Water Chemistry Help

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
28,256
Why is the customer allowing the service company to perform at such a low standard?

The standards are below anything reasonable and they are below legal limits.

At what point will anyone complain?

If the pH gets down to 3, will everyone still act like it's fine?

As long as swimmers are not dissolving, it seems that the chemistry does not matter.
 
Last edited:

JPMorgan

Well-known member
May 22, 2018
400
Elmhurst, IL
Pool Size
20000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Probably iron stains.

What is the TA?

What is the CSI?

Did you try the vitamin C?
TA = 60
Last CSI calculation on 9/20 = -1.4
Haven't tried the Vitamin C yet. Since I'm a newbie in the condo, I'm taking my moving slowly on my "interventions" so I don't upset the apple cart. Met with the owner of the Pool Company who maintains the pool today. The good news is he acknowledges that liquid chlorine is the way to go, but said it is impractical for them to maintain the pool that way. (That's where I come in.) I mentioned the possibility of converting to SWG and he said it's not allowed in Illinois. Is that true? At this point they are not doing much to address the low pH and low CH because they "will drain and acid wash in the spring" I'm hoping to get a fresh start next year and keep the CYA in check with much better results. I think it will be a different ball game then. They are routinely adding phosphates and clarifiers and I plan to d/c all of that if possible. Right now I am fighting an uphill battle, but...... he did seem willing to work with me to turn off the automatic trichlor feeder and aim to keep CYA at around 40 and FC at 4-5.
 

JPMorgan

Well-known member
May 22, 2018
400
Elmhurst, IL
Pool Size
20000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Why is the customer allowing the service company to perform at such a low standard?

The standards are below anything reasonable and they are below legal limits.

At what point will anyone complain?

If the pH gets down to 3, will everyone still act like it's fine?

As long as swimmers are not dissolving, it seems that the chemistry does not matter.
I have found so far that (unfortunately) no one here knows much about pool care, so they are at the mercy of the pool company..... and since I am a newbie in the Association I think I need to move slowly and focus on the winning the "war" instead of the immediate "battle". If they see better results next year, I hope to win them over with TFP methods. I hope to get my hands on the Contract with the current Pool Service Company and then start investigating other possibilities. (Recommendations of good pool service companies that are in sync with TFP methods in west Chicago suburbs are welcome.)

Given that the Association is "used to" the Pool Company draining and power washing the pool in the spring, does it still make sense get pH and CH in the appropriate ranges now. I believe they are closing in the next 10-14 days and I don't see many people at the pool as weather is getting colder here.

I realize I have come into a difficult situation and don't think I will be listened to if, after a week in the condo, I tell them to fire the pool company. My hope is to get things in a better place next year.
 

Mdragger88

Bronze Supporter
Jun 1, 2018
3,158
Hernando, Ms
Pool Size
26000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Intex Krystal Clear
So they drain & acid wash every year ? Good maintenance/balance can possibly completely eliminate that need & the expense to the association (which trickles down to the homeowners) as well. I’m sure the pool service gets paid a pretty penny for completing this task to fix a problem they should have never caused in the 1st place! 💸💸💸💸
also by next spring it will have been sitting in an acid bath for around 6 months already! 🤦‍♀️
 

JPMorgan

Well-known member
May 22, 2018
400
Elmhurst, IL
Pool Size
20000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
I guess the answer to my question is a resounding "YES". I'm going to start making adjustments...
  • 40 lbs. of Calcium Chloride to raise CH from 180 to 250 (recommended)
  • 20 lbs of Borax (or 8 lbs of soda ash... which they have on hand) to move pH into 7.4 to 7.6 range. (pH will rise as water gets colder, correct?)
Pool is 60,000 gallons.
 

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JPMorgan

Well-known member
May 22, 2018
400
Elmhurst, IL
Pool Size
20000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Started adjusting pH today. Added 100 oz soda ash. Will probably need more later today. pH will rise as water temp drops before closing, correct?

Also, is it okay to ask for a recommended robotic vac on this thread. I'm trying to get them to buy one next year. Looking at Dolphin Wave80. Thoughts?
 

Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
11,227
NY
pH will rise as water temp drops before closing, correct?
It should rise from its normal aeration and whatnot. It might be slowly with a TA of 60. I’m not sure about the temps relation. Hang tight for that answer.
Also, is it okay to ask for a recommended robotic vac on this thread. I'm trying to get them to buy one next year. Looking at Dolphin Wave80. Thoughts?
You ask away about anything related to your pool as you see fit. Technically this is a new topic but still your journey so up to you. You will get new eyes on it with a new ‘need robot recs’ thread.

The dolphin S200 or any of its many sister clones is highly regarded here as the best bang for the buck around $700. The pricier ones have more bells and whistles but you won’t be needing Bluetooth drivability so they may be a hard sell. Lol.
 

JPMorgan

Well-known member
May 22, 2018
400
Elmhurst, IL
Pool Size
20000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
I would use baking soda vs. sodium carbonate to avoid issues.
Can you please clarify, James. Baking soda to raise pH? I thought baking soda was for raising Alkalinity. Did you mean Borax?

Sodium carbonate is soda ash, correct? Alkalinity is at 60 so rise in alkalinity by adding sodium carbonate should keep alkalinity within "acceptable range.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
29,085
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Can you please clarify, James. Baking soda to raise pH? I thought baking soda was for raising Alkalinity. Did you mean Borax?

Sodium carbonate is soda ash, correct? Alkalinity is at 60 so rise in alkalinity by adding sodium carbonate should keep alkalinity within "acceptable range.


  • Baking Soda = big TA change, small pH change
  • Borax = big pH change, small TA change
  • Soda Ash/Washing Soda = big pH change, big TA change.
 

JPMorgan

Well-known member
May 22, 2018
400
Elmhurst, IL
Pool Size
20000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
The dolphin S200 or any of its many sister clones is highly regarded here as the best bang for the buck around $700.
Would S200 handle a larger commercial pool, ie., 60,000 gallons? I looked at Marina Pool and Spa website and it looks like they recommend robotic cleaners for "commercial" pools starting with the Wave 60 and going up from there depending on pool size. Wave 80 is recommended for pools "up to 68 feet", so I'll have to check the length of the pool tomorrow.
 

PoolStored

Gold Supporter
Jun 24, 2021
566
Ashtabula, OH
Pool Size
31000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Would S200 handle a larger commercial pool, ie., 60,000 gallons? I looked at Marina Pool and Spa website and it looks like they recommend robotic cleaners for "commercial" pools starting with the Wave 60 and going up from there depending on pool size. Wave 80 is recommended for pools "up to 68 feet", so I'll have to check the length of the pool tomorrow.
Call them and ask their advice. May take a couple calls, but they have lots of experience and won’t steer you wrong.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
28,256
Baking soda to raise pH?
If the TA is correct, the pH will be correct.

If the pH is constantly low, the TA is too low.

A lot of the TA is cyanurate due to the excessive CYA, which is not good.

So, the actual TA (carbonate alkalinity is much lower than it seems).

If the CYA was 40, the TA at 60 would be much better.

I would try to get the CSI closer to -0.3.
 

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