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Arm & Hammer Baking Soda? - Swimming Pool Help

Arm & Hammer Baking Soda?

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Arm & Hammer Baking Soda?

Postby Pool User » Thu 25 Jun, 2009 22:32

I am a little confused about using Arm & Hammer Baking soda. I know Baking soda is used to help raise PH, but is it also used as a stabalizer?

I'm not stupid, but I overheard someone saying that Baking Soda works as a stabalizer. After hearing this I noticed that Walmart has baking soda sitting on the shelf right beside their Stabalizer. So this added on to my curiosity.

So if anyone can answer this question for me, I would greatly appreciate it.

Thanks,
Mollie
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Arm & Hammer Baking Soda?

Postby Denali » Thu 25 Jun, 2009 22:54

Pool User wrote:I am a little confused about using Arm & Hammer Baking soda. I know Baking soda is used to help raise PH, but is it also used as a stabalizer?

I'm not stupid, but I overheard someone saying that Baking Soda works as a stabalizer. After hearing this I noticed that Walmart has baking soda sitting on the shelf right beside their Stabalizer. So this added on to my curiosity.

So if anyone can answer this question for me, I would greatly appreciate it.

Thanks,
Mollie


Hi,

Baking soda is used to raise total alkalinity and doesn't work as a stabilizer.
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Arm & Hammer Baking Soda?

Postby RMS1 » Mon 17 Aug, 2009 22:48

Pool User wrote:I am a little confused about using Arm & Hammer Baking soda. I know Baking soda is used to help raise PH, but is it also used as a stabalizer?

I'm not stupid, but I overheard someone saying that Baking Soda works as a stabalizer. After hearing this I noticed that Walmart has baking soda sitting on the shelf right beside their Stabalizer. So this added on to my curiosity.

So if anyone can answer this question for me, I would greatly appreciate it.

Thanks,
Mollie


For an outdoor pool you'll need cyanuric acid as your stabilizer. 50-70ppm.

http://www.clean-pool-and-spa.com
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Arm & Hammer Baking Soda?

Postby Me... » Tue 18 Aug, 2009 01:24

You probably overheard them saying that the Baking Soda will help to stabilize the pH, which it will. High Alkalinity will tend to draw pH up and lock it in, low Alk will tend to let pH drop but it also might be all over the map. The recommended 80-120ppm will simply help to keep the pH moveable but it won't tend to jump around all over the place.
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Arm & Hammer Baking Soda?

Postby czechmate » Tue 18 Aug, 2009 21:55

Ideal range of CYA is 30-50 ppm.
Suggesting a novice CYA level of 50-70ppm which would require so much extra clorine to keep algae at bay is an irresponsible B.S. Period.
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Arm & Hammer Baking Soda?

Postby chem geek » Tue 18 Aug, 2009 23:05

czechmate wrote:Ideal range of CYA is 30-50 ppm.
Suggesting a novice CYA level of 50-70ppm which would require so much extra clorine to keep algae at bay is an irresponsible B.S. Period.

Alternatively, one could be told to just told to maintain an FC that is at least 7.5% of the CYA level in a manually dosed pool. So at 50 ppm CYA, that's 3.8 ppm and at 70 ppm it's about 5.2 ppm. Even with the proportionately higher FC level, the higher CYA protects it from breakdown from sunlight even more in a non-linear way so there is a net savings in most low bather-load pools. I agree that 30-50 is a good starting point, but a higher CYA is fine so long as the FC is brought up proportionately and people in very sunny areas do this successfully (see The PoolForum and Trouble Free Pool).

Now having 1-3 ppm FC with 50-70 ppm CYA is certainly bad advice, I completely agree with you on that. The link does seem to imply that with 3 ppm FC being recommended. On the other hand, the same link suggests the use of No Mor Problems which is a sodium bromide product turning the pool into a bromine pool so the CYA level doesn't matter as much in that situation. Very few have an understanding of the FC/CYA relationship even though it's been known for at least 35 years.
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Arm & Hammer Baking Soda?

Postby czechmate » Wed 19 Aug, 2009 07:36

Richard,

not only you have more detailed knowledge, that you are able to convey to a layman, but also ability to be always nice and diplomatic. I guess it comes with the territory you work in.
In my case in the construction arena, if I was always the nice guy, I would suffer like red-headed stepchild.
I suspect that majority of all pool owners that add chlorine manually do so in the form of Tri-chlor tablets.
It is quick, clean, no measure, spillage and lasts a reasonable time. Significant portion of these users tend to overlook, that the constant use of Tri-chlor builds up in a few years CYA to a level, where regular chlorine dosage no longer protects their pool against algae.
I have seen a few pool owners, that could not understand, why for the first four years, their treatment prevented algae formation and all of sudden they having a repeating algae problems.
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Arm & Hammer Baking Soda?

Postby chem geek » Wed 19 Aug, 2009 11:49

Thank you for your kind words. I totally agree with you and in fact I was one of those pool owners 6 years ago since I started out using Trichlor tabs/pucks in a floating feeder and had no idea of how quickly it would increase the Cyanuric Acid (CYA) level. By the way, I am just a pool owner and do not work in the pool/spa industry at all. I have an opaque electric safety cover so at the time my chlorine usage was fairly low at around 0.7 to 0.8 ppm FC per day (the pool was used a couple of times per week and usually on weekends). I also have a cartridge filter. During the winter, I used a pool cover pump to pump winter rains on the cover into the sewer. So I had very minimal dilution of my pool water.

I started out with the recommended 30 ppm CYA but after just 11 months of Trichlor tab/puck use (over 1-1/2 seasons) I started to get an insatiable chlorine demand in my pool requiring more Trichlor pucks and had a hard time keeping up. The water started to turn dull. My CYA had risen to 150 ppm so my 3 ppm FC chlorine level would no longer be enough to prevent algae in spite of my using PolyQuat 60 algaecide, but I was only using that algaecide every other week (had I used it every week then I could have gone longer, but not that much -- perhaps to 200-250 ppm CYA if the FC remained 3 ppm). 0.7*0.6*30*11 = 139 ppm (splash-out and slow oxidation of CYA by chlorine netted the CYA increase to 120 ppm). I was also using clarifier and non-chlorine shock. The Trichlor tabs in the floating feeder also rusted mounts of stainless steel bars when the feeder parked itself nearby. The acidity of Trichlor is strong. That's when I decided to learn pool water chemistry and figured some things out and also ran into The PoolForum and PoolSolutions both started by Ben Powell.

There is no question that Trichlor pucks/tabs are convenient because they slowly dissolve so you only need to refill them every 5 days or so -- roughly once a week if you overfill. Chlorinating liquid or bleach have to be added every day or two unless you have a pool cover that is opaque to UV. In my case, I add the chlorine twice a week and it's no big deal at all. Since I maintain the appropriate FC/CYA ratio in the pool, I don't need to shock so I only add chlorine these days at around 0.8 to 1.0 ppm FC per day (the pool is now used every day for 1-2 hours per day plus more on weekends) and I add a small amount of acid every month or two since the pH is fairly stable. It costs me $15 per month -- that's all. To refresh my water and to keep the salt levels from climbing too much (they increase around 330 ppm per year) I dilute the water with winter rains. I am also using 50 ppm Borates in the pool that I added this year mostly just to try them out and as insurance in case I ever let the chlorine get too low by accident.

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Arm & Hammer Baking Soda?

Postby czechmate » Wed 19 Aug, 2009 19:23

Interesting story, that I enjoyed reading since it mirrors my own experience vith CYA.
I believe lot many more people tend to watch calcium hardness and let the Cya rise without much concern.
The 50ppm of borates is not cheap, but well worth the initial cost. (I guess pool is considered a luxury like skiing and boating. Owning $40.000 pickup truck is not).
Leslie's pool store do not have a precice testing on the borate level, only test for a base which suppose to be similar test.
I put 55 lb in my pool this year and will be adding 5 lb of borax with acid to compensate for its loss by backwash.
The benefits, from the chemical side, to the cosmetic appearance of water and it's feel, are just too many to try to save money at this end. People spend lot more on clarifiers and preventive algecide and other cleverly marketed "ingredients", often for no reason.
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Arm & Hammer Baking Soda?

Postby chem geek » Wed 19 Aug, 2009 20:07

Though buying 20 Mule Team Borax and Muriatic Acid is usually the least expensive approach to adding borates, you can also buy Boric Acid at not that much higher a price and which is close to pH neutral for pools from The Chemistry Store or if you are on the West coast you can get it (with less expensive shipping) from AAA Chemicals.

Yes, it's around $2 per pound including shipping so for my 16,000 gallon pool to get to 50 ppm Borates needed 38 pounds so around $80 for the initial dose. Due to my minimal water dilution, maintenance cost for this is minimal. It's definitely an "extra" that isn't required, but the benefits of algae inhibition ("insurance" if I ever let the chlorine get too low) and sparkly water with virtually no side effects make it very attractive. About the only downside is if you have dogs that drink regularly from the pool -- they should be trained to drink from a water bowl instead as drinking cups per day is getting close to the edge of first symptoms for dogs.
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