pH Too Low

by Candya

The pH is so low it does not register - I buy pH plus and add all summer but it never comes up. I usually add 5 lbs and wait a day and add another 5 lbs. If I try to add baking soda it turns green.

Is there another way to get it up. When I test the PH right out of the faucet it is fine.

Thanks for the question Candya

I'd like to have your complete chemical readings:

Chlorine, CYA (cyanuric acid/stabilizer), Alkalinity, Calcium Hardness, and Metals (iron and copper) and names of any algaecides you may have used along with clarifiers, phosphate removers, and/or flocs. It makes troubleshooting much easier and the process of clearing up your pool will go much faster.

Your issue might be a high metal content but I don't know that until I get the numbers.

If you're using an algaecide it might be copper or you may have copper carbonate which is blue-green and not very soluble in water. The baking soda created a high level of carbonate which can turn your pool a green tint. This, along with a low alkalinity level can precipitate greenish water.

If you have a high metal count you'll need to add a metal sequestrant.

I'd suggest getting a good Taylor FAS-DPD K-2005 or 2006 test kit.

Pool Water Testing

Water Testing Kit

If you would like personal assistance, I do phone consultations for a donation of your choice. It makes things go much faster. If you choose to not go that route, we can correspond by email.

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Hope this helps.


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Cronically Low pH

I have a 15'000 gallon outdoor pool with daily use which is conically low on pH (around or below 7 constantly).

I use granular TriChlor and was doing ok while running the pump for 14-15 hours every day, but since I needed to cut the electric bill, I started running the pump only 11 hours every day, but this has been making me having to use more Trichlor and also more soda ash constantly trying to raise the pH.

Is there another product that I could use or do I really need to go back to running the pump longer?

Thanks for the question

This could be a long answer but the short one is this:

You're using Trichlor. When Trichlor dissolves in water, it produces Cyanuric Acid (CYA/stabilizer) and Hypochlorous Acid (disinfectant). Trichlor is essentially a combination of Cyanuric Acid (CYA) with chlorine. As the chlorine gets used up through the sun, heat, and pool use, you are left with acidic water which is lowering your pH.

Another reason for a lowering of the pH is the decreasing of the pump use. The pH rises through the use of the pool, splashing around, and water features such as slides and waterfalls. This produces bubbles. The bubbles then burst and release carbon dioxide (CO2) causing the pH to rise naturally.

Yet another reason is you could possible have a lower pH fill water. By constantly topping off the pool with a 7.0 - 7.2 pH fill water you will, in effect, be lowering the pH.

You're also constantly adding CYA to your pool. The CYA range is between 30 - 50ppm. Too high a level, 70ppm, and your chlorine will become less effective.

My advice is to stop using Trichlor and start using liquid chlorine. Test the CYA. If it's high, as above, you'll need to do a partial drain and refill to get the CYA to the right level.

Also check the total alkalinity. It's range is 80 -100ppm. This will help with the pH bounce and get it locked it.

To post a reply, or if you have a similar question, you can see your post on the Q&A page in the "Swimming Pool pH" category.

Check back to this post for updates or answers.

If you need immediate assistance (within 24 hrs) or for emergency personal assistance, you can make a donation of your choice and I'll answer your questions by phone.


Hope this helps and have a great Summer.


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Pool Chemicals and Balance

by Timmy

I have a 11,000 gallon underground pool not saltwater. I have a jandy cs250 with a 1 hp motor. Its only about 6 months old. I check the levels at least twice a week and i find that my ph levels are high every 4 to 5 days, as well as the chlorine. The ph is always above 8.2 I add muriatic acid to help balance out the ph and it seems to bring back to the 7.8 to 7.2 range. my chlorine is always above 5ppm. i have a canister that holds the 3 inch tablets and i set it as low as possible.

I never see the chlorine level come down to 1- 3 ppm. is this a problem for the chlorine to be that high. Also should i be concerned with alkalinity. My pool is at 60ppm. Any suggestions you might have would be helpful.

Thanks for the question Timmy

I'll start with the pH issue. As you already know the range is 7.2 - 7.8. Some pools are more of a challenge than others. I will give you some circumstances that will raise your pool's pH and see if any apply, or maybe a combination.

First is the fill water. If the pool pH is 7.4 and you're adding 8.2 it will increase. Nothing you can do but keep adding acid to keep the pH in check. Next would be adding too much bicarb or pH Up. Lots of splashing around, slides, water features that make lots of bubbles can also increase the pH. Using granular chlorine (calcium hypochlorite) for weekly chlorination and shocking can raise the pH. It has a pH of 12. Too much soda ash can also do it.

Now for the chlorine. It will ALWAYS go down when left alone. The only way the chlorine can go up is if chlorine is being added. You might be using too many tabs. When I had my route in Arizona I would use about 2 per week for a 20k gallon pool in the Winter when the water was 40 - 45 degrees. In the Summer I'd go through 4 - 6 per week. I'd be concerned about the amount of CYA that the tabs are putting in the pool. The CYA range is 30 - 50ppm. I would encourage you to check the level and be sure it's not getting too high. Once the CYA reaches 80 - 90ppm it'll be time for a partial drain and refill. There's no chemical to reduce CYA. Only use liquid chlorine for weekly chlorination.

Stop chlorinating and using tabs for now. Due to the colder weather the water will hold onto the chlorine much longer. It may be a week or so until you'll see the chlorine decrease, but it will if no chlorine is being added. There's no issue for the chlorine to be 5ppm. It's safe to swim in and won't hurt the equipment. The TA range is 80 - 120ppm but 60ppm is fine. I'd be hesitant to use bicarb to raise it due to the affect it can have on the pH.

If you feel your situation is more complex than this, I do phone consultations for a donation of your choice. It makes things go much faster and many people have found it extremely beneficial, saving them time and money in the long run. All your questions will be answered. I have nothing to sell you so you know I'm not bias.

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Hope this helps.


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