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Thread: sky high TA & TH in 3 day old pool

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    Ms Flo's Avatar
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    sky high TA & TH in 3 day old pool

    Hello everyone! This is my 1st post, but I've studied the forum for weeks. Now I need your help, please.
    I'll apologize upfront, because I'm going to stop using complete sentences.
    Sorry, but I have OCD. If I do my usual proof-reading, it will take me an hour to post this. :-/

    new 16x32 oval vinyl w/10 solar sun rings to warm water
    6000 gal water hauled in on Fri. (2 days ago)
    approx. 8000 gal total using water hoses with about 1 1/2 inches of rain
    (tap water is very hard water & had problems with high pH in our fish tank)

    using basic test kit supplied w/pool CL <0.3 & pH 8.0
    no attempts to balance

    about 4 hours ago pool company added 2 gal 10% sodium hypochlorite & 2 1/2 pounds CYA
    also put tri-chlor tabs in auto feeder (I know... bad idea. My husband ordered it without talking to me. I did keep them from putting in algaecide though!)
    pool lady used same test kit (& her fingers) CL was low (don't remember what she said) & pH 8.0
    got FC test kit from pool lady (Pentair 78DPD "all-in-one")
    also got test kit from Wal-Mart (hth 6-way)

    after pool people left, started testing... & re-testing :-/
    using 6-way kit TA 240ppm
    using all-in-one CL >3.0ppm
    using 6-way kit CYA <30ppm
    using basic kit CL >3.0 & pH 8.0
    using 6-way kit TH 300ppm
    using all-in-one TA 330ppm
    (The 200 & 300 readings don't surprise me. It's been some time since we had the fish tank, but that sounds familiar.)

    sooooooooooooooo...

    Could the CL have gone up that much that quickly?
    Could the solar rings be helping maintain that level even with very little CYA dissolved in the water?

    Do I need to start with adding muriatic acid to lower TA?
    I think we should, but my husband doesn't want to put anything in the pool that doesn't say it's intended to be used in a pool.
    (He really didn't want to use chlorine, but thankfully the pool store recommended it instead of Baquacil!)

    Okay--got to go.
    I'll check back soon.
    Thanks in advance!
    16x32x4.5 AG Doughboy -- 14,000 gal according to pool store
    Hayward equipment -- 1.5 HP pump, 20 GPM/FT2 sand filter, & chlorine feeder (light feeder use to avoid CYA build-up)
    Testing equipment -- TFTestKit Guidelines for treating water -- The Pool Calculator
    Thanks for everything TROUBLE FREE POOL!!!
    :goodjob:

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: sky high TA & TH in 3 day old pool

    Welcome to TFP!

    Yes, you should start lowering your TA. With your current numbers you are likely to get calcium scaling. You need to lower both PH and TA to avoid that.
    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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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: sky high TA & TH in 3 day old pool

    No the solar rings will do little if anything....maybe help warm the water a tiny bit.
    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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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: sky high TA & TH in 3 day old pool

    Tell your husband Muratic Acid is sold in pool stores, it's recommend use by pool "experts" is to lower PH and TA.
    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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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: sky high TA & TH in 3 day old pool

    Most brands of muriatic acid are actually labeled for pool use if you look at the bottle, even though they are sold in stores that aren't pool stores.
    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: sky high TA & TH in 3 day old pool

    Pool store is where I got my muriatic acid. Also it's in the Home Depot out here, with the pool stuff, two gallons in a box marked Kem-Tec muriatic acid for pools.

    I've found out that in my community, most stores that sell pool stuff sell liquid chlorine specifically for pools - even some grocery stores. If your hubby just wants "pool stuff" in pools, look in the "pool stuff" sections of Home Depot, Lowes, Wal-Mart, or even ask at pool stores and you can probably get liquid chlorine for a reasonable price, although if you have to go to pool stores it will probably be a little more expensive than bleach even taking the higher chlorine percentage into account. I do know that some states have laws against selling the higher percentage liquid chlorine to use in pools; hopefully your state isn't one of them. My hubby, although he didn't throw a fit when I put some regular bleach in the pools, did breathe a sigh of relief when I went to liquid chlorine that is specifically for pools. And I know he wouldn't have let me put acid in the pool that wasn't specifically for pools. So you can probably avoid an argument and still pretty much follow BBB. Might end up spending a little more, but look for the bargains.

    I used some tri-chlor right at first, and it doesn't hurt anything if your CYA isn't too high. It also will bring down the PH. Just keep an eye on the CYA while you are using tri-chlor and remember that the only way to get it out is by draining some of the water. I keep mine a little less than 40, enough that the chlorine is good and stabilized, but low enough I have some "wiggle room" to be able to put a few pucks in a floater for a week or two.

    The only thing is, if your chlorinator is one that also adds minerals, like the frog or the nature 2, lose it. The metals will cause stains on your pool. When you shock, especially, because high chlorine, high PH and metals = stains. :P
    Above ground soft side Omega pool
    20 feet diameter, 4 feet deep
    Hayward sand filter
    Hayward 1 HP Matrix pump
    Hayward Aquabug Automatic Pool Cleaner

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: sky high TA & TH in 3 day old pool

    Quote Originally Posted by Swimgirl
    Pool store is where I got my muriatic acid. Also it's in the Home Depot out here, with the pool stuff, two gallons in a box marked Kem-Tec muriatic acid for pools.

    I've found out that in my community, most stores that sell pool stuff sell liquid chlorine specifically for pools - even some grocery stores. If your hubby just wants "pool stuff" in pools, look in the "pool stuff" sections of Home Depot, Lowes, Wal-Mart, or even ask at pool stores and you can probably get liquid chlorine for a reasonable price, although if you have to go to pool stores it will probably be a little more expensive than bleach even taking the higher chlorine percentage into account. I do know that some states have laws against selling the higher percentage liquid chlorine to use in pools; hopefully your state isn't one of them. My hubby, although he didn't throw a fit when I put some regular bleach in the pools, did breathe a sigh of relief when I went to liquid chlorine that is specifically for pools. And I know he wouldn't have let me put acid in the pool that wasn't specifically for pools. So you can probably avoid an argument and still pretty much follow BBB. Might end up spending a little more, but look for the bargains.

    I used some tri-chlor right at first, and it doesn't hurt anything if your CYA isn't too high. It also will bring down the PH. Just keep an eye on the CYA while you are using tri-chlor and remember that the only way to get it out is by draining some of the water. I keep mine a little less than 40, enough that the chlorine is good and stabilized, but low enough I have some "wiggle room" to be able to put a few pucks in a floater for a week or two.

    The only thing is, if your chlorinator is one that also adds minerals, like the frog or the nature 2, lose it. The metals will cause stains on your pool. When you shock, especially, because high chlorine, high PH and metals = stains. :P
    Don't forget green hair....

    Tell your husband the facts....

    Liquid Chlorine "for Pools" - Sodium Hypochlorite, usually 10-12.5% strengths, sold at pool stores, etc. AND

    Liquid chlorine "for laundry" (a.k.a. Clorox Ultra) - Sodium Hypochlorite, 6%.

    They are the same thing, just different labeling, and occassionally, a higher markup. Sometimes you can get the pool store chlorine on sale....
    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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    Ms Flo's Avatar
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    Re: sky high TA & TH in 3 day old pool

    Thanks again for your help.
    quick update...
    got a gallon of muriatic acid from farm supply store
    added 1/2 to pool next night
    added rest 12 hours later
    took water sample to pool store that afternoon
    pH 7.55
    TA 135
    FC 1.83
    CYA 13

    YEAH!
    The pool lady was proud of me. 8)
    (And she didn't recommend adding any more CYA since we have the pucks!)
    bought more muriatic acid from pool store...
    EXACT same thing as at farm supply store!!!!!!

    My husband now thinks I might know what I'm doing,
    and he says I'm in charge of the chemicals!

    currently...
    turning feeder off at night (Hayward feeder--don't know anything about "frogs")
    chlorine is still high most of the time (over 3)
    CYA is still below 30
    adding more acid tonight to lower TA more

    It seems to me that the feeder is keeping enough chlorine in the pool without dramatically increasing the CYA. Should I be in a hurry to get the CYA up Or since we only have about 2 months of swim season left, will I be okay just using the pucks
    Thanks again!
    16x32x4.5 AG Doughboy -- 14,000 gal according to pool store
    Hayward equipment -- 1.5 HP pump, 20 GPM/FT2 sand filter, & chlorine feeder (light feeder use to avoid CYA build-up)
    Testing equipment -- TFTestKit Guidelines for treating water -- The Pool Calculator
    Thanks for everything TROUBLE FREE POOL!!!
    :goodjob:

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: sky high TA & TH in 3 day old pool

    Congratulations!

    With your CYA level currently low you will be fine using trichlor pucks for a while yet. Very likely you will be fine through the end of the season.
    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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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: sky high TA & TH in 3 day old pool

    Ditto what Jason said...

    the "frog" is like your Hayward feeder gone terribly wrong....
    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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    Ms Flo's Avatar
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    Re: sky high TA & TH in 3 day old pool

    Hello again.
    Since my last post...
    I didn't add any more acid because the pH was 7.2. Instead we started aerating.
    Then I went out of town over the weekend. I stopped at the pool store on my way...
    pH 7.8
    TA 150
    CH 198
    FC 2.2
    CYA 21
    (YEAH! again!!)

    My husband added water right after I left & aerated all weekend, so TA & pH have gone back up.
    Plus, the feeder was off when I got home and may have been off all weekend. So I've got some adjustments to make today...
    using hth 6-way kit from Wal-Mart
    pH 8.2
    TC .5
    TA 200

    I also used an AquaChek 15-second test strip this morning.
    pH 8.4
    FC .5
    TA about 180
    CYA close to 30-50 range

    I haven't used the Pentair 78DPD "all-in-one" kit yet, but I will--especially the "acid demand" test.
    Should I add chlorine or muriatic acid first
    I also need to vacuum & then probably backwash for the 1st time... When should I do that in relation to adding the chemicals

    Thanks again for your help. I'm still excited about having a pool!

    P.S. Please let me know if I should be starting a new thread for my new questions.
    16x32x4.5 AG Doughboy -- 14,000 gal according to pool store
    Hayward equipment -- 1.5 HP pump, 20 GPM/FT2 sand filter, & chlorine feeder (light feeder use to avoid CYA build-up)
    Testing equipment -- TFTestKit Guidelines for treating water -- The Pool Calculator
    Thanks for everything TROUBLE FREE POOL!!!
    :goodjob:

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: sky high TA & TH in 3 day old pool

    No, don't start a new thread....

    Use the Acid to Lower your PH first, wait an hour and add some chlorine, get your FC to 2-3ppm. Just keep in mind that backwashing will require more water additions and you'll have to make further adjustments to your levels. But it's not a good idea to run with PH that high, could lead to other problems.
    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

  13. Back To Top    #13
    Ms Flo's Avatar
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    Re: sky high TA & TH in 3 day old pool

    ...getting a little frustrated
    Aerating is taking forever. I was going to take a shot at a DIY aerator, but my husband is totally against trying to take apart the eye on our one & only return. :-/
    Then it rained last night & lowered the pH I've been trying to raise. ggrrrrr...

    using hth test kit
    pH 7.5+ but not to 7.8
    TA 160

    Would adding a gallon of acid push my pH too far down
    The Pool Calculator says it would lower the pH by 1.93, but of course I don't have the assumed TA of 80-120. It suggests 70 oz. of acid to take the pH from 7.5 to 7.0, but I can't imagine trying to measure out a certain amount of the "wicked stuff". (That's what my husband calls the muriatic acid.) Plus I'm not wild about having an opened jug of acid sitting around. I like to buy a gallon, pour it in & get rid of the jug. What would you do? Thanks again!

    Oh... the pool is 16x32x4.5 oval with vinyl liner. Someday I'll take time to get that info into a signature.
    16x32x4.5 AG Doughboy -- 14,000 gal according to pool store
    Hayward equipment -- 1.5 HP pump, 20 GPM/FT2 sand filter, & chlorine feeder (light feeder use to avoid CYA build-up)
    Testing equipment -- TFTestKit Guidelines for treating water -- The Pool Calculator
    Thanks for everything TROUBLE FREE POOL!!!
    :goodjob:

  14. Back To Top    #14
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    Re: sky high TA & TH in 3 day old pool

    Get used to keeping an open jug of acid around. You won't always be able to use a whole gallon and once your TA is in line you will be needing more like a pint to a quart for pH control each time. It's really no more dangerous than many other common household chemicals you probably have right now (like toilet bowl cleaner, drain opener, etc.)

  15. Back To Top    #15
    Ms Flo's Avatar
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    Re: sky high TA & TH in 3 day old pool

    Quote Originally Posted by waterbear
    It's really no more dangerous than many other common household chemicals you probably have right now (like toilet bowl cleaner, drain opener, etc.)
    When I read that, I thought, "Really?! ...but my husband made such a big deal about it."
    Then I convinced myself that I could measure acid & went out & bought a quart-sized measuring cup. 8) (I even found a thick plastic one with a pointed spout perfect for puncturing the seal on the acid jug! 8) 8) )
    I decided that the best/easiest way to add 3 quarts was to pour in most of the jug, measure out 1 quart, pour in the rest of the jug, & then return the 1 quart in the measuring cup to the jug for storage.
    I got all my stuff together, opened the jug, & watched "smoke" start rising out of it...
    I started pouring & watched as more smoke appeared from the water surface.
    I kept going though. When I thought I had added at least 1/2 the jug, I got my measuring cup & started to pour.
    I might have gotten 1/2 a cup in before I started coughing. I took a break to catch my breath & tried again... same thing.
    So I dumped the measuring cup in the pool & poured some more acid in from the jug & called it good enough!
    Any tips on how to measure muriatic acid without SCUBA gear?
    What are the drawbacks (other than cost) of using sodium bisulfate instead of muriatic acid
    I want to take good care of our new pool, but I need a better "acid strategy" than I have now.

    Thanks for sharing your wisdom!
    16x32x4.5 AG Doughboy -- 14,000 gal according to pool store
    Hayward equipment -- 1.5 HP pump, 20 GPM/FT2 sand filter, & chlorine feeder (light feeder use to avoid CYA build-up)
    Testing equipment -- TFTestKit Guidelines for treating water -- The Pool Calculator
    Thanks for everything TROUBLE FREE POOL!!!
    :goodjob:

  16. Back To Top    #16

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    Re: sky high TA & TH in 3 day old pool

    Quote Originally Posted by Ms Flo

    Any tips on how to measure muriatic acid without SCUBA gear?

    I mix acid and bleach outside where there's a little air movement. Wear some safety glasses or at least sunglasses in case it splashes. Don't hold your head directly above the jugs or bucket. Keep your mouth closed while pouring...heh. Don't mix them both at the same time.

    It is a better to add chemicals to water...not water to chemicals. I fill a 4 gallon bucket 1/2 to 2/3 with water from the pool, then slowly pour in the acid/bleach to dilute a little. Then slowly pour the mix in the pool near a return.

    No magic tricks to handling them, just think about airflow and keeping your head as far away as possible.

    Jim
    Fortune favors the well prepared

    The build...
    viewtopic.php?t=3974
    Freeform 24' x 38' IG gunite. 3 1/2' to 8' deep. 28,500 gallons. AutoPilot Total Control SWCG. Pentair Intelliflo VF. Pentair CCP520 cartridge filter. Colorlogic LED lights. Tahoe Blue Diamond Brite. 1200 sq ft stamped concrete deck.
    More details as they happen...

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