Does the order of balancing water matter?

joecooler

Well-known member
Jan 13, 2019
116
Longmont, CO
Sorry, yes, my third thread in as many days! Different questions so it seems best to make a different thread for each. Hope that doesn't violate any forum rules.

I'm on my second fill w/my tub, followed the suggestion of my neighbor and adjusted hardness first. Now I'm having trouble getting my TA up. I got my CH to 150, TA started at 30 and after adding 1/4 cup of increaser (which should have raised it by 20ppm in my 420 gallon spa) and waiting overnight to test, it didn't budge. Now I'm noticing that most places recommend adjusting TA first. Did I blow it? Will it be hard to get the TA up w/my CH at 150? If so, any suggestions? Can I fix this, or should I just dump the water and start over? Or can I live w/a TA of 30 and just do it right the next time around?
 

joecooler

Well-known member
Jan 13, 2019
116
Longmont, CO
SpaPure Hardness increaser and TA increaser.

Also, I'm using the Controlomatic SmarterSpa SWG. Just installed it - first fill I was using chlorine granules. Couldn't bring myself to just dump bleach in. :-D I added the salt first thing as I wasn't sure if I should wait until the water was balanced before I started generating chlorine.

Don't know if this matters but my pH is on the high side - around 7.8. I haven't tried to bring it down yet, figured I should get the TA right first.
 
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dw886

Gold Supporter
Sep 19, 2016
231
ND
CH 150
TA 30
FC 2.5
CC 0.5
pH 7.8
Salt ~2500

I haven't checked CYA yet ... do I care about this, or CC, w/a SWG system?
Yes, whether you're using Bleach, granules, or a SWG, you're still chlorinating your spa. There's a direct relationship between CYA (Stabilizer), and the amount of FC that you need to maintain. As CYA increases, you need higher FC, because some of the FC is bound to the CYA and isn't readily available to fight things off. You really need to know CYA to know what your target FC level is.
 

joecooler

Well-known member
Jan 13, 2019
116
Longmont, CO
OK, well, I can check that when I get home. However my initial question remains - did adjusting hardness before alkalinity make it more difficult for me to get my alkalinity to go up? Because it seems to be stuck at 30. At this point, how can I get my TA up to 50 when it doesn't seem to be moving?
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
10,829
Northern NJ
Your TA and pH are really ok. You don't need to tinker with them. Only reason to raise TA is if pH is low. As long as your pH is not down in the low 7's your low TA is ok. pH anywhere in the 7's is ok.

CH should not affect your ability to adjust TA.

Your spa covered? Outdoors? CYA really only matters for outdoor pools that get sun. CYA is not natural occurring so if you have not added any stabilizer then your CYA will be 0.

CYA will buffer some of the chlorine harshness. So if you want to run a bit of CYA 20-30 in your spa you can.

You care about CC because CC shows you if you have organics growing in your water that the CL is killing. A CC 1 or more tells you your water is not as sanitary as it can be.
 
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joecooler

Well-known member
Jan 13, 2019
116
Longmont, CO
Awesome, thanks, I will stop worrying about it then! Spa is outside and covered so I have been assuming CYA was not something I needed to worry about. I will probably test it tonight just to see what it is. I'm thinking it may be 0, since I just filled the tub on Sunday and haven't added any chlorine products to it - just salt for the SWG.

Re/the CC, I have noticed that it fluctuates .... what makes it drop? And if it's 1 or higher, what can you do about it? Just shock, and/or add more chlorine?
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
10,829
Northern NJ
Don't waste your reagents testing CYA. CYA will not be in your water unless you specifically added stabilizer or put trichlor pucks in your spa. CYA does not occur in fill water.
 
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ChrisL

Well-known member
Apr 3, 2007
97
Stabilizer is cyanuric acid. It is added to pools and some chlorine types have it, primarily to prevent the breakdown of chlorine by sunlight. Many chlorine granules sold for spas are sodium di chlor...... (I don't know the spelling exactly) but you will see that cyanuric acid is part of the name. Adding these will increase the stabilizer level in your spa. If you dump the water two or three times a year, there should be no significant increase, but if you continually add the stabilized chlorine without dumping the water, you will need to increase the amount of chlorine in the spa to compensate.
 

joecooler

Well-known member
Jan 13, 2019
116
Longmont, CO
I think that's the big problem I was having w/my tub ... was using dichlor and over time it was getting harder and harder to actually keep the water clean. It was also feeling super chemical-y. Per above I just dumped the water and am starting over w/a SWG. Hoping that among other things this will keep the chlorine high enough that I don't have to add any chlorine, thus solving the CYA saturation issue.

If I do need to add chlorine occasionally I may get brave and try the bleach trick. Tho it still seems weird. :-D
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
10,829
Northern NJ
If I do need to add chlorine occasionally I may get brave and try the bleach trick. Tho it still seems weird. :-D
Joe, When, not if, you go to bleach make sure you get pure bleach with no additive. Not splash free, or fragrances, and not Clorox that contains Cloromax Technology. Bleach is just chlorine with water and salt instead of solid chlorine which includes CYA and other stuff you really don't want.
 
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joecooler

Well-known member
Jan 13, 2019
116
Longmont, CO
Everyone keeps saying what NOT to get in bleach .... so what do I get? Can I get it at the local grocery? Is there a brand that is "just bleach"? What should I look for on the label?
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
10,829
Northern NJ
Everyone keeps saying what NOT to get in bleach .... so what do I get? Can I get it at the local grocery? Is there a brand that is "just bleach"? What should I look for on the label?
Who is everyone?

Bleach brands vary widely and you have to read the labels carefully for what is locally available by you. There are threads here about where folks are sourcing their liquid chlorine. See 2019 Bleach Prices
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
10,829
Northern NJ
I will let other folks argue what the best way to care for spa water is. If you are going to use chlorine then bleach is as good a source as granuales.
 
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