Cloudy Pool Water - Too much baking soda??

Problems relating to pH and total alkalinity.
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Cloudy Pool Water - Too much baking soda??

Postby summerguy1234 » Mon 16 Jul, 2007 09:45

I have an Aqua Leisure 18' x 4.5' (deep)- 6,000 gallon easy set vinyl pool - using it for my 2nd season and still can't figure the right balance of chemicals out. This year I decided to go with Grocery Store chemicals - Borax and Baking Soda (along with shock and 3" chlorine tabs). I can't seem to get the water crystal clear...At the end of last week, in my attempt for the perfect pool water - I may have added too much arm & hammer baking soda. I bought a 12lb bag, added about half the bag last Thursday, ran the filter for about 10 hours or so. On Friday, the water looks exactly the same and that nite, the rest of the bag went into the pool along with a bag of shock about an hour later.

Pool used Saturday, but not yesterday. We cover the pool each night with a solar cover.

I checked the water this morning with a basic test kit. The chlorine, is a little high at 3.0 and PH is about 7.3 or so (water in test tube slight pink - not orange). Did I add too much baking soda?? Is it safe to swim in? How can I tell if there's too much?? :shock:

Any advice as to how can I get the water to clear up, as well as get the PH up above 7.6? So far in the last 2 weeks, I've used about 3/4 of a box of 20 mules borax as well. I thought Borax raised PH?

Thanks :lol: [/size]

chem geek
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Postby chem geek » Mon 16 Jul, 2007 13:24

It is possible you increased the TA too much so that your water is cloudy due to an over-saturation of calcium carbonate (i.e. the saturation index is too high). However, I doubt this is the case since you don't need to have calcium in your vinyl pool and you wouldn't get cloudiness from over-saturation unless your Calcium Hardness (CH) was also high or at least in the normal range (as well as pH).

You need to get yourself a good test kit, the Taylor K-2006 or the kit at tftestkits(dot)com since your Cyanuric Acid (CYA) level might be high and 3 ppm Free Chlorine (FC) is not enough if that is the case. Cloudiness is also the first sign of algae growth. With a full set of numbers, we can figure out what's going on. In the meantime, I'd raise your chlorine level up higher -- at least get it to 6 ppm FC until you get things tested. This isn't a shock level, but since we don't know your CYA level I don't want to get the chlorine too high since you've got a vinyl pool.


Cloudy Pool Water - too much baking soda??

Postby summerguy1234 » Mon 16 Jul, 2007 13:42

I will get a better testing kit and post numbers as soon as I can - thanks. Is the pool safe for swimming today or tomorrow?

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