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How Do I Lower The Alkalinity In My Pool

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How To Lower Ph Balance In Your Swimming Pool

How To Lower POOL ALKALINITY with MURIATIC ACID | Swim University

Balance in all things. Its as important in life as it is for your swimming pool. A perfect example is your pools pH.

As a rule, you want to maintain a range of 7.4 to 7.8. In a;previous article, we talked about how to raise the pool pH level if its too low. In this post, well show you how to lower pH if it becomes too high.

Lets dive in!

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.

Pool Ph And Alkalinity Problems

Welcome back, students of pool! Pool pH and alkalinity are crucial to protect your pool surfaces and provide sanitary water conditions.

From Jackies pH / Alkalinity Tips well review why high or low pH and alkalinity are a problem in pools, and then cover several pH / Alkalinity scenarios and a few advanced tips for tough pH and alkalinity issues.

After the lecture, at the bottom of the page, Ill be taking class questions, just click Leave a Reply to post your pH and alkalinity questions, I answer them personally.

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How To Lower The Alkalinity Of A Swimming Pool

A clean, inviting swimming pool is a pool in chemical balance. Factors such as pH, free chlorine, calcium hardness and cyanuric acid influence one another and should be monitored regularly and adjusted to specifications when necessary. Total alkalinity is another important interdependent parameter. The alkalinity of pool water helps stabilize the pH factor. Alkalinity above 120 parts per million tends to elevate pH readings. It also diminishes the effectiveness of chlorine and gives pool water a cloudy appearance. If routine water analysis with a pool test kit indicates a high TA reading, add commercially available swimming pool muriatic acid in liquid form.


Turn off the pool circulation pump.


Put on safety glasses and gloves.


Consult the manufacturer’s instructions for muriatic acid to determine the total amount of acid required for your specific pool volume to lower the alkalinity to the desired parts per million. To avoid making the pool too acidic, dont add more than 1 quart of acid to the pool for each 10,000 gallons of pool volume at any one time.


Prepare a diluted solution of acid by adding the recommended amount of liquid muriatic acid to 1 gallon of water in a bucket. For safety reasons, when diluting acid, always pour acid into water, not water into acid.


Pour the diluted gallon of acid into the deepest part of the pool in a single, tight stream so it sinks to the bottom at one spot. Dont disperse the acid around the pool.


How To Raise Pool Alkalinity

How do I raise or lower the pH and Alkalinity in my Pool ...

It should come as no surprise that the way to increase total alkalinity is to add alkaline materials to your pool water. There are three chemicals you may add that will increase total alkalinity. Which chemical you choose to add depends on your cyanuric acid and pH levels.

If your cyanuric acid levels are also low, it is best to add stabilizer. This will both increase your total alkalinity and increase your cyanuric acid. If your pH levels are low, it is best to add soda ash. This will raise both pH and total alkalinity. If your pH and cyanuric acid levels are within recommended ranges, it is best to add baking soda to raise total alkalinity. Baking soda is the best way to raise total alkalinity with minimal effect to pH and cyanuric acid.

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Do I Need To Lower Alkalinity

Definitely, you need to maintain the level of alkalinity.

A higher level of alkalinity can cause severe problems which might affect the swimming ambiance in an adverse way.

The main problem arises when the alkalinity level becomes too high in the pool water.

In fact, a very high level of alkalinity can give birth to a series of problems.

For example, youll face a problem of imbalance pH from a high level of alkalinity in your pool water which will further lead to high calcium levels.

Unfortunately, a high calcium levels would give birth to many problems including scaling, cloudy water, and clogged filters.

Moreover, it would also contribute significantly to worsen the swimming ambiance by creating problems such as itchy skin and irritated eyes for swimmers.

High Alkalinity Level In Pool Water

A high total alkalinity can occur when too much chemical, such as sodium bicarbonate or chlorine shock, has been added to the water too quickly. I always recommend to add small quantities of chemical, wait a while and retest the water before adding further amounts of chemical. Yes, it is a slower process but the only way to guarantee that too much chemical is not added resulting in unbalanced pool water.

High total alkalinity can be caused by the water supply to your pool.

If your pool water test is indicating total alkalinity is too high you will need to lower alkalinity in your pool water. Otherwise, you will encounter the following problems:

  • High and unstable pH level.
  • High calcium level and scaling
  • Cloudy pool water
  • Irritated eyes and itchy skin for swimmers

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What Causes High Pool Alkalinity

One of the main reasons pool alkalinity can get too high is when you have added too much sodium bicarbonate when you were trying to raise it.

Yes, alkalinity that is too low is also a problem, but we will save that discussion for another day!

To keep this from happening too often, use smaller increments of the chemical when adjusting alkalinity levels and test the water every 24 hours until it reaches its ideal conditions.

Another factor that often causes alkalinity levels to get too high is your water source.

Water companies are required to disclose their water testing results to its consumers, so a quick call to the company will help you determine what chemicals you regularly need to keep your water balanced.

How Do I Bring The Ph Down In My Hot Tub

How To Quickly Lower Your Pools Alkalinity Levels

You can lower the pH level of your hot tub water by adding acidic chemicals and pH reducers. The best chemicals for this are liquid muriatic acid, dry sodium bisulfate, and pH minus which you can easily get from any pool store in your neighborhood.

The following steps describe how you can easily lower the pH of your spa.

  • Test for the pH and alkalinity levels: Its obvious that the pH in your hot tub is getting high but you still need to test to validate your observation.;

You need a test strip or kits to perform this. To test the pH level, get a test strip and dip it into your hot tub for a few seconds. Compare the color change with the one on the color chart on the pack.

Also, test for the alkalinity of the hot tub. This will help you to know how to go about the process. The alkalinity is probably high and needs adjustment.

Now that you know how high the pH and alkalinity are, the next thing is to add the right quantity of chemicals to bring the level down.

  • Turn on the hot tub: Before you add the acid ensure that the hot tub is running. This will help the circulation process and also prevent the acid from accumulating in one particular spot. If the acid accumulates in a particular spot it may damage the hot tub surface or components.

So, ensure it is turned on and the jets and filters are running as usual.

These values will help you to determine the amount of acid you need to add to your hot tub. Add the required amount of acid and wait for about 3-6 hours to test again.

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Reducers To The Rescue

To bring down pH, use a made-for-pools chemical additive called pH reducer . The main active ingredients in pH reducers are either muriatic acid or sodium bisulfate . Reducers are readily available at pool supply stores, home improvement centers and online.

Muriatic acid is powerful its used to etch concrete and you need to be careful when adding the chemical to your pool. It comes in liquid form, so you need to protect yourself from accidental spills and splashes. Always read and follow the manufacturers directions for safe handling, applying and storing of muriatic acid. A 1-gallon bottle is about $45.

Sodium bisulfate comes as dry granules and is considered easier to add and safer to handle than muriatic acid. Nevertheless, it should be handled carefully. Protect eyes and skin, and wear a dust mask to avoid inhaling any dust from the granules. A 25-pound bucket costs about $50.

The correct amount of a pH reducer depends on the water volume of your pool and its current pH level. Reducers usually come with a guide that takes into account the variables and calculates the proper amounts of pH reducer to add to your pool.

Add The Muriatic Acid

If you were in a hurry, you could pour muriatic acid straight into your pool water, but diluting it first makes it easier to handle and less dangerous to you if it splashes. Its worth a few extra minutes and a bucket to water it down.

The ideal ratio of water to muriatic acid is 10:1. Pour the appropriate amount of acid into the water, then stir it gently with a plastic or wooden stir stick.

Important: Add water to your bucket first. If you add the acid first, you run the risk of a chemical reaction.

Pour the contents of the bucket into the deep end of your pool. If your pH is also high, you can walk around the pool slowly pouring the mixture in as you go. This helps add a little air to the water and gets the chemical circulating as you add it.

Warning: Rinse your muriatic acid bucket thoroughly after every use, and do not use it for any other chemicals. You could cause an actual explosion.

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How To Lower Calcium Hardness In A Pool

This article was co-authored by our trained team of editors and researchers who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness. wikiHow’s Content Management Team carefully monitors the work from our editorial staff to ensure that each article is backed by trusted research and meets our high quality standards. This article has been viewed 36,122 times.Learn more…

Keeping up with your swimming pool can seem like a monumental task. However, you can quickly and easily lower calcium hardness by removing water from the pool and replacing it with freshwater. Once you have your pool chemicals in balance, maintaining the pool is as simple as testing the chemicals in the water, adjusting them as necessary, and keeping the pool clean!

Reasons For High Alkalinity

Lower Alkalinity In Salt Water Spa

There are two most common reasons for the high alkalinity: sodium bicarbonate and the other is water sourcing.

When you are having the low alkalinity in the pool, then people want to make it high by adding the bicarbonate, but when they put it in the water, they dont know that how much amount is needed so, they put a lot then that cause high alkalinity in the pool. So, always make sure to measure the alkalinity levels and out amount which is needed.

The other reason that causes the high alkalinity in your pool is your water source; sometimes, your pools water has a balanced level of alkalinity.

But when it is filled that water has a higher amount of alkalinity, make sure that always check the alkalinity levels after filling so you find out that your water source has high alkalinity or not? And then you can change your water source if you find out that the water source was responsible.

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Set A Target Value For Total Alkalinity

In the same example above, I set my target value of TA at 100 ppm. It is important to note that both the levels of TA and pH reduce when acid is added. A target value of 80 ppm or 90 ppm should be just fine, but I anticipated that the levels of pH would drop way below 7.0 when I add a strong acid, so my experience told me that 100 ppm was ideal for raising the level of pH later on through aeration.

Use a pool calculator to calculate the exact amount of muriatic acid you will need in order to achieve the target value of 100 ppm for TA, or whichever target value you have chosen.

In this step, don’t worry too much about the pH yet. The main aim is to lower the total alkalinity to recommended levels. Later on, you can aerate to raise the pH level if it goes much lower than is recommended.

Lower Total Alkalinity In A Spa Or Hot Tub

The methods of increasing or lowering alkalinity in spas and hot tubs is the same as with swimming pools. However, it is even more important to balance water chemistry in spa pools and hot tubs because they have a much smaller volume of water and the water is heated which can cause more rapid changes in water chemistry.

There are many branded products, in the marketplace, especially designed to increase or decrease the total concentration of alkaloids in hot tub water. The important point to remember is to only add small amounts of chemical to the water and retest the water after mixing with the pump.

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Lower Total Alkalinity In Pool Water

Note: If you need to adjust both pH and Total Alkalinity, always adjust the Total Alkalinity level first as the pH may change.

If the pH level is already high, then the simplest way to reduce Total Alkalinity is to add small amounts of acid to the pool. This will be a slow process as you will need to test every day and add more acid until the Total Alkalinity and pH has been reduced to an acceptable level.

Add Hydrochloric acid to the Pool Water

Begin by adding one cup of hydrochloric acid or muriatic acid into the pool water.

Ensure you read the instructions on the container and practice safe handling of chemicals. Make sure you have spread the acid around in the pool and not poured it into one location as it may begin damaging the pool surfaces or tile grouting.

The best time to add the acid is just before the pool pump is due to come on. Otherwise, you will need to run the pool pump for several hours to mix in the acid. After mixing or the next day, test the pool water. If the Total Alkalinity and pH are both still too high repeat the above process until the levels are normal.

When either the pH or Total Alkalinity has reduced to the normal level stop the process. You may need to further adjust pH or Total Alkalinity separately with another process to correctly balance the water.

Tips On Lowering Swimming Pool Total Alkalinity

  • I also have instructions for using dry acid and muriatic acid in another article: Lowering Swimming Pool pH. ;The instructions are similar, so be sure to follow the instructions for lowering alkalinity if it is your total alkalinity that needs to be lowered. ;The primary difference between the two instructions is you want to avoid lowering the pH when lowering total alkalinity.
  • Both of the products described above might be labeled with names like;Alkalinity Decreaser;and;Alkalinity Minus.
  • Add half to three quarters of the amount suggested. ;Make sure it is dissolved and retest alkalinity;several hours later. ;You want to avoid lowering alkalinity too much. ;Determine how much remaining chemical to add to bring the total alkalinity back into the center of the range.
  • Even if you do your best to pour the liquids in the pool, you still will often end up lowering the pH level somewhat. ;Test the pH when you adjust and test total alkalinity to make sure your pH has remained balanced, or if you need to raise the level somewhat.
  • After months and years of testing, you may notice patterns in your alkalinity, such as adding water tends to raise or lower alkalinity. ;You may want to adjust the amount of alkalinity reducer you add to the water based on this knowledge that your water alkalinity will tend to wander up or down.

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How To Lower Ph And Alkalinity In Pool Water

To lower the pH of your pool water, you will need to add muriatic acid. You want to add about 1lb of muriatic acid for every 10,000 gallons of pool water.

I highly recommend you add only 1lb of acid at a time, allowing a few hours to pass. Leave the pump running to help mix and disperse the chemicals into the water. Test the water again using a test strip and repeat this process if needed. Repeat this process until you have reached the desired pH and alkalinity levels.

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