First few days, pH too high


New member
Jun 7, 2010
Hi, I'm a beginner at pool chemistry and I have a 12x30 Intex EasySet pool. It's only half full, so I am using a pool volume of 850 gal in my calculations. (I know that's teeny, I have toddlers.) I'm in the Pittsburgh area.

I want to follow the instructions in the Beginners Guide for Seasonal/Temporary Pools on this site. It says to buy a "drop based test kit that tests for at least pH and chlorine" so I bought exactly that.

Two questions:
1. In step 5, it says At the end of four nights, your CYA level should be around 30. How do you measure the CYA level with that kit?

2. The chemicals the pool store gave me are Balance Pak 100 Bioguard, Balance Pak 200, and Shock and Swim. (Eventually I want to switch to the household chemicals once I use these up.) I added too much Balance Pak 200 and the Cl is 0.5 and pH is now 8.2. Can I lower pH using just the chemicals I have, or do I need something else?

Thanks, all. Sorry to be such a noob but we all have to start somewhere!


Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 14, 2010
Stephens City, VA
First of all, welcome!

I definitely sounds like you've been reading.

I'm not sure which kind of drop based kit you have, but the CYA test is a specific test. If your kit contains it, it will have a tube with a black dot at the bottom, some associated reagents, and a mixing bottle as well as instructions on how to perform the test.
If you don't have that, you can either assume your CYA is 30 because you've followed instructions, get a kit that tests for CYA, or take a sample to a pool store for now until you get a test kit that has CYA test.

Lower the PH with whatever chemical you have there that says 'lowers ph', I'm sorry I am not familiar with the products. Use the pool calculator to determine how much to use to get to your target range. Going forward, use Muriatic acid if you need to lower ph.

On the chlorine, .5 isn't high enough. Use the pool calculator to find your target range and add chlorine (preferably bleach now that you have some CYA in there) to reach the higher end of the target in the evening so as the next day goes on you stay above whatever your minimum is.

You didn't say? Is the water clear?
First thing is getting that PH down and some more FC in there according to your CYA.
Post back with anything else and some one will pick up and help along the way.


Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Apr 1, 2007
Sebring, Florida

Welcome to the forum.

CYA is used so the sun will not burn up the chlorine so repidly. In your pool, I would not use will not be cost effective and you can't buy it in small enough quantities without wasting 3/4 of it.

I would suggest you simply put 1 cup of chlorine in the pool each evening....that's it. Your water should stay clear and sanitary throughout the swim season.

When you test for chlorine, (do it just before you put it in in the evening) as long as it tests within range of the kit, you are fine. If the test shows orange color or anything darker than the top measurement, reduce the chlorine you put in. If it shows zero chlorine in the evening (that's possible), increase the 1 cup just a little.

The pH should be in the 7.'s. Muriatic acid is the easiest way to get it there. You may have to buy a gallon which will last forever but it's fairly cheap. Roughly 3 oz. will lower your pH into the mid 7's.

If, during the swim season, you pool water gets away from you for whatever reason (lack of use, etc.) simply drain it, clean the pool, and start over.


Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 14, 2010
Stephens City, VA

I read 12x30...and thought 12ft by 30 ft length and width...not 12 ft and 30" high.

So Sorry!!!

I think I must have used decaf this morning... :roll:


LifeTime Supporter
Jan 11, 2009
Cupertino, CA
As one of the instigators of the seasonal/temp pool guide, I will take it upon myself to give slightly different advice.

First, your kit probably does not test for CYA. If you follow the guide regarding the amount of dichlor to use for startup, you don't really need to test it, the level will be in the right ballpark.

The chemicals you listed won't do the things you're asking about.
Balance Pak 100 looks to be a TA increaser although I'm not familiar with the exact chemical.
Balance Pak 200 raises pH and TA.
Bioguard Shock and Swim is dichlor; HTH also sells something called Shock and Swim which appears to be cal-hypo. If you got the Bioguard then you're fine.

To bring down the pH, you need either muriatic acid or a pH Minus product (also called dry acid). Either will work, but for the small amounts you will need I think dry acid will be easier to handle.

Hope this helps, post back with any other questions!

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