Excited for our house with pool!

Amh328

Member
Sep 10, 2019
5
New Jersey
Hi everyone!

So glad I found this site for help! We (me, husband, 2 kids) just bought our forever home with an in ground pool. I have already learned so much and have made numerous trips to the pool store.
I am having a hard time raising the TA. Brought water test to the store and the TA was a 2!!!!! I've dumped bags and bags of whatever they sold me at the store- and just bought 2 big bags of baking soda (thank you internet). I didn't add the baking soda yet, waiting until tomorrow to test.
Can anyone point me to a thread to help with this? (also PH is non existent... but i was told to worry about TA first and then things will be easier to tweak)
Not sure if this matters but we have well water....the pool people keep bringing that up.
 

frogabog

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 16, 2010
2,833
Portland, Oregon
Hi and Welcome to TFP!

How are you chlorinating?

TA of 2 is odd. Pool store testing is not to be trusted. Best to just not go back there and if you do, don't bring water. Just buy chlorine and get out. You need your own proper test kit ASAP. See Test Kits Compared. We recommend the TF-100 as it is the better deal.

I suggest you read ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry and forget about TA for the moment till you know what your own testing says it is. Not sure what non-existent pH means, but there's definitely a number you can work from. If you've added what the pool store sold you to raise TA, it should have changed the result but again, you need to test it to be sure. TA is actually the last thing you need to worry about. I'm (not really) surprised they told you to mess with TA before pH or FC. That's so weird...

The first thing you need to worry about is chlorine. pH is also important and whatever you use to raise TA will also raise pH. Check out PoolMath to find out the effects of adding chemicals to your pool water.

When you get your test kit, test your well water and post the results (pool water too). Once we know more about what's going on with both your waters we can help you much better.

We're looking for these values from your own testing:

FC
CC
pH
TA
CH
CYA
 
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Amh328

Member
Sep 10, 2019
5
New Jersey
Hey everyone, new to pool life here.

I've been trying to raise my TA for the past 3 days (per my pool store) with no success. The last TA reading was a 2! She sent me home with 20lbs of alkaline increase. This is on top of the 16 lbs that i put in 2 days prior.
I just tested this morning and its still below 40 on the test strip.
I have 2 large bags of baking soda on hand and will be using that next, but is my pool store sending me home to focus on the wrong thing?

My levels are all non existent. Per the test strip they are all unreadable/low.
After reading on this forum it seems like CYA plays a large part too.... Should I be increasing that first instead of the TA like the pool store suggested?

Thanks for the help!
 

frogabog

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 16, 2010
2,833
Portland, Oregon
Did you see my reply to your other thread?

If you added 16 pounds of baking soda, that would have raised TA by 67ppm and your pH by .14.

There's no way that didn't work. The test strips are JUNK. Throw them away. Don't put any more baking soda in till you have a good test kit and can verify your results.

To answer your question in this thread, yes. You're chasing the wrong thing. Worry about chlorine now. Stop thinking about TA at all. You're probably fine just where you are anyway and the test strips are WRONG. They always are...
 

Amh328

Member
Sep 10, 2019
5
New Jersey
Thank you, I didn’t see the last reply but will check it out and I’ll be getting a new test kit! I’ll check in when the kids are in school and I have a second to process information!
 
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bmoreswim

Mod Squad
Gold Supporter
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 16, 2012
5,397
Central MD
Good advice and commentary above. Glad you are getting the test kit. It (along with your willingness to learn) will be the key to your success. I too recommend the TF-100 with optional Speedstir magnetic stirrer, see link in my signature. Turn sideways to see signatures if on a phone.
 

Amh328

Member
Sep 10, 2019
5
New Jersey
Test kit got here yesterday and assuming i did everything correctly.. here are my results:

FC 9ppm
CC 0 (test was clear)
PH >less than 6.8
TA 50
CH125
CYA unsure- it didn't even come up to the 100 line on the tube

What do you think?
 

frogabog

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 16, 2010
2,833
Portland, Oregon
Do you mean you could only pour a little in before the dot disappeared? If so, do a diluted test with 50% pool water and 50% tap water, then do the test again and multiply your result by 2. Regardless, if it's above 100 you'll want to do a partial drain to lower it.

Ph is a little low, you could aerate to increase it I have a feeling your volume might be off since all that baking soda you added should have done the job, or maybe it's testing error. Try testing TA again but wipe the bottle tip with a damp cloth between each drop this time. Static can build up changing the drop sizes. Also make sure to invert the bottle so it's totally vertical when you drop.
 

Amh328

Member
Sep 10, 2019
5
New Jersey
Do you mean you could only pour a little in before the dot disappeared? If so, do a diluted test with 50% pool water and 50% tap water, then do the test again and multiply your result by 2. Regardless, if it's above 100 you'll want to do a partial drain to lower it.

Ph is a little low, you could aerate to increase it I have a feeling your volume might be off since all that baking soda you added should have done the job, or maybe it's testing error. Try testing TA again but wipe the bottle tip with a damp cloth between each drop this time. Static can build up changing the drop sizes. Also make sure to invert the bottle so it's totally vertical when you drop.
Yes, for CYA I only had to pour a little bit until dot disappeared. (I even poured more just to be sure my eyes were working properly and still wasn’t at 100 line) I’ll do the diluted test when I get a chance. I have pool scheduled to be closed on Oct 1. Is it better to have this all fixed and figured out before I close or is it ok to close and try again next year? I have a service coming so they will do testing and whatnot.