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How Lower Ph In Pool

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Figure Out How Much Acid You Need

How To Lower High pH in Pool: Using pH Down for a Balanced Pool – Clorox® Pool& Spa

First, youll need to know how many gallons of water your pool holds as well as the pH and alkalinity levels. If youre lowering your pools alkalinity and pH, you can calculate how much muriatic acid to add so your pH is just below optimal range. This will bring your alkalinity down to normal, then you can run the pump to aerate your pool and gently nudge the pH upward.

The label on your muriatic acid should help you determine how much to add, but if it doesnt, you can plug your figures into an online calculator.

What Are The Effects Of Raised Ph Level In The Pool

A rise in the pH level can create a lot of effects and problems, which are as follows:

  • High pH level can make chlorine in-effective which in turn promotes the growth of algae and bacteria.
  • Alkaline pH can make water hard, which further results in the formation of scales of calcium deposits. The scale build-up can result in the clogging of the pipes and filters. The clogged pipes can create the problem of motor failure and leakage.
  • It can irritate the eyes and make skin dry.
  • The rise in pH can also result in the cloudy and hazy pool, making it unfit for swimming.

How To Lower Ph In A Swimming Pool

The two common chemicals used to lower pH in swimming pool water are sodium bisulphate and muriatic acid.

Sodium bisulphate is a dry acid packaged in a granular form which makes handling and storage easy.

Muriatic acid, which is a form of hydrochloric acid , comes in liquid form and is more dangerous for handling and storage. This acid can be used to perform an acid wash of pool surfaces to clean away algae, scale and calcium build up.

There are many commercially available products with brand names such as pH Down, pH Reducer, pH Minus, etc. All of these products are suitable to reduce the level of pH in a pool. Some are suited to salt water, some fresh water or hot tubs. Mostly they are a form of sodium bisulphate. Choose the right one for your pool and always ensure your read the instructions on the label of the container to use the correct dosage.

To add the chemical, turn on the pump, pour the chemical into the water where the outlet jets return water to the pool. This will help mix the acid into the water and circulate it around the whole pool. Now run the pump for at least 15 minutes.

If you have an above-ground pool, you will need to mix small amounts of chemical into a bucket of water and manually spread it around the pool.

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How Much Acid Should I Add To My Pool

This depends on how high your pool’s pH is and the size of the pool. If you are using test strips, it’s usually hard to determine exactly how high the pH level is you just know it’s high. A better test kit, or a DPD drop test kit, will use phenol red to give you a better idea of your true pH reading. Some better test kits include an “acid demand” test to help calculate a more precise dosage.

If you have a pH reading of 7.8 or higher, and an average size in-ground pool, you should add 1/4 gallon of muriatic acid, and re-test after the water has circulated for an hour. If you have a smaller pool, or an above-ground pool, you would start with one cup of acid, and then re-test and add more if needed. If you have a spa, we are talking only capfuls at a time. Very little acid is needed to adjust pH in a spa.

For a more exact idea of how much acid to add, see the table below or use a pool calculator, which can be found online, that will give you an amount based on estimated pool volume and chemistry.

What Happens In A High Ph Swimming Pool


A swimming pool with a high pH is considered alkaline, which can cause issues with the pool and swimmers. There can be several answers to what causes high pH in pool, such as a sudden rise in water temperature, but more importantly that the causes are its effects. If the pH level is above 7.8, you can expect the water to become cloudy and to see scaling along the pool sides.

Further, a pH that is above normal prevents the chlorine and other disinfecting chemicals to do their job. This means bacteria and other microorganisms may thrive in your pool. While you cannot see with your naked eye, bacteria in your pool water can be harmful when they enter your body. Read on to learn how to lower pH in pool naturally.

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What Causes High Ph In The Pool

As mentioned earlier, high pH is described as a pH test reading above 7.6. The pH can either rise naturally over time or go up with certain pool chemicals. Its more common for a pool to have a low pH over a pool that has a high pH level.

Some of the main culprits of a high pH include:

1. High Alkalinity

When total alkalinity is too high, pH will usually be too high as well. That is, when alkalinity rises, pH normally rises too. These two factors fall hand in hand with one another whereby when one shifts, the other will follow close behind.

If youre experiencing high pH and high alkalinity, lowering the alkalinity will also bring the pH down.

2. Algae

When you have algae in your pool, it uses up carbon dioxide. Due to some pesky science, the less carbon dioxide thats present in your pool, the higher the pH will become. Your pool will naturally become more alkaline over time as a result of the escaping CO2 gas particles.

3. Pool Chemicals

Chemicals such as these can all raise pH:

  • Some sanitizers
  • Bicarb Soda / Baking Soda / Sodium Bicarbonate
  • Soda Ash

Some sanitizers have a higher pH than others. For example, chlorine tablets generally have a low pH whilst calcium hypochlorite has a higher pH . Overuse of high pH sanitizer will cause your pools pH levels to go up.

Salt water pools pH level can rise too as a side effect of this type of sanitizing system.

Co2 For Lower Ph Pool Water

Liquid acid is the most common formula that people use to lower pH levels in swimming pools. But swimming pool acid is a hazardous liquid. It is highly corrosive and causes harm to people and the environment. This is why we offer a better alternative.

With carbon dioxide or CO2 from Poolsmith Technologies, pool owners dont have to deal with liquid acid. Lets see the difference between CO2 and swimming pool acid.

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Effects Of A High Ph Level

Why is high water pH level, or pH above 7.8, bad for your swimming pool? For starters, its unhealthy for both the swimmers and your wallet. Here are some of the problems you might have to deal with:

  • Youll hear complaints about stinging eyes, dry skin, and sticky feeling from the swimmers.
  • Youll notice that the pool has become hazy or cloudy which isnt very appealing to those who want to swim.
  • Chlorine becomes less effective at higher pH levels. The cost of adding more chlorine is more expensive than test kits for pH. Low chlorine promotes bacteria and algae growth.
  • Alkalinity makes the water hard and can cause scale formation from calcium deposits. Scale buildup will clog your filters and pipes. This will put a strain on your pool equipment and cause various problems such as leaks and motor failure.

What Causes High Ph In A Pool

How to Lower Pool pH | DIY Pool Care | The Home Depot

There are many possible reasons why you may observe a high pH level in your pool.

  • A saltwater generator can cause the pH level to rise.
  • Water features in your pool will cause aeration, which will contribute to a higher pool pH.
  • The addition of liquid chlorine increases the pH and alkalinity level of your pool.
  • Shocking your pool using calcium hypochlorite will lead to increased calcium, pH, and alkalinity levels.
  • Your pool pH will also naturally rise over time from the accumulation of chemicals in the pool water.
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    Directing Downspouts Into The Pool

    This technique is not commonly used because it is a bit difficult. But if you can do it, you definitely should.

    If youve used the test strips to check the pH level of your pool and it is alkaline, you can reduce it by using rainwater. Rainwater has a pH of about 5.6. When mixed with the pool water, it will lower the pH.

    The problem with using this technique is that you haveto continue checking the pH. It must be balanced and within the neutral rangeat all times. Because rainwater has low alkalinity levels, it may not be soeasy to maintain. The chlorine in the water may corrode your pool and pipes ifyou dont monitor carefully.

    However, rainwater is a very good alternative if youlive in an area where water is expensive.

    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.

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    How To Raise Ph In A Saltwater Pool

    You raise pH in your saltwater pool by using sodium carbonate aka baking soda.

    As the chart above shows, baking soda has a pH of 8 which makes it a great way to raise pH in a pool that has a low level. In fact, many pH-raising products sold commercially use baking soda as a main ingredient to accomplish this. So while you need to use more than just a box of Arm & Hammer that you buy in your grocery store, you can buy baking soda in bulk to raise pH if youd prefer to use a more natural option than a chemical-laced commercial one.

    In general terms, you may need about 1.5 lbs of baking soda per 10,000 gallons of pool water to raise the pH by about 10 ppm. Check out my post on baking soda pool usage to learn more including some tips directly from Arm & Hammer.

    How To Lower Ph Levels Using Sodium Bisulfate

    4 Ways to Lower Swimming Pool pH

    If you choose to use a sodium bisulfate product to lower your pH or alkalinity levels, be sure to use some precautions.

    Try not to use it on a windy day so that the powder wont blow back onto your skin or eyes, and get down close to the water when adding it to get as much of the product into the pool as you can, rather than into the air.

    Then take the following steps:

    Also Check: How Long Should A Pool Pump Run

    Misunderstandings About Swimming Pool Ph

    Of all water chemistry parameters, many experts argue that pH is the most important. Indeed, pH impacts just about everything else in water chemistry, but most swimming pool operatorsboth residentially and commerciallymisunderstand it. We know this because we also misunderstood it, thanks to reading swimming pool operator textbooks. This article will set the record straight.

    1. pH and carbon dioxide

    Lower Ph In A Pool Naturally

    If the pH in your pool is only a little bit high there is one method to naturally reduce the alkalinity of the water without adding chemicals.

    Wait for a weather forecast of rain. You can drain some water out and let the rainfall fill up the pool again. As rain is usually slightly acidic this will help to lower the pH of your pool water.

    You only need to drain water to the lower level of the skimmer box flap by turning the valve at the pump to the drain and running the pump for a few minutes. You still want the pump and filter to operate normally with sufficient water flow so dont drain too much water. When it rains the pool water will slowly rise and the pH will slightly fall as the pump mixes in the rainwater. Your chlorinator will automatically generate new chlorine to maintain an adequate free chlorine level in the water.

    Another method is to use tap water.

    Is your town water supply pH neutral? You could drain some water from your pool and top up with tap water to reduce the pH.

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    How To Lower Ph In Pool Water

    Lowering the pools pH can be done in a number of ways using a variety of pool water products. The first one we recommend is muriatic acid, also known as hydrochloric acid, which is especially useful for larger pools.

    Make sure to purchase one that is meant for swimming pools or spas to get the correct concentration level.

    Read the instructions carefully, as some muriatic acids are pre-diluted and can be added to the pool directly.

    Others may need mixing in a bucket of water before putting it into the pool.

    Remember, always mix chemicals into the water, not the other way around, as you want to avoid the concentrated acid getting splashed up if the water is added.

    How much you need to add will depend on the size of your pool, as well as its current pH level.

    As with all pool chemicals, be sure to wear protective clothing in case of spills.

    Another product you can use to decrease the pH of the water is sodium bisulfate, also known as dry acid. This acid has the advantage of being easier to handle than muriatic acid. Follow the instructions carefully as different manufacturers have different instructions.

    With both of these products, make sure to add them in front of the return jets and wait 4 hours before anyone gets in to ensure that the acid has circulated evenly throughout the water.

    How To Use Muriatic Acidto Lower Pool Ph

    How To Lower Swimming Pool pH Level Using Muriatic Acid – Tutorial

    As a strong acid, this chemical is a very effective way to lower the pH of your pool and lower total alkalinity. Muriatic acid can also be used to clean the pool surface but be careful, its a very powerful chemical.

    How to Use Muriatic Acid:1. Test your pools alkalinity and pH .

    2. Measure the required acid and dilute in a large bucket of water in a 10:1 ratio. This will avoid any backsplash of pouring it directly into the pool.

    3. Pour the solution into the deep end of the pool near the jets. Make sure the pump is circulating the water.

    4. Wait at least 5 hours, preferably overnight before retesting your pools alkalinity & pH to determine if more acid is required. Repeat steps 2-4 as necessary.

    5. Once you achieve normal alkalinity , check the pH again. If pH drops too low, you can simply aerate the pool or use pH increaser to get it back to optimal ranges.

    **Use acid with extreme caution as this product can burn your skin. It will also stain decks and the pool surrounds if it splashes on them.**

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    How To Lower Ph In A Pool Naturally: The Organic Approach

    As most pool owners know, figuring out pool chemistry is extremely important. Finding out how to lower pH in a pool naturally is especially helpful.

    A pools pH is supposed to be between 7.2 and 7.8. Pure water has a pH of 7. Anything lower is considered acidic and will cause eye and skin irritations or corrosion to whatever pool system you are using. Anything higher than 7 will indicate an alkaline state and will cause other discomforts in swimmers.

    Pool chemicals are the easiest way to get your pool leveled correctly but there are natural and organic ways that can get the job done. Some people prefer these methods and have found them to be safer and more environmentally friendly. This article will outline some methods in which you can lower the pH in your pool naturally.

    What Is Ph In The Pool And Why Is It Important

    pH is used to describe a scale of acidity or basicity of a solution. Ranging from 0-14, a pH of 7 is neutral, anything less than 7 represents an acidic or low pH solution, and anything more than 7 represents a basic or high pH .

    The pH, as well as alkalinity, is probably the most important value to stay on top of in your pool. Its best to maintain a slightly neutral pH between 7.4-7.6 with an alkalinity level between 80-120 ppm.

    Factors that cause pH to change in your pool:

    • sanitizers
    • airborne debris
    • swimmer wastes

    When the pH shifts out of balance, it can wreak havoc on your pools chemistry and balance as it directly affects some of the chemical reactions that take place.

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