What Causes Lower Total Alkalinity In Pools
For the most part, this is due to natural causes such as evaporation or agitation of your water. Throughout the hot summer season, your pool will release dissolved carbon dioxide in a process known as water degassing.
This directly impacts total alkalinity, causing it to fall below 80 ppm if left untreated.
Other causes include:
- Overuse of alkalinity lowering products .
- Using too many chlorine tablets with low pH.
- Excessive rainwater diluting the pool.
- Draining or backwashing pool water.
How To Lower Alkalinity And Ph
Natural aeration is highly recommended, but if you need faster results, at the end of this article I have included a list of equipment that will help speed up the process and instructions for how to use it. Extra care must be taken to avoid over-aeration if you decide to use aerators because over-aeration raises the pH levels and lowers the calcium carbonate levels beyond recommended levels, which can cause significant damage to the pool.
How To Lower Alkalinity In Pool Naturally 2021
How To Lower Alkalinity In Pool Naturally 2021. If a pool becomes too full due to backwash it dumps water. If the alkalinity is low, you need to add baking soda.
With a ph level of between 1 and 2, its inexpensive and strong enough to kill mold , remove rust, and rid the pool of calcium deposits. If the alkalinity of the water is too high, i.e. I recommend that you keep the ph stable, and when it goes up use the above method to reduce the alkalinity and the ph at the same time.
First, make sure the water pump is on and take a current ph measurement. Using acid lowers both the ph and alkalinity in water.
The process of doing it in the pool is lowering the ph first so that more carbonic acid is available and hence more free co2 is dissolved in the water, but lowering the ph per se doesn’t lower the. If the alkalinity of the water is too high, i.e.
Every container of sodium bicarbonate comes with instructions for diluting. Balancing total alkalinity is key to getting a proper ph reading.
When the ph is high, the calcium in the water turns harder. A clean, inviting swimming pool is a pool in chemical balance.
Muriatic acid is the most common way to lower your pools total alkalinity level. With a ph level of between 1 and 2, it’s inexpensive and strong enough to kill mold, remove rust, and rid the pool of calcium deposits.
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What Causes Pool Alkalinity Rise Or Fall
If you want to avoid needing to increase or decrease alkalinity levels on a regular basis, you should better understand what causes pool alkalinity to rise or fall. Its important to balance alkalinity because the pool can be adversely affected if the levels go too high or too low. A proper chemistry balance in the water means that you and anyone else who swims in the pool will be safe. It also means that the pool should remain in good condition for the foreseeable future.
What Is Alkalinity In A Pool
Alkalinity in a pool is a measurement of the waters ability to neutralize or resist an acid to maintain a stable pH. Alkalinity is closely related to pH in that when one goes down, the other follows close behind. This is why low alkalinity is associated with a low or acidic pH .
As alkalinity drops, the water pH is no longer stable. This can result in large fluctuations of the pH with only minor changes in the pools chemistry.
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Retest The Alkalinity & Ph
Retest the water to check the alkalinity and pH levels and add more soda ash if needed. Test the pool after 24 and 48 hours to ensure optimum alkalinity levels.
Note: Soda ash will raise your pools pH by a large amount compared to baking soda. It is, therefore, preferable, when trying to raise alkalinity without raising pH, to use baking soda if possible. In all cases, use a very reliable testing kit to prevent errors in measuring the alkalinity and pH levels.
Low Alkaline: What Does That Mean
Just as low pH and low calcium hardness levels can be damaging to your pool, so can having a low total alkalinity level.
While a low alkalinity level may not immediately be noticeable on pool equipment and surfaces, a low alkalinity level will often drive the pH level in the pool down.
Along with the damage to your pool surfaces, low alkalinity will also interfere with the sanitizing activity of chlorine. Without a good disinfectant, your pool will turn into a breeding ground for microorganisms in no time.
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How Much Muriatic Acid To Add To Pool To Lower Alkalinity
The amount of muriatic acid to add to a pool depends on the size of the pool and quantity of water, and how high the pH is.
An example, if you have a pool of 20,000 gallons of water with a pH of 7.8-8.0. You need about 1 quart or 32 oz of muriatic acid to add.
To know how much muriatic acid to add to the pool. First, youve to know the pH of your pool using test kits or sensors. Secondly, you need a pool alkalinity calculator to calculate and quantify how much muriatic acid to add to the pool.
To determine your pools pH, you need to use a test kit or pool sensor device. Test strips give an estimate but not the exact reading. While test kits like Taylors Drop Test give a better pH reading of your Swimming Pool. Check Taylors Drop Test Price.
Also, an acid demand test can help determine the total alkalinity level of your pool. Now with the readings youve, you can calculate a more accurate dosage of muriatic.
Pentair Acid Demand & Alkalinity Indicator Solution is one such test kits that help you with such task. Check Price Here.
Are There Any Risks With Putting Baking Soda In Your Pool
While theres no risk in using baking soda in your pool, there are risks to having high and low alkalinity.
You might notice corrosion in and around your ladders, liner, tiles, or other parts of your pool. This is likely due to low pH and alkalinity for long periods of time.
And if you see scaling or a build-up around your pool equipment, this could be caused by high pH and alkalinity. And it means your water is hard.
All you have to do is keep the alkalinity between 100 and 150 ppm and the pH between 7.4 and 7.6 as often as possible. Test your pool water daily and adjust your chemical levels when needed.
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Why Raise Pool Alkalinity Levels
It can be very harmful for both your pool and those who swim in it if the water has a low alkalinity. Levels lower than 80 ppm can cause the walls of your pool to crack, delaminate, or become etched. Whereas, metal surfaces will deteriorate and melt when exposed to such corrosive water conditions. Aside from its effects on the pool itself, an acidic swimming pool is unsafe for swimmers and can cause skin, eye, and nasal irritations.
Even the smallest changes in chemical composition in your pool water can cause severe variations in the pH levels. When your pools pH level becomes unbalanced, this phenomenon is referred to as pH bounce and can also result in low alkalinity.
When you have low levels of alkalinity, the traditional amount of chlorine that is added to your pool will have no effect. In fact, youll have to buy significantly more than the usual amount of chlorine to achieve the same results.
How To Add Baking Soda To Your Pool
Note: We dont recommend adding baking soda directly into your skimmer. Adding chemicals through your filter system can be dangerous especially if you have a chlorinator or chemical feeder. Its actually easier to just add it directly to the water.
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Measure Your Waters Total Dissolved Solids
Do you ever wonder happens to all the chemicals and substances that you add to the water? The pool shock, salts, algaecides, dirt, and pretty much everything else.
How come all of that stuff never piles up in your pool? Where does it go?
Well, it turns out, it does pile up. And theres a special number to measure it:
Total dissolved solids.
This number represents how many of those substances have dissolved in your water.
Its regular for your pool to have a TDS level of a few hundred or so, even 1,000.
But there does come a point when a pools TDS level is too high, and the only effective solution is draining and replacing water.
If your pools TDS level is below 2,000 ppm, then no adjustments are needed.
However, if TDS levels rise above 2,000 ppm, then begin draining the pool in small increments. With each drain, replace with fresh water. Keep testing until TDS levels are under 2,000 ppm.
How the Langelier Saturation Index affects your pool water balance
While every pool owner benefits from maintaining proper chemical levels, theres one major factor to consider when balancing your water:
Temperature affects how well pool chemicals work. Or rather, their effectiveness.
Which is why the Langelier Saturation Index exists. The LSI is a calculation produced by a special formula that indicates how corrosive or scale prone water is.
More importantly, it also helps you determine how much to scale your pool chemical balancing by with respect to temperature.
How Does Aeration Increase Ph Levels
When you aerate, you are exposing the water to more oxygen in order to do away with some of the carbon dioxide. When carbon dioxide mixes with water, it forms an acid we call carbonic acid, which lowers the pH levels. On the other hand, when acid is removed from the water, the pH level rises. Aeration literally removes carbonic acid from the water, which then raises the pH levels.
I always recommend natural aeration because with this method, you cannot over-aerate your pool, which is a very common issue when aeration equipment is used.
As a matter of fact, over-aeration is dangerous since you need some carbonate to act as a pH buffer. Carbonate is useful in plaster pools because it prevents the plaster from dissolving. In the case of over-aeration, pH will rise above the recommended levels while calcium carbonate will reduce below the required level. To fix this, you’ll need to adjust the pH and calcium carbonate levels to avoid any further damage.
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What If I Want To Bring Down The Alkalinity Level In My Pool
Lowering the alkalinity levels in your pool is just as easy and involves no rocket science. You can use dry acid or sodium bisulfate for it. Turn on the water pump and ensure its running at the maximum level. Spread the dry acid evenly across the pool and allow the particles to dissolve. Keep monitoring the pH levels regularly using a pH sensor to add more, if needed.
Note: Be cautious of the amount of dry acid you use in the pool water. Any excess quantity runs the risk of damaging the surface of your pool.
Pool Chemicals To Raise Alkalinity Without Raising Ph
The best and safest way to raise your pool alkalinity without raising the pH is by using sodium bicarbonate or baking soda.
Baking Soda Raises Alkalinity without Raising pH
Products marketed for pools such as Alkalinity Up, pH Buffer, or Alkalinity Increaser are almost always 100% baking soda. Household baking soda can be used too. Its the same thing as pool baking soda except its normally cheaper and readily available.
Baking sodas chemical formula is NaHCO3 and is comprised of sodium and bicarbonate. Its sold as a fine white powder for both swimming pool use and home use.
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Is High Alkalinity Bad In A Hot Tub
You have just dipped your test strip into your hot tub water and noticed that the alkalinity is high. Is that a bad thing? Absolutely.
You should never get into a pool with high alkalinity or even leave it that way because, for starters, high alkalinity leads to high pH, and high pH does not only cause cloudy water but can cause scale buildup too.
More importantly, it can render your water sanitizer and shock totally ineffective, meaning bacteria can thrive and can potentially be lurking or floating around in the water, which is very dangerous to your health or anyone using the pool.
The alkalinity of your hot tub should be in the neutral range of 80 to 120 parts per million.
Understanding Alkalinity In Your Pool
Has your pool water turned cloudy? Or, did you notice some scaling on the sides of your spa pool? This is an indicator that your pools pH level is not what it should be. We understand that keeping all the chemicals in your pool balanced can get quite tricky. More so, when pH and alkalinity levels can be quite unstable with the slightest intrusion of foreign materials in the pool water. But it is important to maintain the right chemistry of your pool water. Failure to do so can put you at a health risk.
So, without further ado, lets learn everything there is to know about the alkalinity levels in your pool.
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Add Baking Soda To Balance The Water
If the alkalinity is low, you need to add baking soda. The quantity of baking soda to add to the pool differs depending on the reading and the volume of your pool. A general rule is to add 1.5 points of baking soda per 10,000 gallons of water in your pool, but you can also use my alkalinity calculator to determine the amount to add.
How To Lower Pool Alkalinity
Lowering your pools alkalinity levels can be a bit tricky, especially if you keep having the same problem and youre not sure why.
If, however, high alkalinity is not usually an issue, you can use either muriatic acid or dry acid to bring it down.
Dry acid is a little safer to handle than muriatic acid, but both can be fairly dangerous if youre not careful.
If neither of these options appeal to you, you can also drain off some of your water and replace it with fresh water. This is a much more natural choice if you dont want to add extra chemicals to the pool.
If high alkalinity is a frequent problem in your pool, you may need to do some investigating. A lot of times, people with this issue find that their water source has a lot of alkaline in it.
To find out, you can use your own pool testing kit to check it, or you can take it to your local pool shop for testing.
An easy fix for this might be a water hose filter. These will help remove a lot of the contaminants that affect pH and alkalinity from your water supply as it enters the pool.
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How To Add Liquid Acid
Adding liquids like muriatic and sulfuric acid is a much easier and self-explanatory procedure, but they are also more dangerous. Acid is dangerous to handle, so ALWAYS use safety gear! Glasses and gloves are important, because acid can burn your skin immediately on contact. You can use the Orenda app to figure out the exact dose of muriatic acid you need, in fluid ounces . Note, the Orenda app does not offer dosage for sulfuric acid, so you will need to do that calculation on your own.
You will need:
- Safety equipment – glasses and gloves
- The liquid acid of choice
- A plastic measuring cup for liquids
Test your pool water and your fill water for pH and alkalinity. Record results, and if you want, you can put them in the left side of the Orenda app calculator. Set your desired chemistry on the right side, and tap Get Dosage. Bring the liquid acid of choice to the pool with the other items listed above.
Dip the bucket into the pool until it is at least halfway full of water. Measure and pour the prescribed amount of acid into the bucket. The objective is to achieve at least a 10:1 dilution ratio. So for half a 5-gallon bucket , you should not exceed one quart of acid of acid. If you need more than the bucket can hold, simply repeat the process as needed, or bring an extra bucket.