How did I mess up this bad?

Helltech

Well-known member
Jun 25, 2011
53
I know its sacrilegious but I take my water into a a shop to get it tested, last year you guys had me talked into getting my own proper kit, but being nearly color blind I doubt I could use it well.

Anyway, had my pool opened for a couple months now with crystal clear water, looks better than it has any year, all my levels were perfect. We had a really bad storm before the weekend so Saturday I took it in to get tested;

pH: 7.1
CYA: 23ppm
TA: 66ppm

So I knew my TA and pH were low. I wanted to add baking soda. I know that for a 20,000 gallon pool (mines 30,000) to raise the TA 20ppm it takes (I thought it took...) 5.6lbs. The calculator said to get my pH up I needed 15lbs or so. I knew I couldn't put in that much or I would raise my TA too high. So I put in 5lbs, I wasn't trying to get it perfect just trying to get it manageable and go from there. I was thinking I'd see a TA increase of about 15-20 and a pH increase of about .2. I wanted to get my TA and pH back on par before I started with the rest of the levels.

I let that filter and pump run non-stop for a few days, took the water in this morning;

pH 7.2
CYA 12ppm
TA: 224ppm

.... Two-Hundred and twenty four? How in the world did adding 5lbs of baking soda increase my ppm well over 150ppm in a 30,000 gallon pool.

Did I do something completely stupid?
 

RobbieH

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Aug 30, 2010
4,052
Dallas, TX
Since in a lot of cases the tests go from clear to a color, or from a color to clear, I don't think you'd have a lot of trouble with the test kit. Possibly the pH test would be the difficult one out of the bunch. Maybe someone that's color blind can chime in.

TA is good at 66. There was no reason to raise it. Did the pool store tell you to raise it?
Now at 224 you are way high.

My guess is the pool store doesn't know how to give you accurate figures. That's why we recommend testing your own water.
 

Helltech

Well-known member
Jun 25, 2011
53
I just wanted to raise it about 15ppm (I like it at 80), not a lot, just get it back to where it was. 5lbs (as far as I'm aware) shouldn't have raised it over 15ppm, I thought for a 20,000gallon pool 5.6lbs raised it 20ppm. I know for a fact that it wasn't that high before. It would have had to have been at 200ppm~ for 5lbs to bring it up to 224ppm. Am I just completely incorrect about how much baking soda raises TA?

Also yes the store told me I needed to raise pH and TA, but I never pay attention to what they say I just pop the levels into the pool calculator and see what it says and go from there.
 

Helltech

Well-known member
Jun 25, 2011
53
I was looking at something like that last year, but I also was worried about the accuracy. At this point I'm worried about the pool stores accuracy. They had to be incorrect in one of the readings unless, like I said, I'm unaware at how much baking soda raises TA.

Really just looking for someone to tell how much 5lbs of Baking Soda should have raised my TA in a 30,000 gallon pool.
 

duraleigh

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At this point I'm worried about the pool stores accuracy.
With pretty good reason. You don't even mention their CYA report which is not plausible.

5 lbs would have raised TA by about 10ppm.

As we repeat over and over, ditch the pool store. Do your own testing.
 

Helltech

Well-known member
Jun 25, 2011
53
duraleigh said:
At this point I'm worried about the pool stores accuracy.
With pretty good reason. You don't even mention their CYA report which is not plausible.

5 lbs would have raised TA by about 10ppm.

As we repeat over and over, ditch the pool store. Do your own testing.
Trying, it was easier a couple years ago when I had someone else living here to test for me. Ill just try one of those tests kit and hope their not hard to read as Robbie said. Thanks for telling me about the ppm increase, there is no way that 224ppm reading is accurate then.
 

UnderWaterVanya

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Jun 14, 2012
2,589
Mint Hill, NC
You're not the only one to be "pool stored" on TA recently. I started out as a new pool "operator" (father-in-law's pool) only five days ago. I knew it was going to happen so I had been looking into how to maintain it. I took water the first day to the nearby hardware store where they tested it with a nice digital system that promptly told me my TA was 0. I bought some increaser and added about 8 lbs - which the next day registered as a TA of 20 or so. I dumped another 8-10 lbs in (maybe more?) and then my test kit arrived - and told me my TA was actually 180! I was basically already fine before dumping in 16+ lbs of TA increaser!

<sigh>

But I have my own test kit now and I'm happier because of it.
 

Andrew Sarchus

Active member
Apr 11, 2011
31
Seattle
I just had a bright idea. Next time you're at the pool store (or Walmart or wherever), take a look at the cheap OTO test kit. If you can tell the color blocks apart you shouldn't have any trouble with the pH test, or at least no more than the rest of us do.

But I'm not color blind so I cannot be sure.

Here is link to the sort of test I'm talking about: http://tftestkits.net/Basic-OTO-Test-Kit-p69.html As was said above, the rest of the tests have pretty drastic changes.
 

UnderWaterVanya

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Jun 14, 2012
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Mint Hill, NC
Now that it has been mentioned that color blind users have been able to use the ph test... I wonder if gray scale would be better. I can take a picture w/ my camera and check.
 

Helltech

Well-known member
Jun 25, 2011
53
I know I can't read those cheap generic strips at all. I've never tired anything high-end didn't feel like dumping the money into it. However after reading some of the comments on here it might be worth a go.
 

jblizzle

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May 19, 2010
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Tucson, AZ
Helltech said:
There is no way that 224ppm reading is accurate then.
Or was the first test wrong? You have no way of knowing.

The pH test is the same in the full kits as the cheap ones. Look at one in a store to see if you can differentiate the colors. All other tests require you to count drops until the color changes or goes to clear, so hopefully it will work for you.

Posted with Tapatalk ... sorry if I sound short ... hate typing on phone :)
 

techguy

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Jul 21, 2010
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Antelope, CA
I know you may not see the same colors as I do but if you can see the changes and the colors of the liquids are the same as those in the comparative section... To your perceived colors, then you should be ok.

Have you tried going to a pool store the uses the Taylor chemicals for their testing and have them " teach" you how to do the tests. While you are learning the tests, you can make the decision of "if" you see the changes. Be honest with the employee about your color issues and have them be very descriptive in what they see and if you see the same things. No sense in spending money on a kit if you can't read it accurately.

I say this since each instance of color blindness has its own color ranges and limitations.
 

wetchem

Well-known member
Please try what I suggested here: http://www.troublefreepool.com/ph-test-block-reading-t36482.html
By working with both the light filters and the background colour my student was able to work around a good number of the colour blindness issues due the indicators we used in school. It was not an easy task; however, it worked... didn't fix the colour blindness, just tweeked the perception enough to allow the shift in colour to be seen.
-wc
 

ps0303

TFP Expert
In The Industry
Jul 6, 2011
4,029
FL
LaMotte has a tester that uses a photometer and it reads it for you and provides you a digital display telling you what the readings are. It's not cheap, about $150 but if you're colored blind, it's a good investment.
 

duraleigh

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but if you're colored blind, it's a good investment.
Reports from owners here on the forum give the ColorQ mixed reviews.

It is certainly convenient but suffers often from accuracy issues....particularly with CH and CYA. Some use it with good success but others do not.