pool, but don't go too high yet, because you want to burn off TA.

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