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Thread: Having difficulty lowering TA or alkalinity

  1. #1
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    Default Having difficulty lowering TA or alkalinity

    I have 27' x 4' Roung AGP with 24" hayward sand filter and 2 speed 1.5 hp pump. New pool set up showed no FC, no CYA, TA at 325, PH 7.0

    Using BBB method so added 128oz bleach, 4lbs CYA, 92oz Muriatic Acid at 31.45% and entire box of Borax based on calculator through another website.

    2 days later Tested again using Taylor k2006 kit and now have:
    CYA 50
    FC 1
    TA 325
    PH 7.8

    Not sure why TA is not lowered.

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    Default Re: TA will not lower

    Not sure why you put the borax in.

    To lower TA (really, CA or carbonate alkalinity -- you can't lower non-carbonate alkalinity, as a rule)
    you have to follow 4 steps:
    1. Lower your pH to 7.0 . . . and then lower it just a little more.
    2. Aerate via your jets, with bumptious 10-yr old boys, or however OR just wait;
    3. When the pH rises back to 7.4 - 7.6
      (which it will do quickly, with aeration or slowly, without), retest alkalinity.
    4. If it's OK, do nothing. If it is STILL high, restart at #1

    For what it's worth . . . I wrote the rules on how to do this, over 20 years ago, when NO ONE ELSE in the entire pool business agreed. If you follow my instructions, they WILL work, but do NOT add more borax, till your alkalinity has dropped! (Did someone at TFP tell you to do that?)

    A couple of points to consider:
    • This is a PROCESS, not a dump it in and it's done step!
    • With VIGOROUS aeration -- like multiple spa jets with venturi air -- it can be quick (hours).
    • With no aeration, it will be slow, even weeks.
    • Do NOT try to speed up with lowering the pH much below 7.0. Low pH (< 6.5) DAMAGES many things!
    • Finally, don't hurry if you don't need to do so. (Why do you even need to lower your Alk? Do you have a heater or a SWCG? Is the pool getting cloudy from calcium carbonate?)

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    Default Re: TA will not lower

    [ Upgraded membership; moved thread to "Alkalinity" section <= you may need to log out and back in, before you can see everything. ]

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    Default Re: TA will not lower

    Iíve been reading on the forum and thought I read that the high alkalinity was not good.

    After testing the results tab is always in the 300s for TA. I do not have a heater and I donít have a saltwater pool. My pH is a little high but not that high. I was afraid to lower the pH for fear that it might become too low and then like you said could ruin a lot of things. The pool was a little cloudy initially and in my opinion is still a little cloudy although I can see through the pool to the bottom now.

    As a new pool owner Iím a little confused or a lot confused. Thereís a lot of information to consider and I appreciate your knowledge from years of experience. I will lower the pH to as close to 7.0 as I can and then try the aeration.

    Thank you.

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    Default Re: TA will not lower

    Sorry.

    Alkalinity is almost never a crisis.

    The reasons low pH (< 7.0) might be a crisis is that most kits can't distinguish between 6.2 which is a problem, but not a crisis and 5.2 which IS a crisis: phenol red simply turns the SAME yellow for 5.2 that it does of the pH is 6.2.

    Regarding the confusion about information: I'm afraid that's my fault, or at least my responsibility.

    My own pool experience has been from managing water chemistry on large commercial pools -- where tight control is necessary -- rather than on home pools. It's only been in the past 5 - 6 years that it dawned on me that, in some areas, a more relaxed approach was appropriate to home pools.

    But what also happened is that the "BBB Method" and some of the information here 'got away from me'. A lot of things got called "BBB method" even though they were never part of what I had recommended. For example, for me the 'BBB Method" was always just a catchy name and NEVER an insistence that anyone use bleach, much less baking soda! I wrote the bleach, borax, and baking soda pages on PoolSolutions back in 1998, or thereabouts, as an example of how useful pool chemicals could be purchased at the grocery store, and NOT as a 'method'.

    I've often recommended bleach because it is, relatively, 'side-effect free' chlorine, compared to trichlor (acid, adds stabilizer), cal hypo (basic, adds calcium) and so on. I can tell people to add bleach, even without know whether their stabilizer or calcium levels are too high. But, once I KNOW more, I might recommend dichlor, for example.

    [ In fact, in your case, if you have access to a Sams Club, their 24 x 1# box of dichlor ( 55% chlorine, 50% stabilizer -- yes, I know that doesn't add up) would be a good way to manage your stabilizer level. Each bag of dichlor will add 4 ppm of CYA and 5 ppm of chlorine. Plus, those sealed bags seem to keep OK till next year! ]

    Anyhow, over time people, including some moderators, took what I suggested as if it was mandatory. That's something I hope to 'clean-up' on the forum before the 2019 season. I've done some, but there's still a LOT of work. And, that won't help you, now.

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