High Ph in new pool

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High Ph in new pool

Postby brianks » Thu Jul 17, 2014 7:04 pm

In January my 4m x 14m pool was completed. It had the PebbleTec surface instead of Tile.
1-18-14-B 005.jpg
Close up of surface with colored stones
1-19-14 006.jpg
Side and bottom of pool (brown spots from later removed palm tree)


I was told that for the first month the pool surface would give off a lot of Ph and would have to monitor it closely adding as much acid as necessary to keep the Ph down to 7.0-7.2. I never had much success keeping the Ph down in those levels for more than a day or two before the Ph would climb high. Was told that the Ph would stabilize after about a month or so and not give off much Ph. Was also told that I could then add salt and use the Chlorinator which we did. That stabilization of the Ph never happened unless I was adding acid every day or two. In other words I couldn't seem to control it. Several months later Algae appeared in the pool and I began working closely with the pool equipment installers (who had tested and chemically balanced the water in the beginning) to solve the problem. Turns out the high Ph was not allowing the Chlorine to do its job as the Chlorine was running between 1.5-3.0 with the Salt Chlorinator. At the direction of the pool equipment installers, I preformed many procedures in an attempt to neutralize the source where the Ph was coming from. The final determination after all the tests were done was that the Ph was coming from the surface of the pool. It took about a gallon of muriatic acid a week to bring the Ph down to 6.8-7.0 only to see it rise above 8.0 within 5-6 days.

In desperation a few weeks ago I drained and refilled the pool, had the water tested and balanced again and turned everything back on without adding the salt or turning on the chlorinator. Pool is running on Chlorine (tablets in two floaters) only now. Nothing has changed and still taking a gallon of Muriatic acid a week to bring the Ph down only to see it rise up again in a few days.

Pool surface installer told me that the pool should require only a liter or two of acid per month to keep the Ph at the proper level. Since that has not worked and a few other of his suggestions failed he has now washed his hands of my problem now claiming that everything is normal with my pool.

Do any of you have any information or knowledge that may be of use to solve this high Ph problem of my pool?
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Re: High Ph in new pool

Postby Klondyke » Sat Jul 19, 2014 12:00 pm

brianks wrote:In January my 4m x 14m pool was completed. It had the PebbleTec surface instead of Tile
Do any of you have any information or knowledge that may be of use to solve this high Ph problem of my pool?


If it is not a tile but a kind of ceramics? Anyway, every kind of ceramic surface will disolve in the water more or less - at the beginning obviously rather more - increasing so the pH level. However, in turn, while you add an acid and lower the pH, the more the ceramic surface and its grouting will be eaten by the rather acidic water. So you might run in a problem within few years - to redo the surface or at least the grouting. No problem for water clarity if pH is around 8. The only problem is that the chlorine is not so well effective, it would force you to increase the dosis. So, what is better for you?

If you do not care much about the chlorine level, you do not need to care much about the pH value. Even for drinking water quality the pH is allowed up to 9.5 (as all mountain sources are having).

I am having ceramic tiles - no special ones for pools, just the usual bought at a sale, installed with a usual cement laid on a usual cement block wall. No problem even if I use very strong ironized water that however I treat properly before letting it in the pool. (there is my thread about the treatment).

Since I use only very slightly chlorine, after my beginner's worry about the pH level I have later ceased to measure it frequently. Actually now, when a lot of rain is coming and the pH is sinking, I rather want to keep it higher in order to protect my tiles, adding soda ash, ca 1kg (for my 12x3m, 50m3) and see how it works. If the pH goes too high, a dirty ring on the tiles around the water surface can appear and it does not go easily to be brushed off (hence the pH is high). Then I dissolve a liter of HCl acid in a bucket of water and with a scotch brite (4pcs) fixed on a long handle and with the pool water lowered some 5 cm I brush it off very easily (and carefully) directly from the water. It lowers the pool pH level too - for one month I no longer worry again.

For the algae fighting I use a copper sulphate, within some 7 - 10 days I disolve some 200 gr. (a plastic cooking ladle) in a water bucket and distribute it directly in the pool water. The chlorine (a slow disolving granulate some 90%) less than a spoon, I throw within 2 - 3 days in the balance tank where it is taken by the pump slowly from. The chlorine level is not much recognizable on the measurement, however, it is for me enough, I do not invite the whole village with their dogs.

With this procedure (and simple sand filter and pump) I have a clear water for everyday swimming throughout the whole year. If you are interested about more details you can get me a PM, we can talk by phone or Skype, I am in the North.
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Re: High Ph in new pool

Postby fredlk » Sat Jul 19, 2014 4:10 pm

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Re: High Ph in new pool

Postby brianks » Sun Jul 20, 2014 9:58 am

It is good to know I am not the Lone Ranger as the post by Fredlk indicates. Have read all the threads and all come to the conclusion of adding acid frequently is the only answer.

As far as the other post by Klondyke, the Pebble Tec is a cement based material with colored stones in it to give it a rough texture. That rough texture is what I wanted since I did not like slipping and sliding around on my two other ceramic tile pools. With all the testing that has been done so far on the pool in an attempt to isolate the problem, it still comes back to the PebbleTec surface that is giving off the excessive amount of Ph into the water. How else can you explain when the pool was emptied, that I ran new water (Ph 6.8) over the surface from the shallow end to reach a 1/2" depth at the deepest part of the pool. Let the water set for 15 hours and the Ph reading of that small pool of water was 8.4.
Water test 7-19 001 Ph.jpg
Ph 7-19
Water test 7-19 002 Chlorine.jpg
Chlorine 7-19


Again my concern is strictly one of preventing algae growth. If Ph remains high then the Chlorine cannot do its job and I will eventually have a problem. Right now I am barely able to get the chlorine level up above .6 with two floaters and tablets in each. Have even broken up tablets and tethered the floaters to near the skimmers so water will wash over the tablets more freely than just letting the floaters move around the pool. Would like to put salt back in the pool and turn on the Chlorinator so no more worries about Chlorine but Chlorinators have a tendency to increase the Ph though I don't know how much and how fast at this point. Waiting for my Pool Equipment installers (who have balanced the water chemical wise) to get back to me with any "pearls" from a Pool Show he attended last week in Australia.

Kind of stuck in a holding pattern now unless someone comes up with the Magic Key to unlock the mystery. HELP?
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Re: High Ph in new pool

Postby Klondyke » Sun Jul 20, 2014 3:59 pm

brianks wrote:As far as the other post by Klondyke, the Pebble Tec is a cement based material with colored stones in it to give it a rough texture.

Again my concern is strictly one of preventing algae growth.
Kind of stuck in a holding pattern now unless someone comes up with the Magic Key to unlock the mystery. HELP?


Brian,
I guess no magic key can help you reducing the pH so fast. The cement is washed out and increase the pH a lot. The question is how long it takes to slow down the washing out, if ever. Do you know about such case of a pool?
However, if you will not be keen to get the pH under 8, you do not need to wait on a magic key, you can live with it. And then, if you will not be keen to swim without having chlorine on a such level needed usually when a bunch of dirty people jumping in with their dogs, you can live with it.

Do you think that the more chlorine, the more healthier you will fare? Ever heard about cancer risk by chlorine, just google a bit. You will not get more bacteria when spending in the pool water your 30 minutes than you get from other ambiente you spend the remainin 23.5 hours.

And for the algae fight are the algaezids, when fighted with chlorine, it needs to overdose substantially. Consequently, when chlorine overdosed - beside the health problems - the chlorine pulls out all the iron, other metals and alkalines substances contained in the water. This will cause a water discoloration that has to be filtered few more days without being able to swim.

Easiest algaezid in Thailand ist a Copper Sulphate that works against algae very good. The pool experts and sellers will warn you against CS, will scare you with green hair etc. However, the only what you hear and read about green color is the color of the water treated per advices of the sellers. The treatment with CS is cheap and easy and will reduce the buys of chlorine preparates, pH regulators, Hi-Tech measurements, etc, that's why. The copper value remaining in the pool water during and after the CS treatment is very deep enough under the allowed value for drinking water and other food stuff, so what?
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Re: High Ph in new pool

Postby Jack&Amy » Sun Jul 20, 2014 4:53 pm

Maybe Jazzman will be able to offer a solution
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Re: High Ph in new pool

Postby brianks » Fri Aug 08, 2014 12:02 pm

Finally received a reply from PebbleTec with, hopefully, a solution to the problem. There contending there is excessive calcium on the pool surface and it must be removed. Draining pool then acid washing it completely. After this acid wash, pouring a solution of BiCarbonate and water over the walls and floor and immediately refill the pool. That is the short description of what they recommend will solve the high Ph problem. Am going to have the work done by a pool equipment contractor I have been working with. Hopefully it will work and I can spend a bit less time chemically maintaning the pool as I am now. Its like a ongoing chemical experiment.

Just read the previous post about Chlorinator pooping out and this guys recommendation as to what he does with his pool to keep it clean. If I had to add and deal with all those chemicals, I would drain the pool and take it out. Absolutely too much expense and work.
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Re: High Ph in new pool

Postby brianks » Sat Aug 16, 2014 10:11 am

Since the beginning of the month the Ph in the pool has stabilized at 7.4. At first I couldn't believe it but after three water tests at three day intervals, I am now a believer. I was originally told that the Ph would stabilize after a month but it has taken 6 months to do just that. Now just trying to keep chlorine level up and will soon add salt to pool and turn on chlorinator so I can have the low maintenance pool I originally wanted.

Hopefully this is CASE CLOSED!
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Re: High Ph in new pool

Postby brianks » Thu Jan 29, 2015 9:40 am

Six months later and I have a handle on the pool. Everything is going well and I have learned how to keep everything in balance.
Hopefully the Case remains Closed.
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