Need to add 111 oz (by wt.) baking soda -- seems like a lot.

szmad

Active member
Jul 9, 2016
31
CA
Hi, PoolMath says I need to add 111 oz by wt. of baking soda to raise TA from its current value of 80 to the target of 120 for a vinyl pool. This seems like a crazy amount -- about 7 lbs of baking soda! I'm leery to just dump that much into my pool. Might this adversely affect water quality, like taste or feel? Is there any reason to instead just raise the TA a little, with it ending up well below the recommended 120 level for vinyl pools?
 

AimeeH

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Apr 2, 2012
2,028
Columbia SC
Are you having problems with your PH swinging around? If not, I wouldn't worry about your TA it is a buffer for your PH. So if PH is staying in range, I wouldn't mess with TA.
 

borjis

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 19, 2014
3,342
Pacific NW
I'm glad he asked first!

Also even if you did want to raise TA to 120 (which you shouldn't need to) it's always best to make changes (add chemicals 1/2 dose at a time at the very most) in increments
so you don't accidentally end up with a much higher than anticipated level change.
 

szmad

Active member
Jul 9, 2016
31
CA
Thanks everyone, very helpful. I got the 120 recommendation from my test kit (OREQ TK400 -- not recommended here because it doesn't test CYA). Glad to see that the recommendation here is 50-90, so I am already in range. Whew. I'll go by Pool School recs henceforth!

PH is fine now (about 7.6) but it does seem to move a lot, although I don't have enough experience to know what constitutes unstable PH. (I see swings of maybe 0.4 over the course of a month.)

My real (next) problem, which I'll address in a separate thread, has to do with FC.
 

AimeeH

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Apr 2, 2012
2,028
Columbia SC
If your PH isn't moving enough to require aeration or borax to raise it......or muratic acid to lower it, you shouldn't need to focus too much on TA. If your PH were high and creeping back up constantly after adding muratic acid (MA) and your TA was high......then.....it would be worth a look at lowering your TA. All of which can also depend on how you are chlorinating too.

But, as a rule of thumb......if your PH is in the happy zone, don't worry too much about adjusting TA.
 

Jezza

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jan 18, 2015
993
Bunbury, WA, Australia
If your pH is only swinging about 0.4 a month that's pretty good- and hence why if your TA is around 80 you don't need to do anything to increase that number.

Test kits have some different recommendations as do pool stores and that is why we always suggest to follow the TFP recommendations. It avoids confusion.

If you want to put another question about FC keep it to this one thread it will make it easier for everyone to follow and link all the info up.
 

GreatCanadian

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 28, 2011
844
St. John's, Newfoundland
If you are following TFP recommendations, disregard any other recommendations (FC levels, TA levels, etc.) You can't do both. But it seems that you have that figured out by now!

As for the TA, my TA usually sits around 100 (that's above suggested levels), but my pH level stays locked on 7.6 pretty well throughout the season. So I don't mess with the TA at all. I figure my pH likes my TA at that level, so why disrupt the love!!

GC

EDIT: I feel I should add to this for clarification. My first few years of TFP, I was absorbed with every measurement being in suggested range. So I would lower my TA. Of course my pH would then creep back up (but within acceptable levels), but the pH was susceptable to more variation and swings. So now I don't bother with the TA at all. My pH very rarely needs adjustment.