13 Alkalinity Up

This is Janine with Pool Zones and today I will discuss a problem that will occur, especially during a new pool start-up, and it normally occurs around about the second week or so, it could be sooner or it could be later. But what happens is you’ll see a few changes, one of which will be that the alkalinity will drop, and it’ll drop quite substantially. 

So here’s what happens especially here in Texas, Houston, Texas. We get a lot of rain, and the rain is acidic. And so what it will tend to do is it will work on the pH, and the alkalinity, but it will drive the alkalinity down. 

So, when you think that everything is perfect and you have it within the range of say, you know, around 100 to 140 for total alkalinity, you can see this says 120 to 180. I don’t think we want it right up at 180, you know, for a new pool anyway, you will be given a guide and it will put more between 80 to 120. 

But let’s say it gets down to 40 and that will and truly can happen. So now we’re way off the scale. So then what? Well, in that situation, you have to drive that alkalinity up, and the only way you can drive alkalinity up is by adding… where is it? Here…  you will add a bicarbonate. 

Now, they’re called either alkalinity up, alkalinity increaser, you can see Clorox makes it. Here’s another one by Leslie’s, they’re all the same alkalinity up. The key rule is, you know when you calculate either you can ask Leslie’s to calculate for you how much you need, they will tell you in pounds, whatever the total is, look at the number if it’s eight pounds or 10 pounds or whatever, bring it down, two to three pounds at a time, it should be sufficient. And then every six hours until you bring that back into range. 

Once it’s back into range, you keep this in mind too, this is going to have a factor on it, you can see here there is, there are a lot of features; one the bubblers at the front and two the one off the wall. 

What happens when you run water features for a prolonged period of time? Well, I’m going to tell you what happens. It is going to change the alkalinity reading so be careful about that too. It as a new pool, don’t run the water features for more than about 10 to 15, maybe 20 minutes a day, and that’s it. And preferably, preferably run it at night when you’re not dissipating the chemicals, because remember, you have this evaporation process, as the water features are running, you will have less chemical loss if you run them at night, then you will if you run them during the day, so you’re going to actually run them a little bit longer at night, but no more than 30 minutes a day.

And that will have less of an effect than if you were to run it for 30 minutes in the middle of a 100 degree day. So, again, when the alkalinity starts to drop, you need to have on hand alkalinity increaser. Keep this in mind as well, if you know that it is a rainy period, there is a lot of rain coming, there has been a lot of rain, then it’s a given fact that that alkalinity rating will be driven down, you need to be prepared, and once you know how many pounds to add, add and maintain that alkalinity to or in the right ranges. 

Now, I have another piece to this puzzle coming up very very… one more piece that you need to know about so that you can understand what is occurring. At this stage, we would have already added the cyanuric acid, or the conditioner. 

In the next video, I’m going to discuss with you a change that you need to make, or be aware of when you take the cyanuric, or the alkalinity reading.

It’s a very very simple idea. It’s an idea that once you understand it, you could write it down in a couple of sentences, and then you will be very competent and able to apply it, and you will probably be at that point more advanced than a lot of the cool chemistry guys who just go in and know how to just pour acid and add chlorine.

This training course will actually give you the reasons why you should do things, and give you excellent amount of knowledge, to maintain your call in any situation, any conditions that occur remember, following the same sequence and balancing in the same way.