8 Alkalinity up

This is Janine with Pool Zones, and today I’m going to discuss a problem that will occur as a new pool starts to become balanced in terms of the chemistry. And what you’re going to need to do about it.

So what happens is that, as we progress along and everything is going really really well and we balanced the alkalinity, we balanced the hardness, we’ve worked in sequence. It’s taken us five, you know, around five days to get everything within balance because we use two principles; one is the sequential principle of working one test at a time to balance it incrementally, we don’t try and get to the numbers instantly. We work in small doses. 

So if the main dose is X amount we divide it by three so it might be a three day process for example. But here’s what’s going to happen, it’s all going to come along, it’s all coming together, and then this is what’s going to occur, we’re going to have an issue between the PH and the alkalinity.

And I alluded to that when I first started there’s going to be a conflict, an alternating between the two. So at one point in the beginning, they will both move together down alkalinity and pH, and we do need them to go down because they always; in a new pool, and this is a pebble interior pool, they will always be high. 

And so there’s a process of adding acid to bring them down, but here happens; at some  point because they move differently, the alkalinity will continue to drop, and drop, and drop.

The pH will drop but it will bounce back up, it’ll go back up. But here’s what will happen once we get the alkalinity in range, it might take a couple of weeks or so, or two weeks or three weeks and it will start to go out of range. 

The pH will always be needing some acid so every time you add acid, it’s going to drop, and drop the alkalinity and here’s what’s going to happen, that alkalinity is going to go down, maybe to 60, maybe to 50, maybe to 40, Why? Because you keep having to add acid to bring down the pH,, that’s an issue. 

So you get into a problem, when you get into a problem, you go wow, oh, oh, alkalinity is going too low, what can you do when the alkalinity goes too low. And so you get into a panic mode, what do you do next, you know, they both move together now alkalinity is just out of order. 

So here’s what you need to do and be prepared for it. You need what’s called alkalinity up. That’s what you need. It’s called alkalinity increaser, and that’s what you buy and that you add. Remember, I’ve shown you how to add chemicals, you add them exactly the same way.

The alkalinity up or alkalinity increaser is available in many different sizes, I will say it’s better to buy the larger size but use a bucket, don’t buy the bags the pouches are just messy. And keep a large quantity available. 

Now as that alkalinity goes down too low, you start to again add small increments, if it tells you you need to add, I don’t know X amount of pounds to bring it back up to 120, then divide it by a third or a quarter, it just depends, and gradually add it over the course of three or four days.

You can add every six hours if you choose to. So again, alkalinity up, you are definitely going to cross that barrier, like the Rubicon line, and you’re going to face the problem. And so I’m warning you that it is going to occur, it’s just a matter of when it’s going to occur. 

So, what I do is I supply the alkalinity up. To you, before you go down and find that problem later, because as a new pool owner, it’s extremely disconcerting and confusing to get to a stage of saying why is this happening, and then realising that now it’s very difficult to keep your pH in range.

Now, once you add the alkalinity increaser, then, of course, it’s going to happen that the pH will go up because again they work together, they’re not exactly in unison, they work together. And so pH will increase and alkalinity will increase, but that’s fine, the alkalinity will work its way back up gradually. 

And in the meantime, just want to keep that pH somewhere between 7.4 to 7.8 ranges and that’s about it, so you now understand what will occur, it may take several weeks with the alkalinity to start moving too low. And then you can take action by adding alkalinity increaser to keep that alkalinity in range because of the reason that was mentioned in the beginning, that once the alkalinity is in range then of course it buffers all the other tests that need to be in range as well.