How To Lower Ph Level Of Swimming Pools
The rise in the pH of the swimming pool is the most crucial problem as it can affect the skins pH and may damage it. Ideally, the pH range between 7.4 to 7.8 is considered safe for the swimming pool as it doesnt harm the skin.
When the pH of the swimming pool gets high, it creates an alkaline condition which may cause several problems to the skin. Hence, it is essential to lower the pH of the swimming pool water.
Thus, to help you maintain the optimum pH of the pool, Ive listed some of the best ways to lower the pools pH level. So, lets dive in straight.
How To Lower The Ph Of Your Swimming Pool
There are many ways to get the most out of your familys swimming pool. Today we are going to focus on a little-known but really important factor. The pH of your swimming pool water. pH stands for potential hydrogen its a scale used to measure acidity or basicity. Having a pH that is too low or too high can negatively affect the life and pleasure of using your swimming pool.
Ideally, the pH should be kept between 7.4 and 7.8 anything lower than 7.4 is too acidic and anything over 7.8 would be considered too basic or alkaline. High pH in pool water has several effects
Will The Pool Ph Lower On Its Own
Unfortunately, if a swimming pool is left to fight its own battle, the pH will always rise naturally. The reason it tends to become more alkaline over time is due to the spontaneous release of CO2 over time.
This is especially true for cementitious pools as the water tends to react with the cement lining over time causing a rise in pH.
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Diagnosing The Pool: How To Know The Ph Level Of Your Pool
Test the pool for its pH level. Even before you get into testing, if you have been experiencing any of these issues with the swimming pool, there is a very high probability it has high pH levels:
The ideal pH scale should be between 7.2 and 7.6. If the water is at 7, it is considered neutral. The moment the pH level passes 8, people using the pool will start experiencing skin irritation.
Tips For Keeping Ph Levels Balanced
Although pH is a pretty unstable factor in your pool chemistry, it’s possible to keep it balanced most of the time. You just have to stay on top of a few pool maintenance tasks.
> > Read: How to balance your pool water
- Test your pool chemistry twice a week. Or if you’ve had issues with pH balance, test it every day until you get it under control. This may seem like a giant pain the in you-know-what, but it only takes a few minutes of your time, versus the hours you could have to spend correcting problems.
- Keep your pool clean. Since even things like dirty leaves can affect your pools pH balance, keep it as clear from debris as you can. Use a pool skimmer to clear out the junk every day. Its a great way to make the kiddos earn their allowance!
- Check your filtration system regularly. If your pool filter is doing its job, it will take a lot less elbow grease to keep the water clean and balanced.
- Shock your pool regularly. Most experts recommend once a month, but you should do it more often if during times of high usage or weather changes. Shocking the pool helps restore all the chemistry levels to normal.
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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.
Natural Ways To Lower Pool Ph
There are a couple of natural household products that could potentially be used to lower your pools pH.
Vinegar: Wondering how to lower pool pH with vinegar? Ordinary household vinegar could in theory be used to lower the pH of your pool. The pH of vinegar is about 2.5, which is quite acidic when compared to your pool water.
Household vinegar is very weak though , so you would need quite a bit to lower pH.
And in addition, using vinegar would cause a reaction leaving acetates in the pool water, which is not desirable. Its generally not desirable to add extras to your pools water.
Muriatic or Hydrochloric acid is a far better choice for lowering pH and alkalinity.
Baking Soda: Baking soda differs from the previous two natural remedies in that it has a higher pH of 8.3. If your pools pH is above 8.3, baking soda will bring it down to approximately the same value.
However, its more beneficial to use baking soda when looking to raise pool pH and alkalinity levels. You need approximately 1.5 lbs per 10,000 gallons of water to raise the alkalinity by 10 ppm.
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Keep Your Pool And Equipment Clean
Swimming pool water needs regular treatment to stay clean. An improperly treated pool will cause the pH balance to fluctuate, and a host of issues to take root.
This can be anything from mineral build-up, to cloudy water and algae blooms. Not only will the water be affected , but so will the pools filters and pump system.
How To Lower Alkalinity But Not Ph
Unfortunately you cant lower the total alkalinity without lowering the pH. If for example your pools alkalinity was 250 ppm, lowering it to the acceptable range of 80-120 ppm will likely result in a pH that is too low.
Theres no need to worry though. Its usually best to set a target total alkalinity level and adjust the pool for that. After youve hit your target alkalinity, or are close, then you can raise the pH by aeration.
The best advice is to take your time when adjust alkalinity and pH. Do it over several days instead of dumping large quantities of chemicals in your pool at the one time.
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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 Happens If Pool Water Ph Is Too High
While maintaining your pool isnt rocket science, it requires knowledge about chemistry since you need to know how to lower your swimming pools pH levels.
One of the most common problems with swimming pools is a decrease in the waters acidity. This manifests through high pH levels and is caused by a few factors:
- The presence of pool chemicals, such as chlorine
- Sudden rise in temperature
- Loss of carbon dioxide
More important than the causes, though, are the effects of high pH levels. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the ideal pH level of swimming pools is between 7.2 and 7.8. Anything higher than this indicates low acidity.
So what happens when the acidity in your pool water is too low?
High pH levels or low acidity means the pool water is too soft. If you dont adjust the pH of your swimming pool water, it can cause:
- Skin irritation
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Heres How To Raise The Ph Level In Your Pool
If your pH dips below normal range in your pool, your plumbing may start to erode and your swimmers will start to complain with itchy skin and burning eyes. Talk about ruining summer fun!
To raise the pH levels in your pool, try adding sodium carbonate or sodium bicarbonate until your pools pH levels are between 7.2 and 7.8.
If your pH levels are a little low, keep on reading: in this ultimate guide, well go over what pH is, why pH balance is important, what causes low pH, and how to raise pH levels in your pool.
Why Is My Swimming Pool Ph Level So Important
Maintaining the proper chemical balance in your pool water not only keeps the water sparkling clean, it also helps protect your heater, pump, and other system components from damage, and can assist in keeping your pool finish looking like new. One of the most important elements of that balance is pH level.
The pH level of pool water is a measure of its acidity. It is noted on a scale of 0 to 14, with a pH below 7.0 indicating the water is acidic. A pH of 8.0 means the water is basic or alkaline. Precisely between these two points is the proper pool pH level: 7.4 to 7.8.
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How To Lower Ph Levels Using Sodium Bisulfate
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:
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What Does Baking Soda Do For A Pool
Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate is naturally alkaline, with a pH of 8. When you add baking soda to your pool water, you will raise both the pH and the alkalinity, improving stability and clarity. Many commercial pool products for raising alkalinity utilize baking soda as their main active ingredient. You can maintain your pool for a fraction of the cost by going straight to the source and using pure baking soda in your pool.
Pool Ph Testing Frequency
Its good to get into the habit of frequently testing your pool pH. That way, if its a little high or low, its a quick and easy fix. When the pH gets extremely acidic or alkaline, its tougher to correct. It also takes longer to adjust it.
Follow these guidelines for testing the pool pH level:
- In general, test your pool water at least twice a week. Youre likely testing the chlorine that often, so just add pH testing to your routine.
- When youre swimming daily, test daily too.
- Test the pH after a pool party. If the water level changed from all the splashing, your chemical balance may be off.
- Do a pH test after heavy rains or storms. Rainfall and plant debris can change the pH.
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When Is Ph Too High
pH is the level of acidity in your pools water.
This acidity needs to be balanced. Too much causes problems as the water becomes alkaline, and too little causes problems as the water becomes acidic.
The pH scale measures from 0 to 14, and the ideal reading you want to keep you water at is between 7.4 and 7.6.
Some pool owners use a wider range of 7.2 to 7.8 for a bit more leeway, but a pH level of 7.5 is what you should always be aiming for.
What Ph Balance Is So Important
As you can tell, off-balance pH levels can cause some issues. For example:
- Low pH irritates the skin and eyes. It can also irritate the mucous membranes in your nasal cavity. This is because acidic water will strip away your bodys natural oils.
- Low pH corrodes equipment. Everything in contact with acidic water is basically being worn away, which is why if left unchecked, it will corrode your plumbing, accessories, liners and other equipment.
- Unbalanced pH kills chlorines power. Whether its low or high, unbalanced pH is the super-villain of your pools germ-fighting hero. In this scenario, you can add all the chlorine you want and your pH levels will render it useless.
- High pH clouds the water. While cloudy water in and of itself is not necessarily unsafe, it does usually signal an underlying issue. And besides, no one wants to swim in murky water!
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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.
Low Ph And High Alkalinity
Although they tend to affect each other in the same direction, youll sometimes end up with low pH and high alkalinity. Usually, this issue pops up when you add too much cyanuric acid to your pool.
Using a chlorine stabilizer in your outdoor pool is important, but using it incorrectly will negatively affect your overall water chemistry. You may also notice a weird imbalance because alkalinity and pH are affected by chemicals at different rates, so even when you make adjustments, one may rise more than the other.
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Why Your Pool Ph Balance Is Important
Swimming pool water is treated with chemicals to disinfect and oxidize. An optimal pH balance is essential to maintain sanitary swimming conditions and the longevity of pool equipment. Although some other chemicals have been introduced into the market, the most common chemical used to treat swimming pools is chlorine.
Chlorine works in two ways:
- It disinfects the water by killing bacteria and algae that cause waterborne illnesses. Bacteria in pool water can cause swimmers to suffer from diarrhea, swimmers, ear infections, and skin infections.
- Chlorine also oxidizes dirt and debris particles that come into the water from swimmers and the environment.
Maintaining an optimal pH is important because it can impact the effectiveness of the chlorine and ultimately lead to unsanitary swimming conditions. In addition to health, it is also essential for the comfort of swimmers the optimal pH for swimming pools is the same pH as the human eye and mucous membranes. Unbalanced pH can lead to itchy and irritated skin and eyes for swimmers.
And if the health, safety, and comfort of swimmers are not enough, pH balance is essential for the longevity of the pool facilities and equipment. Overly acidic pool water is corrosive and will lead to the breakdown of equipment like pumps, ladders, and diving board structures. Unbalanced pH levels also wear down the pool liner and will create the need for more frequent replacements.
Balance Is Important For Ph
While testing and maintaining the pH balance of your pool or spa water is a constant process, hopefully, the tips in this article will help you take some of the pain out doing so.
The raising and lowering the pH in your pool will be something that you will always need to balance. T
he ways to lower and raise pH are many and if you have any questions, its best to talk to a pool professional.
That way, youll know what to do when your pH is either too high or too low.
Have questions? Let us know or check other pool maintenance tips!
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