ph Weird - Taylor K2006

angfiggy

Well-known member
Sep 2, 2017
58
NE
Hello,

I am having a green algae outbreak issue. I thought I had it cleared but it came back again. I know there is something going on with my ph and that is probably why it bloomed again so quickly.

So I need advice. I just tested the pool:

FC: 0
ph: ??????? -- hot pink / purple
CYA: Hanging around 30-ish (I'm not very good at reading this test but it's somewhere around here)

Before the first algae bloom, I knew something was off with the ph so I tested and it was a hot pink/purple. Like 2 steps above the highest color of 8. I thought I had high ph. I added the proper amount of acid to reduce 0.6. When I tested it next, I got a really low reading...like 7.0 but it looked like it could have been lower. So, I went ahead with my clean and SLAM of the pool. Algae cleared up and I kept up with the SLAM for a few days afterwards. Immediately when I let off the SLAM, green pool again.

Also, I bought new 0004 reagent because I thought my reagent might be bad. Both new and old are testing the same way. Now, I'm thinking my ph is still off the scale (high?) and my 7.0 reading was a false reading the other day.

So, now I have the hot pinkish/purple-y ph reading again. What in the world? Suggestions? Do I do the acid again and lower? We have had an enormous amount of rain and I usually add a regular amount of acid in the summer, so maybe it just needs much more this year because of the rain (and I'm talking flood...7 inches in one night....2 weeks before 4 inches and then another 3). It's been crazy here.
 

mickey4paws

Bronze Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 10, 2009
648
S.E. MI
I don't know if this has anything do to with what's going on with your situation, but I thought I'd just throw this out there: one fall when we were getting ready to close, I used some algacide, Polyquat 60. I had previously tested my PH and it was normal. But after adding the algeacide, my PH was like yours, a shocking magenta purple. I totally freaked out. But I'd never used algaecide before and figured that's why my PH looked like that and we ended up going ahead and closing. No problems in the spring, thank God.
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Well, I can say the pH had nothing to do with algae. That part of the chemistry is a different discussion that drives the water's ability to be aggressive (corrosion) or scale (too high). The algae is all about the FC/CYA relationship. So if you have algae again, it's time to go back to the SLAM Process. Of course the pH needs to be in the lower 7s (7.2-7.4), so do that first.

You mentioned R-0004 above. What test kit are you using? I ask because the the "0004" versus "0014) are for different test kits.

But you do need the pH down to the low 7s (orange) before you start the SLAM. Make sure you have at least a CYA of 30 (sun protection) and then increase the FC to 12 and follow the SLAM Process for best results. Good luck!
 
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Casey

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 16, 2007
10,855
SW PA
Your pH has no connection to you having an algae outbreak. You got algae because you never completed the SLAM and stopped prematurely.
 

angfiggy

Well-known member
Sep 2, 2017
58
NE
Eeeek. Well, it could be something weird in the rainwater...like iron or copper or something? I don't know. I have never seen that color before.

It just occurred to me that I could use the base or acid reagent to try and figure out which way to move the needle on ph. I used 4 drops of the acid reagent and it looks like it takes it down to a mere 7.6-ish. See pictures for color reference... So, Taylor treatment tables say 2.29qt of muriatic acid. Sheesh. I will try acid and update with the group for anyone else that it might help. I think my ph is really sky high.


111064111065
 

angfiggy

Well-known member
Sep 2, 2017
58
NE
I don't think I stopped the SLAM prematurely. I passed OCLT which usually indicates you are in the clear and was keeping chlorine a bit higher than usual (5ppm or so).

I will go about lowering ph again as a result of my test above (Taylor 2006K) per my understanding of the SLAM process, measure CYA (although that is usually a guess with Taylor) and do SLAM again. I am concerned that my CYA may be too low or something is off that caused the algae to emerge again so quickly. It has just been a weird season/summer here. Or maybe there was some algae lurking that I did quite get.
 

Casey

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 16, 2007
10,855
SW PA
You're pH is very high. Bring it down to the low 7s. When I use MA I usually put in less than what I need so I dont over shoot my numbers. Let it mix for 30 minutes then retest and add more if needed.
 

angfiggy

Well-known member
Sep 2, 2017
58
NE
Can the ph really skyrocket like that on you in one week with rain and all that? Or maybe I should be more concerned with chlorine level and CYA since response is the ph doesn't matter?
 

Donldson

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Jun 12, 2009
3,818
NW Ohio
Eeeek. Well, it could be something weird in the rainwater...like iron or copper or something? I don't know. I have never seen that color before.
Rain water does not contain iron or copper, nor would either of those things affect your pH. Nor would they cause algae. Nor would your pH cause algae. You seem to be chasing after phantom problems that I'm sorry to say aren't real. Yes, pH can rise quickly with the aeration of rain, and that's all that is likely going on with that.

If you have algae you need to bring your pH down to 7.2 and then follow the SLAM Process. That's all you need to do.
 

angfiggy

Well-known member
Sep 2, 2017
58
NE
Good to know. I'm not trying to chase phantoms. Just wondering why my levels shifted on me so quickly, so that in the future, I may know to absolutely retest after certain events. And it is also helpful to know there is another level of color that does not exist on the Taylor scale and it means high ph.

Thanks for the help!
 

angfiggy

Well-known member
Sep 2, 2017
58
NE
You're pH is very high. Bring it down to the low 7s. When I use MA I usually put in less than what I need so I dont over shoot my numbers. Let it mix for 30 minutes then retest and add more if needed.
Will do. I will make sure ph is down before SLAM. Good advice to add less and wait then measure again.
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 19, 2010
43,191
Tucson, AZ
So no where did you post or anyone ask what your TA level is. What is it?

The algae returned when you left the FC deep to 0 again. You might have completed the SLAM, but why did you let the FC drop? You have to maintain the FC even if it is raining ;)
 

angfiggy

Well-known member
Sep 2, 2017
58
NE
So no where did you post or anyone ask what your TA level is. What is it?

The algae returned when you left the FC deep to 0 again. You might have completed the SLAM, but why did you let the FC drop? You have to maintain the FC even if it is raining ;)
That's part of my issue. I have been adding chlorine daily (with exception of the last SLAM where I was adding three times a day) but did get lazy and skipped a day and then green pool. I have not been testing as much this summer, as I got used to my pool's schedule. So, yep, bad combination and that's on me. I must have been holding off the algae by a mere thread after the SLAM. I think my major issue, though, is the CYA test. I did another test yesterday with new reagent and the dot did not disappear. The dot was only slightly fuzzy towards the top of the tube, so my CYA has to be super low probably due to rain run off, I would guess. I am adding back enough stabilizer to get up to 20 and then test again. I was obviously not maintaining or sustaining good FC levels throughout the day, so hello algae.

I have not tested TA in a while so I will test that today.

I learned some things about ph, though and have more notes on maintaining good levels during flood weather/summer.
 
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jblizzle

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 19, 2010
43,191
Tucson, AZ
So how many ppm of CYA are you currently adding? You want it to get to at least 30ppm. I think I might go ahead and add about 15-20ppm and even if the CYA ends up closer to 40ppm, that is fine.
Then follow the SLAM process.

Remember, you need to know your TA to understand how the pH responds and need it to know how much acid to add to make a desired pH change.
 

angfiggy

Well-known member
Sep 2, 2017
58
NE
I tested TA today.

TA: 125 (this is pretty normal for me)
FC: 6 (added chlorine to get to 12 again as I'm still doing SLAM)
ph: 7.2

Pool is blue but cloudy and I am still sweeping some clouds of yellow/green looking algae off floor with brush and vacuum.

And yes, to clarify above, I added enough to raise 20ppm of CYA because I would guess I have to have 10 - 15 in the pool.

History for this summer: I have added CYA 3 times this summer. One initial to get to 30ppm. A second time bump of 20ppm due to rain run off and then 15ppm more because of rain and I am still super low. This is a bit puzzling to me, but I am in Nebraska where it has been flooding.

Do I wait 24 hours until all CYA is dissolved to test? I'm about halfway dissolved right now.
 

angfiggy

Well-known member
Sep 2, 2017
58
NE
So, I went to get my refill bottle today that I got from the pool store of reagent. It's brown with a yellow cap but says R-0002. I looked at the forums on here and know it's for the wrong test! ARG. I just looked at the bottle color, paid and left. I didn't even check the numbers because I thought the guys could at least match them up from what I said. So, I ordered off Amazon but it won't be here until Monday. Darn it all. I don't know if I want to risk a return to the pool store or not. Those guys are slightly belittling. My friend has some R-0001 so I could do the color test, but I think that only goes to 5ppm?

So, now I'm back to guessing...and I was doing so well!!!!!!! The refills of chlorine have stayed fairly consistent these past few days, but now I won't know if it's too little. Frustrating.

Menards has a testing kit of a different brand. I think it's PoolChem. And Walmart has hth. Would I be better off guessing until Monday?