Ph and ALk

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

Postby barbaranna » Sun 21 Jun, 2009 15:28

I must be reading my strips wrong. I don't understand why there is ph and alk. It looks like my chlorine is the right level, even the ph which I would say is the 7.2 on the test strip but the alk is 40 and it should be at least 80. How can that be?
I have clear water but everytime I go out tot he pool daily I see a tiny bit of green forming on the wall and it brushes off right away. I also notice on the bottom sometimes a slight brown almost like dust colored on the bottom. When I take the brush to it it just floats away in the water as if it is dust. I would always notice this happening toward the end of summer but now I see it at the start and don't know what it is. Can you please help!!!


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Ph and ALk

Postby Swim Today » Wed 24 Jun, 2009 16:50

The PH measures acidity of the water. Don't let it confuse you because the side of the scale that you want the PH on is called alkaline. The Alkalinity is the total amount of alkaline material in the water which shields the PH from being pulled back down to zero from all the acidic material (like chlorine) that you add to the water regularly. It is an acid neutralizer. It's like why you would use a hair conditioner after shampooing. You are maintaining a protection layer. Alkalinity balance control is a primary chemical that you can get at any pool store to balance the alkalinity part on the pool as you want that to read between 80-120 ppm. Try to aim for about 100ppm usually 1lbs of Alkalinity control will bring 10,000 gallons of pool water up 10ppm. You didn't say what size pool so you'll have to do the math sorry. Also that reoccurring algae will die off once you balance that alkalinity, and don't be surprised if the water gets a little cloudy from that dead algae when you do balance off the alkalinity. It will filter out or you may have to vacuum it up. There is still acids in the water that algae thrives in but a proper alkalinity balance will take that away and kill them. The brownish spots could be a mineral imbalance if it continues to come back after you balance the alkalinity then add a mineral/metal remover to remove excess metals from the water.
barbaranna
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Ph and ALk

Postby barbaranna » Wed 24 Jun, 2009 18:26

If you see this , it holds 10,000 and the test strip reading is I would say in between the light green and the next which is like an aqua. Light green being 40 and the next one aqua is 80. It doesnt look light green, but then it doesn't look like the 80 range either. It never gets to that color. Maybe something is wrong with the strips or I am doing it wrong. It says to swirl 5 times in the water and read right away. The strips are called Smart Test 4 way combo. It has CI ALK and PH
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Ph and ALk

Postby Swim Today » Wed 24 Jun, 2009 19:16

If the strips are more then a year old or think you might have gotten some old strips at the store then yes the reading will not be as accurate. I'm sure you are using the strip right. Have you added the chemical called alkalinity balance control? This is what will increase that number not PH up which is a different chemical all together. Try adding about 5 lbs of alkalinity balance control and take a reading about 4 hours after and you should see an increase in that number.
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Ph and ALk

Postby barbaranna » Thu 25 Jun, 2009 21:46

Well this is what I have done so far. I seen baking soda in Walmart and it said it would raise the alk so I bought some. Then went to the pool store and found the alk riser and the pool guy said that baking soda woud raise the ph but i really need the alk riser. I decided to bring my water in and they tested with there strips and they said it was right on the money. It was perfect. I think there was something wrong with my strips. I didn't get the rise but did get some clarifier. My water is clean but it just isnt have that diamond glitter it should have. I don't know how to give it a more crystal look. It is clear but almost looks like it is getting ready to change milky or something.
By the way thanks for all your help
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Ph and ALk

Postby barbaranna » Sat 27 Jun, 2009 01:12

I don't know what happened but now I have cloudy milky sort of water. It was hazy to begin with and thought the ph or alk was of but after taking it to the store to test water found out it wasnt. So I just added the clarifier thinking it would make the water more crystal. We have had 2 solid days of rain and people were in the pool for the first time yesterday and today and now it looks terrible and have a feeling that it is going to get worse. I got in pool and vacumed sides and floor and then shocked it. I think I am doing the wrong thing for what my pool looks like. The water looks hazy slightly milky but at the same time it almost has a hue of blue, but can see the bottom some what but not the actual color of the liner like it should be , the blue color. Just looks kinda white. Any ideas before it gets worse? I used a powder super shock last night recirculated for a couple of hours and then let it sit.
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Ph and ALk

Postby Swim Today » Sat 27 Jun, 2009 06:39

The cloudiness could be a result of the clarifier. Clarifiers take all the little particles in the water and makes them bigger so a filter can trap them easier and fast. The result sometimes is cloudy water. Then add in the shock on top of that and it can get even a more cloudy look to it. What type of filter are you running? If your running a sand filter give it a day and see if it starts to clear and give it a good shock tonight. If the sand is more then 2 seasons old you will also want to change the sand out. If you have a cartridge or D.E. backwash them really good add fresh D.E., or really rinse out the cartridge good. You want to make sure your filter is operating a efficient as possible when having water troubles. You mentioned all the rain so the cloudiness could be an algae bloom. Try a mustard algaecide if the water doesn't start to clear in a day after cleaning the filter. Also all the rain and pool use could have shifted the ph down a little so make sure everything is still at the proper level. Bring another sample to the store for a new water test to double check everything.
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Ph and ALk

Postby barbaranna » Sat 27 Jun, 2009 08:13

Thank you for all your fast replies.I wouldn't know who to go to if you didnt reply as fast as you do, because you said yourself pool problems can't just sit around and wait for you to deal with them. They only get bigger. I did test strip today, just this morning and it shows
ph 7.8
fr 10
alk 80
stabilizer 30-50 ideal
I use a sand filter, and I know it probably isn't strong enough for my pool. My filter that came with the pool didn't work after many years so I had to buy this one from the store and he told me it really is for a pool 15 to 18 ft round and mine is 21. It never gave me a problem but I always thought maybe because of that it was weaker in some way. He told me it would take care of this size also. I feel my pool only has probably this last season because it is very old and of course I am not going to buy anything new as expensive as that for it. I am a 60 year old woman trying to keep up the pool for my grandchildren myself.
I did email on a couple different posts asking if it is really ok to run the pump and filter 24/7. I keep thinking that it will burn out the motor or something will happen to it during the middle of the night and the pump wont work anymore because of running the motor so long.
So dont put in anymore clarifier now because it will make it even more cloudy? And after reading my test strips results should I still shock agai? When do I put in algaecide if at all? Wqaiting on your reply to know what to do
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Ph and ALk

Postby Swim Today » Sat 27 Jun, 2009 10:26

Your levels seem fine. PH is at the high end but overall it's fine and will come down on it's own. You have plenty of chlorine in there at the moment so no need to shock right now and hold off on the clarifier. Unless you have a 2 speed motor with a low setting I would not run it for 24 hours. It's never good to leave a filter running when you can't check in on it every few hours or so especially when the water is not clear. After all you wouldn't leave something cooking in your oven while you slept would you? Filter size is fine I wouldn't worry about what the store said any size filter can go on any pool it just may take longer to turn over the water, and a 21' is still under 10,000 gallons so it's not a lot of water. Even a small sand filter can handle about 16,000 gallons in an 8 hour period. Run your filter for as long as you can today. Again if the sand inside is more then two years old you may want to change that out to fresh sand. If you see a large improvement by the end of the day then let the filter run for a long time again the next day. If it is just a small or no improvement then add the algaecide and let filter run for as long as possible that day. Hopefully you will start to see an improvement.
barbaranna
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Ph and ALk

Postby barbaranna » Sat 27 Jun, 2009 10:48

No, I change my sand yearly, so that is ok. I went out to look at the pump and I don't understand what a 2 speed motor is. I just turn it on. But the pump is by Hayward called swimpro. I tired to write some of the stuff down on it . It shows volts 115 rmp 3450 amps 8.0 hevens knows what that all means but it says high performance pump.Can I get in the water if it shows that high chlorine? I think I am going to try to vacum to waste cause I see little particles on the bottom and dont know what it is.
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Ph and ALk

Postby Swim Today » Sat 27 Jun, 2009 11:42

okay so just run your pump for as long as you can today up until you go to bed. Keep an eye on the filter and backwash when needed. You can go in the water just don't go underwater. You will probably notice just really dry skin when you get out and use your least favorite bathing suit as it may fade from the higher chlorine level. The particles are probably just ones that have become to heavy to float like the others that are still clouding the water. Just watch you water level when vacuuming to waste it will probably be better to vacuum to filter then do a good backwash after wards.
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Ph and ALk

Postby barbaranna » Wed 01 Jul, 2009 11:32

Well my pool water looks pretty clear now. But I want to know if you have any idea of what this is?
Ph is all ok and chlorine too. I seem to see after a day or two a couple spots of green very small though on my walls here and there. I also want to know what this is. It is hard to explain but the floor is clean of debris and etc but in spots sometimes I see this light cast of very light colored I would have to say greenish brown almost like dust but very pale. I can take my broom and when I push on it it just floats away. I don't have to scrub or anything. Sometimes when I look at a slant, it has a green cast and is in patches and when I use my broom like I said it just floats and moves around the water. Do you have any idea of what that might be?
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Ph and ALk

Postby Swim Today » Sat 04 Jul, 2009 12:39

It could be a number of little things. It could still be a small algae growth in which case just add some algaecide. If the spots come up in the same spots try pouring some algaecide on the brush first then scrub the spot. This will help apply the algaecide directly to that area. Then pour the rest into the pool as you normally would.The spots could also be small mineral deposits. You can try adding a mineral/metal remover to the water and see if that stops the spots from coming back. Try those two things but if they are just small spots and brush away easily I wouldn't put much time or money into them. As long as the water is clear and all the chemicals (chlorine, PH, Alkalinity, and stabilizer) are in check you should be fine.
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Ph and ALk

Postby barbaranna » Sun 05 Jul, 2009 11:50

Well I don' know what is going on here. I went out to vacumn the pool and I seen the green patches and wanted to carefully vacumn them up. When I start to vacumn the floor there is also a film on the bottom to. If I start to vacuum mvoing my vacumn back and forth the floor is vacumning something up because the floor becomes clearer then and I vacumn the green patches up. It is like all over the floor and in some areas green patches which are light and then there is patches that are starting on the walls How can that be when my chlorine level is high enough. Could it possibly be some other type of algae and the shock isnt killing it all? If I put some other type of algae killer in (maybe the mustard one) if it isnt that type of algae will it create more problems? I keep thinking I am vacumning up this stuff and it is going right through the filter and back into the pool. Can that be. After I vacumned I backwashed. What do you do if you don't have a rinse cycle though?
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Ph and ALk

Postby Swim Today » Sun 05 Jul, 2009 14:39

okay it sounds like an algae. Algae thrive in acidic conditions so if the chlorine is high it can still grow. As the shock is killing the initial algae but not the algae growth. That is why you want to make sure that the alkalinity is in the right range. It should be between 80-120 ppm with 80 being the minimum amount. Try to balance it to 100 ppm instead of just to the minimum. Make sure after wards too that your PH is still between 7.2 and 7.6. When you are certain the chemical levels are in check then use an algaecide. The name of the algaecide refers to it's strength so don't worry about type. Mustard algaecide is just one of the strongest and good to use when you have a visible algae growth. All filters are designed to filter out down to microscopic particles so if it is visible the filter is filtering it. If you don't have a rinse setting just use bypass to waste for about 10 seconds then go back to filter.

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