First test of year, what to adjust first


Active member
Apr 24, 2016
Dayton, Ohio
Warm winter in Ohio, scheduled to open pool end of March by PB, but plan to do myself. I've read the pool opening sticky, but it didn't answer all I needed. I reached under my cover and grabbed a water sample to test, but only reached the top of water, which has risen since end of November from below returns to lower third of skimmer. I will probably open myself in 2 weeks, and want to have a plan ready. I didn't check water temp but it's between 40-45 at most. Closed by PB since this was first year closing and I didn't feel confident clearing pipes myself. I assume the 5000 gallons or so rain and snow have changed my pH and TA so much, they were 7.6 and 60-70 at closing.

FC 0
CC 0
TA 10
CYA about 30-40
pH well less than 6.8 by guess based on color
CH about 200
Salt about 2200b

Water is very clear. I'll add bleach for chlorine until warm enough for SWG. Mostly I'm wondering about TA and pH adjustment. I'll add CYA to target 70 when I start up SWG in April. Pool won't be used until mid to late May.

Pool Math changes a lot with pH and TA changes. Do I add soda ash per pool math first, or add the 15+ pounds Bakng Soda and then soda ash? The amount of soda ash is a lot different if starting with TA 10 than if I add baking soda for TA 60 then add what it says for pH. pH seems below 6.8, so I'm starting there and bringing pH to 7.5 and rechecking. Should I do that and then add half of baking soda, recheck, finish the baking soda, then readjust pH? I plan to deal with CH after all that then check my salt and bring up to my target around 3400. I'll add conditioner a week before SWG comes to life. Just a little confused here. Thanks in advance.



Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Apr 1, 2007
Sebring, Florida
Aimee's right. You can do it either one first (I sorta' like bringing TA up to around 60 first) but get your pH up to around 7.4 and TA to 60 or more right away.


LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Apr 2, 2012
Columbia SC
My TA is very low upon opening every year with PH not way out of whack but a tad low. I do address TA first and let my SWG take care of PH adjustments naturally. But, OP has extremely low PH which is why my suggestion of adjusting PH first, knowing that those adjustments will effect TA. Whereas adjusting TA with.....let's say baking soda....will adjust TA with a much less affect on PH..

So there was my logic :) for what it's worth :)