TA @ 110, pH always decreasing (plumeting some might say)

frogabog

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Jul 16, 2010
2,833
Portland, Oregon
So, I only did a spa for the past 5y. But it too behaved similarly. pH was always low, even in a bubbling spa. Same city. So... I asked my ex-husband what he remembered about our pools, and same as me he remembered pH was always dropping. He did the pool chemistry till I discovered TFP and took over. That was in 2010.

My water seems to want to lower pH. It is very soft, and comes from the mountain by way of gravity. Tap water is testing at 7.6ppm. I think the last time I tested tap water TA it was about 40-50. I'd like to say I raised TA to 110 so as to get my pH to not drop, but I overshot it. It's not working, regardless.

Even so, at 110 TA, my pH drops. I know this isn't supposed to happen, but it does in Portland, and has always been so. Before I claimed this for 100%, I got confirmation of this talking to the ex dh.

He recalled, what we did to stabilize it was to add borates to 50ppm. We had a good stable season that year. I remember less because that was the bad year.

I'm down to 7.1 with the digital meter. If you're interested, my test results are available. I've been using that consistently since I got it. For continuity purposes. I know to compare it to my own testing weekly. I already compared it this week. I do have a question about rinsing in distilled water. How important is this?

Bottom line, my pH drops. This isn't supposed to happen, right?

I'm aerating now with the "Intex Air Jet" on my return. I'll get it back, but I post this because I'm soooo sure I'm not doing anything against TFP guidelines. My water seems to plummet pH under what is considered high TA. I believe this is a local issue. I'm not quite sure why though.

I thought I wouldn't bother with borates this year, but I'm considering it again. See my avatar pic.
 

frogabog

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Jul 16, 2010
2,833
Portland, Oregon
lol, only bleach. since 2010.

I did use a puck for 2.5 days because I overshot that TA and pH, and needed 10ppm CYA. And I had a puck. That was a week ago. I pulled it as soon as it did exactly what I wanted it to, no more.
 

frogabog

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Jul 16, 2010
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Portland, Oregon
The rest of my entries are 6% bleach. Except the stupid Safeway bleach that smelled like water a few days ago, and was clearly degraded to about nothing. I added, tested, added, tested, added... all of it. Never again. Tests never showed below minimum, and I was working towards target. I eventually dumped it all in and went to bed. Tested in the am, found myself where I wanted to be.

Bad bleach, BAD!
 
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thetekgeek

Bronze Supporter
Jun 8, 2018
178
Nebraska
I see you mention testing with a PH meter, but no mention of a drop test. Have you done a drop test? When was your meter last calibrated?

Edit, I re-read your post and see that you did run a drop test. Although, I am still curious when your meter was last calibrated.
 

cfherrman

TFP Guide
May 10, 2017
2,432
Hays, Kansas
Well what I see are strange test results, are these pool store results or you guessing a number that is only measured in 10's or 25's.

Your csi is crazy low based on those numbers

If you have acurate test results you can run a air jet from a spa all the time
 

frogabog

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Jul 16, 2010
2,833
Portland, Oregon
I see you mention testing with a PH meter, but no mention of a drop test. Have you done a drop test? When was your meter last calibrated?

Edit, I re-read your post and see that you did run a drop test. Although, I am still curious when your meter was last calibrated.
The meter is only about 1.5w old. I ordered a whole new TF-100 and it came with it.

I actually have 4 more/different pH test options. I'm a reagent/kit hoarder, apparently. Ran them all to see if any were bad and how much they differed and if any of them had gone bad. They were all ok except the Chlorox OTO one that was given to me, which I discarded.
 

frogabog

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Jul 16, 2010
2,833
Portland, Oregon
Well what I see are strange test results, are these pool store results or you guessing a number that is only measured in 10's or 25's.

Your csi is crazy low based on those numbers

If you have acurate test results you can run a air jet from a spa all the time
I've only been in a pool store once, to buy reagents and a new Taylor block. That was ~10 years ago. I use Taylor reagents, procured from TFTestkits.net, and now I have a spanky new TF-100 and 3 old sets of TA, CH and R-0004, plus various OTO.

Yes, the water is very soft and the pool is vinyl so I'm not concerned about CH or CSI. I test for CH occasionally just for kicks and giggles. It's a 1 drop or less so it's not easy to test for anyway. I believe the water bureau shows CH at about 5ppm.

TA is down to 90ppm today, but I haven't done any refilling since the last test so I'm not sure why that's going down.

I have done nothing except put bleach in my pool every day. Promise! Oh, and I uncapped the "air jet" last night for aeration. It went up .1 since then. (pH=7.2)
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
17,325
TA can't go down on its own. It requires that acid be added or low TA fill water.

Trichlor is acidic and will lower the pH and TA.

If you're not adding something with low TA, then it's test error.
 

frogabog

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Jul 16, 2010
2,833
Portland, Oregon
TA can't go down on its own. It requires that acid be added or low TA fill water.

Trichlor is acidic and will lower the pH and TA.

If you're not adding something with low TA, then it's test error.
I will repeat the TA test with a wet cloth wiping the tip.

I'll also ask the kid if he put any fill water in that he didn't tell me about. I doubt he did, but it's possible.

I'm well aware that trichlor is acidic. Which is why I just sold the nearly full bucket that was given to me with the pool the kids hated. Of course, I felt so bad selling it that I made sure to tell the buyer all about how she shouldn't use it very long, what it would do (pH and CYA), etc. etc. AND gave her all the info for TFP which she seemed very open to and grateful for. I also gave her my extra reagents and a test block. (I did check the reagents against my new ones before giving them away)
 

frogabog

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Jul 16, 2010
2,833
Portland, Oregon
I didn't test TA with a wet cloth. Will do tomorrow.

I mentioned this a number of years ago, and got little activity. I think there's something up with Bull Run Water that pulls PH down if you work it in a pool..

My ex husband sold that mixing pump for the city. In the summer we pull from the aquifers plus Bull Run. Aquifer levels are above allowable levels, so they mix it with Bull Run water and we drink it.

Google 'columbia slew" and you get a lot of info. We draw from that ground water in the summer.

The whole rest of our lives, we draw from Bull Run.

Regardless, all our water is high pH, Low alkalinity/TA, and CH so low we can't even test for it.
 

frogabog

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Jul 16, 2010
2,833
Portland, Oregon
FWIW... we drink from our taps.

My Cali friends are confused. But also love it. I'm tossed between my pool and my pH. I promise I have nothing but filled plus a bit plus a swimmer pr twp/ hot it to 120 TA. 2.5 days of a puck, to raise CYA to 30ppm and push pH back to less than 8.0
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
17,325
The main thing to remember is that TA doesn't just drop on its own.

Something acidic has to be added to make it drop or water with lower TA has to be added.