TA Test not changing colors

nphaskins

Member
Aug 24, 2010
12
So I went ahead and purchased the TF-100 test kit based on recommendations here. I've tried to perform the TA test because we have well water and we're trying to get that down. However, when I do the test, it says add drops of the 2nd solution until it changes colors. But, the thing is that it never changes colors. I gave up at 20 or 200 TA.

We just had a monsoon here in Texas and now the PH is way low. First time pool owner here just trying to figure out what my next step is.
 

Lana537

LifeTime Supporter
May 16, 2009
242
The Triangle, NC
Hi there~

Check the directions again; there are 3
reagents involved with the TA test.

Could you post all of your test results?

Lana
 

nphaskins

Member
Aug 24, 2010
12
Hi Lana!
Had to go back and read again. I did the test right, but I posted wrong here. It is three solutions. The third is added until the color changes from greed to red, but it just never changes to red. As a site note, before the storm I had a normal PH and Tc of 1ppm (I hope I'm saying all this right). As a side note, post storm now the PH is lower, and the chlorine is higher.

ph - 6.8
fc - 2

Those are the only two I tested, along with trying to test TA.

Thanks!
 

Richard320

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
20,397
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
Try using a 10ml sample.

From extended directions:
If you expect that your TA level is extremely high, you can do the test so that each drop is 25, instead of 10, to speed up the process and save on reagent usage. Use 10 ml of pool water, 1 drop of R-0007, 3 drops of R-0008, and multiply the number of drops of R-0009 by 25 to get your TA level.
 

nphaskins

Member
Aug 24, 2010
12
ok this makes more sense now! I did this test about 5 times so I know what I'm looking for now. The stuff definitely turns completely red and is really noticeable. TA is 300. I'm going to take a newbie guess and say add more muriatic acid?
 

Richard320

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
20,397
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
nphaskins said:
ok this makes more sense now! I did this test about 5 times so I know what I'm looking for now. The stuff definitely turns completely red and is really noticeable. TA is 300. I'm going to take a newbie guess and say add more muriatic acid?
Not if the pH is already 6.8!! :shock:
What you need is some aeration. Explained.
 

nphaskins

Member
Aug 24, 2010
12
OK so I'm a bit confused. In order to aerate I need to build something? What's even more confusing is, just what it is that I'm supposed to do. You say don't add muriatic acid, but the pool store tells me to add muriatic acid. I'm really torn between who to believe, and what to do. These are the results from the pool store which closely resemble my own, with the exception of TA.

FC - 4
TC - 4
ph - 6.8
Alkalinity - 190ppm

So I'm being told from the pool store to add 2 pints of muriatic acid vs a reccomendation of building something to attach to my existing system to aerate? :?
 

duraleigh

Admin
Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Apr 1, 2007
31,504
Sebring, Florida
I'm really torn between who to believe, and what to do
Experience teaches us you may pick one or the other but not both.

We often teach things contrary to what you will learn in the pool store.........however, none of what we teach is incorrect.

It's your call to decide who's advice you choose to accept but bouncing back and forth makes no sense.
 

bk406

Well-known member
Dec 3, 2009
2,690
Central Massachusetts
nphaskins said:
You say don't add muriatic acid, but the pool store tells me to add muriatic acid.
Well, both sets of advice are correct. Yes, you do add muriatic acid to lower the TA. Thats what the pool store will say and TFP. The reason Richard said not to add anymore is that your pH is already at 6.8, so this is where the pool store and TFP advice diverge. A pH of 6.8 is low and you dont want it any lower. However, you still need to decrease your TA by adding acid, so....what to do? You need to increase your pH in a way that will not increase your TA. That seems like a conundrum (sic?) on the surface. The idea is to increase the pH using non-chemical methods, hence, aeration. The aeration will cause CO2 to out gas thereby increasing the pH. You should aerate to the mid 7's. After that, you repeat the process with acid and aeration to keep lowering the TA to where you want it.
 

dmanb2b

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 4, 2009
3,734
NY
I'm with Dave and BK. Yes, MA lowers TA but it also lowers PH. Your PH at 6.8 is TOO low :shock: and your TA is high. If you aerate, it will raise your PH without further increasing your TA..

You can listen to the pool store and add MA...which will lower your TA, BUT will also lower your PH further...then they will tell you to add PH+...guess what...PH+ increases PH and TA...do you see the yo-yo effect? That's why so many folks have come to TFP to rid ourselves of such riduculous advice while paying for the pool store owner's childrens college fund.
 

Richard320

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
20,397
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
nphaskins said:
OK so I'm a bit confused. In order to aerate I need to build something? What's even more confusing is, just what it is that I'm supposed to do. You say don't add muriatic acid, but the pool store tells me to add muriatic acid. I'm really torn between who to believe, and what to do. These are the results from the pool store which closely resemble my own, with the exception of TA.

FC - 4
TC - 4
ph - 6.8
Alkalinity - 190ppm

So I'm being told from the pool store to add 2 pints of muriatic acid vs a reccomendation of building something to attach to my existing system to aerate? :?
You could build a shower head or something, but you may not need to. My pool has a spillover spa. If I move the valves so 100% of the water returns via the spa, I can lose 30 ppm TA in 5 hours. If you have a spa, a waterfall, anything like that, use it. Or maybe you can rotate the return jets to point straight up, which will also work. You get the water bubbling good, TA will go down, pH will rise. Then you add muriatic acid when you hit 7.8 to get pH back down to about 7.2 and repeat.

You don't want to just dump so much acid in the pool to reduce all the TA in one shot - it will drive the pH way below the comfort zone. It will also likely etch the plaster and corrode anything metallic - filter hardware, heater coils, pump impellers, anything .
 

nphaskins

Member
Aug 24, 2010
12
Thank all of you very much for explaining all of this. I completely understand now and just needed some detailed explanation. I've read about all this stuff but hearing it and reading it over and over...I completely get it now. Thanks again for the advice. Off to find something to build. :)
 

chem geek

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 28, 2007
12,082
San Rafael, CA USA
Richard320 said:
You get the water bubbling good, TA will go down, pH will rise. Then you add muriatic acid when you hit 7.8 to get pH back down to about 7.2 and repeat.
Just to clarify and correct this it should say, "You get the water bubbling good, pH will rise. Then you add muriatic acid when you hit 7.8 to get pH back down to about 7.2 and this will lower the TA as well, then repeat."

That is, the aeration raises pH with no change in TA while the acid addition lowers both pH and TA. You don't have to wait until the pH gets to 7.8 since it normally will rise more quickly when the pH is lower and then slow down as the pH gets higher, so you can simply add acid when it gets noticeably higher, say to 7.4, then lower it. You can also have your bottom pH target for this process by 7.0 IF your pH test kit measures to 6.8 -- otherwise a target of 7.2 should be used. That is, you want to be able to know that you haven't gotten too low in pH during this process.

After you reach your TA target, you then just aerate to get the pH up to where you want -- usually around 7.5.
 

nphaskins

Member
Aug 24, 2010
12
Ok last night I rigged the return to empty over top of the pool. I let it go for about 6 hrs and the ph is now at 7. How long should I aerate? Until it hits mid 7 s? What am I looking at time wise?
 

Richard320

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
20,397
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
nphaskins said:
Ok last night I rigged the return to empty over top of the pool. I let it go for about 6 hrs and the ph is now at 7. How long should I aerate? Until it hits mid 7 s? What am I looking at time wise?
No way of knowing, yet. If memory serves, 6.8 is as low as the pH block reads, so you may have been lower. And pH is logarithmic, if I recall. So 7.0 is 10X as high as 6.0. And I've forgotten most of that math, so I couldn't even guess at the factors.

But at least you're seeing a change - and it didn't take any pricey chemicals to do it! I'd keep aerating until 7.8, then check TA. If it's still high, add acid to get pH back down to 7.2 and aerate again. The beauty of doing it this way is that the pH always stays in the swimmable zone.
 
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