Need help balancing water

WmsPool7900

New member
Jun 29, 2020
2
Grand Rapids, MI
Our pool is a 27’ round above ground; so approx 18k gallons. my Alkalinity was at 180 a few weeks ago, so I was told to add a gallon of Muriatic Acid; which I did. I have been struggling with balancing the chemicals over the past two weeks and now the Alkalinity is right back where it was. As of today, here are my numbers:

Total Hardness = 500
Total Chlorine = 5
Free Chlorine = 5
Ph = 7.2
Total Alkalinity = 180
Stabilizer = 300

where do I begin? What do I add and how much? What is causing this to happen?
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
13,466
Evans, Georgia
Hello WmsPool (owners) ;). Welcome to TFP! Happy to help....

Can you tell me how you got those test numbers? I'm debating whether they're valid numbers or not??

Tell me EVERYTHING you've used chemical wise, and how do you sanitize your water?

What is the equipment set up?? Pics welcome.

Maddie
 

WmsPool7900

New member
Jun 29, 2020
2
Grand Rapids, MI
I used a Chlorox test kit where you take a picture of the test strip and the app tells you the chemistry. 27’x54” AG,Rnd, 2HP/2SP Hayward Matrix Pump, 175SqFt Cartridge Filter, Aqua Smarte system. After the Muriatic Acid, I added Ph increase and conditioner, also a couple of 1lb bags of blast.
 

Msch99

Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Jun 11, 2018
680
Verona, MO
I started with those strips...it didn’t go well...😡
They would say I was low or high, then next day may be the opposite. Camera pic results different thaholding strip up to bottle.

You need a good test kit, all strips are notoriously inconsistent.
Best value in my opinion is the TF100, click link in my signature.

Without knowing your true readings the experts will not be able to help much.
 

setsailsoon

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Oct 25, 2015
2,976
Stuart/FL
W,

Welcome to TFP and sorry to hear about your pool problems. Your issue is very easy to address with TFP methods. We'll have you sorted out and in charge of your pool very soon. A nice thing to know about TFP is we don't sell anything. We are 100% volunteer experts and pool enthusiasts that just want to help you learn and take care of your pool dirt cheap using generic chemicals.

Maddie was right again! Test strips and "free" pool store tests are totally unreliable. I've been maintaining my pool via TFP for 6 years and never been able to detect CYA on a test strip even though I've added enough to be at 70. The TF 100 kit I bought is always right on the money. We also recommend a different Taylor kit that's a little cheaper up front but the TF 100 is the lowest cost, most accurate kit per test you can buy. I've had mine 6 years and just buy refill's for the reagents about every other year when they're on sale.

As you read through Pool School you'll see we don't recommend any mineral systems. And the chemicals you are using can cause you a LOT of trouble. We just use simple, cheap liquid chlorine (or a salt chlorine system) plus MA and CYA. All of which are inexpensive at big box stores.

Please let us know if you have any questions and if you decide to use TFP methods order your test kit asap. We need results from one of these kits to advise. Reason for this is other tests including the one you are using can be off so much that they would indicate chemicals that actually make your pool worse.

I hope this helps and please do ask any questions you may have. That's what we're here for.

Chris
 

anotherpyr

Well-known member
Jun 22, 2007
81
Columbia, MD
While the app is a nice idea, I would think camera calibration and lighting variability would make any results questionable at best. The TFP and Taylor kits are the way to go as titration is more reliable. If only ph was measured with a titration test.
 
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setsailsoon

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Oct 25, 2015
2,976
Stuart/FL
If you have difficulty with pH color determination you're not alone. There is a color-blind issue that affects some of us (mostly men). In this case you can get the inexpensive digital pH tester that TFTeskits sells or one of the more expensive ones on the market. They are extremely reliable and accurate but require calibration and proper maintenance. A good back up for some of us is also to ask your wife to help. I've found this to be as accurate as the digital tester!
 
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YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
13,466
Evans, Georgia
You're using a lot of expensive but unnecessary chemicals there.
-BLAST is a non-chlorine oxidizer which on testing shows up as contaminates.
-The Aqua Smarte doohickie is a mineral system that adds metals like copper to your water. Can cause stains, green hair and although it works to keep algae away it doesn't sanitize the water.
-That horrid Clorox test strip thing entices folks who imagine a techie type device must be good, but it is anything BUT accurate. An old fashioned chemistry drop based kit like we endorse is most accurate, results reproducible and simple to use. I prefer the TF-100 as its a better buy & cheaper than the K-2006C we also endorse. www.tftestkits.net is where you can see the TF-100.

Maddie
 
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