BiCarb Startup planning

rellumd

Active member
Jan 15, 2010
42
North Dallas, Texas
Pool Size
28000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Hi, I expect to plaster with a Pebble Sheen/Glass bead Dark Opal in about 2 weeks. I am working to try the Bicarb startup (if I can get it right)

Tested Water from my faucet - Free Chlorine =.29, TC=.38, PH=7.8, Total Alkalinity= 109, and Calcium Hardness= 141. Total for these is, 250, so my number for Sodium Carbonate is 400-250=150. Tried using the pool Math app but I don't see where it tells me how much Sodium Carbonate to add. I am planning on buying the bulk bags at Costco

The pool and spa are right at 30K gallons. Other data points are CYA=10 Iron=0.2 Copper=0.5, Phosphates=627, and Salt=502

Open for comments on the above, also anyone built the Bicarb Rig? any tips for a one-time use item :)

Did any Novice pool people do the Bicarb startup? what did you think?

Thanks,
 
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ajw22

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Jul 21, 2013
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Northern NJ
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Maybe @onBalance can give advice to the novice on a bicarb startup.




 
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onBalance

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Jul 25, 2011
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Utah
Be absolutely sure that you do NOT use sodium carbonate (Soda Ash).
Instead, use Sodium Bicarbonate. Very important.

If you will be available during the filling of the pool, just pouring in 5 gallon buckets (of water) with a Bicarbonate slurry mix can work very well. Just calculate how much Bicarb is needed for every 1000 gallons of water. Determine the amount of gallons of water per minute out of the faucet to see how long it takes for 1000 gallons of water to enter the pool.

Test the pH as the pool fills to see if a small amount of acid is needed periodically.
 
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rellumd

Active member
Jan 15, 2010
42
North Dallas, Texas
Pool Size
28000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Maybe @onBalance can give advice to the novice on a bicarb startup.




Yes, have checked those out, Thanks. - just trying to see from folks who did this (you may have?) that they were able to manage the process on a reasonable basis and that they believe they got value.
 

rellumd

Active member
Jan 15, 2010
42
North Dallas, Texas
Pool Size
28000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Be absolutely sure that you do NOT use sodium carbonate (Soda Ash).
Instead, use Sodium Bicarbonate. Very important.

If you will be available during the filling of the pool, just pouring in 5 gallon buckets (of water) with a Bicarbonate slurry mix can work very well. Just calculate how much Bicarb is needed for every 1000 gallons of water. Determine the amount of gallons of water per minute out of the faucet to see how long it takes for 1000 gallons of water to enter the pool.

Test the pH as the pool fills to see if a small amount of acid is needed periodically.
Thank you - I will be here (Covid Cocoon). Building the Octopus Rig for a one time fill seems way overboard :) - I Like adding a 5 Gallon bucket every 1000 gallons way easier
 

proavia

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Feb 6, 2015
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Chandler AZ
Pool Size
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Liquid Chlorine
What test kit are you using? The numbers you show look like they are from a pool store. You may want to seriously reconsider your startup plan if you intend to use pool store test results.

Test Kits Compared
 
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rellumd

Active member
Jan 15, 2010
42
North Dallas, Texas
Pool Size
28000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
What test kit are you using? The numbers you show look like they are from a pool store. You may want to seriously reconsider your startup plan if you intend to use pool store test results.

Test Kits Compared
I Will get a test kit. Plan to use atlas Scientific PH/ORP/Temp probe. I Know folks have indicated ORP is of no value due to high CYA in a Salt Water Chlorine Generator Pool. So how did you know it was a pool company Test :)
 

Newdude

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Jun 16, 2019
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So how did you know it was a pool company Test
The pool stores are the only ones who can test for metals unless you send your water to a lab somewhere. Also the pool store computers try to pinpoint an exact # that’s either a wild guess or too accurate to even matter. a FC of .29 or a CH of 141 for example.
 
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rellumd

Active member
Jan 15, 2010
42
North Dallas, Texas
Pool Size
28000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
The pool stores are the only ones who can test for metals unless you send your water to a lab somewhere. Also the pool store computers try to pinpoint an exact # that’s either a wild guess or too accurate to even matter. a FC of .29 or a CH of 141 for example.
Hope it is good enough for buying my arm and Hammer Bicarb and some gallon jugs of Acid :) while I wait for the kit
 

Newdude

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Jun 16, 2019
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NY
Hope it is good enough for buying my arm and Hammer Bicarb and some gallon jugs of Acid :) while I wait for the kit
When it has to do, it has to do. The PH will be a close enough guess in the meantime for acid dosing and you can just add your own 3ppm of chlorine per day until the kit arrives.
 
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proavia

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Chandler AZ
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Hope it is good enough for buying my arm and Hammer Bicarb and some gallon jugs of Acid :) while I wait for the kit

Or you could save some more money and buy baking soda from Walmart - 12 pounds for about $8.50.

As for the muriatic acid... be sure you can get the 31.45% stuff. Most pool stores have it as well as HD, Lowes, etc. At the big box stores, it's either outside or in the paint department. The low odor stuff is usually half strength for about the same price as the full strength.

Personally, I would recommend the TF-100 test kit. Couple that with a K-1766 salt test and the speed stir and you will have the best test kit setup for residential pool use. It would be best to have the test kit prior to startup.

While you may have fun playing around with the ORP, believe your test kit first and foremost.
 
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Newdude

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As for the muriatic acid... be sure you can get the 31.45% stuff. Most pool stores have it as well as HD, Lowes, etc. At the big box stores, it's either outside or in the paint department. The low odor stuff is usually half strength for about the same price as the full strength.
+1. If the bottle says green, eco, or some variation of low fumes, it’s half strength and you’ll need twice as much.
 
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rellumd

Active member
Jan 15, 2010
42
North Dallas, Texas
Pool Size
28000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
1608726513766.png

So I will add 8 Big Bags (12lbs) of Bicarb as I fill the pool, About 1/4 of a bag for every 1K Gallons - 32 doses for my 30K pool and spa - 1536 Oz in total - that should bring my TA to about 395 (109 out the faucet). My PH, out the Faucet is 7.8 so this will raise my PH to about 8.4(to be tested as we go) To Manage the increase in PH and maintain it at 7.8-8.1 I will do the following: 10 oz of 31% Muriatic Acid for every 6K gallons of water

1608727134156.png

Sound about right?
 
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jseyfert3

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View attachment 171453

So I will add 8 Big Bags (12lbs) of Bicarb as I fill the pool, About 1/4 of a bag for every 1K Gallons - 32 doses for my 30K pool and spa - 1536 Oz in total - that should bring my TA to 395. My PH, out the Faucet is 7.8 so this will raise my PH to about 8.4(to be tested as we go) To Manage the increase in PH and maintain it at 7.8-8.1 I will do the following: 10 oz of 31% Muratic Acid for every 6K gallons of water

View attachment 171454

Sound about right?
So I'm not familiar with bicarb startup, but I am somewhat familiar with PoolMath, and I wanted to point out three things.

Firstly, I note that your screenshots above are calculating on a 24,000 gallon pool, but you said you have a 30,000 gallon pool. Was this intentional?

Secondly, the easy way of calculating this is to fill out all the values in the Now and Target columns. If you do this, it tells you exactly what you need to add to change something from the value in the Now to that in the Target. Trying do use the Effects of adding chemicals to do this is a guess and check process. Effects of adding chemicals is useful, but moreso only for if you're already adding a specific amount of chemical, usually because you've determined that from the Now and Target columns, and you want to see what other affects the chemicals have. For example, it told you a gallon of 12.5% liquid chlorine, so you go down to Effects and see that in addition to adding 4.2 ppm FC it also adds 6.9 ppm of salt (for 30k pool).

Anyway, if you type this out, here's how that looks for a 30,000 gallon pool, based on the tests you gave in your first post, raising TA from 109 to 259. This calculates out 1057 oz by weight of baking soda.
1608729526860.png

Third and finally, Effects of adding chemicals is not great for calculating pH changes. Note the disclaimer that it's only an estimate and only for TA around 80-120. The pH section of the calculator is what you want to use to measure pH changes, but that said you'll have to rely on testing the actual pH rise. My pH test comparitor only goes up to 8, some testing comparitors go to 8.2. Once at or above this you don't know the actual pH, unless you have a pH meter, so you'd type it in as what you measure or the max if at the limit of measuring. Then add acid and after mixing confirm pH reached target with testing, if the pH was over the max of the kit it won't have dropped to the target but you can test again and now it's in range you can do a second acid addition. But anyway, to use PoolMath to calculate acid for 8.2 to 7.8, on a 30,000 gallon pool, do this:
1608730039806.png

One final thing. That above pH calc screenshot was for a 30,000 gallon pool. To get the correct acid amount in addition to the current TA in the Now column you'll also need to enter the volume of the water in the pool. It won't be 30,000 gallons as you fill, so adjust that as you go.

Hope this helps!

P.S. PoolMath is now available for iPhone and Android devices as an app. Adds ability to log results if you get the yearly subscription, and does all this web version does and more. Plus it's in your pocket. Happy to help you get started with using that app or giving example cases with screenshots if you'd like.
 

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rellumd

Active member
Jan 15, 2010
42
North Dallas, Texas
Pool Size
28000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Pool builder says 30K Gallon Pool - Actual measurements 20X40 + Spa 7x7 with an average pool depth of 4.5 (Yes it is deep) plus Baja shelf and spillways - says we are closer to 28K going to use that in the pool Math Calculator
 
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