Help Please

Sharkygirl

Well-known member
Oct 26, 2014
62
Key West, FL
#1
Well I have to say, even though I use the TFP method for my salt water pool, I have issues because my salt cell chlorinator isn't working properly. My new pool person (yesterday was his first day) told me I have high phosphates in my water and wants to put in a phosphate remover. I broke down my pool filter yesterday because there was a leak in the housing. (My previous pool person did absolutely nothing with the equipment... Long story....You can read some of my other posts if you want, it has been an ongoing issue getting a decent pool person since our pool was new). So my salt cell was dirty and didn't work. My question is, should the pool person be adding a phosphate remover to the pool all the time, or should this be a one time thing. I probably do have some issues in my pool because the Chlorine hasn't been steady due to the salt cell not working. After reading other posts I now realize that the slam I do on my pool probably isn't the correct way to do it. However, I can say I have crystal clear water and it feels wonderful. So where should I stand on the phosphate issue?
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
May 3, 2014
12,257
Laughlin, NV
#2
If a pool is managed using the FC/CYA chart there is no need to bother with phosphates.

Complete a proper SLAM and then maintain your water using the above chart.

Can you post a complete set of test results from your own test kit?
 

Sharkygirl

Well-known member
Oct 26, 2014
62
Key West, FL
#3
Ok, I will do so. Since I found the leak from the filter yesterday, I have not been able to filter the pool yet. I did a temporary fix on the lid, I need to get some DE and I need to pick up a little filter screen for filter. So right now, I will get you my test results, but I am not going to be able to do much with them until I can filter. I ordered a new filter lid and until then I am hoping my repair works. My test kit doesn't include a phosphate test. I never gave them much thought really. I will get back to you here very soon.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
3,249
Northern NJ
#4
Ignore the phosphate issue for now. You have bigger problems with your pool to deal with. Once you get your pool running, do a SLAM, and get your chemicals correct you can revisit the phosphate question.

Do not let your pool boy do phosphate treatments.
 

Sharkygirl

Well-known member
Oct 26, 2014
62
Key West, FL
#5
Update. The day before the pump went on the blitz, I dropped the pH to 7.2 and planned on aerating back to 7.5 in an attempt to drop the Total Alk, which was climbing to 90. So I know this is why my numbers were skewed today. So today pH 7.2, TA 60, Cl 0.5 -Added 2 gal 10% bleach, brushed and netted. New pool guy came today, put my lid back on the DE Filter, added DE and also added phosphate remover. Said he only needs this to be a one time thing. So far the Filter Repair is holding. I noticed this evening the pump was running. I forgot to turn off the heater. Right now we won't be swimming in there anyway and the extra filtration is only putting a ton of pressure on the crack we fixed. So I turned off the pump and heater. Tomorrow I will check the numbers again in the am. Pool right now is slightly cloudy, but not bad. I suppose that is from the phosphate remover as it was crystal clear this morning. I expect the new filter lid to arrive early next week. I just need the repair to last until then. By the way, the reason for lowering the total Alkalinity is because I have an infinity edge pool and the pH climbs high very quickly (3 days). So I have been gradually trying to get the TA to about 60 and it looks as though I am there.
 
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ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
3,249
Northern NJ
#6
TA of 90 would be fine. You don’t need to adjust your TA unless you have issues managing your pH. Your TA will naturally come down over time as you lwer your pH with MA. No reason to force it down.
 

Sharkygirl

Well-known member
Oct 26, 2014
62
Key West, FL
#7
Did you read my post above where I said the pH climbs in 3 days. It goes from 7.6 to 8.2 in three days. If I don't adjust, it will keep rising. I have an infinity edge on my pool which creates a lot of aeration. When I was able to get the TA down to 70, the pH took a little longer to rise, 5 days. So I figured, 60 may be my magic number. Some pools just do better with a lower TA. Now some of this pH rise may be due to the fact that the chlorinator wasn't working properly and I was having to add Chlorine every two days. I know chlorine will raise your pH. The TA does not fall unless you are continually lowering your pH to 7.2 with MA. I never try to lower mine to that unless I am trying to lower the TA. I always use 7.6 as my target because that seems to be ideal. I have the opposite problem of my TA climbing over time. Perhaps if cleaning the salt cell did indeed fix my chlorinator problem, (I'm crossing my fingers), than I will need to do things a little differently. For now time will tell.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
3,249
Northern NJ
#8
What is the TA of your fill water? That may account for why your TA climbing over time.

TA of 60 may make sense for your pool if you can keep it there. Have you added borates to your pool?
 

Sharkygirl

Well-known member
Oct 26, 2014
62
Key West, FL
#9
Thank you for replying! No borates yet. I have considered adding borates. I asked this new pool guy if he has ever heard of borates. He said no. Not a good sign as he is so assuring he will take good care of my pool. I have been taking care of my pool for 5 years. We don't really need a pool person except that we are gone about 3 months out of the year in the summer. It is impossible to get anyone to agree to only service your pool for that amount of time. The equipment issues, such as troubleshooting the chlorinators is the main thing I need help with. When everything is working as it should, I am good on my own. It seems to me there is no such thing as someone checking your Cl, TA, pH etc. just once a week and thinking the pool will be perfectly balanced all the time. There is rain, leaves and debris, etc. which need to be considered. If I have a heavy rain I know my levels are going to be a little askew. So, the TA of my tap water is 50.
 

Sharkygirl

Well-known member
Oct 26, 2014
62
Key West, FL
#10
Oh my gosh, I just checked the pH of my tap water and it's above 8.2!!! Can this be possible? I ordered all new reagents from tftestkits.com as I noticed when I bought some new ones in the store last month, they were already expired. Only by a couple months, but I wonder if the result will be different when the new reagents come in.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
3,249
Northern NJ
#11
What is the source of your tap water?

You need to train your pool person. I have a pool guy who checks pool chemistry once a week. He uses a full Taylor test kit. I have my own TF-100 test kit and double check his results periodically. I supply the chemicals and he checks with me before adding anything I don’t supply. I have reviewed with him the levels I want the chemistry maintained at. And we often discuss problems he is having with other pools and I print out TFP stuff to educate him.
 

Sharkygirl

Well-known member
Oct 26, 2014
62
Key West, FL
#12
The source of my tap water is out of the house spicket. Our tap water is municipal from the Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority. I think the municipal water all comes from Miami. He has a test kit that tests more than my TF-100. Do you think if I add borates to my pool, that will help even though the water is coming into the pool at a TA of 50 and a pH of 8.2?
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
3,249
Northern NJ
#13
Checkout the FKAA water standards. They say in their 2017 Drinking Water Analysis, which is the last posted:

FKAA maintains pH at 9.0 - 9.5 to aid in corrosion control and to improve disinfection stability.

They also say:

sodium hydroxide is added to raise the pH and a corrosion inhibitor may be added to provide corrosion control.

So you will be dealing with rising pH due to your high pH fill water. I would not get obsessed with lowering your TA. Borates will not help with that. Stock up on MA.

BTW, your home pH test kits can’t test pH that high. So you think it is just 8.2. You need a calibrated pH meter to test pH in the 9s.

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ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
3,249
Northern NJ
#14
FKAA says water source is:

The FKAA’s primary drinking water supply originates from the Biscayne Aquifer, a belowground limestone geological formation that produces high-quality freshwater. Our well field is located within an environmentally protected pine rockland forest west of Florida City on the mainland.
 

Sharkygirl

Well-known member
Oct 26, 2014
62
Key West, FL
#15
Thank you so much for all the research you did! I am truly grateful. I have ordered a pH meter and it will be here by next week. WOW! So I am not the only one. I do go through a lot of MA. So perhaps my thinking earlier about keeping my TA down to 60 isn't such a bad idea. I always adjust to 7.6. Maybe I should adjust to 7.4 every time to buy some time between adding MA. I know this site says to not adjust your pH more than once a week. But I am assuming that is so you don't lower your TA too much. I always have to adjust the pH about every 3 days or so to keep it around 7.6. How come you don't think Borates will help at all. I do have a lot of aeration going on with the infinity edge.
 

aussieta

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
#16
the lower you adjust your ph the quicker it will rise
if you adjust from 8.0 to 7.8 it may take a week to rise
if you adjust from 7.6 to 7.4 it may only take a couple of days to rise
still only a 0.2 drop but the lower the ph the quicker the rise
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
3,249
Northern NJ
#17
On your TA - you have low TA fill water at 50 and you will push your TA down with all the MA you will be adding. No reason to artificially lower the TA more. Whatever your TA is will be fine as long as it stays above 50. Your TA 50 fill water from evaporation should keep it around there. I assume you have an autofill system to handle evaporation.

On borates - read Borates - Why and How for what borates can do. No reason not to add it but I am not sure it will help your pH rise much with the constant addition of pH 9+ fill water.

On your pH - you will have to add MA as often as necessary. TFP guidelines do not expect pH 9+ fill water to be added regularly. You have a bunch of outside forces driving up your pH between your fill water and your infinity edge.

Your pH situation is the type of use case for a Stenner pump or Pentair IntellipH pH Controller that will automatically dispense MA on a schedule. The Intelliph is built to work with the Pentair SWG. I don’t know what will work with your Jandy equipment.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
3,249
Northern NJ
#18
the lower you adjust your ph the quicker it will rise
if you adjust from 8.0 to 7.8 it may take a week to rise
if you adjust from 7.6 to 7.4 it may only take a couple of days to rise
still only a 0.2 drop but the lower the ph the quicker the rise
That is all true with a stable body of pool water.

@Sharkygirl pool is getting probably daily doses of pH 9+ fill water from the autofill system to replace evaporation. She needs to experiment and figure out what works best for her situation. She has some unusual things going on affecting her pH.
 

Sharkygirl

Well-known member
Oct 26, 2014
62
Key West, FL
#19
Thank you so much! This is all really helpful and the more I know the better. I have read the borates article many times and it has been in the back of my mind about adding them. How do I test for them? I have the TFP100 test, but it doesn't have a borates test.

My situation just got worse as the DE Filter lid repair didn't hold and now I can't run my pump. Like you told me in the beginning, I have bigger issues than water chemistry! Uggh. So the lid doesn't get here until Wednesday. I am going to have to limp along adding chlorine and brushing.
 

Sharkygirl

Well-known member
Oct 26, 2014
62
Key West, FL
#20
Wait, scratch that last question! I read Joyful Noise' post from 2007 regarding testing Borates. The test seems straightforward enough. I think I will give it a go. I will also buy those test strips mentioned as a backup. Between the two I should get a pretty good idea of the borate level then. I know the post is really old, but hey if it ain't broke, don't fix it!