New large spa owner making no progress in balancing it. Please help!

dr2b0804

Member
Dec 16, 2018
20
Reno, NV
Hi there. We are the new proud owners of a 10' x 18' 4,000 gallon pebble tec spa. I have been trying to get it balanced over the past two weeks and have made no headway. I finally got my alkalinity to 110 and was then trying to adjust my pH which continued to be very high (7.8-off the chart) and of course now after adding a ton of muriatic acid to get it down to a pH of 7.8, my alkalinity is down to 50 ppm. Of course with my pH so high my chlorine has been a nightmare to try to keep even in the 1-2 range. So now I am at a TA: 50 ppm, pH: 7.8, free Cl: 0. I've been testing it every 12-24 hours and trying to adjust it. I feel like adding as much sodium bicarb as I did to get the TA within the right range that my PH went sky high and I've been struggling (with muriatic acid) to bring it down over the last week. I understand that adding muriatic acid is going to bring my TA down as it brings down the pH so I don't know where to go from here. I also understand that beyond causing scaling in the spa/filters/pumps, that a high pH eats up the chlorine in the spa so that it's not available to sanitize. So, I'd be so very grateful for any help with what to do. The people who put in our spa suggested getting our TA to 110-120 and a pH of 7.3-7.4 to get our saturation into the right range. They suggest testing it once a day at most...I'm just nervous and want to get our spa balanced as soon as possible so that it is sanitizing and not starting to cause scaling.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
10,510
Northern NJ
Welcome to TFP.

Slow down. Lets get a baseline of your current water chemistry. Please post a complete set of test results and tell us what test kit you are using.

How new is your spa?

Stop messing with your TA. Focus on just keeping your PH in the 7s. Right now 7.8 is as good as 7.4 for you.

PH does not eat CL. Normal daily CL loss can be 2-3 ppm in the sun.

How do you chlorinate the pool?

I suggest you read Pool School - ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry

And please Read This BEFORE You Post and give us the details of your spa equipment in your signature.
 

dr2b0804

Member
Dec 16, 2018
20
Reno, NV
Hi and thanks for your response. Our spa was sprayed with Pebble Tec and filled on Nov. 1 st. The chlorine we use is a 12% hypochlorite liquid. Our test results are as follows:

FC-0
CC-0
pH-7.8
TA-50
CH-210
CYA-0

Thank you.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
14,439
Bedford, TX
dr,

The word "Duh!" comes to mind... :p

Without some CYA in your pool/spa, your FC will burn off before you can have lunch. I am assuming this spa is outside and has no cover..

Are you using the Nature 2 sanitation system? It basically add minerals to the water, something we are not onboard with here at TFP... In theory, it allows you to keep your chlorine levels lower, but in practice it just allows you to "pretend" that you are swimming in sanitized water... :(

I suggest that you add one lb. of dry Stabilizer (CYA) to your spa in a ladies Knee-high stocking.. You can put the tied up stocking in the skimmer or hang it in front of a return until it all dissolves.. Once dissolved, you can add 16 oz. of 12.5% Liquid chlorine which will bring your FC up to just about 4 ppm...

Once your FC is up, we can work on your other issues... one at a time..

I also suggest that you read though the links that Allen has given you.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
10,510
Northern NJ
As Jim suggested add the CYA and CL. Review the [FC/CYA][/FC/CYA]. Its hows for CYA 30 you need to keep a minimum FC of 2 and should target 4-6 PPM. Since you lose 2-3 PPM of CL per day that means you need to be adding CL every day or two. That is why many of us have a SWG installed to automatically generate the CL our pools and spa need every day.

If you are always home and don't mind the daily chore of adding CL every day or two then carry on. If not consider installing a SWG. And while you are doing that remove your Nature 2. A SWG will give you all the sanitation you need. View the expense of a SWG as buying a lot of CL in bulk. With a SWG you will not need to make runs to the store anymore to buy CL jugs.

PH of 7.8 and TA of 50 is fine. Lower your PH when it gets to 8 to about 7.6. That will have less of an effect on your TA. Your TA should rise some naturally. Test the TA and CH of your fill water and post that. It will help us understand how your spa TA will move as you add water.
 

dr2b0804

Member
Dec 16, 2018
20
Reno, NV
Ok. So I added 1 lb. of stabilizer into a sock in the skimmer making sure the pumps were on and that it wasn’t blocking anything. Tomorrow I will add the 12 oz of 12.5% liquid chlorine and see where we are. Yes, we have the Nature 2 sanitation system. Sounds like we should have researched a bit further and have installed a SWG instead but since this is barely 2 months old we’ll stick with this and see how it goes. In a year or so perhaps we’ll switch. It def. sounds a lot easier. The water we use to fill had a TA of 50 ppm and CH of 30 ppm. Thank you again for your help and time Allen and Jim. ��
 

dr2b0804

Member
Dec 16, 2018
20
Reno, NV
Hi. So my test results from today were:
FC-1
CC-1
pH-7.7
TA-35
CH-210
CYA-30

So I’m going to add the 16 oz. of 12.5% liquid chlorine. Any other suggestions/next steps to take? Thanks!!!
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
10,510
Northern NJ
PH of 7.7 is fine. Raising your TA will raise your PH. But go easy on lowering your PH or you will crash your TA again. Dont lower your PH below 7.7. Run it on the high end of the range.
 

dr2b0804

Member
Dec 16, 2018
20
Reno, NV
Test results from this morning:
FC-.5
CC-.5
pH- 8.2
TA- 55 ppm
CH- 190 ppm
CYA-<20? (The dot never disappeared.)

More CYA?, chlorine? What do the experts think? &#55357;&#56842;. Thank you.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
10,510
Northern NJ
Raise your FC to 3 - add 21 oz of 6% bleach
Lower your PH below 8 - add 2 oz of 31% MA
Raise your CYA to 30 - add 5.3 oz of stabilizer

You have a small pool and need to measure the chemicals and not overshoot. If necessary add 2 or 3 smaller doses and measure in between.

Wait 30 minutes between adding CL and MA.
 

dr2b0804

Member
Dec 16, 2018
20
Reno, NV
OK thanks. Just added the CYA and chlorine. Will add the MA in an hour. I have various sized plastic measuring cups to measure...I try to be as accurate as possible.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
10,510
Northern NJ
Test results the morning: :mad:
FC-0
CC-0
pH- 8.2 +[
TA- 50 ppm
CH- 190 ppm
[CYA-28? (The dot disappeared when water was at the very top.)
FC 0 is never good. How often are you checking adding adding CL?
PH 8.2+ should be lowered to 7.8
TA 50 is ok
CYA 30 is OK

How often are you checking chemicals? You need to do it every day.
 

dr2b0804

Member
Dec 16, 2018
20
Reno, NV
I check it every day except I worked 17 hrs yesterday and didn’t check yesterday. Have been adding chlorine every day...I’m surprised because it hasn’t been super sunny here recently and the spa remains covered when not in use so amazed at how much chlorine we have gone through. I’m hoping it all has to do with it being a brand new spa and over the next month or so I’m hoping it gets easier. I added 7 oz. MA and 20 oz Chlorine.
 

dr2b0804

Member
Dec 16, 2018
20
Reno, NV
Today’s results:
FC-1.5
CC-1.5
pH- 8.2 +
TA- 55 ppm
CH- 190 ppm

Totally have been unable to bring my pH down. Even after adding 7 oz. MA it’s still off the charts. I guess at least there’s detectable chlorine today. Also surprisingly the TA didn’t decrease. I’m thinking I’ll add another 20 oz. chlorine...suggestions on how much acid?