Alkalinity out of control!

Problems relating to pH and total alkalinity.
Increase ph, increase TA. Reduce pH, reduce TA.
pH chemistry advice and techniques for the pool.
krssterling
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Alkalinity out of control!

Postby krssterling » Sun 03 Jun, 2007 11:24

I have an above ground pool with an alkalinity level of 300ppm. I've been told it should be between 150-180ppm. I have had the pool open for three weeks and at first we kept putting chlorine in it because the levels were so low. In a couple hours it was gone again. The water is very cloudy and for awhile we couldn't see the bottom. My husband and I were trying to balance the chemicals based on the test strips, which didn't show us how out of control the alkalinity was. Friends have told us lower the alkalinity first, then adjust the ph, then the chlorine.

What I've done this weekend:
First, I bought a better test kit and found the alkalinity tested at 300ppm. I added 3 cups of MA on Friday and waited overnight. I was excited we could see the bottom, which looked really dirty. So, I ran the automatic cleaner in it for a few hours. This just stirred up the dirt and made it cloudy again, but the alkalinity dropped to 270 ppm. We put another 3 cups of MA in before bed Saturday night. My husband started the automatic cleaner before he left for work and when I got up I tested the alkalinity, its back to 300 ppm. I don't know if this matters, but it is raining outside. So now it is 12:00 noon and we added another 3 cups of MA and we are waiting.

Can anyone give us advice on how to get this under control? and should we be trying to balance the other chemicals at the same time?

Thanks for any help!


Buggsw
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Postby Buggsw » Sun 03 Jun, 2007 13:28

I wish you would post your full set of readings, volume in gallons of your pool and the pool type (ie vinyl, plaster, fiberglass).

The trick is to lower your alk without lowering your pH too much.

Post your readings and we will help you.
krssterling
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Pool readings

Postby krssterling » Sun 03 Jun, 2007 13:49

27' round pool with about 17,205 gallons, vinyl liner.

Ph is low, test says add soda ash around 6.8
Chlorine is on the low side of the right levels around 1.0
Alkalinity is 300 ppm
I tried to test the stabilizer and I think that is extremely low. the test didn't even register
Water Hardness is 700 ppm

I also have a Swim-pro voyager cartridge filter with a low chlorine system.

I would appreciate any help, we just got the pool last year and didn't have these problems.
Buggsw
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Postby Buggsw » Sun 03 Jun, 2007 21:23

Get a box of 20 Mule Team Borax (green box) in the laundry aisle of the grocery store and pour the entire box into your pool, circulate your pump for 24 hours.
This will raise your pH without raising your TA. Your pH should raise to 7.9 or 8.0

Get your chlorine up. Use 2 gallons of regular strength Chlorox.

Your pool may get a little cloudy because your pH is high at this point.

Keep your pump going and get back with all your readings after 24 hours and we will begin to work on your TA using muriatic acid and adjust as we go.
krssterling
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Will post the results tomorrow

Postby krssterling » Mon 04 Jun, 2007 20:56

I did as you suggested and will run the pump for 24 hours. I will post the results on Tuesday. Thanks so much for your help!
krssterling
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Test results

Postby krssterling » Tue 05 Jun, 2007 16:49

Here are the results:

PH is between 6.8 and 7.2
Chlorine is 1.0
TA is 270
Hardness is 600

Should I add another box of 20 mule team borax? and more chlorine and keep the pump running?
krssterling
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Update

Postby krssterling » Wed 06 Jun, 2007 07:30

I added another box of borax and 1 lb of super shock. I left the filter running all night. I tested this morning, the ph is about the same the chlorine is high. The pool is a little clearer, I will check the levels when I get home from work.
krssterling
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Updated levels

Postby krssterling » Wed 06 Jun, 2007 18:06

I tested the water and ph is at 7.6, chlorine is 3.0, and alkalinity is at 340. My plan is to keep the filter running until tomorrow because I'm out of MA, so tomorrow I will begin using the MA to lower the alkalinity. Should I keep using the borax as needed for the Ph? Also, should I use stabilizer/conditioner?
Buggsw
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Postby Buggsw » Thu 07 Jun, 2007 04:53

What are you using to test your water? The swing in TA should NOT happen like that.

If you don't have one, get a good, fresh test kit, not strips.
txharleyrider47
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Postby txharleyrider47 » Fri 15 Jun, 2007 14:02

Buggsw wrote:I wish you would post your full set of readings, volume in gallons of your pool and the pool type (ie vinyl, plaster, fiberglass).

The trick is to lower your alk without lowering your pH too much.

Post your readings and we will help you.


One thing I haven't seen mentioned is to pour the MA in a column and not to broadcast it across the pool. By this I mean pour it in one spot without moving the container...this will keep it from effecting your P.H. If you broadcast it will lower the P.H. without lowering the T/A. :wink:

Now...buggs maybe you can help me with a problem...I've been taking care of pools in the Apartment industry for 20 years and have never seen this problem. My T/A is at 20...I've put in 50 lbs of sodium bicarb and it hasn't incresed it ANY...this is the second time I've done this...I am trying to get the T/A up so I can adjust the P.H. to a proper level...it is low as well...around 6.8. I don't think I'll be able to get the P.H. up until I have the T/A under control.
It's not the destination...it's the journey.

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