Lowering TA

kman2727

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Apr 29, 2021
9
Long Island, NY
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Ok here we go... first post. New pool owner...

My pool was completed and was up and running last Wednesday. On the Tuesday prior, the PB came to get the pool running, but the electrician was still here, so he couldn't get it running. However, he did add some salt, chemicals, etc. I particularly noticed that he dumped in baking soda. Next day, Wednesday, a different person came to open the pool and I noticed AGAIN they were putting in baking soda.

I have been testing my water with the cheap test strips. CYA and FC are in range, but PH and Alkalinity are off the charts (highest color). Over the past few days, I have added 1 gallon of muriatic acid (3 quarts, then 1 quart a few days apart). I received my TF-100 test kit today and tested.

4.5 FC
7.8 PH (maybe a little higher)
430 TA - not a typo. Took 43 drops to get the liquid pink.

So what this comes down to is that I think the pool company added 2x the amount of baking soda and skyrocketed my TA.

Poolmath says to add 5 quarts of MA based on a 7.2 PH target with 430 TA.

Looking for some recommendations on how to get the TA in check. Thanks in advance!
 

mknauss

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Welcome to the forum.
Be cognizant that the R0009 reagent for TA can produce small drops the first couple times doing the test. Causing result to be too high.
From the Test Directions in Pool School : Sometimes a static electric charge can build up on the R-0009 dropper bottle tip, causing the drops to be smaller than usual and making the test read higher than actual. You can prevent this by wipping the tip of the dropper bottle with a damp cloth or tissue before you start and after each drop.

Regardless, manage the pH. With a new pool, measure the pH twice a day if possible. Lower it to a pH of 7.4 if necessary. Be sure to test the TA at least every other time you add acid as the value is needed in Poolmath.

EDIT -- I see you have a Vinyl pool, your pH will not be rising except from only the elevated TA, so testing pH once a day should suffice.
 

kman2727

Member
Apr 29, 2021
9
Long Island, NY
Pool Size
16000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Autopilot Digital Nano+ PPC2
Welcome to the forum.
Be cognizant that the R0009 reagent for TA can produce small drops the first couple times doing the test. Causing result to be too high.
From the Test Directions in Pool School : Sometimes a static electric charge can build up on the R-0009 dropper bottle tip, causing the drops to be smaller than usual and making the test read higher than actual. You can prevent this by wipping the tip of the dropper bottle with a damp cloth or tissue before you start and after each drop.

Regardless, manage the pH. With a new pool, measure the pH twice a day if possible. Lower it to a pH of 7.4 if necessary. Be sure to test the TA at least every other time you add acid as the value is needed in Poolmath.

EDIT -- I see you have a Vinyl pool, your pH will not be rising except from only the elevated TA, so testing pH once a day should suffice.
Thanks for the quick reply. I will retest the TA later using the method you suggested and report back.
 

mknauss

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Great. Use the 10 ml sample if you wish.
If you expect that your TA level is extremely high, you can do the test so that each drop is 25, instead of 10, to speed up the process and save on reagent usage. Use 10 ml of pool water, 1 drop of R-0007, 3 drops of R-0008, and multiply the number of drops of R-0009 by 25 to get your TA level.
 
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kman2727

Member
Apr 29, 2021
9
Long Island, NY
Pool Size
16000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Autopilot Digital Nano+ PPC2
Great. Use the 10 ml sample if you wish.
If you expect that your TA level is extremely high, you can do the test so that each drop is 25, instead of 10, to speed up the process and save on reagent usage. Use 10 ml of pool water, 1 drop of R-0007, 3 drops of R-0008, and multiply the number of drops of R-0009 by 25 to get your TA level.
Good to know. I already used 1/4 of the bottle! Retested TA slowly, wiping the tip with a damp cloth and only got 30 drops, which I know is still too much, but much better than 43.

So if my current PH is 7.8 (hard to tell but it appears to be roughly 7.8 on the TF-100 kit, maybe a bit higher), and my TA is 300, with a target PH of 7.2 I should add 3 quarts, 2 cups of MA.

Sound good?
 
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kman2727

Member
Apr 29, 2021
9
Long Island, NY
Pool Size
16000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Autopilot Digital Nano+ PPC2
Great, thank you! I just redid the PH test and I think its closer to 8.0, so plugging that number into poolmath adds about half a quart estimated with a target PH of 7.2 and 300 TA. I'll give it a shot later today.

Thanks again for your help everyone, this forum is great. Glad I found it.
 
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Rancho Cost-a-Lotta

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From PoolSchool...saves reagents and is accurate enough for your needs giving your high TA:

"If you expect that your TA level is extremely high, you can do the test so that each drop is 25, instead of 10, to speed up the process and save on reagent usage. Use 10 ml of pool water, 1 drop of R-0007, 3 drops of R-0008, and multiply the number of drops of R-0009 by 25 to get your TA level."

EDIT...Sorry, I see Marty already covered this.
 
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kman2727

Member
Apr 29, 2021
9
Long Island, NY
Pool Size
16000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Autopilot Digital Nano+ PPC2
Update - Added the MA this morning and retested PH and TA 2 hours after adding (pump running full speed).

PH dropped from 8.0 to 7.2 (target), so that's good.
TA is 275 (Using the 10ml sample method), so this appears to have dropped around 25.

Now, I shouldn't expect TA to come down quickly, right? I will run the SWG and the PH should rise slowly. Once it gets to 7.8/8.0, I should repeat? I'll plug numbers into poolmath with updated TA numbers, add MA to get the PH down to 7.2 again. Then, I will keep doing this and TA should decrease over time? Am I missing anything?

Thanks!
 

kman2727

Member
Apr 29, 2021
9
Long Island, NY
Pool Size
16000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Autopilot Digital Nano+ PPC2
Update - It has been 10 days. Since my last post, I realized that my CYA was not in range after using the TF-100 kit. I added 5lb of dry stabilizer (soaked in socks in front of returns per recommendations here) to get my CYA up to 45 (not optimal yet based on FC/CYA chart, but didn't want to do too much at once), but at least I have some stabilizer now. I also raised the PH back to 8.0 and then added 3 quarts of MA to drop it back down to 7.2 Through all of this, my TA decreased from 275 to 225, so that seems to be working. We had a really hot week here in NY and also had a bunch of rain the other night. I bought a cheap solar cover and tested it out (left it on the pool for 2 days with pump running normally). Took the cover off 2 days ago and last night I noticed the walls and floor of my vinyl pool are getting slimy, and I noticed a "fish tank" smell. There were some leaves and debris that had fallen on the cover during the rainstorm. If I wipe the walls with a microfiber towel, then smell the towel, its apparent that the smell is coming from whatever slime is growing on the vinyl. Again, turning to TFP, it appears that I have the beginning stages of algae. Here were my levels last night:

PH 7.5
FC 7.0
CYA 45
CC 0
TA 225

Last night I put the pump on full speed and brushed the entire pool really well, and got in the corners/steps with a microfiber towel to make sure I really got all the "slime" agitated. Also ran the pool robot for 2.5 hours. I didn't have any chlorine/bleach to use last night, so I turned the SWG to "boost mode" to try to raise my FC levels, even though I am already at 7. Ran the pump all night.

I rechecked PH and Chlorine this morning:
PH 7.6
FC 10.0
CC 0

My question is - do I SLAM or not? I would only have to raise FC to 18 per the recommendation and my current CYA level of 45. I am having a party on Sunday, so I really want the pool to be sparkling clean since it is brand new, so not sure what the best course of action is. I would need a little over a gallon of 10% liquid chlorinator to get to FC18 per Poolmath.

Thanks again for your help, it is much appreciated. Sorry for the long post.
 

Texas Splash

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It's unfortunate the turn of events following the use of the cover. Not sure if that cover trapped something underneath, but the pool should never feel slimy. A SLAM Process sounds like that's the next step, but if you are hesitant and want to do an Overnight Chlorine Loss Test this evening you can. Just be sure to read that OCLT page closely. For the CYA, just round up to 50 and consider your FC SLAM level a 20 if you go that route. Easier than trying to split the numbers on teh charts.
 
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