Numbers way off in opposite directions. Confused...

Lazyman

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Mar 25, 2009
221
NJ
First, I want to say for years I've been using the pool calculator with great success. Using my SWG then Bleach, it's been so easy with my AG Pool.

After opening this season, I haven't gotten things on track yet. My PH reads between 3 add 4. My TA reads 500 (yes 500) but I stopped counting and stopped the test at that point. I re-did the tests a few times. The CL is 9.5 and am using a combo of tabs and bleach just for opening and stabilizing. CYA is 90. Borates is 25. IUsusally like to bump it to 50. So, if I add MA the PH will go down even more. I', guessing I don't want to do that, right? I don't mind adding borax to bring things up, but wouldn't the TA go up with Borax?

Either way, the numbers the calculator is telling me is not doable. I'm lost. Where to start? The water looks crystal clear. It's an 18ft round AG pool with Cartridge filter. I disabled the SWG last season. I honestly didn't expect my kids to still be using the pool this long, but here comes another pool season. Ha! I'm glad they're enjoying it.

Thanks for reading.

PS I just received and used a new TF Test kit thinking the older kit might be outdated, but it was not that. I don't even know what could have caused that high TA value. There were leaves in the pool for a few months. Maybe a five gallon bucket's worth. When I uncovered the pool, they were there from a faulty pool cover over the winter.
 

mknauss

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May 3, 2014
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Laughlin, NV
How are you reading a pH of 3 or 4? Having very low pH and super high TA is not compatible.

What added the TA to the water? Is your acid tank feeder out of control?
 

Lazyman

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Mar 25, 2009
221
NJ
Yes, numbers seem unusual. That's why I'm stumped. I have not used the acid feeder in a while. The small gradient Square pH and chlorine tester is off the charts I just guessed it was lower than the six it goes down two then I used my electronic pH meter to get it more precise. I also recalibrated it before testing. Also my 1.5 horsepower pump has been running non-stop 24/7 for a week or so.
I don't even know what could have done that to the TA levels.
I may just add some Borax and some MA just to jolt things a bit and go from there. Things haven't changed in a few days of just watching TC.

Thanks for the reply.
I haven't posted here in a long while, things were so easy. I'm at a roadblock, so to speak.
 

mknauss

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May 3, 2014
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Laughlin, NV
Your pool volume is small. I would suggest a very large drain and refill with fresh water NOW. The pH being that low is destroying your liner and a heater, if you have one.
 

duraleigh

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Apr 1, 2007
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I agree with mknauss but I really question pH is that low. Did you swim last year? What was pH then? How could you explain this precipitous drop.......actually I don't think it's explainable. Unless maybe that acid feeder ran away from you but then your TA would be low as well.

I think you have some serious testing errors.
 

Lazyman

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Mar 25, 2009
221
NJ
Thanks for the replies. I retested numerous times. I also tested tap water to make sure the test supplies are working. I added some borax and a couple of gallons of bleach to jolt things up to get different readings. I don't know how any of the levels got that way. Something must have happened over the winter. The pool cover was uncovered for a month or so on a 1-2 ft section of the pool. Not sure what happened. Like I mentioned above, there were some leaves in the pool, but not too much.

I am now in the process of draining some of the water. I hope I don't need to drain half of it. Should I? I was planning on draining a third, then taking things from there. I hate to stop running the pump, as I run it all summer 24/7. The pool is sparkling clean fwiw. Also, I disconnected the Acid feeder last year, and the swg is no longer in use and disconnected.

I've never been stumped like this. I just follow PoolMath and everything works great. I

I have a 1hp sump pump. Should I place that into the pool all day and turn it on for the water to fountain and aerate? Is it worth the trouble or drop in the bucket at this point?

Thanks again

.
 

Donldson

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Jun 12, 2009
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NW Ohio
It's literally impossible for you to have a pH of 3 and TA of 500. Those two things would instantly react with each other and instantly pull the pH up. This has to be a testing error somewhere.

When you test for TA, your test sample turns green when you add the R-0008, correct? And you can't get it to turn red no matter how much R-0009 you add?
 

Lazyman

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Mar 25, 2009
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NJ
The TA solution turns pink I believe. Stays pink/red for 30+ drops until I give up. I'm using my whole testing solution, so I abort the test after 30 drops now.
 

Lazyman

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Mar 25, 2009
221
NJ
JamesW, Yes! I got out of bed just to come back here and post that! As soon as Donldson asked the question, it didn't click, but I finally understand that the TA is too low not too high from what he pointed out in his question.

Thank you guys! Oops, I already emptied a bit of water. I could have just added either Borax or Baking Soda? If I put too much Borax , the Borates would be too high? I'll see what Baking Soda will do first.

First I have to start filling the pool back up.

Thanks again. Now that explains a lot about the low Ph. That'll be fixed easily when adding the stuff for the TA.

Thanks!

Now I can't sleep. Would the neighbors mind if I go out after midnight and mess with the pool water while holding a flashlight?
 

Donldson

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Jun 12, 2009
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Happens to everyone from time to time.

If you haven't added anything for this already, I would start by adding enough baking soda to bring your TA up to 50. Let this mix for an hour or so and then retest pH and TA. You should find that you are getting a much more reasonable pH reading and can adjust it with borax from there.
 

Lazyman

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Mar 25, 2009
221
NJ
Just a quick update for those following, and a Thank you!

So, I added the Baking soda and borax and now have Ph of 6.8 and TA of 65. TC is high because I was fooling around and trying to jolt things like PH... it's 16. CYA is 60.

Not bad for a few hours, and especially sinse last night and earlier. "It's like magic!" or it's just the pool calculator. No, I'm not done, but I have no worries now.

Thank you to all, as always, you've come through! I love this place.