Your Total Alkalinity Is High
Total alkalinity refers to the neutralization of acids and bases in the water. This is important as it works to stabilize the pH level, which in turn, affects the functionality of your pool.
The ideal range of alkalinity is between 80 to 120 ppm .
High total alkalinity is a common issue and there are steps you can take to reduce its level.
If left unchecked, it causes a chain reaction of events that will spike the pools pH level, leading to potential pool damage and skin irritation issues for those who swim in it.
When your waters alkalinity is too high, it needs to be lowered. This is usually done by adding muriatic acid.
How To Lower Pool Ph With Hydrochloric Acid
The names hydrochloric acid and muriatic acid are often used interchangeably in the pool industry.
Hydrochloric acid is very similar in composition to muriatic acid; however, the main difference being that muriatic acid is roughly 30% more diluted. Because hydrochloric acid is more potent, there are also fewer contaminants added to it, making it more expensive.
Ultimately, it achieves the same job as muriatic acid. Check the manufacturers instructions for the exact amount needed to adjust pH levels of your pool.
Summary Of Key Points
- Total alkalinity should only be lowered when it causes a significant rise in pH levels, or when it causes calcium scaling through CSI.
- To lower pH and total alkalinity, use a strong acid such as muriatic acid, sulfuric acid, or sodium bisulfate, all of which lower both pH and TA, but at different rates.
- You need to use an accurate water test kit that can give you correct readings. If possible, find software that can help you get exact amounts of dry acid to add into the water.
- This process may take longer than anticipated, depending on how high pH or total alkalinity is and how low you need to bring them down before the aeration process begins. However, you can always use an air compressor or any other aerator to accelerate the process.
- If you have achieved the ideal reading for total alkalinity but the pH is scaling up because the process of aeration has not yet ceased, you can use borate to keep the pH stable. The recommended level for pH is around 7.4 or 7.6.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the authorâs knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
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What Causes Rise In Ph And Total Alkalinity In A Swimming Pool
One of the major reasons why pH rises above the recommended level for a swimming pool is high alkalinity.
To avoid high alkalinity, add Alkalinity Increaser slowly by slowly while measuring its level and always ensure that your Total Alkalinity is within the recommended range of 80 – 120ppm because if it goes above 120ppm, your pH will definitely rise high.
The second cause of high pH in a pool is using Calcium Hypochlorite pool shock to sanitize pool water. Cal hypo comes with high pH and Calcium level and will significantly increase pH in pool if you don’t take prior measures to balance your pH.
Also, abnormal rise in TA might be caused by the water source. It could be possible that your pool fillwater is already high in alkalinity and will therefore increase your TA once it mixes with more Alkalinity Increaser you are using. Test your water source for alkalinity and use a different source if it has high TA because you’ll need to use too much dry acid more often to lower both pH and TA in your swimming pool.
Getting a perfect balance of pH and alkalinity is a little tricky since acid will lower both but not at the same rate. If you have high pH and TA in your pool, here is the easiest way to lower and balance pH and TA in your pool without using any extra equipment like aerator.
Sanitizers And Their Ph Impact
Every type of sanitizer has a pH impact on the pool, and the pH depends on the sanitizer used. For example, chlorine gas and trichlor are very acidic products, meaning they have a very low pH and tend to bring the pH of the pool down. Dichlor has a relatively neutral pH, as does bromine, so their pH impact is minimal, if not negligible. Non-stabilized chlorines like calcium hypochlorite , sodium hypochlorite , and salt chlorine generators all tend to raise the pH of the pool.
One common habit in the pool business is to add some acid to “offset” the pH rise that liquid chlorine causes. But according to renown pool chemistry expert Robert Lowry in his book;Pool Chemistry for Service Pros;,;when liquid chlorine goes into the water, it actually won’t raise the pH as much as you might think. Liquid chlorine’s reactions create byproducts of both high pH and low pH , which neutralize each other. The net pH change should be about zero.
Sanitizer is only used in a few parts-per-million, so even if there is a net pH change,;it isn’t always a big deal. With one exception.;There is one sanitizer type that consistently raises the pH of a swimming pool:;salt-generated chlorine.
2NaCl + 2H2O Cl2 + H2 + 2NaOH
salt + water yields chlorine gas + hydrogen gas + sodium hydroxide
In our experience, salt pools almost always have a pH that drifts up. The good news is, the pH rise is predictable and can be counteracted with a measured amount of acid or carbon dioxide feed.
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How To Balance Ph And Total Alkalinity In A Swimming Pool
Balancing pH and Total Alkalinity might seem difficult if you’re doing it for the first time. However, this is something you can fix within a few hours if you have the right chemicals and follow the steps included in this article.
The most common problem is high pH and TA levels in pool or spa water. If you maintain the correct levels of pH and TA in your swimming pool, having low pH and alkalinity levels is not common and can only be caused when any form of a strong acid like muriatic acid or sulfuric acid is added into the pool or spa water.;
Before we go further, I guess you would want to know the causes of high pH and alkalinity in your water so that you won’t fight high levels of pH and TA next time.;
Simple Science Goes A Long Way
Maintaining the proper balance of chemicals in your pool is a continuous process. Any new material that enters your pool , will influence the waters chemistry. In addition to pH, it is important to monitor total alkalinity, calcium hardness and total dissolved solids. Pool health is also your health, your time and your money. With the proper professional products and weekly testing, maintaining balanced water chemistry will become an efficient, simple process.
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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!
Here Is How To Lower Ph In Pool
Ensuring your swimming pool water pH is reasonable is a critical part of pool maintenance. PH determines water acidity in your pool. PH numbers vary from zero to fourteen, with the best pool water pH levels being around seven point two and seven point eight.If the pH is high above 7.0, the water is more alkaline. How to lower the pH of your swimming pool? First, test the pH level of the How To Raise Or Lower Aquarium pH NaturallyAnother way to raise aquarium pH is by growing plants, which will dispose of the excess CO2 present in the water and help lower the pH. However, most planted aquariums will need CO2 injection to achieve optimum growth and prevent the formation of algae colonies, so this method is
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When Is Ph Too High
pH is the level of acidity in your pools water.
This acidity needs to be balanced. Too much causes problems as the water becomes alkaline, and too little causes problems as the water becomes acidic.;
The pH scale measures from 0 to 14, and the ideal reading you want to keep you water at is between 7.4 and 7.6.;
Some pool owners use a wider range of 7.2 to 7.8 for a bit more leeway, but a pH level of 7.5 is what you should always be aiming for.;
How Much Muriatic Acid To Lower Pool Ph
The amount of muriatic acid needed to decrease pool pH will depend on your pools water volume, pH level and alkalinity level. Remember that when you lower alkalinity, the pH will follow.
Youll need approximately 35-60 fl oz of muriatic acid per 10,000 gal of water to reduce alkalinity by 10 ppm. Use the appropriate chart below to help calculate the approximate amount of muriatic acid needed to reduce pH and alkalinity.
Pro Tip: Its best to add acid in smaller batches, then retest and add more if needed. Otherwise you risk seesawing the pH levels.
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Guide To Raise The Ph Level In Your Pool Safely
If you have a swimming pool at home, youll need a pool testing kit to ensure that the water levels are all properly balanced.
If the water in your pool is too acidic, this will corrode your equipment, and its likely to bring about etching on surface materials. Beyond this, acidic water will irritate your eyes, nose, and skin.
If, on the other hand, your pool water is too alkaline, this can cause scale to develop on the surface as well as all over your pool plumbing gear.
Neither of these scenarios is ideal. Excessive acidity or alkalinity both impact the efficiency of the chlorine in your pool, and resultantly impede the process of disinfection.
When youre checking the pH level in your pool, you should aim for somewhere between 7.2 and 7.8. On the pH scale, 0 is extreme acidity, with 14 representing extreme alkalinity. 7 is neutral, so youre shooting for just the alkaline side of neutral.
Now, before we show you how to raise the pH level in your pool, a few more basics so you can proceed better informed
What Causes Highcalcium In Pool Water
High calcium in the water is usually the aftereffect of your pools chemical imbalance. If your waters pH, chlorine levels, and total alkalinity are messed up, calcium level rises. This is the reason why maintaining balance in your water is key. In the following section, well show you how to measure calcium hardness in a pool and make the necessary adjustments.
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Use Food Grade Hydrogen Peroxide To Lower Chlorine
Yes, the stuff sitting in your first aid kit. But a much, much stronger version of it.
First aid hydrogen peroxide is about 3% concentrated. Food grade hydrogen peroxide is about 35% concentrated.
A gallon of it shouldnt be more than 20 bucks, and you likely wont need more than half.
Similar to sodium thiosulfate, hydrogen peroxide also has the side effect of lowering pH. So make sure to test your water after each treatment.
To start, add a cup of peroxide to your pool to lower chlorine. Test your water a few hours later and readjust chemicals as needed.
Natural Ph Rise: Carbon Dioxide Loss
The chemistry of pH sounds a lot more complicated than it is. In short, the less CO2 in solution, the higher the pH. CO2, when dissolved in water becomes something called carbonic acid .
H2O + CO2 H2CO3
Water + Carbon Dioxide creates Carbonic Acid
See the chart below.
The more carbonic acid in your water, the lower your pH will be. Injecting;CO2 lowers your pH, but not total alkalinity. Acid, on the other hand, lowers both pH and total alkalinity. The opposite is also true about CO2. When;CO2;off-gasses , the amount of carbonic acid decreases; so the pH rises. So aeration itself raises the pH of water because;CO2 escapes.;If you want to raise the pH without adding any chemicals, just aerate the water to release CO2.
Check out this detailed diagram of all the chemistry going on, courtesy of Robert Lowry:
Henry’s Law of Solubility of Gases
Naturally,;CO2;wants to be in about the same concentration in the water as it is in the air. So;CO2 off-gasses until it is in relative equilibrium with the air above the pool. This phenomenon is known as Henry’s Law. And don’t worry, we had no idea what Henry’s Law was either…but it makes a lot of sense as to why carbon dioxide naturally leaves, and the pH rebounds some time after putting acid in. This means chasing pH is a bad habit, because it is futile.;pH is naturally going to rise. Embrace this.
Algae raises the pH of water too
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Dilute Muriatic Acid As Directed And Add It To The Water
The pool in my example holds 20,000 gallons. To get my target value of 100 ppm, I needed to add about 2 quarts of muriatic acid.
I usually distribute the muriatic acid solution slowly around the pool while the pump is running high to increase the effect.
Some pool managers prefer adding the muriatic acid solution in one spot. Personally, I don’t like to do this because acid can damage pool parts when it is concentrated in one region.
The natural process of aeration begins after you add the muriatic acid and the levels of pH and TA have fallen and settled. During the aeration process, the levels of pH alone will rise gradually until it reaches the recommended level.
Problems For The Pool
High pH in a pool can cause the following problems:
- cloudy water
High pH pools can cause scaling to pipes which can impede water flow. Extra strain is put on your pump when water flow is impeded and not optimal.
A clogged up pool filter is also a side effect of a pool with high pH. A clogged up filter will again impede water circulation and could also shorten the life of your pump due to the pump needing to work harder.
And lastly, chlorine is less effective as a sanitizer at high pH levels, giving algae a chance to take hold. Chlorine works best with pool water that has a pH of 7.4-7.6.
Luckily, high pH can be lowered by adding an acid to your pool water.
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Balance Is Important For Ph
While testing and maintaining the pH balance of your pool or spa water is a constant process, hopefully, the tips in this article will help you take some of the pain out doing so.
The raising and lowering the pH in your pool will be something that you will always need to balance. T
he ways to lower and raise pH are many and if you have any questions, its best to talk to a pool professional.
That way, youll know what to do when your pH is either too high or too low.
Have questions? Let us know or check other pool maintenance tips!
Leave The Pool Uncovered During Sunny Weather
Sunlight is chlorines number one enemy. Why? Because it burns chlorine right out of your water. Sometimes, faster than you can replace it:
Sunlight is so effective in reducing chlorine that a bright sunny day can reduce the chlorination level of a pool by 90 percent in just two hours.Sciencing
This is the exact reason why cyanuric acid exists. Its a chemical commonly added to chlorine that acts as a;sunscreen against UV rays. With CYA, chlorine can withstand solar heat without immediately burning up.
With that said, the sun is also the same reason why many pool owners use solar covers. Covers help insulate pools and reduce chemical loss caused by evaporation.
Of course, if you dont use a cover, then your pool is at risk of both heat, and water loss. Which is exactly what you want when youre trying to lower swimming pool chlorine naturally.
So leave your pool uncovered on the hottest, sunniest day possible. Then retest your chlorine every 6 hours to keep track o changes.
You might need to refill the pool a little bit after, but only if your water line drops below mid skimmer level.
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Notes On Adding Dry Acid:
- For above ground pools, dump the dry acid over the pool wall. ;As above ground pools are often more shallow then a typical diving pool, you may have to spread the powder in the pool to encourage the powder to dissolve. ;This holds true for below ground sport pools.
- If the manufacture recommends you first dilute the dry acid, then;definitely;follow their advice. The reason is their product may react so fast in your water, that alkalinity will be reduced with no affect on your pH. ;So, instead of one level out of balance, you now have two.
- Dry acid will lower your pH as well as your alkalinity. ;So, remember that you need to test both again.
Muriatic acid, used to reduce the pH in swimming pools. ;Dont spill it on concrete!