Our New Pool Build and The FUN (i.e. Stress) that Goes Along with it!

Rattus Suffocatus

Silver Supporter
Jun 5, 2019
503
Corona de Tucson, AZ
CSI takes into account the pH. You will still get minerals coming out of solution no matter what, but the good CSI will minimize it as much as practical and will protect equipment as much as practical. You are always balancing scale to life of the equipment and, honestly, running too acidic is worse.

Each number by itself only tells part of the story.
 
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MeowMeow724

Well-known member
Jun 2, 2019
223
FL
Newest tests are added.

CSI is -.58 ☹
pH tested at 7.5, so it's increasing a little slower than it had been.

In playing with the numbers it seems that if I keep Alkalinity to 90, calcium to 300, and pH to 7.8 I'm within range. But otherwise it's out still.
I feel like CSI balance is hard for me to maintain. The water is cold right now so I suppose that has an affect.

My plan is to take a lot of the pool school articles and print them off to create a little book of sorts to read through and Mark notes on.

Question on the Alkalinity test:
When it says it will turn red, is that actual reddish or more pinkish that I'm looking for?
I ask because it turns pinkish first and that's what I had been going by, but for the heck of it I added another drop and it turned more of a reddish color. And then upon reading the calcium test instructions it says it will turn RED in the presence of calcium.. But it actually turns more like the pink color that the Alkalinity test does first....
so I'm maybe my Alkalinity is 80 not 90, if I should be going with the initial pink color that the calcium test calls red....
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
12,030
Evans, Georgia
When I do my TA test... I add drops until it turns a pink color.

Then another and it goes more fuscia pink.

Yet another drop takes it to *HOT BARBIE PINK!!*.

I add another drop and it doesn't change that "HOT BARBIE PINK!* anymore....so I don't count that last drop.

Capisce?

Maddie :flower:
 
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Rattus Suffocatus

Silver Supporter
Jun 5, 2019
503
Corona de Tucson, AZ
That is why I don't like the Taylor TA test. As far as I can tell from my research on this and comparison with a different brand test kit, "clear" or "pink" isn't the correct color. It has to change to ... well "Hot Barbie Pink". I have a different test kit that simply goes clear once you neutralize the alkalinity and it's far less subjective. That and CYA I don't like.. but everything else by far is better in a Taylor(/TFP) kit than anything else I have tried. I don't think it's possible to make a non-annoying highly-subjective CYA test though...

Having said that... both of the tests I don't like give accurate results!

Let the CSI drift up by itself for a little longer. I can tell you from experience in my hot tub that adding any sort of "harness" or pH up back with water link that will cause you to chase your tail. A pH of 7.8 is fine as long as CSI is in range. Good luck.
 

MeowMeow724

Well-known member
Jun 2, 2019
223
FL
In playing with the numbers again today after my tests it seems.....:
If I increased my Calcium to 350 (which, wouldn't that be good since the Pool Math target shows 350-450?), I would have good CSI with 7.6 pH.

I prefer to be able to have CSI good, but also prefer to have pH 7.6 or lower as my target because it is much harder for me to keep 7.8 pH balanced and not get out of range so quickly, risking acidic water on a more frequent basis.

Is there any reason that at this point I can't start to bump my calcium up?

At some point we will be draining and acid washing but I haven't heard when that will be. So I still want my water to be in the best balance it can, even if that's on the horizon.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
11,701
Northern NJ
pH 7.8 is less acidic then 7.6. Rising pH is alkaline and no short term risk to damaging pools. Lower pH is acidic and pH below 7.0 can damage plaster and equipment.

There is no reason not to run your pH at 7.8 +/- 0.4.
 

MeowMeow724

Well-known member
Jun 2, 2019
223
FL
Oh, ok.

So even at 7.8 pH, calcium at 350 puts my CSI at -.10, which is a good CSI, right?

If so, couldn't it still make sense to bump my calcium?
It seems if I bump the calcium that even with 7.6 or 7.8 pH (and current other chem levels that I have) I have good CSI. Whereas at the 250 calcium I currently have, the difference in CSI between pH levels is drastic and out of range.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
11,701
Northern NJ
Oh, ok.

So even at 7.8 pH, calcium at 350 puts my CSI at -.10, which is a good CSI, right?
That is fine.

If so, couldn't it still make sense to bump my calcium?
It seems if I bump the calcium that even with 7.6 or 7.8 pH (and current other chem levels that I have) I have good CSI. Whereas at the 250 calcium I currently have, the difference in CSI between pH levels is drastic and out of range.
You seem to be driven to do stuff even when it is not necessary. Adjusting your pH from 7.6 to 7.8 is easy. Adding calcium is a PITA. If you mess up your pH you can easily adjust it. Add too much CH and you need to begin draining pool water. We (I) are trying to help you have the most troublefree pool with the least effort.

There is no reason to add CH at this time of the year. And you are planning to drain the water and simply dump the money spent on the CH down the drain.

It's your pool and you can do what you want with it. I would take the money you were going to spend on CH and go to the movies and stop worrying about your pool.
 

MeowMeow724

Well-known member
Jun 2, 2019
223
FL
I'm having to add 10-15 oz of 31.45 MA every 2 days.
If the pool wasn't covered, and there weren't do many leaves we had to skim off the top and sweep from around every time I need to add it, it wouldn't be so bad. But geez. It's a lot every day or two!

I truly hope it calms down and stops climbing so quickly on such a regular basis.

The plan is to drain, acid wash and refill next week.
I would be lying if I said this doesn't make me nervous. Hopefully with a good outcome because as of right now I'm not happy with our situation or how things have gone thus far. And feel like no matter how hard I try, I can't take good enough care of this pool even being on top of it daily. A paid service wouldn't be any better because by the time they got to it pH would be insanely high.
Ugh.
 
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Rattus Suffocatus

Silver Supporter
Jun 5, 2019
503
Corona de Tucson, AZ
Honestly, as much as possible, try to only add chlorine and acid. There are some water chemistries that require other work, but they are in the minority. I would advise to let pH creep up (unless your CSI is really negative or pH < 7.0) than adding hardness of any sort to bring it up. Short periods of time with moderately bad CSI's in the grand scheme of things are better than chasing your tail with adding some sort of pH up and then having to adjust it back down, and them back up, and then back down. I did that on my hot tub the first fill and on the second fill I am avoiding that like the plague. Right now for some strange reason the pool is a little negative for the first time ever but again (I think because we aren't in it to aerate it and because of that I adjusted it down just a little too much last time), I just am not doing acid additions until pH drifts back up. Since it has run a little positive for it's entire life so far a couple of weeks negative will balance it out a bit anyway. If you can do that, I suggest that in almost all cases "less is more". Think of the whole water chemistry as a system and don't concentrate on just one or two readings. This is why CSI is so helpful.

I am actually rather amazed that the pool is so darned stable right now. Maybe because it's 55F water temperature? But this is a lot easier than I thought. The hot tub was stable until I did a water change and it will eventually hit equilibrium again. Actually the little 250 gal tank of water is far more picky than 13K gallons is....
 

MeowMeow724

Well-known member
Jun 2, 2019
223
FL
We are slated for Wednesday for them to drain the pool and start the acid washing.
They said it could be 2-3 days before it is done and refilled.

Can you think of anything I should bear top of mind in this process? I am nervous!
I did ask them if either the warranty manager or PM supervisor was going to be there as they had said they would be, and that was part of our issue (presence). Waiting to hear back on that.

I want to be there to make sure I point out all of the issues I see. I have no idea if they will see them on their own and I don't like to just leave things in their hands given, well... history. :(
 

MeowMeow724

Well-known member
Jun 2, 2019
223
FL
Where is the fill water for your refill coming from?

You know what the fill water pH, TA, & CH is?
Fill water is our city tap.
I don't know its chemistry but now that I have all the tests I can test a bucket! 😁

I know the CH of the city water is minimal. That was the first thing I had to build up, after the PB did acid for pH, and salt. They actually didn't even test the water, and just dumped a couple of gallons of muriatic acid, along with a bag or two of salt into the water on startup, which was about 5 or so days after it was initially filled.
I read that they shouldn't add salt right away like that, but they did what their normal process is and there was nothing I could do about it. Not sure why they do.
 
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MeowMeow724

Well-known member
Jun 2, 2019
223
FL
I just got word they are going to drain today and then do the plaster stuff tomorrow. Yikes!
I don't know why I am so nervous! :shock:

Update:
It's draining now! Minor issue... the crew that came today to check things out forgot to isolate the main drain and I noticed it when I was outside. I tried to do it, but the pump lost prime.
Couldn't get the pump to prime... filled the 4 or so inches of water back into the pool so I could turn the skimmer back on and wouldn't be sucking air, and it primed right up.

Turns out, the lines were labeled backwards. Which is REALLY funny (but not-so-funny), because we worked with the PM to get them labeled and apparently he told us wrong. :rolleyes: Well, now we know!
 
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MeowMeow724

Well-known member
Jun 2, 2019
223
FL
Yup yup, kimkats!
......still waiting. Thought they'd be here this morning, but they just told me it'll be after lunch.
There is rain on the radar this afternoon, starting soon actually, so not sure how that's going to work with acid washing.

Meanwhile my plaster sits, exposed and collecting leaves from the trees.

....and I could have drained it this morning and not gone to bed at 1am waiting for it to finish. Oy.

UPDATE: They are here. I showed them the big areas of concern, but really it's markings and stuff throughout it. Hopefully they get it all. Nerves kicking in!

Sidenote: I should label this thread-- "Welcome to my pool roller-coaster ride!"
 
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MeowMeow724

Well-known member
Jun 2, 2019
223
FL
Yes, Maddie, definitely! Thank you for helping keep me positive! 😁


Fill water test results are attached.
Alkalinity is very high. 🙀

Anything I should do specifically based on these results?

They will come to "restart it" but not sure when. If it's like the first time, they'll dump a couple bags of salt and a couple gallons of Muriatic acid into it.

Should I try and reduce the Alkalinity?
I will retest the pH and alkalinity once full because I'm sure residual acid from the acid wash will be present.

I plan to bump the calcium also.

Just not sure what order to do this is best?
 

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