Low ph

Jun 9, 2012
9
#1
Ok, I'm still waiting on a decent test kit but my initial tests continue to show low ph levels! When we started our TA was super high (we have well water) and now that I have that in the range, everything else is so low! How can I get these steps right?! Now that we are done with our muratic acid treatments, we tried to raise the ph last night and nothing changed! What's next!? I want to get in the pool this weekend it's going to be so nice out! It feels like we will never get this right! Help
 

RobbieH

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Aug 30, 2010
4,052
Dallas, TX
#2
To lower TA, you have to lower your pH and then bring it back up. It sounds like to me you did the right part in lowering the pH, but didn't bring it back up via aeration. How are you trying to raise the pH? How low is it right now?
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
37,879
Silver Spring, MD
#3
If you lowered your TA all at once by adding a massive amount of acid you need to raise the PH back up right away. That procedure will drive the PH way way down and extremely low PH will damage the pool. The correct method for lowering TA is spelled out in Pool School.
 
Jun 9, 2012
9
#4
We have the return breaking the surface of te water for aeration, but the ph has been low even when the alkalinity was high...last night I added "ph up" from the initial starter packet we got from the installation. It didn't change at all. I keep reading I need to increase ph right away to avoid damage, but it's not increasing with the ph up. Should I try borax? Soda ash?
 

duraleigh

Admin
Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Apr 1, 2007
31,273
Sebring, Florida
#5
It will come up...keep adding it. If you run out of pH up, you would do better to go to the grocery store and buy 20 Mule team borax
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
37,879
Silver Spring, MD
#6
The standard PH test will report anything below 6.8 as 6.8, so your actual PH is probably much lower.

How much acid did you use to lower TA? Also, do you know your starting levels?
 

RobbieH

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Aug 30, 2010
4,052
Dallas, TX
#9
Wow! In my 44,000 gallon pool, it takes one gallon to lower my pH from 8.0 to 7.1, not taking into account borates! In a 17,000 gallon pool, you are probably as low as MA can possibly get it. The pool calculator states it would lower pH by 14.5, but we know that's not possible ;)

Your pH must be incredibly low. I'd think about using up all your pH up in doses throughout the day, continually testing until you are back to 7.0. You are more than likely going to need a bunch of Borax too.
 

aa62579

Well-known member
May 24, 2011
409
North Central Texas
#10
For the OP, if your pH was low at the start, why were you trying to adjust your TA? (Or at least why were you trying to adjust it so urgently?)

For the pool gurus... in a situation like this, would you get any benefit from a partial drain/refill? It seems like since we don't know EXACTLY what the pH is, that is could be many cycles of add borax/soda ash, let mix, retest, repeat.
 

aa62579

Well-known member
May 24, 2011
409
North Central Texas
#11
Okay, I just looked at your other post. Did you listen to the "pool guy" instead of to this forum and do the following?

Dawassermann said:
Well, the pump is up and running, that was another trip to the retailer because we didn't hve the right adapter! While I was there we got some advice from the "pool guys" on what to do next. He suggested to add one gallon of muratic acid every four hours until the brownish color is gone-which he said could take several gallons!
I've never heard of using MA for that purpose, and certainly never seen that instructions to use it that way. Do you know what strength MA you were using?

You also said:
Dawassermann said:
I've taken the advice from all of you to keep ready pool school and I've checked out the pool calculator to see what are some ideal numbers. At my initial test with the generic dip sticks it appears the total alkalinity and ph are extremely high.
So here you say that the pH of your fill water was high, but up above you said it was low. In this thread do you mean that after the first MA addition it was low?

What was your starting TA?
 

linen

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 30, 2010
8,649
Twin Cities, MN
#12
Dawassermann said:
I'm pretty sure we adde a total of 8 gallons of muratic acid over the course of three days...
:!: You ph must now very low, and your TA as well. Start getting the ph up asap :!: :!:

I would add enough borax (or ph up) to go from 6.8 to 8.0 in your pool (I know you are lower, but use the pool calculator assuming those values for now and target), with pump running let it mix for 1/2 hour, then measure ph, if still low (which it should still be, caused by the extreme amount of acid you have added), then do the process again, and again, until your ph starts to be readable on the test kit. As Robbie said, shoot for at least 7.0 for ph.
 

linen

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 30, 2010
8,649
Twin Cities, MN
#13
aa62579 said:
For the pool gurus... in a situation like this, would you get any benefit from a partial drain/refill? It seems like since we don't know EXACTLY what the pH is, that is could be many cycles of add borax/soda ash, let mix, retest, repeat.
Not a guru, but the op needs to get that ph up fast, probably faster than one can do a drain/refill on short notice.
 

aa62579

Well-known member
May 24, 2011
409
North Central Texas
#14
linen said:
aa62579 said:
For the pool gurus... in a situation like this, would you get any benefit from a partial drain/refill? It seems like since we don't know EXACTLY what the pH is, that is could be many cycles of add borax/soda ash, let mix, retest, repeat.
Not a guru, but the op needs to get that ph up fast, probably faster than one can do a drain/refill on short notice.
Yeah, I was wondering more about doing it in addition to the borax, not as an alternate. They are on well water and said initially that they had a high pH. I guess I was picturing in my head starting the pool draining while they ran to town to get borax. Then when they got home adding in the fresh, high pH water, and manually mixing in the borax until the level got back to where they could run the pump.

But with a pool that size, probably not much change in a 1-2 hour drain/refill. It would make sense on a pool my size (5K), where it would be much easier to drain 1/4 and replace it versus finding enough borax. I needed some over the summer for a homemade laundry detergent recipe and they were out for 1 week, finally added 2 boxes, and then I looked for more and they were out each time I looked for it.
 
Jun 9, 2012
9
#15
I just went to target and picked up 3 giant boxes of borax to start off...not sure how much i will end up needing. my husband just added the last 1.25lb package of ph up about an hour ago and when I get off work I am going to go home and test. We are keeping the pump running 24/7 at this point and i'm going to stop asking anyone else besides this forum! EVERYONE that owns a pool has such different methods! And I want to get it right...this is our first year as pool owners and it is so overwhelming!

So, as far as a plan goes...I can add/mix borax to the pool how often? Can I sprinkle it right in the water or does it need to be mixed in a smaller container first, then added to the pool? And we havent even started with chlorine yet! lol, one thing at a time, right? Thanks for all of the feedback and suggestions! I am so grateful we found this website!
 

linen

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 30, 2010
8,649
Twin Cities, MN
#17
Butterfly beat me...

Dawassermann said:
So, as far as a plan goes...I can add/mix borax to the pool how often? Can I sprinkle it right in the water or does it need to be mixed in a smaller container first, then added to the pool?
From poolschool:
Borax is best added by pre-dissolving it in a bucket of water and then pouring that slowly in front of a return.
Using that method should allow you to retest in 1/2 hour, then redose again.

Dawassermann said:
And we havent even started with chlorine yet! lol, one thing at a time, right?
Since your ph is so low, we will focus on that for now.