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Alkalinity Buffers Only against PH Drop?


mscdman
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I’m still figuring out this whole alkalinity thing.  I have mine at 60 now and still find PH is rising rapidly.  Do I want MORE alkality to guard against PH rise?  I thought Alkalinity guarded against PH drop.  Am I mistaken?

it seems my PH will be fine at 7.4-7.6 before I take a dip with jets and aeration for 20 mins then it goes up to 8.2 causing me to add PH down after almost  every dip.   Thoughts?

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  • 3 weeks later...

A high TA will typically allow pH to run high.  Keeping a TA low like yours (60 ppm) should help to keep the pH down.  What are you using for sanitation? Are you using borates?  You should post your other water parameters as well.

This might be a problem that @waterbear is needed to help with.

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On 12/21/2021 at 3:50 PM, mscdman said:

seems my PH will be fine at 7.4-7.6 before I take a dip with jets and aeration for 20 mins then it goes up to 8.2 causing me to add PH down after almost  every dip.   Thoughts?

Aeration raises ph. 

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I’m using the bleach method.   Seeded with bromine. Used dichlor to raise CYA to acceptable levels.   Switched to bleach.  
 

I keep my TA at 60.   It will raise with aeration after 1-2 30 minute sessions to ~8.0 so I add a little oh down.  Periodically check TA to keep around 60.    
 

im imagining if I raised TA to 120 like the previous poster, my PH would rise even faster with aeriation than it already does 

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On 1/6/2022 at 5:18 PM, mscdman said:

I’m using the bleach method.   Seeded with bromine. Used dichlor to raise CYA to acceptable levels.   Switched to bleach.  

If you added bromine you are not using the dichlor/bleach method. You are using bromine. Period. CYA has no impact on a bromine tub since it does not stabilize bromine.

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I start with seeding with bromine.   Use dichlor to reup the bromine and build a small CYA reserve so that when CYA is there I switch to bleach.   From that point on no dichlor and only bleach added with the occasional add of sodium bromide…

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You are confusing 2 step bromine with dichlor/bleach (chlorine). IF you seeded with bromine you have a bromine spa. CYA has no effect. You are NOT running a chlorine spa. Please read my pinned post on 3 step bromine in the hot tub water chemistry section and ignore any posts about dichlor/bleach.

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I’m not using a floater.  I’m using 2-step. Seed with sodium bromide and add bleach after each use to reactive bromides to bromine.  
 

Other than that I’m following your post on 3-step/start up to a T. 
 

You are saying that there’s no need for me to use dichlor for the first two weeks(ish) as a means to reactive the bromine and that I can immediately use bleach to do reactive the bromide to bromine?  I was told adding bleach to an unstablized (no CYA) system to reactivate Bromide to bromine was a no no.   Am I mistaken and can just use bleach to reactivate my bromine right away?

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CYA does nothing in a bromine system. You need an oxidizer to oxidize the bromide to hypobromous acid. Suitable oxidizers are chlorine, either stabilized or unstabilized, MPS, and ozone. Ozone can over oxidize the bromide into bromate faster than the other oxidizers, which is neither renewable nor desirable. If you have a bromide bank in the water the chlorine will not be there long so it doesn't matter if you use stabilized or unstabilized chlorine. If you  want a "stabilized" bromine system add tabs in a floater. The dimethylhydantion in the tabs does stabilize bromine somewhat from degradation by UV and ,IMHO, makes water maintenance easier. In any case you need to drain and refill every 4 months because of the buildup of bromate and organics in the water.

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Got it thanks waterbear!

in full disclosure I lied earlier.   I actually am running a bromine floater in addition to bleach after every use.  But the floater is set at the bare minimum just to keep the bromine levels above 1/as an emergency buffer inbetween usage of the tub.  Then when I get out from the tub I add bleach after every use.   
 

I’ve been using this method for a year and haven’t had to shock.   I drain the water every 4 months and the water has been crystal clear the full time.  When I purge the system in between fills I’m barely seeing any nasty stuff.   I do add more bromine salts from time to time just to keep the reserve up. 
 

I think the reason I wanted a little CYA was in the event my bromine reserve were to go away and Id then be adding bleach with no CYA I was concerned about the unstablized chlorine if all the bromine was gone.  
 

In any event good information thank you.   I think as long as I keep my bromine reserve up (somehow) you advice of not needing to build up CYA makes sense.  Thank you again!

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13 hours ago, mscdman said:

in full disclosure I lied earlier.

Why? We cannot give you accurate help if you are not truthful about how you are treating the water. It becomes a waste of time and mine is limited.

 

13 hours ago, mscdman said:

  I actually am running a bromine floater in addition to bleach after every use.  But the floater is set at the bare minimum just to keep the bromine levels above 1/as an emergency buffer inbetween usage of the tub.  Then when I get out from the tub I add bleach after every use.   

Once again, why? It seems that you do not have an understanding of the chemistry of either bromine or chlorine and are trying to combine the methods . Apples and oranges.

13 hours ago, mscdman said:

I’ve been using this method for a year and haven’t had to shock.

 

You are "shocking "after every use. Adding chlorine (or any other oxidizer) to a bromine tub is shocking it. By adding an oxidizer you are causing the bromine level to rise.

In a bromine system, whether 2 step or 3 step, shocking (ideally, raising the bromine to above 10 ppm and then letting it drop below 10 before entering the tub) helps burn off organics in the water and should be done on a regular basis, depending on tub usage. For a tub used daily once a week is good. For a tube used once or twice a week every 3 to 3 weeks is good as long as the bromine level is maintained in the 4 to 6 ppm with your floater.

 

13 hours ago, mscdman said:

floater is set at the bare minimum just to keep the bromine levels above 1/as an emergency buffer inbetween usage of the tub.

set it to maintain your bromine at 4-6 ppm and you won't need to shock after every use (add bleach). In fact, you might only need to shock ever 1 to 2 weeks and you won't deplete your bromide reserve.

 

13 hours ago, mscdman said:

I think the reason I wanted a little CYA was in the event my bromine reserve were to go away and Id then be adding bleach with no CYA I was concerned about the unstablized chlorine if all the bromine was gone.  

Bromide salt is added at startup and is not needed again in a 3 part system. In a two part system it is needed when bromide levels are not holding after oxidizing. (test before going in, add oxidizer after use). In a one part (only tabs in a floater or a one part powder product) bromide is added with each use along with mostly chlorine. If you have a bromide bank in the water then it doesn't matter if the chlorine is stabilized or not. You have a floater so you have a bromine spa. End of story.

 

13 hours ago, mscdman said:

I think as long as I keep my bromine reserve up (somehow) you advice of not needing to build up CYA makes sense.

You are overthinking. Your floater is the easiest way to keep up the bromide reserve. Adjust it to maintain your bromine level without adding chlorine after every use. Test the bromine level before going in each time. The level will drop during use but should be in range before next use.

Please post ALL information about your spa or I will not be answering any further posts from you.

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I made a mistake in the information I provided.   I’m still learning all this stuff but you, while extremely knowledgeable and a long time member, seem to be easily bothered when people ask information that doesn’t meet your requirements.  
 

this forum should be about people helping each other and growing the knowledge and user base.   I appreciate all your great pinned posts and information and your responses.  But take it easy on me and others. 
 

I posted some incorrect information about my system because I had forgotten.   No one is forcing you to reply to me sir.   
 

ps - this post was about TA not even about bromine levels so not sure how we even got here

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On 1/28/2022 at 1:36 PM, mscdman said:

this post was about TA not even about bromine levels so not sure how we even got here

I was trying to clarify how you were sanitizing since you first described the dichlor/bleach method and then mentioned creating a bromide reserve. Apples and Oranges. IT was obvious that you did not have a good understanding of bromine and were confusing it with chlorine. The chemistries are different and that needs to be understood.

It's important to know which sanitizer you are using because effective pH ranges and TA levels are different. Also MPS oxidizer will also have an effect on TA. It's not a one size fits all situation so if you post incorrect information or leave out information then the answers you get might not work. In computer programming terms it's called GIGO (garbage in garbage out).

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On 1/28/2022 at 1:36 PM, mscdman said:

  I’m still learning all this stuff but you, while extremely knowledgeable and a long time member

I am a moderator so I have other duties besides answering questions. l I also have a full time job and have my own pool and spa to maintain, in addition to other responsibilities and I do not get compensated for being a mod. It's a volunteer thing. My time is limited and I have no problem answering questions and even hand holding when someone is dealing with a difficult problem to help them solve it but when someone posts incomplete information about what they are doing or leaves out important information (such as the chlorine tub you first described was actually a bromine tub) then it comes a waste of what little time I have to devote to helping people in the forum.

If I had known from the start that you had a bromine tub I would have told you to keep your pH around 7.8 to 8.0 since bromine is effective over a much wider range than chlorine and your problem would have been solved since pH rises faster the lower you put it so you would have had a wider window before you would need to lower your pH if you didn't lower it below about 7.7 or 7.8. Give it a try.

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