Constant pH adjustment?

mbusd

Bronze Supporter
May 28, 2016
29
CA
This morning's test numbers:

FC 7
CC 0
pH 7.8
CH 275
TA 140
CYA 75

How do these numbers look? Is it normal for pH to need adjusting pretty often? I find myself adding a little MA every day as the pH tends to keep creeping up. What would cause that? We do have a waterfall, kids have been jumping in pretty much every day, temps have been in the 100s, but cooling down some to the 90s the last couple of days. CYA is high, pretty sure I can thank the first pool store I went to that had us add 3lbs of powdered chlorine(GLB granular) when our FC was at 0 after a week of no pool service. Or, could be user error when testing. I've only been playing around with the test kit since Monday.

Thanks!
 

borjis

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 19, 2014
3,331
Pacific NW
Most likely your TA level. It is high.

You should work on lowering down to at least 80 then see how the ph holds.

If you still need to add MA often, get the TA down to 50. It could hold steady there.
 

mikemass

Well-known member
Jul 10, 2013
490
Northern Howell, NJ
I wouldn't disagree whatsoever with the high Alkalinity post above. Get that down.

But also, you have a brand new plaster pool (opened March 2016). PB should have informed you that the first season (at minimum) you will naturally be dealing with rising pH as the plaster cures. Stay on top of that during this sensitive time for the surface of your pool.
 

mbusd

Bronze Supporter
May 28, 2016
29
CA
Ok, so I need to lower pH down to between 7.0 to 7.2 and then aerate. I figure just run my waterfall and the spillway to aerate? How long should I aerate? Few hours a day? Just a little bit at a time? You say to stay on top of it...does that mean just once daily checks or should I check it more than that? PB didn't say anything about the plaster other than make sure we brush it daily for the first two weeks after plastering, but after doing some reading around here I see that new plaster can be a contributor. Is water with pH of 7.0 to 7.2 still comfortable to swim in? I added enough MA to bring down to about 7.5 this morning, I'm guessing it's ok to add some more in now to bring it down some more?
 

mbusd

Bronze Supporter
May 28, 2016
29
CA
Another question...do I lower pH, let it sit for awhile and then aerate? Or should I start aerating asap?
 

mikemass

Well-known member
Jul 10, 2013
490
Northern Howell, NJ
My first pool I went through 2 re plasters (the original and one ~ 12 years into it's life). My current pool is going on it's 11th year and the surface is smooth as glass still. My process during the brushing stage was a little different than what you are conventionally told based on my experience from my prior plasters. But you are beyond that stage anyway so not worth getting into.

By "stay on top of it" I can't put a time frame exactly how often. But just get to "know your pool" and it's attitude. (Yes, they all have their own unique personalities). For a few days I would test once in morning and once at night. See if pH is bouncing more during the day when pump is on, (and that waterfall going) or at night when things are calm. This will also help when you dose your MA.

Brushing your pool is ALWAYS a good thing. Yes it is mandatory in the beginning. But it is good to do when ever. Even years down the road. Keeps the plaster real nice before anything bad can happen.

With a Alkalinity of 140, I would be aerating away as much as you can while keeping that pH low. Once you get a feel for how much she wants to bounce everyday, you can probably cut back to testing just once a day. Which I would do at the end of you pump run time. Personally I feel that is when you will gets the most swing in pH.

Is your waterfall like a slow relaxing dribble over a dam wall or is it more of a gushing wall of water falling into the pool?
 

pooldv

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Moderator Emeritus
Aug 10, 2012
25,412
FL panhandle
As mentioned a few things cause PH to rise.

New plaster, wait up to a year for it to cure
Waterfall, bubbler, etc, run them less
People swimming and splashing, live with it that is what the pool is for! :)
TA, lower it to 80 right away and see how the PH reacts if PH still rises then lower 10 ppm at a time as low as 60 or the PH stops rising so much. Some pools do OK with TA at 50, mine does, and others do not. If your PH jumps around, up and down, then TA needs to be higher.

You will not eliminate PH rise in a new plaster pool or in a pool with water features running daily. Or maybe not in a pool with lots of swimming.

Here is how to lower TA, Pool School - Lower Total Alkalinity Yes, that waterfall definitely qualifies as aeration!
 

Ocgasman

Bronze Supporter
Jun 10, 2015
150
Orange County, CA
Agree with all of the advice above. Get TA down to 80 or below ASAP. That will slow the pH rise. But it will constantly go up with new plaster and aeration in near term. Doing the acid addition/aeration dance will bring the TA down but each pool is unique so hard to estimate how long it will take. Maybe days, maybe weeks. When I opened my pool, the TA was 150 and it took me 3 weeks to get it to 80, but I wasn't constantly aerating it and did not lower pH below 7.4. I took my time as kids weren't swimming in it yet. After getting TA down to below 80, I added borate and that has also helped my pH rise. But I still add acid every 3-4 days as my plaster is new like yours, plus I have a SWG, negative edge wall and laminars which contribute to my pH rise. I don't even bother buying just one bottle of muriatic acid, I buy at least 2 gallons when I get low on my acid reserves at home.
 

mbusd

Bronze Supporter
May 28, 2016
29
CA
Awesome, thanks all for the advice! Will aerate like crazy until I get TA down. Is TA just naturally high maybe because of water source? We do have bad water quality here.

Brushing your pool is ALWAYS a good thing. Yes it is mandatory in the beginning. But it is good to do when ever. Even years down the road. Keeps the plaster real nice before anything bad can happen.
I do try to give it a brush daily now that we no longer have pool service, usually about twice a day because I want to get as much as I can. We just use the brush our PB gave us. Are all pool brushes created equal or do you recommend investing in a good one?
 

mikemass

Well-known member
Jul 10, 2013
490
Northern Howell, NJ
Eventually you will want a stainless steel brush. At three months old it may be a little early for that. In that case I would follow the advice of PB as to whatever your warranty states. The important thing is you are still brushing. Great job. Do you still get up plaster dust when you brush?
 

grottoguy

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 24, 2014
462
NJ
The picture of your waterfall seems to show most of the water coming down the middle and none on the left ( the top left of your roof seems dry). If you place a couple of small rocks on the roof you can alter the flow so that the water flows evenly down the roof onto the pool. You may or may not prefer that, of course, but I had the same issue so I thought I'd mention it.
 

mbusd

Bronze Supporter
May 28, 2016
29
CA
Is there a max amount of muriatic acid that should be added in a day? Or can I add as much as I need to maintain pH at desired levels?


The picture of your waterfall seems to show most of the water coming down the middle and none on the left ( the top left of your roof seems dry). If you place a couple of small rocks on the roof you can alter the flow so that the water flows evenly down the roof onto the pool. You may or may not prefer that, of course, but I had the same issue so I thought I'd mention it.
I thought about it, my husband didn't mind it so much and honestly we wanted the PB out asap so we didn't push the issue even though he offered.
 

grottoguy

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 24, 2014
462
NJ
Understood. If you ever want to experiment you don't need to concrete the rocks on- you can simply put them on top.

Your pool looks great by the way.
 

mbusd

Bronze Supporter
May 28, 2016
29
CA
I was able to bring TA down to 90 just by turning on the waterfall for a few on Friday and Saturday. Should I continue to actively try to bring it down to 80? I figure that I'll be adding some MA in the next few days which will bring it down eventually anyway...

Also, I went to Lowe's and bought some MA but didn't notice that it was 14.5% instead of the normal 31.45% I buy at the pool store. Should have known that's why it cost half as much. Same stuff, just less concentrated, right? Or is the higher concentration better?
 

pooldv

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Moderator Emeritus
Aug 10, 2012
25,412
FL panhandle
How do you chlorinate your pool?

Yes, definitely down to 80. Maybe lower depending on your answer.
 

triptyx

TFP Guide
Apr 12, 2016
1,512
Tucson, AZ
Also, I went to Lowe's and bought some MA but didn't notice that it was 14.5% instead of the normal 31.45% I buy at the pool store. Should have known that's why it cost half as much. Same stuff, just less concentrated, right? Or is the higher concentration better?
It's ok to have the lower concentration. Update the concentration in PoolMath to match your MA and add the resulting recommended dosage. Lower concentration just means hauling twice as many bottles and pouring in twice as much. No worries.