Sodium...bisulphate/fite/metabisulphite...??

firstbase

Well-known member
Feb 6, 2013
104
Jupiter, Florida
Need some help sorting out my PH lowering options. Tired of lugging home a 4, 1-gallon boxes of Muriatic Acid every month or so. In looking for alternatives I find that Sodium Bisulphate is the mainstream alternative... or so it appears. When I search for it all I find is the Leslie Pool Supply et. al. options. I get my Borates/Boric Acid from Dudadiesel but a search on their site doesn't show Sodium Bisulphate. I see all sorts of Sodium (Nitrite, Hydroxide, Ascorbic, etc) this, that and the other. I also see Sodium BisulPHITE and Sodium Megabisulphite. Last, I see Sodium Sulphate. Oh so close!

Can someone tell me where I can buy bulk Sodium Bisulphate without a fancy name or help me decipher the different Sodiums above? Just want to lower my PH! In case you can't tell, I'm not a chemist nor do I play one on TV. :) Any help appeciated
 

Donldson

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 12, 2009
4,586
NW Ohio
Well first, don't buy sodium bisulfate. Sulfates are bad for your SWG, heater, and finish. You should stick with muriatic acid. What is your TA level? Unless you are adding baking soda to keep the TA too high it should be dropping and allowing your pH to stabilize.

As for sulfites, those are used in wine making for sanitation. Not what you're looking for. Nor are any of the rest.
 

firstbase

Well-known member
Feb 6, 2013
104
Jupiter, Florida
OK, thanks for the reply. Off to the muriatic acid store I guess. At least I know (thank you very much!). I am still learning this "new to me" pool. Our last one had a nice big overflow from spa to pool so I got a good amount of airation. This pool doesn't. My TA follows my PH and I have never had a reason to add anything to raise it in the old pool or this one so far. When I add MA and drive the PH down then TA seems to be good. We have had rain after rain after rain for weeks and that is causing the PH problem as well as my irritation at having to buy more acid.
 

Katodude

Silver Supporter
Aug 22, 2017
1,128
West Palm Beach/Florida
How much acid are you using? I buy 4 boxes of MA from HomeDepot at a time (gets you a small discount) and that lasts me almost 6 months. I go to HomeDepot more than twice a year anyway so no real issue for me.

Just make sure you store your acid in a plastic box outside.
 

setsailsoon

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Oct 25, 2015
3,388
Stuart/FL
First,

I had a similar issue on pH control. Finally switched to borates and it has made a world of difference. PH is much more stable albeit in the higher end of the range. Try reducing your TA first since it's easier to do. I lowered to 50-70 range for a while and it helped but still required more frequent acid additions than I wanted so I took the plunge to borates. Now I do acid additions at most once per week usually every 10-14 days. You'll see all kinds of other benefits attributed to borates. I haven't experienced any of them but the pH control is much better.

Chris
 

firstbase

Well-known member
Feb 6, 2013
104
Jupiter, Florida
I'm adding a gallon of MA each week.... I think. As I said, new to me pool and the weather has been monsoon most afternoons. My Borates are at 50. I did notice better water clarity, sparkle after adding Borates. Better yet, my wife who didn't know what I did came out the morning after and asked what I did to the pool, much more sparkle. So in our case there was a visible difference. I noticed it as well.

TA is different for me now. Old pool had a big spa overflow so airation was constant. New pool only has 3 underwater jets on a deep end step. Poor man's spa I guess. I don't have them turned on every day and I guess I should? That is air getting in there so my "no airation" thinking is off I guess. A pain though as I have a hard/impossible time turning on the jets and keeping the cleaner going. I found a nice tutorial on lowering TA while keep PH in range so will get some more MA today and follow the steps. On thing I did find that I hadn't relized was the MA we were getting at HD is not 30% like I am used to but a "green" variety that is 20% baume. I guess that makes some difference in the effect as well.
 

Katodude

Silver Supporter
Aug 22, 2017
1,128
West Palm Beach/Florida
What is your TA you have not posted that. Your water should be similar to mine, my fill water has a TA of 130. With the weather we have been having I have not had to add water to my pool in months. Now my TA bounces between 70-80 and my pH is manageable.
 
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setsailsoon

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Oct 25, 2015
3,388
Stuart/FL
I'm adding a gallon of MA each week.... I think. As I said, new to me pool and the weather has been monsoon most afternoons. My Borates are at 50. I did notice better water clarity, sparkle after adding Borates. Better yet, my wife who didn't know what I did came out the morning after and asked what I did to the pool, much more sparkle. So in our case there was a visible difference. I noticed it as well.

TA is different for me now. Old pool had a big spa overflow so airation was constant. New pool only has 3 underwater jets on a deep end step. Poor man's spa I guess. I don't have them turned on every day and I guess I should? That is air getting in there so my "no airation" thinking is off I guess. A pain though as I have a hard/impossible time turning on the jets and keeping the cleaner going. I found a nice tutorial on lowering TA while keep PH in range so will get some more MA today and follow the steps. On thing I did find that I hadn't relized was the MA we were getting at HD is not 30% like I am used to but a "green" variety that is 20% baume. I guess that makes some difference in the effect as well.
Sorry, didn't realize you already have borates. "Green" MA makes a BIG difference. If you are OK handling the 31.45% you can get it's much less troublesome. I get it in 2-gal boxes for $12. My pool uses a little less than 32 oz per week. I'm pretty sure our water is very similar. Getting your TA down will help as well. I run 50-70.

Chris
 

firstbase

Well-known member
Feb 6, 2013
104
Jupiter, Florida
OK, so went and got "real" MA. I added a gallon Wednesday. 24 hours later my tests show the following. Note: my chlorine is very high due to replacing the old cell and adding salt. Let it get out of hand. I have turned the SWG off for now, until it gets back down to normal.

FAC - 16
CC - trace
CH - 390
CYA - 60
TA - 50
PH - 7
Borates - 50
Salt - 3000

I have my 4 "poor man's spa" jets turned on to aerate the PH back up a bit but I have never had a problem with it increasing quickly. I will test again this evening and see what is going on. Also going to add a little stabilizer today as it is a little low. I don't think stabilizer affects PH/TA though. One last question on combined chlorine. I have NEVER gotten a totally clear test on CC. There is always a very slight pink that shows. Not enough to calculate out to a decimal reading if that makes sense. In the past I have just ignored it and haven't had any issues...that I know of...

Thanks for the help and comments on all of this!
 

Donldson

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 12, 2009
4,586
NW Ohio
Um... Your pH test is not valid above 10 ppm FC. Generally it registers higher than actual, so a reading of 7 is not good.

But then, you added WAAAAAAAY too much MA. Why did you add a whole gallon?!? You are causing permanent damage to your SWG, heater, and pool finish with that kind of overkill.
 

firstbase

Well-known member
Feb 6, 2013
104
Jupiter, Florida
I entered my numbers into Pool Math and it told me 120 ozs of MA. 13,500 gals, PH at 8.5. TA was 110 if I remember correctly? I don't normally run such whacked-out numbers so I don't think I will damage everything with a one time error. Will test again tonight and see where I am.
 

setsailsoon

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Oct 25, 2015
3,388
Stuart/FL
Remember above FC 10 your pH test is not reliable. Also the acid addition calculation is only valid in a narrow range. When you adjust pH don't do more than .4 pH units at a time.

Chris
 

firstbase

Well-known member
Feb 6, 2013
104
Jupiter, Florida
Thanks. I tested tonight even though PH isn't valid. Right now:

FC - 12
PH - 7.4
TA - 60

I know the PH is not valid but at least it is trending in the right direction. Little confused on following Pool Math as I thought it was "The Guru" and I entered all of my tests. Live and learn I guess.