Acid Washing Your Pool
Acid magic works extremely hard to eradicate pool stains and produces better results than muriatic acid.
Diluting the Acid
To clean your pool, you need to dilute acid magic. Ensure that you dilute it in the ratio of 1:2 for acid to water. You can easily achieve this by adding a gallon of the acid into two gallons of water. One gallon of the mixture will clean about 100-300 sq. ft. of your swimming pool, depending on the condition and depth of your pool.
Should you require a stronger solution, simply add more acid to the water, until you get the desired result .
The process of Cleaning Your Pool
Here is the process to follow:
Side Effects Of Low Alkalinity
Falling below 80 parts per million alkalinity will eventually result in your water being too acidic, which can cause:
- Corrosion of pool surfaces and equipment
- Etching and staining of pool surfaces and equipment
- Burning or itching of the eyes and skin
- Pool water to turn a shade of green
- Wild fluctuations in pH levels
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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How Much Sodium Bisulfate To Lower Pool Ph
Below you will find the approximate amounts of pH Decreaser you will need to lower the pH and alkalinity in your pool.
The amounts below are approximate. Its always best to read the manufacturers guidelines. Its also best to add less than you think to avoid overshooting your target pH level.
* Approx. amount of sodium bisulfate needed to lower pH level and alkalinity. Amounts are calculated based on 10,000 gal of pool water.
How To Use Muriatic Acidto Lower Pool Ph
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 Use Muriatic Acid
Is muriatic acid dangerous? Like any other swimming pool chemical, it can be harmful if not used as directed. But as long as you follow proper safety procedures, theres nothing to worry about.
Here are a few tips for staying safe when working with muriatic acid:
- When youre working around your swimming pool, splashing is always a risk a good pair of safety goggles is a must-have.
- Like any strong acid, muriatic acid can irritate your skin . Gloves will help you avoid direct contact.
- If you do get muriatic acid on your skin, wash the area with clean water right away .
- Use muriatic acid in a well-ventilated area and avoid breathing fumes.
- Always store muriatic acid in its original container.
- Dont pour unused muriatic acid in the drain. Check with your local recycling center to find out how to dispose of it properly.
The Problems Associated With High Or Low Alkalinity Levels
A normal alkalinity range stabilizes the pH levels of water in the pool. You will achieve this by preventing rapid changes in pH. Below are a few problems that will arise if the level of alkalinity is too low
- Plaster and marbelite walls become etched
- Staining the walls and floor
- Corrodes metals
- Lowers the efficiency of chlorine
- The pool will need acids consistently
As you can see, unbalance alkalinity levels in your pool has several effects at large. Therefore, you always need to prevent such a situation from happening to maintain your pool safe. But then, how can you ensure normal alkalinity levels are maintained?
Experts recommend pool owners test the total alkalinity of their pool regularly. The levels change very little over time if you maintain your pool as required.
In the market, there exist several products designed purposely to ensure total alkalinity levels are maintained normally. Sodium bicarbonate and Muriatic acid are the best products for this purpose. Sodium bicarbonate helps to raise alkalinity or pH of water.
Muriatic acid, on the other hand, is responsible to lower the total alkalinity and pH levels. Below, you will learn how Muriatic acid is used to reduce the total alkalinity of your pool.
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Add The Sodium Bisulfate
Now, add the sodium bisulfate to the pool.
For an inground pool, this is close to the return jets for an above ground pool, this is along the pool wall.
This should distribute the product all throughout the pool within 15 minutes or so, and you’ll be able to tell when the product dissolves as it will disappear from sight.
High Alkalinity With Low Ph
Even though alkalinity and pH get reduced together, the pH lowers much faster than alkalinity. This could result in high alkalinity and low pH in your pool water. Excessive amounts of cyanuric acid getting added to the water will cause this to happen.
Outdoor pools require chlorine stabilizers, but they must be used properly or else the water chemistry will suffer an imbalance. Every chemical you put in your pool will have an effect on the pH and alkalinity levels but at different rates. Any attempt to adjust these levels will still cause one to be higher than the other.
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Why Your Pools Ph Matters: And How Muriatic Acid Can Help
pH is a measure of how acidic your pool water is. Things that can affect your pools pH include rainfall, outside temperature, and how often your pool is used.
Ideally, you want your pH to be somewhere between 7.2 and 7.8. If your pH is below 7.2, its too acidic. If your water is above 7.8, its not acidic enough. When your pool has high pH/low acidity, chlorine is less effective, your pool water can become cloudy, and you may notice scaling on your waterline tiles and other surfaces.
The quickest way to get your pH back to an acceptable level is to use a chemical pH reducer. Pool supply stores sell muriatic acid or sodium bisulfate as pH reducers. Sodium bisulfate, or dry acid, comes in a powder form and is more mild than muriatic acid, so its a little safer to use, but many pool owners use generic muriatic acid as a substitute for pH reducers.
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The Necessary Equipment For The Project
Any project will be accomplished once all equipment for use are in place. For this project, you need to look for equipment that doesnt react with Muriatic acid. Metal parts corrode after they get into contact with acids. Therefore, you need to ensure everything you use is not made of metal.
- Muriatic acid
- An apron
- Test strips
Since Muriatic acid is dangerous, you need to wear protective gear to avoid getting in contact with it. Also, always pay attention during the process to prevent the splashing of the acid. Additionally, use a stirrer and basin made of plastic.
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Sodium Bisulfate Vs Muriatic Acid
Sodium bisulfate is not the only chemical that can be used to lower pH balance, of coursemuriatic acid is also readily available for this purpose and it works just as well.
The problem with muriatic acid, though, is that it is a much more caustic substance that can burn the skin or damage your pool surfaces if youre not careful.
But some people use muriatic acid in cleaning their tiles and removing buildup anyway, so they prefer to also use it to lower pH when needed.
Its entirely your choice, but in my opinion, stick with sodium bisulfate whenever possible.
Lower Alkalinity And Ph With Acid Then Raise Only Ph With Air
Lowering the pH significantly will increase the amount of carbonates that are in the form of carbon dioxide in the water and that will increase the rate of outgassing . Aeration will also increase this rate of outgassing. As the carbon dioxide outgases, the pH rises with no change in total alkalinity. You can then add acid to lower both pH and TA with the net effect of lowering only the TA.
In other words, add acid until the alkalinity reaches about 90 to 100 ppm. Then aerate until the pH rises to 7.4 to 7.6.
The main rule to keep in mind is that it takes 25.6 oz. of full-strength muriatic acid to lower the total alkalinity by 10 ppm in 10,000 gallons. The problem: If one adds enough acid to lower the total alkalinity all at once, the pH can get very low. Now, let’s see how low it would actually go in some extreme cases.
Add the Acid The key to adding such large quantities of acid to the pool is to avoid overdosing in one place, as that could damage the plaster. Adding the acid slowly over a return flow with the pump running, and then brushing to ensure thorough mixing, will prevent the pH from getting too low in one spot, potentially damaging the plaster.
Add the Air Simply doing things like pointing the returns upwards and running the pump on high to create surface disturbance will aerate the water reasonably well. One could also add an aerator to a standard return.
The idea is to increase the air-water surface area as much as possible, for as long as possible.
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Using Air And Acid To Quickly Get Perfect Ph/alkalinity
It sounds radical and way out there but it’s easy to do and it works. You really can do this. Best of all, it uses muriatic acid which is cheap and something that is free air.
In a typical pool, pH is maintained at a recommended level of minimum 7.2 and a maximum of 7.8 with the ideal range of 7.4 to 7.6 . The total alkalinity is maintained at a minimum of 80 ppm to a maximum of 160 ppm, with an ideal range of 100 ppm to 140 ppm.
If the pH and alkalinity are both higher than recommended levels, muriatic acid , dry acid , sulfuric acid are added or carbon dioxide is injected to lower them. However, pH is a logarithmic value and total alkalinity is linear, so they will not be lowered or raised at the same rate.
High and Low Problem
So a service tech, commercial pool operator or pool dealer is faced with lowering either pH or total alkalinity too much or not enough. If enough acid is added to adjust the pH to the recommended range, then the alkalinity will be too high. If enough acid is added to adjust the total alkalinity to the proper level, then the pH will be too low.
When the pH is a little low and the total alkalinity is near recommended levels, adding soda ash will bring both up to proper levels. However, if pH is low and total alkalinity is OK, there has not been a practical way to raise only the pH.
How To Add Muriatic Acid To Pool
Keeping the alkalinity of the pool at the right level can be done easily without spending a lot. Just by adding the right amount of muriatic acid and following the right process, you can easily obtain the right level of alkalinity.
If you left the pool untreated, it would cause harm in your pool water and the circulation system. Adding muriatic acid is the simplest and inexpensive way of lowering the pools alkalinity. You just need to have some patience, a bucket and know the safety precautions you need to apply.
Before you start adding the muriatic acid, you need to prepare the materials you need. Keep in mind that muriatic acid is highly caustic. It can burn your skin within seconds, and inhaling its vapor can cause severe respiratory problems.
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How To Safely Add Muriatic Acid To Your Pool
Muriatic acid is a somewhat diluted version of hydrochloric acid. As with most other forms of acid, muriatic acid is highly corrosive, which means that you need to be very careful whenever you use it. If you have a swimming pool in your backyard, muriatic acid can be integral towards making sure that the proper water chemistry is maintained. The main reason that muriatic acid needs to be added into pool water is because it can help reduce pH levels that have become too high. High pH levels are known to lead to the development of scale.
Along with balancing the pH levels of your pool water, muriatic acid is strong enough to kill mold, remove rust stains, get rid of calcium deposits, and clean the surfaces of your pool. If you want your pool water to be clean and healthy to swim in, its very important that you take steps to clean the pool on a consistent basis. Because of how corrosive muriatic acid can be, you should know exactly how to use it before you add it to your pool water.
This article goes into detail about what it takes to safely add muriatic acid to your pool.
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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Muriatic Acid Vs Sulfuric Acid
Many people use sulfuric acid in place of muriatic acid to lower the pH in the pool. When comparing muriatic acid vs. sulfuric acid, both can be used to get the desired results.
However, you will be better off using muriatic acid because its use does not lead to any side effects. It is comparatively inexpensive, which is an added advantage.
Sulfuric acid is more harmful than muriatic acid, so it is difficult to come by and costs more too.
On the downside, muriatic acid is known for creating more fumes, but sulfuric acid can burn your skin in no time.
While making the comparison, keep in mind that sulfuric acid can increase the concentration of the total dissolved solids in your pool water. It adds sulfate to the water and increases the risk of stainless steel corrosion.
Causes Of Falling Alkalinity
If your pools pH level is on the way down, this will eventually begin to influencein this case, your alkalinity along with it.
A decrease in pH can be caused by excessive rainwater entering the pool and diluting the water, acid rain which can directly drive both your pH and alkalinity levels down, and even bodily fluids from swimmers such as sweat and urine .
And while pool shock can raise pH as explained above, commonly used chlorine tablets have a very low pH. In other words, if you let too much dissolve into dissolve in your pool water, it will lower your pH level and alkalinity along with it.
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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:
- 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.