Test TA only and don't worry about PH?

Coinman

Member
May 22, 2010
14
Hello, for the last ten years my pool supply and the guy that acid washed my pool said to check only TA and keep at 80-100 and don' worry about PH, and that's what I've been doing. I installed the Hayward pro logic and the T15 SWG with the CO2 dispense system to help keep PH down, if I put enough acid in to bring th TA in range it drops my PH down in the 6 range. my pool supply said add the acid and don't worry about the PH. Over the last ten years every thing seemed fine, allthough i installed a solar system and last summer qnd i was adding a lot more acid. Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you.
 

mickey4paws

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Apr 10, 2009
610
S.E. MI
Welcome to the forum :) I can't give you all the specific reasons why, but maintaining PH is one of the most important things for your pool and your equipment, especially if you have a heater. If the pH is left too high, buildup can occur on your pool walls. If your pool is to acidic, it can cause etching and other problems. If the pH is too low and not corrected, the result can be damage to your pool equipment.
 

dmanb2b

TFP Expert
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Apr 4, 2009
3,734
NY
To add a PH of 6 is not pleasant on the eyes :shock:

TA should be managed along with PH. You are getting very bad advice. To lower TA, you use acid over a period of time, but need to aerate your water while your doing this to keep your PH up. Target PH is 7.4-7.6.
 

JasonLion

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May 7, 2007
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Silver Spring, MD
It is very important to maintain proper PH levels. Low PH can damage pool heaters, vinyl liners, and plaster, and high PH can lead to calcium scaling.
 

waskydiver

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 29, 2009
191
I can kinda start to get a picture of what the pool store is telling you... If I could understand where your high TA is coming from in the first place.

For example, maybe if you have well water with very high TA, and high CH, then in might start to get confusing for an inpatient pool store to explain how to keep your CSI in line.

So, you just tell them to fight the TA. The acid additions will drive down your TA, and keep your pH low. They tell you not to worry about pH, because they don't want you adding chemicals to raise the pH, because that will only add to your already high TA.

Regardless... I am just guessing. It seems pretty nuts to me. Maybe if you post a full set of numbers for both your pool and your fill water, we might be better able to understand, and probably make some better recomendations.
 

Coinman

Member
May 22, 2010
14
Thanks for all the info, I just had my tile cleaned so I drained and refilled, the fill water was about 200-240 TA, calcium about 240 hayward recommends 60 to 80 for CYA I'm adding that know, one note the tile stayed pretty good the last ten years just watching TA compared to watching mainly PH. I guess Seal Beach water is pretty high in TA?
 

waskydiver

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 29, 2009
191
Yea... looks like your fill water is going to give you a natural tendency towards high CSI and scaling.

Can't really do anything about your CH. And your high TA is going to tend to drive your pH upwards. Once it hits a certain level, your CSI will get significantly high.

So, what they are telling you to do is to control your CSI by controlling your TA. By bringing down your TA, you will be lowering your pH. And the lower TA will reduce your pH drift. Your SWG and CO2 generator are having additional effects on your pH, which will probably make targetting your pH a little more difficult. (Though the two may cancel each other out to some degree).

It's not a recomendation that I would make, but at least I can somewhat understand the logic which would lead to the recomendation.

If it were me, I would try to turn it around: Target your pH to about 7.2, and don't worry about your TA. At this lower pH, risks of scaling would be very low. It would also cause your TA to naturally come down to a sweet spot.

I would also add boarates (optimizer... borax) to your water. That is going to provide a non-TA buffer for your pH, and should control your algae. This will mean that your SWG would work a little less, and your pH drift will be a little less.

After you get everything tuned in, you may find a slightly higher pH is easer to maintain, and may consider letting it drift upwards a bit to see if it's easier. But I personally like 7.2. That's the pH of tears, and chlorine is more effective there.

I think that if you could follow something along these lines, and learn about the chemistry a bit along the way that you will find maintenance much easier, and it will be a lot better for your pool.
 

Coinman

Member
May 22, 2010
14
Thank you, i've never used borax, how much should I add in a 17000 gal pool? Is that a one time add? Not worrying about TA won't cause problems? My temp will be about 85* through the summer. Thanks again
 

frustratedpoolmom

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May 20, 2007
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I would not add borax (for Borates) right now. You should take some time to get a better understanding of the methods here at TFP before you proceed with this step. Also, it would be better to get your TA down into range before you proceed with Borates.

You should monitor PH and FC daily. You should monitor TA, it's just not as important to test for it more than weekly, unless you are following the "HOW TO" steps in the Article on lowering total alkalinity.

If you want to follow the steps to lower the TA, the article in Pool School tells you step by step what to do.
 

duraleigh

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Apr 1, 2007
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Coinman,

Please don't take this as rude but everyone is simply guessing at your issues until you can post recent test results.....at the very least for you current pH. but preferably for FC, CC, CH, TA and CYA as well.

That'll help us get you some basic information on how to balance your pool.
 

waskydiver

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 29, 2009
191
Poolmom is correct... I did not mean to imply that you should add borates right away.

More, you could use it as an additional tool AFTER your water becomes more balanced, and you get a better feel for what your water tends to do.

I am also not giving any specific advice. Just generically that instead of chasing your TA to keep it in line, if you keep your pH at a good level, your TA will naturally tend to drift to acceptable levels.
 

Coinman

Member
May 22, 2010
14
Hey guys, current levels FC 3.5-4.0, TA 100, PH 6.8, salt 3300, CYA 95, CH 240
I've been trying to get my Cya inline, I added three cups yesterday in the skimmer and now it's to high- bummer Hayward wants 60-80, I hope I don't have to drain 20% of my pool water. I asked the areas local pool supply and builder why they insist on checking TA only and not to worry about PH, he said the water in our area is very hard and high in TA and that is the best way to deal with it. I did notice last summer with solar I was adding lots of water because of evaportation witch explains why I had to add so much acid to get the TA inline. The pool calculator says my CSI is now 1.0. Don't real know what to do. Thanks again!
 

frustratedpoolmom

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May 20, 2007
12,179
SWSuburban Chicago, IL
You need to aerate asap to start getting that PH up....

I wouldn't worry about the TA, it will come down into range as you follow the steps in the process here:

http://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-school/lowering total alkalinity

The SWG should be enough of a source of aeration normally but I don't like seeing your PH that low. Point your eyeball returns towards the surface so that you get some bubbling action. IF the solar cover is on, take it off.

Are you using the pool calculator to determine how much chems to add? CYA takes 5-7 days to fully dissolve and register on tests so if you added one day, tested and didn't see it where you thought it should be, and added more, that would explain how it got so high since after a drain and refill it would have been zero, correct?

Always use the pool calc - it tells you exactly how much to add and helps take away the guesswork.

Ignore what the pool store is telling you. What kind of pool is this? Enter your specs/equipment into the signature - go to User Control Panel, then Profile, then Edit Signature.

Ideally you want your CYA lower but as long as you maintain the proper FC levels according to the CYA chart - you should be ok to prevent problems. Right now your FC is too low if that CYA Reading is accurate.
 

JasonLion

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May 7, 2007
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Silver Spring, MD
You don't ever want to have the PH that low. If the PH stays low for any period of time it can damage the pool and the pool equipment. You should raise PH to around 7.2.

Your CSI is around -1.0 (not 1.0) which is too low. Bringing the PH up should take care of it.
 

Coinman

Member
May 22, 2010
14
Hi all, my latest test results using Taylor for ch and cya FC,4.0 ph,7.4 ta,110 cya,50 ch,250 salt,2900. I'm using the orp and ph sensors now, I don't quite understand the relationship between fc and orp and the mv setting on the swg. I'm waiting to add more cya, my goal is about 70. Thanks
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
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May 7, 2007
37,880
Silver Spring, MD
CYA at 60 to 80 is excellent when you are not using ORP. We recommend CYA between 70 and 80, which is essentially the same thing.

However, when you are using ORP control, the ORP sensor gives more reliable readings at lower CYA levels.
 

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