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Impossible To Maintain Proper Ph Level


seligman
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I am finding it impossible to maintain a proper pH level in my spa.

On many occasions, I've gone into the spa with the pH around 7.4 and the TA around 100.

Within 2 hours of using the spa, the pH will be over 8.0 again, with the TA relatively constant.

Our tap water usually has a pH over 8.0 and a TA in the 200's.

What can I do?

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Aeration of the water will raise the pH. This happens faster when the pH is lower and when the TA is higher. If you have aerating jets, then you can see if you can turn off the aeration from all jets except the one you are using where you want aeration. Minimizing aeration will minimize the pH rise.

You can try lowering the TA which will happen when you add acid to lower the pH. At lower TA the rate of pH rise from aeration will be lower.

If you use Dichlor as a chlorine source, then this will act like acid over time as the usage of chlorine is acidic. If on the other hand you are using bleach or chlorinating liquid, then this will have the pH rise upon addition and during aeration some chlorine may outgas as well with the net effect being more of a pH rise. So you'd have to either add acid regularly after each soak or use Dichlor instead of bleach (and therefore have the CYA rise over time). What are you using as your source of chlorine?

Richard

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I've always used Dichlor.

One thing I should mention is that the pH rises quickly with just the filter pump running (lowest setting). If there is a way to shut off individual jets, I have no idea how or where. The only thing I can adjust is the direction of the jets. Would this make a difference with the aeration?

I'm not sure what it's called, but there is a pipe near the pumps with holes drilled in the top. I presume this is where the air is sucked in by the pumps because I can hear whistling or howling noises. There are 3-4 holes drilled, each about 1/2" in diameter.

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If you point the jets downward rather than up, then that can help prevent them churning the water, but you'll want to cut down the aeration and it sounds like that might be coming from the pipe you mentioned. If you cover some of those holes, that will probably reduce the aeration -- you can certainly try that and see what happens. Others may have more experience with this.

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I've always used Dichlor.

One thing I should mention is that the pH rises quickly with just the filter pump running (lowest setting). If there is a way to shut off individual jets, I have no idea how or where. The only thing I can adjust is the direction of the jets. Would this make a difference with the aeration?

I'm not sure what it's called, but there is a pipe near the pumps with holes drilled in the top. I presume this is where the air is sucked in by the pumps because I can hear whistling or howling noises. There are 3-4 holes drilled, each about 1/2" in diameter.

Before you plug holes under the cabinet, your spa should have air control knobs on the top. The are usually round knobs on the top edge of the spa that adjust how much air mixes with the jets. Dont shut off all your individual jets.(turning the jet face, usually clockwise shuts them off in most tubs) The water needs to come out somewhere and shutting them all off will build up pressure in the pump, plus you want the water in those lines to be filtered.

Where you start with a high ph and hardness, I would guess there are minerals in your water that could be causing this. Risidual soaps, deoderants, lotions ect could also cause the ph to rise, as will some peoples natural body chemistry. Have you used a metal/scale remover to remove unwanted metals or a clarifier to remove soaps ect.? I would get the metal and scale stuff, with the ph rising issue and 200 CH you could start having problems with scale.

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When you say air control knobs on the top, on the top of what? This is an inground gunnite spa.

There are no knobs whatsoever in the spa, or near it. The heater/pumps/filter are a good 20 feet away. If the knobs are located there, I have never seen them before.

The jets/returns on the walls of the spa have a plastic retainer ring that is very difficult to remove. Each retainer ring has two square grips about 0.25" by 0.25" that allow you to unscrew it. I wouldn't call these grips sharp, but if you try unscrewing them with your hand, it is very painful. The last time I did it, there were bruise marks on my fingers that lasted a few hours. Once the retainer ring is loose, you can point the jets in whatever direction you want and then re-tighten the retainer.

Especially when the booster pump is on, I can see a tremendous amount of air being pumped through the system. Thousands of tiny bubbles are visible on the surface at any one time although I don't have any foaming problems. Imagine the sight of a sheared off fire hydrant, but under water. Obviously, it's on a much smaller scale, but visibly, it looks looks very similar.

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