How To Lower Ph Levels
Before doing anything, always test your water first. Use a pool test kit to check the pH, acid demand, and total alkalinity.
Once youve determined that the pH level is too high, you should now work to restore the balance. There are two main products for lowering the pH. These are sodium bisulfate and muriatic acid.
Here are the steps for each product:
The Recommended Ph In A Pool: 72
Fun fact: the ideal pH for a pool is 7.2-7.6, which is very close to the typical pH range of the human body. This makes sense, as swimming in water with the same pH as you is a lot more comfortable.
Very close to neutral, a pH of 7.2-7.6 is extremely clear and safe for swimmers while also being gentle on your equipment, so keeping your pH in that range is essential.
You should be checking your pH once a week. Refer to our Pool Chemistry Cheat Sheet for everything you need to know to keep your water balanced.
Balanced water is even more important now as we continue to go through a chlorine shortage. Making sure your water is balanced is one of the best ways to get the most out of your chlorine.
What Product Should You Use To Raise Ph
The chemical products most commonly used to raise pH in swimming pools are either baking soda, soda ash, or borax.
Any product used to raise the pH level will also raise the total alkalinity to varying degrees:
- Baking soda raises pH a tiny amount while raising alkalinity a lot
- Soda ash raises pH while also raising alkalinity
- Borax raises pH a lot while only raising alkalinity a little
Which product you should use depends on your total alkalinity at the time of raising your pH, as you always want to keep alkalinity between 80 and 120 parts per million .
To give you a practical example:
- If your alkalinity is 100ppm, you would be better off using borax to increase pH as you can only afford a small increase in alkalinity.
- If your alkalinity is only 50ppm, you would be better off using soda ash to significantly increase both at the same time.
Note: If youre looking to raise pH without raising alkalinity at all, see the next section on using a natural process called aeration.
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How To Fix Alkalinity
Muriatic acid will lower your total alkalinity alongside your pH level.
Fortunately, if your alkalinity is too low after adjusting your pH level, bringing it back up is a piece of cake.
Speaking of cake, youll be using baking soda for this. Baking soda raises total alkalinity without raising pH by any meaningful amount, making it the ideal substance to pair with muriatic acid.
On average, heres how baking soda effects alkalinity per 10,000 gallons:
- 5 oz of baking will raise total alkalinity by 2ppm
- 14 oz of baking will raise total alkalinity by 5ppm
- 27 oz of baking will raise total alkalinity by 10ppm
As before, while these averages are good to know, the exact amount should be based on your current pH and alkalinity. You can get a far more accurate measurement using this calculator.
Acid Amount For Lowering Ph Varies With Cya Borate And Temp
Lets start with a simple lowering of pH with muriatic acid and see how some water conditions change the amounts of acid needed. I have used a TDS of 1,000 ppm for each calculation.
|Muriatic Acid Amount to lower pH from 8.0 to 7.5 with varying levels of CYA per 10,000 gallons|
It should be obvious that the amount of acid needed to make a change of pH from 8.0 to 7.5 is very different depending on only CYA, borate, and temperature. The amount of muriatic acid is from 18.8 fl oz with 0 ppm CYA, 0 ppm Borate, and temperature of 100° F to 61.1 fl oz with 150 ppm CYA, 50 ppm borate and temperature of 100° F. In other words, it takes 3.25 times more acid to lower pH when CYA, borate, and temperature are high. And, the amount of acid used will have varying effects on alkalinity.
You can also see that adjusting the water to a pH of 7.5 , will only lower alkalinity by 7 ppm to 14 ppm. So, you end up with an alkalinity that is still too high. From a water balance standpoint and from a practical stand- point, a high alkalinity will continuously raise the pH. You will always be adding acid to a pool that has high alkalinity.
It should also be apparent that using a chart, table or even a water balance app that gives acid amounts to lower pH and alkalinity is questionable unless the table or chart includes adjustments for CYA. Borate, temperature, salt, and calcium levels in the water.
2.56 fl oz × × Alkalinity Decrease = Amount of Muriatic Acid in fl oz
2.56 fl oz × ×
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Who Knows How Much Soda Ash Is Needed To Raise Ph
Determining the amount of soda ash needed for raising pH in pool water is difficult to calculate for the same reasons as finding the acid amount. There are 30 or so variables that affect the calculation. In addition, there are only a few charts or tables readily available showing how much soda ash is needed to raise pH. And I am certain that the charts do not give any information about the resulting or new alkalinity after addition. And they certainly would not take into consid- eration the 30 variables that we have mentioned.
There are two very important facts that you should remember when deciding to raise pH with soda ash or bicarb. First, sodium bicarbonate should not be used to make a pH change. Raising total alkalinity by 20 ppm with bicarb in 10,000 gallons of water would take 44.8 oz of bicarb and it would raise pH by only 0.072 from 7.5 to 7.572. Another way to look at this is that raising alkalinity by 100 ppm in 10,000 gallons of water would require the addition of 228.1 oz or 14.26 lbs of bicarb and it would only raise pH by 0.225 from 7.5 to 7.725. By contrast, if you added 14 lbs of soda ash it would raise the pH to 9.6 and increase alkalinity by 162 ppm.
This will raise the pH fast.
Soda ash raises pH and alkalinity. Usually, if you try to use it to raise pH, you will raise the alkalinity too high and have to add acid to adjust it back down.
Here are two tables that will give you some idea about using soda ash for pH adjustment.
How To Maintain Acceptable Alkalinity And Ph Levels With Waterguru
One of the most effective and hassle-free ways to monitor and regulate the alkalinity and pH levels of your pool are with devices and supplies from WaterGuru. WaterGuru products can give you many noticeable positive results, including safer swimming, longer pool life, a better visual appeal and extended equipment life.
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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.
Why Does Your Pool’s Ph Need To Be Balanced
Controlling the pH is important not only for comfortable swimming, but also for the long life of the materials that make up the pool.
The pH of human teardrops is about 7.5. Having a pH as close to that number as possible will make swimming more comfortable. As a pool service tech, I sometimes hear people complain that swimmers’ eyes hurt because the chlorine level is too high. But in these cases, an unbalanced pH level, not a high chlorine level, is almost always the problem.
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When Is Ph Too Low
pH measures how acidic or basic your pool water is.
This is measured on a scale of 1 to 14, with 7 being neutral. Anything below 7 is increasingly acidic and anything above 7 is increasingly basic.
When your water becomes too acidic for too long, some pretty undesirable things start to happen. These include etching of your pool surfaces, corrosion of your pool parts, and general discomfort to swimmers.
Ideally, you want your pH level to stay between 7.2 and 7.8 .
While a temporary drop below 7.2 shouldnt be cause for concern, its important to take steps to bring it back into range as soon as possible, especially with drastic drops in pH.
It Can Make Your Sanitizer Weaker
Pool water sanitizer, like chlorine, becomes less effective at killing bacteria, pathogens and algae as your pH level rises.
What this means is, as you move towards the higher end of the pH scale, youll need to add double or even triple the amount of sanitizer in your pool in order to achieve the same level of sanitation.
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Getting An Accurate Water Test
One more tip! For correct pH and Total Alkalinity testing, a titration test is generally much more accurate than test strips. We like to recommend the Taylor K-2005, but if the price tag is too much, take a look at the less expensive Swimline 4-in-1 for a reliable pool pH and Alkalinity test kit.
If you have any other questions about pool pH or Total Alkalinity chemicals that we didnt cover, let us know. You can also check out our handy dosage charts for more information about how to reach specific levels with water balancing chemicals.
Class is adjourned. Happy swimming!
Testing & Adjusting Ph Levels
The pH level is one of the most important factors in pool water balance and it should be tested and corrected at least once a week. The pH is the measure of the acidity or alkalinity the of the swimming pool water. A pH of 7.0 is neutral below 7.0 is acidic and above 7.0 is alkaline. The pH of the pool should be kept within the range of 7.0-7.8. The human body is slightly alkaline, with eye tears being at about 7.2 pH. Thus, a more comfortable pH would be closer to 7.2 or 7.6.
If a pool is too acidic or the pH is low, metals begin to corrode, plaster finish wears off allowing algae growth, and sulphates are released causing brown and black stains. The pool will require the use of more chlorine, because it will be released into the atmosphere, causing eyes and noses to burn and skin to get dry and itchy.
If the pH is to alkaline, or too high, calcium deposits begin to form, water becomes cloudy and murky, chlorine is less effective, filters clog up, eyes and nose burns, and skin gets dry and itchy.
Its best to test the pH in the pool twice a week. This can be done using pH test strips or test kits. This will give an accurate reading of the current pH of the water. Before you attempt to adjust the pH, it is vital to know how many gallons of water are being treated. This will help you know how much chemical is needed to adjust the pH. If you dont know how many gallons of water your pool holds, you can take the volume of water and multiply that by 7.5 .
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Ph Information For Balancing Your Pool
Testing Pool pH:Test your pools pH level regularly with a test kit or test strips. In addition, we recommend periodically taking a water sample to a dealer test station to verify the results.
One of the biggest parts of pool care is maintaining the chemical balance in your pool. Pool chemistry is not only necessary to keep your pool clean and safe, maintaining a proper pH level in your pool is essential in order for other chemicals to do their work. Chlorine is much less effective at higher pH levels in fact, at a pH of 8.2, chlorine is only 15% effective. The optimal pH range for your pool is 7.2-7.8. Is your swimming pool well balanced? Find out with our Langelier Saturation Index calculator.
If using a FROG® System, use only FROG Test Strips to help you dial in the low chlorine or bromine level used with FROG minerals. With standard test strips you could over chlorinate which wastes money. Using FROG Test Strips can help your chlorine pacs and bromine cartridges last up to 50% longer!
Raising Your Pools Ph Level
Raising your pool’s water to its normal range isn’t an unnatural thing. If at all, one crucial aspect of being a pool owner.
Test pH Levels and Water Levels
Before heading straight to adding pool chemicals, you should test the waters first.
In doing so, you want to check whether the rating is too high or low, for you to know how much you need to add. And what better way to do this than by using test strips and getting a water sample.
Add Soda Ash/Baking Soda
Sodium Bicarbonate and Soda ash is known for their high alkalinity that can also increase the pH of your pool, and lower acidity. Here’s how you can use soda ash or baking soda.
Step 1: Turn on the pump of your pool
Step 2: Based on the results of your test kit, determine how much Soda Ash you need per 10,000 gallons of water.
Step 3: Evenly pour the sodium carbonate on the water surface of your pool. Give it an hour or two for the water to circulate in your pool.
Step 4: Re-test the water on your pool until it reaches the desired rating.
Check and Test pH Level Again
The process of achieving the perfect rating lies with some trial-and-effort. You’ll need to re-do the test until such time you get the right pH balance.
The results can either show a high pH or a lower pH. In general, a higher pH is always better than having a low and acidic pH reading. It’s a lot harder to raise the pH than to overdo the treatment.
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Determine If The Alkalinity Is High Or Low
If your total alkalinity is low, you need to raise the alkalinity. So, how to raise alkalinity in the pool?
You can add sodium bicarbonate into the water. The amount of sodium bicarbonate will depend on the chart attached to the pool test kit.
Meanwhile, if the alkalinity is high, you can apply diluted muriatic acid. You can calculate the amount of muriatic acid that you need by using a pool calculator. You need to know the amount of water in your pool to know how much chemical to use.
How To Add Acid
When you add acid, pour it into the deepest part of the pool, while the pump is running and circulating the water. Wait at least an hour before using the pool if you added a lot of acid, wait 24 hours and test the pH before using the pool.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the authors 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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Why Ph Balance Is Important
Maintaining the correct pH balance not only keeps your swimming pool sparkling clean but also helps preserve your pool finishs aesthetic appeal by preventing it from getting stained. pH balance is also essential to ensuring the longevity of your pool and its components.
Pools need to have a pH level of between 7.2 and 7.8. Pool water with pH levels that are low is acidic. This kind of water is corrosive and can lead to pumps and other equipment breaking down. Basically, everything that acidic water touches gets worn away, including accessories, plumbing, and other parts of the pool system.
Unbalanced pH levels can also wear down pool liners and ladders, causing them to become brittle and crack. Improper pH levels can even strip the copper right out of heat exchangers.
Start By Testing Your Water
Its impossible to know how what to add if you dont know your starting pH and total alkalinity.
So, using a pool testing kit, start by getting a basic reading on your water. Liquid test kits are ideal as theyre often more accurate than testing strips, but you could also take a sample to your local pool store.
These numbers will be important in the following steps.
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Know The Quantity Of Sodium Bicarbonate You Need To Add
Although too low levels of alkalinity can cause problems for your pool, so can high alkalinity. To avoid creating further problems in your pool, you want to make sure your pools alkalinity falls between 80 and 120 PPM. Depending on how low your levels are, you may need to use more product. A general rule is that it takes between one and one and a half pounds of sodium bicarbonate to raise alkalinity by 10 PPM in a 10,000-gallon pool. If you are unsure of the amount to use, use a smaller amount, wait to recheck the alkalinity levels and adjust accordingly.