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Everything posted by waterbear

  1. Muriatic acid is more effective than sodium bisulfate (dry acid) at lowering pH but there is no reason that it can't be used in a spa. You just need to think in terms of using ounces instead of pints or quarts. How much acid you need to lower pH with either agent can not be stated exactly as it depends on the TA. That is why it is always best to add small amounts and retest the pH until you get it where it needs to be. If the TA is high you could be adding what seems to be a lot of acid and there is no movement but then all of a sudden the pH goes down. This is normal and it just means that the TA is acting like it should and helping keep the pH from moving. BTW, I would NEVER suggest adding 2 gal of acid at once to a pool....even 35000 gal! (and WHY IN THE WORLD would anyone EVER let their pH go to 9!?!?!?!?!?!?) (Unless, of course they got bad advice from the pool store)
  2. Not quite true or everyone that is using a liquid chlorine or SWG chlorinated pool or spa and adds muriatic acid for pH control would be producing mustard gas. Your neally need to brush up on your chemisty. You do not want to mix CONCENTRATED chlorine and muriatic acid since it will produce toxic fumes.
  3. The only effect that TA has on pH is how resistant the pH is to change. TA is a measure of the carbonic acid/carbonate/bicarbonate buffer system in the water. This buffer system is what helps stabilize the pH and keep it from drifting. The chemicals that are used to adujust pH and TA interact to an extent. Sodium Carbonate will cause a fast upward shift in pH while inceasing the TA at the same time. Sodium Bicarbonate will increase the TA with minimal impact on pH (a slight increase might be noted). Borax will increase pH with minimal impact on TA since it introduces a secondary boric acid/borate buffer system into the water (think Proteam Supreme and Biolab Optimizer). Both muriatic acid and sodium bisufate (dry acid) will lower pH and appear to lower TA somewhat but what has acutally occured is the buffer system has shifted equilibirum and there is less of the carbonate/bicarbonate present in the water and more carbonic acid (which doesn't register on the TA test) . Carbonic acid is simply carbon dioxide gas dissolved in water (think club soda). If you then airate the water the carbon dioxide is driven off (think shaking a bottle of club soda so it starts to go flat) which actually removes some of the buffer system from the water lowering the TA. As you airate the pH will start to rise and the measured TA will decrease becuase you are removing some of the carbonic acid. pH can have an effect on pump seals and bearings....not TA!
  4. ????????What does TA have to do with pump seals and bearings?????????????????? pH could possibly have an effect but I really don't think TA will.
  5. You can run a pool with high CYA levels but you need to run higher FC levels and shock at higher levels also so there is enough chlorine in the water that is not chemically bound to the stabilzer and is available for sanitation. With a stabilzer level of 100 or higher you would need to keep your FC between about 8 to 15 pm and shock to about 25 ppm FC. This is the main reason that I do not like stabilzed chlorine. If you are currently at 100 ppm it is probably best to stop using it and use a non stabilized chlorine such as sodium hypochlorite (liquid) or cal hypo (which can sometimes be found as a slow dissoving stick for skimmer use...but do NOT put it into a feeder that had trichlor or use if you have an inline feeder....a very explosive reaction can happen! As far as your CYA level rising.....how was it tested? Did you do it yourself or was it done at a pool store. Was it done with strips (not very accurate for this test) or with a liquid reagent? (more accurate but still a very error prone test) The CYA test is one of the easiest to do wrong and get inaccurate results. If it was done by the same person under identical lighting then the results should match. If different people did it and had different testing procedures it is very possible for one to get 80 ppm and another to get 100 ppm with liquid reagent (melamine). Also, refilling from evaporation will not lower the CYA. If there is a lot of splashout and you refill it might eventually lower the level but evaporation just concentrates everything in the water and the refilling dilutes it back to the level it was before. The ONLY economical way to lower the CYA is to drain and refill (Chemical CYA reducer is EXPENSIVE and will cloud the pool and require that you then let it sit and vacumn to waste. It is exactly the same thing as the CYA test reagent...melamine). If your level was at 100 ppm then a 50% drain would get you to 50 ppm.
  6. . What I question is their advice to drain and refill. This is usually done when the CYA (stabilzier) levels go too high from using stabilized chlorine (dichlor or trichlor). This can lead to algae outbreaks in what otherwise seems to be a balanced and properly sanitized pool. Most of the 'yellow' products (yellow out, mustard master, etc) are either bromine or inorganic ammonia based and require that the pH be at about 7.8 for best results (to form either monochloramine or bromamine, both of which are 'eaten' by the algae and then kill it). They are ususally very effective. After their use it can sometines take a lot of chlorine to get your pool to hold FC. Banish is a coper based algaecide. Copper is somewhat effective against mustard algae but is usually better as a preventative. Polyquat based algaecides are, IMHO, a bit better against mustard. Just be aware that once you add copper in your pool it will stay there. It might no longer show up on a copper test but that means it has fallen out of the water as a stain and can redissolve if the pH drops. If you do add copper be careful about your shock levels. High amounts of chlorine can cause the water to turn green if there is copper present, expecially if it is non chelated or if it has stained and then redissolved! Sometimes just getting your chlorine level to about 15-20 ppm (depending on your CYA level) and HOLDING IT THERE UNTIL THE ALGAE IS GONE can be effective but this will require you to be adding unstabilized chlorine several times a day and testing the chlorine levels yourself and this process can take several days to complete.
  7. Get your water tested and post the results...you need free chlorine, total chlorine, CYA, Alk, pH, and Calcium Hardness. Without a set of test results it is impossible to know what is happening in your pool and impossible to advise you what step to take to correct it. Unfortunately, not all pool stores give good advice.
  8. The pool store gave you bad advice. If you had no FC but only CC then you needed to keep adding chlorine to "burn off' all the combined chlorine. This is what you do when you shock a pool. The Chlorine levels needed to reach breakpoint is usually recommended to be 10 times your CC reading. They might have had you draining and refilling because your CYA levels were too high. If you are exclusively using stabiized chlorine (trichlor pucks or dichlor granules) then it is very possible that your CYA levels had gotten abover 100 ppm. Then you must drain and refill to get them down. Since you never got your chlorine levels high enough that is probably why you got the algae breakout. BTW, most mustard treatments are either bromine salts which will change your pool from a chlorine pool to a bromine pool (and creates bromamines that kill algae) or they are inorganic ammonia compounds that will create monochoramines ( a form of CC that is effective at killing algae). Either way they can create a huge chlorine demand in the pool after their use and can require large amounts of chlorine be added until your FC levels finally hold.
  9. I agree that a SWG is probably less maintenance than using other forms of chlorine (or alternative sanitizers) for sanitaion but it does NOT eliminate the need to balance the water and make sure that there is proper stablizer level. And you have to keep tabs on the salt level in the water. Don't get me wrong. I LOVE my SWG but it will not eliminate pool maintenance. You still have to brush and vacumn, anyway. There are systems for commercial pools that use ORP controllers, pH controllers, etc. and dosing pumps to maintain sanitizer levels but they require a lot of technicall know how to keep them operating properly
  10. adding sodium carbonate (ph increaser) will increase both pH and alkalinity at the same time while sodium bicarbonate (alkalinity increaser) will have minimal impact on your pH while increasing your alkalinity. Basic chemisty here. If anyone wants a detailed explanation I will be happy to provide it.. You need to get your water tested to find out what is happening before you start dumping in chemicals! Are you using trichlor pucks for chlorinating? These are extremely acidic and can cause low pH. Without a complete set of test resutlts for Free Chlorine, Total Chlorine, pH, Alkalinity, Hardness and stabilizer (and perhaps a Base Demand test) it is pretty hard to tell what is going on. Don't rely on test strips for these readings. They don't have the precision for what you need to diagnose right now. You need to have the water tested with a drop based test kit or a powder reagent test kit.
  11. I thank you that you find my posts intersting reading.
  12. I have a lot of experience with cartridge filters, having used them in a portable spa for 6 years, a pool/spa combo for 2, and in large aqauriums for close to 30 years. If you think a spa filter gets cruded up you should see an aquarim cartridge! I stand by what I say. the " recipe" for filter cleaning with tsp and muriatic acid (which I learned from a pool service guy in Ft. Lauderdale) is as follows: 1 cup TSP and 1 cup muriatic acid per 5 gallons of water in a large plastic garbage can big enough to hold the cartridge. Soak for about an hour and then hose off WELL with fresh water. Interestingly enough, I have seen the identical 'recipe in "The Ultimate Pool Maintenance Manual" by Terry Temminen (publisher McGraw-Hill) which is a very large reference book on all aspects of pools, spas, and other water features. By the way, the cartridge on my portable lasted almost 6 years (year round use) and I never had to soak it! I can't say the same for the aquarium cartridges.
  13. Just thought you might like to know that if you were not using biguinide you would not need that filter cleaner and could just hose off the cartridge once a month. IF you need heavy cleaning becuse of neglect THEN you might need to soak the cartrigde.....TSP and muriatic acid is basically all that the cleaner is and that is what many pool service companies use to clean them.
  14. I agree that it is not a good idea to use your SWG to superchlorinate, it will shorten the life of the cell but when the cell is manufacuring chlorine the water in the chamber is being superchlorinate to high levels constantly. In normal operation there usually is NO need to superchlorinate (this can be checked by monitoring Combined Chlorine levels) If the very rare need to superchlorinate arises sodium hypochlorite is probably the best thing to use since this is what the cell itself is producing. Sodium hypochlorite is the same as liquid chlorine and also laundry bleach. Only difference is the concentration (12.5% vs 6% [ultra bleach] or 5.25% [regular bleach]) so pouring some bleach in the pool IF you have a problem is pretty easy. Also, if you are starting a pool you need to put the stabilizer in their so it would make sense to trichlor or dichlor to get your stabilizer levels up to the recommended 60-80 ppm while you chlorinate initially. As far as no units out there not being about to produce 10ppm FC by setting it to superchlorinate you are wrong!. I have an aqualogic pS-8 and it accidently got set to superchlorinate once (24 hurs cycle) and the next day my FC levels were 25 ppm (done with an FAS-DPD test)! Finally, to reach 'breakpoint chlorination" it might be necessary to go higher than 10 ppm. this is dependant on the level of CYA (and organics) in the pool! You know when you have reached breakpoint when your combined chlorine has dropped to 0 ppm and the 'shock' chlorine level is holding overnight. At this point you can let your FC level drop to normal.
  15. I assume that by 'salt Genny" you mean a salt water generator? They manufacture chlorine by electrylosis of salt water. They do NOT require the use of a "small amount of sanitizer" , they PRODUCE the sanitizer (chlorine) and in most systems they also elimiate the need to shock. The problems with ozone are: ozone is EXTREMELY TOXIC ozone leaves no residual in the water (in fact the water in the pool MUST test 0ppm ozone or it is not considered safe!) You must use a residual sanitizer for this reason (chlorine) and ozone will depleat chorine levels and vice versa so you are constantly fighting yourself! In areas of high humidity (such as Florida where I live) there can be problems generating the ozone and air dryers are necessary (and don't always work that well) the CO$T! I have quite a bit of experience with ozone. I have kept salt water aquariums for about 30 years now and have used ozone in my tanks for maybe 20 of that (I no longer do). Ozone has also been used in aquairums since the 50's . It is precisely becuase of my experience in using ozone that I chose NOT to use it in my pool/ spa.
  16. Pros and Cons of pressure vs. suction side cleaners (and robotics and in floor) Suction side will put all the dirt into your filter and require it to be cleaned more often. They will clog your pump basket with large debris like leaves unless you also buy a leaf trap. If you only have suction thru your skimmer port and don't have a dedecated suction line you will not have surface skimming while the cleaner is hooked up. They are the easiest to fit into a pool that is not fitted with a dedecated cleaner line and generally work very well. They generally cost less than pressure side cleaners. Pressure side cleaners require a dedecated pressure side line and a booster pump which can be difficult, but not impossible, to retrofit into an existing pool. The ones that don'e require a booster pump do take up one of the returns and can cut down on the circulation in the pool. They cost more than suction side cleaners. Most of them need yearly tune up kits which can be expensive. The generally do a better job than suction side cleaners and catch the debris in their own bags or chambers and do not overload your filter. They help to increase the circulation in the pool and the distribution of both heat and chemicals. They usually can handle large things like leaves and such better and it is possible to run them and sill have your skimmer fully operational. IMHO, the best bet is a robotic cleaner. They really do the best job of all. biggest drawback is the price which is usually about double than pressure side cleaners. In floor cleaning systems look good on paper and can work well if properly designed and installed for your pool but by nature they put a strain on the plumbing system of the pool with the wild and constant fluctuations in pressure as they operate. They are expensive and only available on new pool installations. NON of these cleaning systems eliminates the need to brush your pool regularly!
  17. Like I stated before Eco One is an enzyme and floc product. Your fillwater might be new but that does not mean that your spa is clean. There might be deposits in the plumbing (body oils, mold, etc.) that the enzymes are removing and that are then clumping together because of the flocculant action. Most of the enzyme based spa products out there tell you in their literature that when you start using them you might find your water is "dirter" before it gets cleaner or that the recommend a "purge" procedure to clean out the spa plumbing, cover, etc. (Eco One recommends this, as does Natural Chemstry's Spa Perfect and Spa Purge) so what you are seening is pretty normal with enzyme products. Enzymes do not elimiate the need for proper water balancing and sanitation. They are supplimental products that are used IN ADDITION to your normal sanitizing and balancing regieme. The Eco One website even states that the procduct must be used with an EPA appoved sanitizer which means chlorine or bromine. (realize that copper based prducts like Clearwater Blue, etc. are EPA approved as algacides/bateriacides--not the same thing) and that some enzyme products are not compatible with biguinide sanitation regiemes. Hope this helps.
  18. all I know was it was "direct from manufaturer and had his brand and he put the jets in to measurenent (we sat in the different parts of it and he marked where the jets would go. He had about 9 or 10 different models, both round and square (some rectangular) and some bathtub spas for installation instead of a bathtub.He also gave options as to the filtration and purification systems and sold ionizers, ozone, biguinide, bromine, and chlorine. His recommendation was chlorine or possibly bromine when I purchased mine and told me start with chlorine and if there were problems it would be easier to switch to bromine instead of the reverse. From what I NOW know about water chemistry I realize he gave me very sound advice!
  19. If you ever were forced to try chlorine or bromine you might change your mind about those systems All three system work when done properly. I would hate to see you give up your spa. Each system has it's strengths and weaknesses, Each one works. There is a difference in how much they actually cost over a years time and how much time you need to invest to keep your water healthy. My point is that chlorine is the easiest and the least expensive once you understand it and that biguinde is the most expensive and most restrictive when done properly. The important thing with all three systems is to keep you water balanced and sanitized properly!
  20. Perhaps those dealers were trying to do you a favor and save you some money in the process. I bet the arctic spa dealer sells a biguinde based system and he is reaping in the profits. I actually do know a bit of what I am talking about since I work in a pool/spa supply store besides being a pool/spa owner.
  21. I got the spa from a dealer in Ft Lauderdale, Fl It was his house brand (all he carried) and it had 2 recliners, l lounge seat (semi recline) and bench seating for 6 with 2 neck jets on the recliners and lounge, rotating back jets, shoulder jets, some type of ocillating jets, foot jets, etc. . It was acually not the bigges one he had. there was on that was a bit bigger but it was not as comfortable when I wet tested it. The cartride for the filter was almost as big as the one in my current pool/spa setup (pentair clean and clear 150) being maybe about a foot shorter but it was wider. It was a lot of fun.
  22. In a perfect world. You obvioulsly never lived iwth a 10x10 foot spa! putting the CYA in the water with each refill and then sanitizing with unstabiized chlorine is MUCH easier than wresling with a 10x10 hard cover It was my spa dealer who got me on this track. He suggested it and it worked. He said bromine would be another alternative that would work. I then went to bromine and it did work but I had more problems with pH and alkalinity than with chlorine.
  23. why would the water care of a self contained acrylic spa and an ingound acrylic spa be any different?
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