balancing pool properly

Problems relating to pH and total alkalinity.
Increase ph, increase TA. Reduce pH, reduce TA.
pH chemistry advice and techniques for the pool.

balancing pool properly

Postby rluns » Sun 07 Sep, 2008 12:28

I am totally confused sometimes. I have bought fifty pound bags of soda ash. calcium hardness increaser and anhydrous calcium chloride. I need to raise my alkalinity in a 16x36 pool inground and I am not sure which chemical to use. I get confused with the testing strips one has chlorine levels on it. alkalinity, calcium and ph and I never know which chemical goes with which. And everytime I try to read up on this info. It seems that the word ph is a catch all for all of the above. HELP!

chem geek
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balancing pool properly

Postby chem geek » Sun 07 Sep, 2008 18:43

I suggest you read some of what is in the Pool School to educate yourself on what product goes with each parameter.

In what you listed, Calcium Hardness Increaser and Anyhydrous Calcium Chloride are the same thing (if you look at the ingredients, you will see this is the case). They increase Calcium Hardness (CH).

Soda Ash is used primarily to increase pH, though it will also increase Total Alkalinity (TA) as well. It is identical to Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (careful: NOT the laundry detergent). If you want to increase pH with half the amount of increase in TA, you can use 20 Mule Team Borax instead. To raise the pH with no change in TA, you aerate the water.

Alkalinity Up is identical to Arm & Hammer Baking Soda and is used to raise the Total Alkalinity (TA). It does not change the pH by very much -- it can increase it a little depending on how much you add, but you use it to raise the TA, not the pH.

Muriatic Acid (31.45% Hydrochloric Acid) is typically used to lower pH. Dry Acid (sodium bisulfate) is another alternative, but adds sulfates to the water. You can also get half-strength muriatic acid that does not fume as much.

To lower the Total Alkalinity (TA), you follow the procedure outlined in this post that is a combination of acid addition and aeration at low pH.

So unless your pH is low, you don't have the right product to raise the TA. You needed Alkalinity Up instead, though getting Arm & Hammer Baking Soda from a grocery or big box store is usually less expensive and is the identical product (sodium bicarbonate aka sodium hydrogen carbonate).


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