How To Lower Pool Alkalinity
Pool supply stores carry a product called pH Decreaser, which is mostly Sodium Bisulphate. This product will lower both pH and total alkalinity, but you can use muriatic acid instead. Because you may already have it on hand, and its cheaper than pH Decreaser, its worth knowing the right way to use muriatic acid to lower your pools alkalinity.
Things To Know About The Average Alkalinity And Ph Of Swimming Pool Water
What determines the purity and the freshness of your pool water is its ph scale. If you dont measure the exact pH and chlorine value, youll never have the ability to estimate the water quality inside the swimming pool. The expression pH suggests that the dimension of how alkaline or acidic is the water.
As a matter of reality, the pH scale ranges from 0 to 14. Where pH 7 is thought of as neutral, water over pH 7 could be considered alkaline .
It could be taken as acidic in character if the pH value of this water is under 7. Thus, it is 7.4, which is thought of as the best pH value. This pH value is equal to that of our eyes and our membranes.
Why You Have High Alkalinity
When the pH goes up, it enters into alkaline territory on the pH scale. This rise will gradually increase the total alkalinity level as well. Theres a few reasons why this occurs.
When swimmers enter the pool, they bring with them their own pollutants that affect the water chemistry. These can be anything from natural body oils, to sunscreen or lotions they may have applied to their skin.
The water that is being used to refill the pool can also be a culprit. If its high-alkaline water to begin with, you can bet it will affect the pools total alkalinity.
Another cause for high alkalinity can be when you shock the pool. While this is performed to quickly rid the pool of pollutants, chlorine-based pool shock is highly alkaline, and can raise the waters total alkalinity level in the process.
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How To Lower The Alkalinity In The Pool
The process of lowering the alkalinity in the water is pretty easy but you need to consider what you want to attain. Depending on that, you will need to change the process of lowering the alkalinity.
One example of that is when you want to lower the waters alkalinity but you do not want the pH level to go lower. That is a tricky thing to do but it can be done with proper tools and processes.
However, in this step-by-step guide, we will just be talking about the process of how you can naturally lower the alkalinity in the water without worrying about the other chemicals.
How To Lower Swimming Pool Alkalinity
Make sure to know the size of your pool, specifically the volume, as this value is required to know how much chemical to add to your swimming pool. As for the total alkalinity range, you ideally want to be in the middle of the range: 80-120 ppm .
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How To Bring Ph Back Up
If youve solved your high alkalinity issue, but notice your waters pH level is now testing too low, you can raise it with either baking soda or soda ash but this will also raise your total alkalinity, especially the latter option.
Fortunately, there is a way you can raise your PH without affecting the alkalinity of the water, using aeration.
Aerating infuses the water with oxygen, removing carbonic acid and raising pH in the process. This naturally occurs when the pools in use or when it rains, but having a dedicated aeration device will accelerate the process.
Aerators are designed to shoot water into the air and have it land in the pool. As the water moves through the atmosphere, it picks up oxygen along the way and injects it into the pool as it lands.
Finally, you can aerate using your pools return jets, pointing them upwards to create bubbles on the surface, or attaching a sprinkler-like product to redirect the returning water and spray it over the surface of the pool.
Why Is It Paramount To Raise Your Pools Alkalinity Level
Your swimming pool can come to immeasurable harm if it contains water with low alkalinity. You risk your pool walls becoming etched, delaminated, or cracked. Some metal surfaces will give way and melt under the corrosive water, which aftereffect is a stained pool wall.
Even the slightest alterations on pool water chemical composition can cause severe fluctuations in the pH levels. When the pH level becomes unbalanced, the phenomenon is called pH bounce and can cause low alkalinity in the pool, as the case may be.
With low alkalinity, the standard amount of chlorine added to your pool would be useless. It would only be useful when more than the usual amount is added for standard results. This means you buy more chlorine and waste more time trying to get to an adequate concentration level with the substance. Asides its effects on your pool, a low alkalinity swimming pool is unsafe for swimmers as the acidic water can cause nasal, eye, and skin irritations.
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What Is Total Alkalinity In Pool Water
Alkalinity and pH are not the same thing but they correlate together.
pH is a scale in chemistry to indicate the level of acidity or alkalinity in a solution.
Swimming pool water should normally be between pH 7.2 and 7.8 which is slightly alkaline and never acidic.
Total Alkalinity in pool water is the measure of all alkaline compounds dissolved in the water. It is a measure of the waters ability to resist changes in pH by providing capacity to neutralize acid. The right amount of alkalinity helps to buffer your pool water from changes in pH.
In the swimming pool industry, total alkalinity is a measure of the dissolved carbonates and bicarbonates in water in parts per million .
The Total Alkalinity in pool water should be between 80 120 ppm.
Vinyl Lined Pools should have a level 100 to 150 ppm
Fibreglass Pools should be 80 to 100 ppm
Concrete Pools with a pebble aggregate lining should be 100 to 200 ppm
Ideal Total Alkalinity Range: 125
For balanced water, you want your pools alkalinity to be between 125 and 150 parts per million when using BioGuard® products. Test alkalinity, along with pH and calcium hardness, a few times a week. Because alkalinity can have such a big influence on the pH balance, its important to always adjust the alkalinity first.
Low alkalinity can make pool water unsafe for swimmers, because it can make the water too acidic, causing irritation to eyes, skin, and nose , shrivel your liner, and stain pool walls and equipment. Alkalinity thats too low can also make chlorine useless. With the chlorine shortage, you want to do everything you can to make your existing as effective as it can be.
High alkalinity can result in cloudy water, and high calcium levels which may cause calcium deposits and scale to build up on filters and pool walls. Too high alkaline levels also make the pH difficult to adjust, potentially leading to something known as pH bounce.
With proper alkalinity, achieving balanced water is much less complicated and much better for your chlorine supply.
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Excess Of Sodium Bicarbonate
The main thing responsible for causing an increase in the alkalinity of the pool water is Sodium bicarbonate. You can also call sodium bicarbonate the baking soda. An inappropriate amount of sodium bicarbonate present in the pool water can be harmful not only to your body but can also cause damage to the pool surface.
You should add a small number of chemicals to set the pH of your water instead of adding plenty of chemicals. So, it would help if you were careful and vigilant while adding chemicals to the pool.
Purely Natural Process Of Lowering Alkalinity
If you have all the time that is needed, you can wait it out and the alkalinity of the water will naturally go down. That is the most natural way to make it go lower without using anything at all.
See, acidic materials have the tendency to evaporate faster than the water in the pool. So when they are exposed to open air, you can be sure that they will eventually go away from the water.
The alkaline chemicals in the swimming pool are meant to balance the pH levels in the water. However, they do this in a very slow process before they can actually get to the right balance.
It is also harmful to the pool and the swimmers if the pH levels changed abruptly and frequently. That is why alkaline chemicals are responsible for preventing the pH from changing too quickly.
With that said, waiting out for the alkalinity to go down will take a very long time, usually days. Now, if you want to swim right away, you cannot wait for that long before you enjoy the pool.
So the process of waiting out the alkalinity may be the most natural way to do it but it is not the most viable option for most people. But do not worry as there are other ways to do that.
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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.
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S After Stabilizing Your Pools Alkalinity Levels
Lets face it high school chemistry was a difficult subject for most of us. Pool chemistry is runner up and can be overwhelming to grasp. However, it is essential when owning a pool, so perfecting the sciences is wise. The pool professionals at Shoreline Pools have the experience necessary to balance the alkalinity levels in your pool water. Dial to schedule a meeting with our pool servicing team.
I’m Not Sure That’s Going To Be Much Of A Problem
How to raise alkalinity in pool without affecting ph. Sodium carbonate has a very big impact on increasing ph levels because it comes with high ph of 11.3 to 11.6, which is too high if you only wanted to raise your ta levels and not ph. Check the overall pool alkalinity: Dont worry about the ph here since you will raise it later.
Dilute muriatic acid/ add it to your hot tub or pool. Note that it is the alkalinity that directly determines how much acid is required to reduce ph levels, not the ph itself. Fortunately, there is a way you can raise your ph without affecting the alkalinity of the water, using aeration.
Adding 48oz of baking soda will raise your ta by 16 and your ph by only.03. Baking soda has a ph level of. If you have high or low alkalinity, but your ph is balanced, then you need to raise or lower your alkalinity without affecting your ph.
If, after testing, your pool alkalinity is below 80 ppm, it is time to add up on the ph concentration. If the alkalinity is high, the ph will be hard to change. Ph and alkalinity are closely related and that means the same methods of increasing or decreasing ph also affect alkalinity.
Assume our pool can hold 20k gallons of water. Per 10,000 gallons at one time would lower alkalinity by 40 ppm, and the ph would not drop below 6.5. Adding 48oz of baking soda will raise your ta by 16 and your ph by only.03.
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How To Lower Alkalinity With Muriatic Acid
There are a few chemicals you can use to lower your pools alkalinity level, but muriatic acid is the most common.
In order to lower the alkalinity levels, just follow these easy steps:
- 1Turn off your pools pump and wait about an hour for the water to stop moving completely.
- 2Read the directions on the bottle to determine how much acid needs to be added to your pool in order to lower it to under 120 ppm.
- 3Follow the manufacturers directions on how to add it to your pool. Muriatic acid is always somewhat diluted, but certain brands require further dilution before adding it to the water.
- 4Pour the product into the deepest part of your pool and allow to sit in still water for about an hour.
- Test the pH levels.
The problem with unbalanced alkalinity levels is mainly how it affects the pH levels.
If your pools pH levels are still low , you may have to use an aeration process along with adding muriatic acid.
I only recommend this process in extreme situations where you are unable to lower the pH levels naturally after using the muriatic acid process more than once.
Usually, leaving the pools pump running on high is enough of an aeration process, but if an extra process is necessary, you can use a compressor at the surface of the water or use a special aerator to insert into the pool.
If you attempt this process, do it slowly and carefully as you can also risk over-aerating.
Lowering your pools alkalinity levels is sometimes a slow process.
Carbonate Alkalinity Or Corrected Alkalinity
When we say “carbonate alkalinity”, we are referring to any and all alkalinity containing carbon dioxide in it, as shown in the chart below. This chart excludes other alkalinity types that contribute to total alkalinity , such as cyanurate alkalinity and borate. This exclusion is also known as “correcting” alkalinity, as is required for an accurate LSI calculation.
When carbon dioxide dissolves in water, it is in equilibrium with carbonic acid , illustrated by the red line. Anything under 4.3 pH is carbonic acid. Everything in the chart above contains carbon dioxide in some form or another. Hence the term “carbonate alkalinity”. As the pH rises, carbonic acid dissociates and converts into bicarbonate and a free Hydrogen ion . Further pH rise over about 8.3 makes bicarbonate convert into carbonate by losing another Hydrogen ion, so, starting from carbonic acid, you now have carbonate and two free Hydrogen ions. This may sound confusing but it will make sense later in this article.
Now let’s get to the meat and potatoes of today’s subject: what causes high alkalinity in pools? The first way should be obvious: you can raise alkalinity yourself.
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Ideal Total Alkalinity Range For Pools: 80
Testing Pool Alkalinity: Test your pools alkalinity level at least twice per week, with a test kit or strips. We also recommend taking a water sample to a dealer test station periodically to verify results.
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!
What is Total Alkalinity?Total Alkalinity describes how buffered the water is against sudden changes in your pools pH. The alkalinity of your pool is perhaps the most important water balancing step in your pool to manage and should always be the first thing you test before adding chemicals including FROG® products into the pool. The ideal range for your pools alkalinity level should be between 80-120 ppm . If you are unsure if your pool water is adequately balanced, our Langelier Saturation Index calculator can tell you.
Note:You can have technically balanced pool water, as measured by the Langelier Saturation Index , even if your total alkalinity levels may be a little high or low.