Managing pH...is that just the way it is for me? And other less important questions.

kchacker

Well-known member
Apr 24, 2014
54
Phoenix, AZ
I've been a pool owner for about a year, and thanks to this website I've never really had a water problem. It's always looked good. Now that I'm fairly comfortable with it, I'm trying to dial it in a little tighter. One thing I've never been able to conquer is pH bounce - I was adding acid 2-3 times a week, with a little bit of work I've gotten it down to about every four days. What I'm wondering is if this is just what I'm stuck with, or if there is anything else I can do to help stabilize it a bit more.

My pool:
19K gallon play pool, Hayward Super II pump 2.0hp 1.2 SF
In-floor returns (21 in pool, 6 in hot tub), no in wall return aside from a piddly aerator
T-15 SWG, only a year old
Hayward 6020 DE filter
I run the pump 6 hrs a day (7am-1pm) with the SWG set at 35%

My numbers:
pH - maintained between 7.5 and 7.8, moves a tenth a day
FC - 6.0
CC - 0
TC - 6.0
TA - 80
CYA - 70
CH - 575
Borates - somewhere between 30-50, I really struggle to read the strips

CSI is -0.05 with a pH of 7.5 and 0.29 with a pH of 7.9, but I try to hit it with acid before getting that high.

Everything remains relatively steady, I rarely have to adjust anything but pH. Borates are a new addition from about a month ago; I believe it to be responsible for the minor reprieve on days between acid, though it doesn't change how much I need to add over time.

Chlorine remains pretty constant. I have considered dialing the chlorine back a bit but have left it alone as it just started to get really warm in Phoenix.

I haven't been willing to let my pH above 7.8 for any longer than a day to see if it stops rising.

So....is this just what I should expect as far as keeping my pH balanced? It's not a huge nuisance, but with everything else so stable I'm getting greedy. :D Is there anything else I can do to help stabilize my pH?

_________________________________________________________________________

A few other less important questions.........

Is six hours sufficient run time if the pool continues to stay clean and maintain a good chlorine level? It's freaking hot here (110+) and will be for the next three months.

If my FC number remains at 6, should I reduce my SWG % to try and get it down closer to 4?

At what point should I consider fixing my high CH number? The water here is just hard, so it it's going to be a recurring problem.

Does having a bunch of pop-up heads rotate the water faster than one or two wall returns? (just curious)

And finally....how I am supposed to get the dirt off of the floor with my vacuum when those pop-up heads are throwing it all over the place? I do think the pop-up heads help it stay cleaner, longer, but it does make it difficult to get it spotless.
 

pooldv

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Moderator Emeritus
Aug 10, 2012
25,412
FL panhandle
6 hrs is fine, FC of 6 is fine, I like 8. Don't know much about CH, but there are people here with 800+. The pop up heads sounds like an in-floor cleaning system. That should keep the bottom clean. I don't know much about them, maybe taking some time to tweak it can keep it clean.

You can lower PH to 7.2 and allow it to rise to 7.8, that will add some time in between. Also, you can lower TA as low as 50. Maybe drop it to 70 for a while and see what happens, then 60 and then 50 until the PH stabilizes. Pool School - Lower Total Alkalinity
 

otter86753

LifeTime Supporter
Sep 26, 2013
566
Charleston, SC
Two things I see that will be an issue for your PH and they are:

1. the water feature as aeration increases PH and
2. lowering your TA to as low as 50 (incrementally lowered until you see stability) will help as well.

Good luck.
 

jccams

Well-known member
May 22, 2010
103
Dexter, MI
I too use to fight the constant PH rise. This year when I opened my TA was 60, lower than years past. I didn't adjust TA and to my surprise PH started at 7.6 and hasn't moved in 6 weeks. I'm leaving TA alone.
 

kchacker

Well-known member
Apr 24, 2014
54
Phoenix, AZ
Thanks for all of the replies. Despite the SWG, my alkalinity number rarely moves. I don't run the water feature very often or very long but I do have a contraption I put together to super aerate. Moving my TA was tough before I added borates - this could take months! :D
 

greg.stevenson.90

Platinum Supporter
Jun 3, 2014
31
No expert here, but here is my exp. I had same issue last summer but after the winter with snow melt n rain, my TA was less n now ph hardly moves. With the SWG I rarely do anything to pool this year. Test to check, n brush n skim occasionally other then that, I don't do jack. It all is working itself perfect. If anything, I have reduced run time even less. Pool is perfect. The experts here, even if a bit "harsh" at times, no exactly what they are saying is right.
 

LisaDLu

Well-known member
Nov 14, 2014
120
Palm Desert, CA
kchacker - I have hard water and my CH is currently 450. My fill water is 100 and I'm also in the desert and have to top off the pool twice a week due to evaporation. I am looking into a water softener just for my pool fill but I'm not convinced about it yet. It does seem if you keep your CSI in the proper range that you can go with high CH for a long time before draining and refilling the pool.