The Best Way To Raise The Ph Of A Pool
When the pH level in a swimming pool is low, it means the water is too acidic. A pool with a pH below 7 can exhibit long-term problems relating to acidity such as etching of the plaster and grout used in the construction of the pool, corrosion of pipe fittings and other metal equipment and rapid deterioration of pump O-rings and seals, reveals PoolCalculator.com. An acidic pool also loses chlorine content faster, increasing operating costs. Because the pH of people’s eyes is around 7.2, pools with lower pH will frequently cause stinging eyes and dry, itchy skin for swimmers.
What Does Baking Soda Do For A Pool
Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate is naturally alkaline, with a pH of 8. When you add baking soda to your pool water, you will raise both the pH and the alkalinity, improving stability and clarity. Many commercial pool products for raising alkalinity utilize baking soda as their main active ingredient. You can maintain your pool for a fraction of the cost by going straight to the source and using pure baking soda in your pool.
Check Total Alkalinity And Make Appropriate Adjustments
Total alkalinity is the sum of all basic materials in the water. Low total alkalinity can cause significant and random fluctuations in pH levels. If you are still having trouble with low pH readings after adding the appropriate amount of soda ash, check your total alkalinity.
Sodium Bicarbonate is similar to soda ash and is used in swimming pools to raise the total alkalinity . Add 1.4 pounds of sodium bicarbonate per 10,000 gallons of water and allow the pool to circulate before testing again. Use our total alkalinity calculator to figure out the exact amount.
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Why Ph Balance Is Important
Maintaining the correct pH balance not only keeps your swimming pool sparkling clean but also helps preserve your pool finishs aesthetic appeal by preventing it from getting stained. pH balance is also essential to ensuring the longevity of your pool and its components.
Pools need to have a pH level of between 7.2 and 7.8. Pool water with pH levels that are low is acidic. This kind of water is corrosive and can lead to pumps and other equipment breaking down. Basically, everything that acidic water touches gets worn away, including accessories, plumbing, and other parts of the pool system.
Unbalanced pH levels can also wear down pool liners and ladders, causing them to become brittle and crack. Improper pH levels can even strip the copper right out of heat exchangers.
Alternatives To Baking Soda For Raising Ph Levels
Although baking soda is effective and recommended by most for adjusting both PH and alkalinity levels in a pool, there are certain cases where other substances might work best. For example, a pool with the right amount of alkalinity level may possess a slightly lower PH level, in which case using baking soda may not be the ideal option. However, a compound like soda ash, also known as sodium carbonate, will work just fine for the scenario discussed above, in which case adding it in small quantity will only affect the PH, leaving your alkalinity level untouched.
E.g.: To adjust the PH level of a 10,000-gallon pool from 7.2 to 7.6 would require about 21 pounds of baking soda. However, a closer look would indicate that the amount of baking soda mentioned would only so more damage by increasing the level of alkalinity to 150 ppm, more than is required for a healthy and comfortable pool. With the use of soda ash however, it would only take 12.2 ounces of soda ash in 10,000 gallons of the pool to move the PH level of the pool from 7.2 to 7.6. What is more, is that this soda ash process will only add 10ppm or less to the total alkalinity of the pool.
The pH level of baking soda is 8.3, so it takes a lot of it to raise a pools overall pH level. The upside is that using baking soda will never make a pools pH level higher than 8.3 . Still, its better at adjusting the overall alkalinity of the water.
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Consider Using Ph Up Soda Ash Or Baking Soda
pH Up, soda ash and baking soda are all popular ways to increase your pool’s pH levels. pH up is a relatively self-explanatory solution, while soda ash and baking soda usage depends on which one you’re most comfortable with. Here’s a great resource for determining which one is better suited for you! Just make sure that you pay close attention to the amounts you add, as over-chemicalizing your water can be quite dangerous.
If you’re anything like me, you err on the side of being safe rather than sorry when it comes to pool chemicals . That’s why a smart water monitor that proactively monitors your water 24/7 and immediately lets you know exactly what chemicals you need to add to keep your water healthy is the ultimate choice.
No more guessing what’s wrong with your water, or trying to figure how many chemicals you need to fix it. It’s as simple as enjoying everything else that life has to offer and following the simple instructions provided when your water needs your attention.
One Has A Very Real Impact On Your Bottom Line
You know youre the only one who buys that, the counter person at my local distributor would say as he headed to the warehouse to pull a 50-pound bag of soda ash.
The industry standard has always been to use sodium bicarbonate to raise total alkalinity and sodium carbonate to raise pH the exception being if both total alkalinity and pH are low. Understanding that it is impossible to raise one without effecting the other chemically, there is still a right tool for the job analogy that comes into play.
Using sodium bicarbonate will have a more measurable effect on total alkalinity, while only raising the pH of water slightly. Sodium carbonate will actually have a dramatic effect on both pH and total alkalinity. Using sodium bicarbonate to raise pH is the equivalent of driving a nail into a wall using the handle of a screw driver it can be done, but a hammer would handle the job more effectively and at much less of a cost.
So, if very few service companies are purchasing soda ash, one can extrapolate that either the pH in swimming pool water is never low, or individuals are using sodium baking soda to adjust pH. In fact, it is the latter that has become common practice, often supported by the argument that sodium carbonate is more likely to cloud the water slightly upon addition. With that, one has to understand that there are both water balance and product cost repercussions involved in making this chemical decision.
Got all that?
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Why You Have Low Alkalinity
The total alkalinity of pool water is directly correlated to the pH level of the water, inextricably linked like peanut butter and jam. When the pH level goes down, so goes the alkalinity, tilting the water from a neutral state to an acidic one.
If this is happening in your pool, its probably due to one of the following reasons:
The first one is rain. Rainwater is a common offender in the lowering of a pools pH level because it has a slightly acidic pH level of 5.
When it falls, it picks up atmospheric pollutants like sulfates, phosphates, and nitrates, becoming even more acidic. This acidity is then injected into the water, causing a drop in pH and alkalinity.
Pollutants from people in the pool is another reason for low alkalinity. A persons sweat or urine can alter the pool water chemistry. So, for everyones sake, try not to pee in the swimming pool, mkay?
Finally, chlorine tablets can be another reason for falling alkalinity. While they raise pH during shocking, the tablets themselves have a low pH level. As a result, using them will diminish your waters alkalinity level .
Make Sure Your Pump & Filter Are Running Properly
If pH is the heart of healthy pool water, then the pool pump is the brain. If you’re finding that your pool’s pH level remains consistently low despite your best efforts to raise it, you might need to check on your pool pump and filtration system.
Your pool has an upward climb towards being suitable enough to swim in without a properly functioning pump and filter. It’s definitely worth taking a look to see whether or not there are any issues with them, as they’re an integral part of making sure healthy water and chemicals are circulated throughout your pool.
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Use Aeration To Raise Pool Ph
If you have high alkalinity and low pH, and are having trouble raising your pH level, how do you lower high alkalinity without affecting pH? You cant, but you can raise pH without affecting Alkalinity. This is done by lowering the pH and Alkalinity with pH Decreaser, then raise the pH through aeration. Just add air!
Aerating pool water works like this: the carbon dioxide in the introduced air bubbles forms carbonic acid as it mingles with your pool water, which raises pH levels.
You can aerate a pool by bubbling air through the water, agitating the surface, or spraying droplets through the air with a pool fountain, which also can be used to lower pool water temperature.
Five Ways to Aerate a Pool to Raise pH
- Air compressor or Cyclone blower with long hose and weighted air diffuser.
- Waterfalls, spillways, wall return and floating Pool Fountains.
- Pointing return eyeballs up to create surface turbulence.
- Install a spa blower onto your pool return line.
- Install a venturi tee air inlet on the return pipe, or into a wall return.
How To Lower Alkalinity In A Pool
If the alkalinity of the water is too high, i.e. more than 120 ppm, its an easy fix to lower the alkalinity of the water.
First, make sure the water pump is on and take a current pH measurement.
Add one quart of muriatic acid or 2 pounds of dry acid at a time around the perimeter of the pool.
Let the acid mix in the water for about an hour, then test the water again. Maintain a water pH of about 7 and keep adding pool acid in small increments until the correct alkalinity level is reached.
Once the alkalinity level is correct, allow the pH to climb naturally by circulating the water.
Only add soda ash to raise the pH if the pH stops climbing after 1 week.
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How To Balance Ph Levels In A Pool
When it comes to the actual enjoyment of our pool or hot tub/spa, one water balance element is more important than all others: pH.
A pH level that is too high or too low causes skin and eye irritation, affects equipment and pool/hot tub/spa surfaces, and has an impact on the effectiveness of sanitizers.
So what is pH?
pH measures how acidic or basic a solution is. The pH scale goes from 0 to 14 with 7.0 being neutral. Anything below 7.0 is considered acidic and everything above 7.0 is considered basic.
Here’s how that relates to pools and hot tubs/spas:
|7.4 – 7.6||7.2 – 7.8|
Everything has a pH. Coffee has a pH of 5.0. Most hand soaps have a pH of 9.0-10. The fluid in your eye has a pH of 7.4. Lemon juice, on the other hand, has a pH of 2.4. If you’ve ever squirted lemon juice in your eye you know it burns. It burns because the pH of lemon juice is well below 7.0, which makes it very acidic. So the reason why your eyes sometimes burn during or after you swim in your pool is because the pH level in your pool is below the acceptable range.
The lower on the scale your pool pH levels are, the more acidic and corrosive your water becomes. The higher on the scale your pool pH levels are, the more basic and alkaline your water becomes, leading to scale formation.
So the goal is to keep the pH as close to the ideal range as possible to help ensure proper water balance. The basics include:
Continue to add appropriate product until your water has a pH level of 7.2-7.8 .
What Are Pool Ph Levels
pH, or potential hydrogen, is how well a solution attracts hydrogen ions. It can tell us how alkaline or acidic a liquid is. You measure pH on a scale from zero to 14. Zero means the solution is acidic, while 14 indicates the solution is basic or containing more OH ions than H + ions.
A neutral solution such as pure water falls in the middle of the scale with a pH of seven. A good level for pool water is a pH of 7.5, which means its slightly basic. Low pH can be caused by:
- Debris such as leaves, bugs, and grass clippings
- Human secretions such as body oils, sweat, saliva, and urine
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Baking Soda In Pool Water Will Save You Money
The best part about all this is that baking soda is often cheaper than an alkalinity increaser. And you can buy baking soda in bulk just like the pool supply store brand.
On top of that, you can always use any extra baking soda to brush your teeth, make a cake, or clean your dishes.
What About Health Risks
We mentioned getting it in your eye if you add it to your pool on a windy day. That hurts like hell. But besides that, sodium bicarbonate is relatively safe.
Sodium bicarbonate has been used for thousands of years. Most notably by Ancient Egyptians who used it to clean their teeth. Just like we do today!
And its Generally Recognized as Safe by the FDA as a direct food additive.
Think of it this way, if its safe enough to use in cakes, then your swimming pool wont be a problem.
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What Causes Low Ph
Because pH is such an unstable factor, many things can affect it.
But when its low, it is usually caused by things like rainwater or debris getting into your pool.
Total alkalinity is sort of the stabilizing factor for pH, so its important to test this level every time you test your pH levels.
When it is off, pH is almost always off in the same direction as well.
How To Lower Ph In Pool Naturally: Essential Info
Pool pH level out of whack? Put another way, has it gone way above the usual ? If yes, youre not alone it happens a lot. But of course, the good news is, it doesnt have to stay that way. Generally speaking, a pools pH should be between 7.2 to 7.8. Anything higher than 7 can cause discomfort in swimmers so a balance in acidity and alkalinity is vital. With this in mind, its crucial to learn more about the cause and effect of high pH levels in a pool. And of course, the solutions to bring pH down naturally.
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What Causes A High Ph In A Swimming Pool
It happens all the time. Swimming pool pH climbs, or sometimes spikes, and all sorts of problems like calcium dust and carbonate scale can occur. But what causes high pH in pools? Why does the pH sometimes climb, and other times stay relatively steady? In this article, we will discuss pH and how it shifts, and offer some remedies to correct the pH, based on each situation.
Key points in this article:
Calcium Hypochlorite Chlorine Shock
The most common cause of high pH in a swimming pool or spa is the type of sanitizer or chlorine shock we use in the pool.
Calcium hypochlorite or granular chlorine is non-stabilized chlorine that comes with high pH levels, and if pH level is not monitored properly, you will have high pH issues in your pool and spa.
At The Summer Pools, we always recommend using liquid chlorine, also known as sodium hypochlorite.
Sodium hypochlorite is pH neutral since it produces hydrochloric acid and sodium hydroxide as bi-products, and hydrochloric acid will naturalize the pH that is produced by sodium hydroxide.
If you have a saltwater pool, a saltwater chlorine generator will produce chlorine using sodium through a process called electrolysis, where the only bi-product is sodium hydroxide that has high pH levels above 13.
This explains why pH levels tend to get high in saltwater swimming pools and can only be offset by adding strong acids like muriatic or hydrochloric acid and sulfuric acid.
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Test The Pool Water Again
Wait about an hour and then test your pH and alkalinity again. If theyre back in balance, then your job is done.
But if theyre still off, youll have to repeat the process, adding as much soda ash as you need in order to get it in normal range.
The water will be a little cloudy, but it should clear within a few hours or so.
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If youre still having problems getting the pH balanced, you could have other issues that are throwing it off.
Test all the levels to see if there is another problem. Correct chlorine and calcium hardness levels if needed and test the pH again.
Also, make sure your pool is as clean as you can get it, since leaves and debris will cause it to be unbalanced.