Very high pH damage, does it happen fast?

RTamanda

Gold Supporter
Jul 25, 2011
43
Chester, VA
Pool Size
23000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
I tend to get long winded, so I apologize for rambling in advance 😂. Opened my pool day before yesterday and tested, started SLAM. Initial test pH was 7.2, FC 1.4, CC 0, TA 30, CH 30, CYA 30, borates <15, salt 1400. Had 4 bags of salt from last year, threw that all in and brushed thoroughly. Kept slamming. I knew I wanted my borates up and that that would help with my pH and TA also. I saw that I had two gallons of MA on the garage shelf from last year, so I went to the store and bought 11 boxes of borax last night on my way home from work. I tossed in all of the borax, and headed to the garage for that MA I still had. One bottle was completely empty and the other had only 71 oz in it. My heart sank because I knew Lowe’s and Home Depot were already closed. My FC had already dropped (I worked all day, 12 hour shifts) to 5.2, so I tested my pH after adding the 71oz MA and it was of course BRIGHT pink, >8.0. I didn’t add any more chlorine so that I can accurately get my pH back right, but here I am, back at work, but I do get off at 3pm today and plan on heading straight to get MA in my pool. SO.... my question is, how fast does scaling happen with super high pH? Have I done serious damage? And what is the hack to reduce my pool water test to get an accurate pH reading before adding the MA? I remember reading to use distilled water to dilute? Thank you very much!!!
 
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JJ_Tex

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Bronze Supporter
Jul 17, 2019
2,316
Prosper, TX (DFW)
Pool Size
13000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
With a CH of 30, I'm guessing you do not have to worry about scaling. You have a lot going on at the same time, and I would break it down into steps that are easier to manage and do not interfere with each other:

1. Take your pH down to 7.2. If you do not know what it is now, assume 8.0 and add enough to get to 7.2, then re-test and see where your pH really is. Then make adjustments to get it to 7.2.

2. Do your SLAM. And follow the process until you are done, likely taking 3+ days.

3. Make any other adjustments you would like to salt, borates (I do not know much about borates), etc.
 

jseyfert3

Silver Supporter
Bronze Supporter
TFP Guide
Oct 20, 2017
1,498
Southern WI
Pool Size
15000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
I’m not familiar with a hack to reduce pH for reagent testing, however the K-2006 has an acid demand test that can calculate the amount of acid you’ll need to lower the pH. If you do this though, like any major acid addition it’s best not to add it all at once, add like half or 3/4 and re-test.

The only way I’m familiar with reading a high pH directly for a pool is to use an electronic pH meter. But that’s not needed, just do what @JJ_Tex said to do in his point #1.
 

brendio

Active member
May 18, 2020
30
Queensland, Australia
I think the "hack" you may be referring to is for doing the pH test at FC>10. High FC reacts with the indicator. Diluting will reduce the FC to allow the indicator to read correctly. Distilled or DI water has a low pH buffering capacity so doesn't affect the pH too much when you dilute it (so long as your test water has a reasonable TA/buffering capacity). TA of 120 should be fine for this hack. At TA of 30, the assumption would be less valid.

 

RTamanda

Gold Supporter
Jul 25, 2011
43
Chester, VA
Pool Size
23000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
I think the "hack" you may be referring to is for doing the pH test at FC>10. High FC reacts with the indicator. Diluting will reduce the FC to allow the indicator to read correctly. Distilled or DI water has a low pH buffering capacity so doesn't affect the pH too much when you dilute it (so long as your test water has a reasonable TA/buffering capacity). TA of 120 should be fine for this hack. At TA of 30, the assumption would be less valid.

Thank you! I remember now, you are right, the dilute trick was for FC. My FC was 5.2 last night, so I trust the pH reading. I’m going to get it down as soon as I get home and then back to slamming. Thank you!