Raise Alkalinity In Water
Total Alkalinity is a measurement of the concentration of dissolved alkali in water . Dissolved alkali neutralizes acid, but more importantly, it has the ability to both accept and give away Hydrogen ions. This makes alkalinity a buffer of pH. We measure Total Alkalinity, which is all dissolved alkali in the water. Indices like the LSI require narrowing down and finding the amount of carbonate alkalinity in water …but that’s at topic for another article. Oh wait, we have several of them already written! Feel free to indulge yourself on the sweet nectar of pool chemistry knowledge. Mmmm.
Ideally, alkalinity is kept between 80-120 ppm, according to most textbooks. Winter water chemistry will usually need more than 120ppm alkalinity in our opinion, because cold temperatures lower the LSI and make water more aggressive. If you need to increase alkalinity in a pool, you will either need sodium bicarbonate or soda ash.
What Is Sodium Bicarbonate For Swimming Pools
Similarly, what is the difference between sodium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate in pools? Sodium bicarbonate has two carbonate groups, CO2 and carbonate has one carbonate group. Sodium bicarbonate is a much weaker base and does not burn the skin. If you want to raise the pH of a pool sodium carbonate will do a good job but you have to be careful when using sodium carbonate as it is a strong base.
In this regard, how do you use sodium bicarbonate in a pool?
Mixing in the Baking Soda. Add 1.25 lb of baking soda per 10,000 US gal of water. This will raise the alkalinity of the water by 10 ppm. Adjust the values to determine how much baking soda you need to add for the volume of your pool.
Will baking soda make pool water clear?
Baking Soda and Green, Blue, or Yellow AlgaeYou’ll need to use an algaecide to kill the algae and superchlorinate your pool to clear the water. After this treatment, test your pH and alkalinity and add baking soda to raise alkalinity to at least 100 ppm and pH to between 7.2 and 7.8.
Low Ph Is An Easy Fix
Raising the pH level of a swimming pool is as easy as adding more alkaline materials. Soda ash and sodium bicarbonate are two common alkaline products that can be used to raise pH levels in a pool. Remember that optimal pH levels for a swimming pool are between 7.4 7.6! If you overshoot it and need to bring your levels back down, read my guide on how to lower your pool pH level.
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Side Effects Of Using Soda Ash
When adding any chemical to your pool, adding it improperly can cause unwanted effects on your pool chemistry.
It is important to know what your chemical levels are before adding any other chemicals to your pool. If soda ash is incorrectly added into your pool, cloudy water can result.
Cloudy water as a result of soda ash can be caused by not fully dissolving it into a bucket of water before adding it to the pool. Undissolved soda ash will sit in your water as there is not enough circulation to dissolve once its added it.
If soda ash and calcium chloride are added into your pool at the same time, your pool will become cloudy. This is caused by a chemical reaction. Remember to never mix chemicals in your pool and follow manufacturers directions when adding and storing chemicals.
If too much soda ash is added to the pool, the total alkalinity of your pool with rise to the point where there is cloudy water. When this happens, you will then have to add muriatic acid or sodium bisulfate to lower your alkalinity in your pool.
Figure Out Much Baking Soda Is Needed
The next move to make is to figure out much baking soda pH is required in pool water. Again, getting the measurement right is an essential part of the process. On average, the measurement of pool chemicals is based on 10,000 water gallons.
So if your pool is much larger, you will need to adjust your calculation to make up for the extra gallons. As a general rule, about 1.5 lbs of soda per 10,000 water gallons will raise the alkalinity levels of your pool by about 10 ppm. So, if your swimming pool has a pH level below 7.2, about 3-4 pounds of baking soda pH is what you need to raise it to acceptable levels.
If you have never used pool chemicals before, you may want to start by adding half of the required amount before retesting the water. Then, if more is needed, you can add a few more pounds of baking soda. However, adding too much baking soda will spike the pH more than necessary.
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About The Ph Levels And Alkalinity Of A Pool
PH level of water is one of the most important factors to consider when cleaning a pool. Maintaining the right PH will ensure that your pool is healthy enough to swim in. A high PH level indicates that the water is alkaline, whereas a low PH level signifies acidic water. Acidic water is a problem for both the swimmer and the pool itself. It can cause drying out of both the skin and hair and may also cause corrosion of pool tiles and fixtures.
Factors like rainfall, which have a PH level of 4-5, can sometimes change the PH level of your pool to make it more acidic and sometimes this causes damage to the pool, leading to repair or remodeling of the pool. Other factors that may influence the PH level of your pool include organic debris, body fluids, and chlorine. This goes to show how important it is to keep the PH level of your pool in check always.
Due to its ever-increasing acidity, alkalizing agents are always added to pool water to help maintain the PH level. Alkalinity is a measure of how much acid your pool water can absorb. It does this by absorbing hydrogen, which it uses to create neutral bicarbonate ions.
In other words, PH levels represent the current acidic level of your pool, whereas alkalinity measures your pools ability to break down acid. On a scale of 0-14 on the PH scale, with 7 being the neutral point, you would want your pool to lie between 7.2-7.8 .
Cloudy Pool After Adding Soda Ash
As mentioned, adding soda ash can sometimes result in a cloudy pool.
Additionally, adding calcium to your pool at the same time as either soda ash OR baking soda can cause a reaction between the chemicals that will cloud up the pool.
Finally, if your soda ash solution hasnt been fully diluted before being poured into the pool, that might also be the culprit.
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How Much Baking Soda
One of the potential disadvantages of using baking soda instead of a commercial alkalinity increaser is that baking soda does not come with instructions for use on pools. However, that should not keep you from using it to increase your alkalinity levels.
To calculate the amount of baking soda you want to use, you should first determine how many gallons of water are in your pool. Then, add 1.5 pounds of baking soda for every 10,000 gallons of water. This will increase the pools total alkalinity by 10 ppm.
For example, if your pool houses 20,000 gallons of water and your test kit has indicated an alkalinity of 50 ppm, you need to raise your alkalinity by at least 30 ppm. With a pool of 20,000 gallons of water, every three pounds of baking soda will raise the water roughly 10 ppm. Therefore, you need to add about nine pounds of baking soda to a 20,000-gallon pool to increase the alkalinity by 30 ppm. This will put the water in the acceptable alkalinity range of 80 -120ppm.
Once youve calculated how much to use, add the baking soda directly into the water. Let it dissolve and allow enough time for it to fully distribute throughout the pool. This will usually take a minimum of twenty minimums with your pump on. Use your test kit to check the levels in the water and add more baking soda as needed.
Always Keep Your Water Chemistry Balanced
As with any chemicals you may add to your pool, your main goal should be to keep the pool’s water chemistry balanced. Test your water regularly and make adjustments as needed. You’ll find that a balanced pool is not only prettier and requires less cleaning, but is also an absolute joy to swim and relax in.
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How Does Baking Soda Work With Chlorine To Clean A Pool
Due to the versatile nature of chlorine, it can also be used to clean an acidic pool with a low PH level. But, to get the best out of chlorine in cleaning your pool, your pool water needs to be slightly alkaline. However, keeping the chlorine level of your pool in check does not necessarily guarantee a comfortable swimming pool. Your pool can still feel cloudy and uncomfortable to swim in because an acidic pool would most likely have too much chloramine present in it, which will end up stinging the eyes while also producing some pool smell. So, it is essential to keep the PH level and chlorine level of your pool water in check to achieve a comfortable swimming pool.
Use Algae Removal Product
There are different types of algae removal many commercial pool products today are sold online and at departmental stores. These products are very effective in checking the spread of algae. Simply apply the content to the affected part. If the pool has been overrun by algae, you will need to add it all over the pool.
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Using Sodium Bicarbonate For Pools
As the summer days get longer and hotter, more people are spending as much time as possible in their swimming pools. While a great way to cool off with family and friends, it also takes careful maintenance to keep all aspects of ones pool in top condition.
Of course, the most important part of a pool is the water itself. Two of the most important factors of a pools water are the alkalinity and pH levels, both of which can have an impact on how much everyone enjoys themselves while splashing and swimming. While one of the most important things to do with pool water is to increase its level of alkalinity, trying to do so often has too big of an impact on the waters pH level.
However, one solution to this problem is using sodium bicarbonate. But before you go looking for it in the pool supply section of your local store, you can simply make a trip to the grocery store and find it on the shelves in front of you. To many peoples surprise, baking soda is the very same chemical, with the added bonus of being a very pure grade as well as a finer grind.
Ph And Alkalinity: The Science Of Swimming Pools
Simply put, pH is a measure of how much acidity is present in a water solution. Low pH means the water has a high amount of acidity, while a higher pH means the water is more alkaline.
Alkalinity is a measure of how well a water solution neutralizes acids. Pure water is neither acidic or alkaline and has a pH of 7. However, the water in your swimming pool is not pure everything that goes into the water can affect both these levels, including chlorine, debris, and lotions.
You may be wondering why its essential to maintain a proper pH level. High pH levels reduce chlorines effectiveness, meaning it cannot disinfect the water fully. Swimming in a pool with high pH can cause red, irritated eyes, dry skin and can even cause increased wear and tear to bathing suits and goggles.
A low pH level means the water is too acidic, which can be damaging to the pool, swimmersand your wallet. Acidic pool water will cause dry, itchy skin and cause stinging in your eyes and nose. But the most damage done by low pH is to the pool itself.
Acidic water is extremely corrosive and will cause rusting in ladders, railings, light fixtures, and even the metal parts of the pump and filter. It will also cause grout, plaster, concrete, and stone to deteriorate faster and long-term exposure to low pH will make vinyl brittle and lead to cracks and tears. Finally, low pH levels will reduce the amount of chlorine in the water, resulting in cloudy water and increased algae buildup.
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Why Use Soda Ash In A Pool
When pool water is contaminated with pollutants from swimmers and the outside environment, chlorine in your pool becomes increasingly less effective.
This lack of sanitizing power causes the pools pH and total alkalinity levels to drop, causing the water to become too acidic. Raising those levels is necessary to restore the pool water to a neutral state.
Soda ash can do just that. Also known as sodium carbonate, it raises both the pH level and total alkalinity of the pool when added to the water.
Note: The ideal pH level for a pool is between 7.4 and 7.6. Anything over this number and the water is too alkaline , while anything under is too acidic. Total alkalinity of pool water should be between 80 and 120 ppm.
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How To Raise Alkalinity In Pool Without Raising Ph
When your pool waters alkalinity is lower than the recommended range, one of the best ways to increase it is by using an alkalinity increaser. This product can be purchased from your local pool supply store and boasts the ability to lower total alkalinity and buffer pH. However, most are unaware of the fact that an alkalinity increaser is just sodium bicarbonate.
Sodium bicarbonate is more commonly known as baking soda. Yes, simple baking soda found in your kitchen can be used to raise your pools alkalinity. In fact, youll likely be able to save quite a bit of money when you use baking soda over alkalinity increaser. With baking soda, you can enjoy all of the same benefits of packaged alkalinity increaser at a reduced price.
Baking Soda Vs Soda Ash
Baking Soda isused to raise alkalinity and also slightly raises pH. And Soda Ash is used to raise pH and slightly raises alkalinity.
For example, getting a pH reading around 7.2 to 7.6 in 10,000 gallons of pool water would take roughly 21 pounds of baking soda. This would also increase the Total Alkalinity by roughly 150 ppm . And thats way too much!
But if we wanted to increase the pH of the pool by 0.5, we could use roughly 12 ounces of soda ash. That would only increase the total alkalinity by roughly 8 ppm.
In other words, use baking soda to increase alkalinity and soda ash to increase pH.
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Risks Of Using Baking Soda In Your Salt Water Pool
The ideal pH in a salt water pool is in the range of 7.0 7.6 which is in the neutral area. Baking soda has a pH of 8.3 which means it trends towards alkaline. While baking soda has benefits to your salt water pool when required, there are a few considerations to think about.
See the chart below for some comparisons between things that are acidic on one end of the scale and alkaline on the other.
While adding baking soda to your pool will increase its alkalinity to neutralize certain things that are more acidic that can enter your pool such as rain, the only thing that you can add to your pool that will raise the alkalinity is baking soda. So you have to be careful not to add too much and throw the pH out of whack.
Adding too much baking soda to your pool can raise the pH to the alkaline level which can have negative implications: A high pH means potential side effects like calcium and scale deposits in the pool, cloudy water, irritated skin and a loss of effectiveness of chlorine.
The only time you would want to add baking soda to your pool is when the pH level is measuring less than 7.2. Use a rule of thumb of adding 1.5 pounds of baking soda to increase the alkalinity by 10 ppm for every 10,000 gallons of pool water.
So if your pool needed to be raised by 20 ppm and you had a 20,000 gallon pool, youd double the formulas ppm and gallon rating to get the following:
1.5 lbs X 2 X 2 = add 6 pounds of baking soda.