Can't lower Total Alkalinity

RosaN

New member
Aug 24, 2020
2
Las Vegas, NV
I am new to TFP and are learning so much! I have been dealing with scale precipitation in the pool. From everything I have read it seems the biggest thing I need to do is get my PH down so that my TA will also come down. I have been adding MA for the last couple of days and it brought the PH down a bit from 8 to 7.6 but it just bounces back, which is due to the high TA, right? Is this a process that is repeated daily until the TA is low enough while lowering the PH? I used the PoolMath calculator and added the amount of MA it said was needed to bring my PH to 7.2 but it only lowered it to 7.6. Am I correct in my understanding that I have to get the TA down to 7-7.2 in order for the TA to come down as well? So do I just continue dosing with the MA until I get the TA down to the desired range?

Question number 2: I want to add borates, but I shouldn't do that until the TA is in the correct range, right?

Saltwater pool, I have ordered a Taylor test kit, but in the meantime, these are results from my local pool store.
My PH is 8
TA 150
CYA 80
FC 8
Calcium 350

We had a pool service for the 1st 3 years of owning this pool and we recently started having all of the white scale flakes in the pool and looked at our SWG and it was filled with scale, we decided then that it was time to learn how to take care of our pool ourselves. I would not have had the courage to do that if it wasn't for this website.
Thank all of you for your help and for sharing you knowledge and experience with us novices!
 

duraleigh

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Apr 1, 2007
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Welcome to the forum :wave:

You are on the right track but you need to follow the process found in Pool School to get your TA down and keep it down.

 

Jimrahbe

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Jul 7, 2014
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Bedford, TX
Rosa,

To reduce your TA is a process, not a one time dump in some MA and hope it works fix..

For me it takes about two days, with me adjusting things about every two or three hours... over and over again.

I start by measuring my TA and pH and recording the results.. I turn on my waterfall for aeration and then add MA to bring the pH down to 7.0.. Then in 2 or 3 hours I test again and when my pH come back up to about 7.4, I add acid again... At first the TA will almost not be affected by the acid.. But, as time goes on the TA will start to fall in bigger chunks. I stop at bed time, but leave the waterfall on all night and then I start again the next morning. I usually take my TA down to 50 and then stop.. In my case the TA stays at 50 for about 10 seconds and the drifts back to 60. After that it will very slowly drift back up over several months..

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

Rancho Cost-a-Lotta

Silver Supporter
Apr 10, 2018
1,807
Rancho Cucamonga, CA
I wouldn't do much in the way chemistry adjustments until you get your test kit. You may find, as many of us have, that pool store tests are inaccurate and inconsistent.

Check the TA of your fill water when your kit arrives. The TA of my fill water is around 130 ppm. When it's hot and dry (like Las Vegas hot), my TA jumps as fill water makes up for evaporation. I aerate using my spa spillover which causes pH to rise and add acid to reduce pH and to keep TA in check.

Check the concentration of your MA if you're not seeing the expected reduction in pH. There are (generally) two strengths, 14.5% and 31.45%.

Keeping CSI between 0.0 and -0.3 will help reduce scaling and flakes. Read all about it here...

Best of luck...
 
Last edited:

RosaN

New member
Aug 24, 2020
2
Las Vegas, NV
Rosa,

To reduce your TA is a process, not a one time dump in some MA and hope it works fix..

For me it takes about two days, with me adjusting things about every two or three hours... over and over again.

I start by measuring my TA and pH and recording the results.. I turn on my waterfall for aeration and then add MA to bring the pH down to 7.0.. Then in 2 or 3 hours I test again and when my pH come back up to about 7.4, I add acid again... At first the TA will almost not be affected by the acid.. But, as time goes on the TA will start to fall in bigger chunks. I stop at bed time, but leave the waterfall on all night and then I start again the next morning. I usually take my TA down to 50 and then stop.. In my case the TA stays at 50 for about 10 seconds and the drifts back to 60. After that it will very slowly drift back up over several months..

Thanks,

Jim R.
Thanks so much Jim for your detailed explanation. It is more of a process than I realized.
I wouldn't do much in the way chemistry adjustments until you get your test kit. You may find, as many of us have, that pool store tests are inaccurate and inconsistent.

Check the TA of your fill water when your kit arrives. The TA of my fill water is around 130 ppm. When it's hot and dry (like Las Vegas hot), my TA jumps as fill water makes up for evaporation. I aerate using my spa spillover which causes pH to rise and add acid to reduce pH and to keep TA in check.

Check the concentration of your MA if you're not seeing the expected reduction in pH. There are (generally) two strengths, 14.5% and 31.45%.

Keeping CSI between 0.0 and -0.3 will help reduce scaling and flakes. Read all about it here...

Best of luck...

I am expecting my test kit today. I'm curious to see how my results compare with the pool store.
 

Rancho Cost-a-Lotta

Silver Supporter
Apr 10, 2018
1,807
Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Take a few minutes to read the article below which will provide some tips for testing not included with the Taylor test. This part of the Total Alkalinity test is particularly important for newly shipped kits.
  • Sometimes a static electric charge can build up on the R-0009 dropper bottle tip, causing the drops to be smaller than usual and making the test read higher than actual. You can prevent this by wiping the tip of the dropper bottle with a damp cloth or tissue before you start and after each drop.

Good luck!
 

duraleigh

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Apr 1, 2007
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Sebring, Florida
I'm curious to see how my results compare with the pool store.
You shouldn't be. What will you do if they differ? I understand everybody is hoping for a perfect match so you can validate your testing but you are checking your results against something that is usually not right so why bother.

A TFP tenant is to trust your testing. You care about your pool more than anyone and, armed with a good kit, your results will be quite accurate.
 
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