How do I raise my pH without raising my TA?

Problems relating to pH and total alkalinity.
Increase ph, increase TA. Reduce pH, reduce TA.
pH chemistry advice and techniques for the pool.
lizzypaulk1014
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How do I raise my pH without raising my TA?

Postby lizzypaulk1014 » Fri 25 Jul, 2014 16:14

We installed our pool 2 weeks ago and I still can't get the chemicals right. I NEED HELP!!!!!! Every time I try to raise my pH slightly, my TA goes through the roof!!! My current readings are:

TH: 0
FC: 3
pH: 6.8
TA: 180
CYA: 30-50

I'm using the hth test strips from Walmart. How do I raise my pH without raising the TA? Thanks in advance!!


chem geek
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How do I raise my pH without raising my TA?

Postby chem geek » Sun 27 Jul, 2014 16:48

To raise the pH with no change in TA, aerate the water -- run waterfalls, spillovers, fountains, point the returns up with the pump on high, have kids splash in the water, etc.

This assumes your test strips are correct -- you should consider getting an accurate test kit, the Taylor K-2006 or the TFTestkits TF-100.
PoolCleanup
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How do I raise my pH without raising my TA?

Postby PoolCleanup » Tue 21 Oct, 2014 21:21

Add Soda Ash to your pool. This will not make any change to the TA. I do see that the hardness level is 0 as well and there is no reading for TC. Buy AquaChek 7-Way Pool Water Test Strips for hassle free water testing.

Sam Bhullar
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How do I raise my pH without raising my TA?

Postby chem geek » Wed 22 Oct, 2014 02:24

That is complete and total baloney!

Sodium Carbonate increases BOTH pH AND TA. Sodium Carbonate (aka washing soda or soda ash or pH Up) is identical to adding Sodium Bicarbonate (aka baking soda or Alkalinity Up) and Sodium Hydroxide (aka caustic soda or lye).

Na2CO3 + H2O = NaHCO3 + NaOH
Sodium Carbonate + Water = Sodium Bicarbonate + Sodium Hydroxide

Every pound of sodium carbonate in 10,000 gallons raises the TA by 11.3 ppm. When the carbonate ions (which count twice towards TA) combine with hydrogen ions (which count negative 1 towards TA) in the pool to raise the pH, the result is bicarbonate ions and these still contribute to TA.

+2 .... + -1 ---> .. +1
CO32- + H+ ---> HCO3-
Carbonate Ion + Hydrogen Ion ---> Bicarbonate Ion

Also, test strips are often very inaccurate especially for some readings and they generally do NOT test for Calcium Hardness but rather only for Total Hardness which includes magnesium which is irrelevant to protecting plaster surfaces (i.e. saturating the water with calcium carbonate). See this post for a comparison of test strips with the far more accurate drop-based tests.

If you really want to educate yourself about pool water chemistry, then I suggest you start by reading the Pool School and if you want to get deeper into the chemistry itself, then venture into Pool Water Chemistry, Certified Pool Operator (CPO) training -- What is not taught, and many other threads.
Denniswiseman
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How do I raise my pH without raising my TA?

Postby Denniswiseman » Wed 22 Oct, 2014 05:01

I fully endorse chem geek
He has guided me in the past
You will find it well documented in this forum
To reduce TA (which seems a bit high) use Muriatic Acic (Hydrochloric Acid) to reduce it and aerate to increase PH
I have been doing this for years with excellent results after having the same problem as yours

I use a large pond aerator for convenience of aeration
barney
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Re: How do I raise my pH without raising my TA?

Postby barney » Thu 29 Sep, 2016 09:23

both my PH and alkalinity levels are at the low end of the aquachek test strip. i have added 9 lbs of sodium carbonate. the local pool shop says to balance the PH before attempting to bring up the alkalinity. so far only the TA has gone up, PH reads 6.2. i have the pool on filter now (was recirculate) and hopefully the jets will aerate enough to raise the PH as advised by this forum... any other suggestions.. just trying to balance the pool before closing it for the season
Denniswiseman
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Re: How do I raise my pH without raising my TA?

Postby Denniswiseman » Thu 29 Sep, 2016 11:27

Aeration is the key
Adjust the return water so that it sprays into the air, maybe fit some pipe into the jets to get it out of the water
I use a large pond aerater as my pool is covered and a thermal cover. I don't want to cool the water by spraying
Paskcan58
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Re: How do I raise my pH without raising my TA?

Postby Paskcan58 » Mon 26 Mar, 2018 19:35

I have a similar problem. PH was down to 6.7 after two weeks away in our Indoor SwimEx current pool with 3750 gal water.

Bromine 1
PH 6.7
ALK 89
CH 278

I used PH up until I was at PH 7.4 but Alk also went up to ALK 172, BR 3.3, CH 240 and the water went cloudy. Then I used muriatic acid to reduce the PH to 6.6 and the Alk to 78 (br 3.4 and CH 191) Then I started adding Borax and aerating the pool by running the current without the cover. I have added almost a whole box of Borax and the readings are Br 2.4, PH 6.8, CH 226 and CYA 5.

Our make up water is Reverse Osmosis which works well for reducing all readings.

How do I balance this pool?
Denniswiseman
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Re: How do I raise my pH without raising my TA?

Postby Denniswiseman » Tue 27 Mar, 2018 02:27

Aerate
Just running your pump isn't enough, make it spray into the air or get a large pond aerator
All you are doing by adding the various chemicals is Yo-Yoing
young987
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Re: How do I raise my pH without raising my TA?

Postby young987 » Thu 14 Jun, 2018 07:37

I am having problems getting my PH to come up, currently at 6.8 - my TA was at 180 and i did bring it down to 100- 110 using a dry acid - i have been aerating by aiming the return up into the air but the ph will not come up - i am not sure what to do next - if i keep adding dry acid the ph will drop - if i add PH plus the ta will jump.
i have only been aerating for two days - should i just continue with that process?

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