CYA and TA questions

DougS

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Bronze Supporter
Oct 7, 2015
29
Pleasanton, CA
#1
Hi,

Just opening the pool for the season. Water looks great, but want to make sure all the chemistry is right.

Just turned on solar yesterday, and already raised temperature from 56-62!

FAC: 4
TAC: 4
Salt 2550
CH: 340
CYA : 30
TA : 60
Cooper: 0
Iron: 0
Phosphates : 500

Questions:
1) Should I raise TA with alkalinity up to say 75-80, or higher? Pool store recommends that I do, but I thought I saw a post in here that 60 is just fine. What do the experts think?
2) I think I should raise CYA to 70 or so. Is that the right level? How much should I add? I bought the CYA pellets, not the liquid.
3) I just added 80lbs of salt to get salt into the 2750 range. I'll keep adding slowly until the SWG says it's good.
4) Do I understand correctly that the Phosphates are pretty much no problem, as long as we keep Chlorine and PH in optimal range?
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
#2
Hi Doug. You are correct that for a SWG pool, here at TFP we recommend a minimum CYA of 70 to ensure adequate protection for the FC generated by the SWG. So as long as there is no concern for algae right now, then (yes) add some stabilizer. To determine the amount to use, refer to the TFP Poolmath calculator (link in my sig or above at top of page) and it will tell you exactly how much to add. Make sure to use the white sock/soaking method. As for the TA, I'd leave it for now if your pH is stable. Speaking of which you didn't list your pH. ha.

Lastly, those look to be pool store test results ... right? Well, you're correct that we don't care about phosphates. But we also don't place any faith in pool store testing. So we hope you will consider obtaining your own TF-100 or Taylor K-2006 test kit. At-home testing with the right test lit is priority #1. Hope that helps.
 

DougS

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Bronze Supporter
Oct 7, 2015
29
Pleasanton, CA
#3
Thanks!

I do have my own test kit, but might want to upgrade this year.

Forgot to list PH - it's around 7.4.

In general, the pool has been "hungry" for acid. I add about 1/3 gallon per week. Is that normal? Could elevating TA slightly help with the acid demand?
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
#4
An elevated TA would cause pH to rise, but your TA is not that high (60). Raising TA more would only allow pH to rise quicker. Your pool (plaster) should be broken-in well by now so that's not an issue. But the spa (spillovers), jets, and any other sources of aeration would certainly cause the pH to rise naturally. Perhaps if any of them are running a lot you might need to adjust run times for some of those items?
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
10,494
Bedford, TX
#5
Doug,

My guess is that you are trying to keep your pH around 7.2... Most saltwater pools like to have a pH of about 7.8. so, I'll bet it you let your pH drift up to 7.8 it will stay there for a while without adding acid. When it breaks above 7.8 then add just enough to bring it down to about 7.5 or 7.6.

Try it, it can't hurt anything. My pool will stay at 7.8 for several weeks before I need to add acid.

And.. as Pat pointed out.. the more you run your water features the faster the pH will increase. I only run mine when I want to show off... :D

Thanks for posting,

Jim R.
 

DougS

Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Oct 7, 2015
29
Pleasanton, CA
#6
Thanks Texas Splash,

Aeration: I'm only running the spa spillway for 1/2 hour twice a day to recirculate the spa water. Is that too much?

I guess you're recommending that I leave the TA alone. Pool store recommends Alkalinity Up to get it into the 80-120 range, but I think I read in here that 60-80 is best for my configuration. Do you agree? Assuming you do, then is 60 the right number and should I just leave it alone?
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
#7
Only running the spillover a 1/2-hr twice a day is not excessive at all. I think we can rule that out. The TFP recommended levels chart shows a SWG pool TA range of 60-80, so you're in a good range. I like Jim's note above about allowing your pH to float-up to the 7.7-7.8 range if necessary. Try it for a week or two. Funny how that works sometimes. Some pools just like to balance (TA & pH) at a slightly higher end of the range. That may work.
 

DougS

Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Oct 7, 2015
29
Pleasanton, CA
#8
Thanks Jim and Texas Splash!

Will try moving PH up to 7.7-7.8 and see what happens. I think the way to do that is start adding less acid when it shows a demand. "just enough to get it into 7.7-7.8 range"....

Thanks guys! Will report back.
 

Analogbytes

Bronze Supporter
Dec 22, 2016
291
Arlington, Texas
#9
Get a good test kit and don't go back to the pool store. They just want to sale you stuff that most of the time you don't need or you can get it in a cheaper, more pure form else where. We recommend either the Taylor K-2006 or the TF100.
 

needsajet

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 4, 2016
4,558
Sydney, NSW, Australia
#10
+100 to all the advice already given. Do your own testing, you'll pay off the kit before summer with $avings

Good job reading pool school and threads. You've already found lots of great information. I found a particular thread really helpful when I started out. Just the first two posts. It's in my signature "TFPC for beginners"
 

DougS

Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Oct 7, 2015
29
Pleasanton, CA
#14
Update:

Water still looks excellent, but trying to make sure all chemistry is correct.

Water temperature is around 61 degrees.

Added two sockfulls (approx 3lbs) of conditioner today. After 3 hours in the skimmer, it still was not fully dissolved so I squished the socks for a while to dissolve. Still took forever and will finish tomorrow. Will test CYA after I finish adding conditioner. I plan to add a total of 4lbs and then test, but expect to need about 8 lbs. if I understand things correctly.

Tested again:
FAC : 4
TAC : 4
PH : 7.5
Salt : 3200 (added last 80 lbs yesterday, so salt level is perfect now)
TA : 45 (Yikes, it's even lower than the pool store said yesterday)

so... Should I add the Sodium Bicarbonate to increase TA? More Conditioner?
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
#15
I would add a little more baking soda just to get the TA up to about 50-60. That should work for now. While you slowly inch-up that CYA to the recommended 70 range for a SWG pool, keep an eye on the FC to ensure it doesn't drop much lower than 4. Keeping FC in that 4-6 range would probably be ideal. Once all that stabilizer dissolves, give it about 24 hours to mix real well in the pool and re-test to see where you're at.