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.
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.
Guide To Raise The Ph Level In Your Pool Safely
If you have a swimming pool at home, youll need a pool testing kit to ensure that the water levels are all properly balanced.
If the water in your pool is too acidic, this will corrode your equipment, and its likely to bring about etching on surface materials. Beyond this, acidic water will irritate your eyes, nose, and skin.
If, on the other hand, your pool water is too alkaline, this can cause scale to develop on the surface as well as all over your pool plumbing gear.
Neither of these scenarios is ideal. Excessive acidity or alkalinity both impact the efficiency of the chlorine in your pool, and resultantly impede the process of disinfection.
When youre checking the pH level in your pool, you should aim for somewhere between 7.2 and 7.8. On the pH scale, 0 is extreme acidity, with 14 representing extreme alkalinity. 7 is neutral, so youre shooting for just the alkaline side of neutral.
Now, before we show you how to raise the pH level in your pool, a few more basics so you can proceed better informed
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You Have A Saltwater Pool
Saltwater pools arent immune to high pH levels. In fact, they can be more susceptible due to their chemical makeup.
Sodium in saltwater pools combines with hydrogen and oxygen molecules, creating a high pH byproduct called sodium hydroxide. If your pool isnt being regularly maintained, it can easily cause the pools pH level to skyrocket.
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How To Lower Alkalinity In Your Pool
- |January 30, 2021
Total alkalinity keeps your pool waters pH level in check by absorbing fluctuations in the water balance. In other words, its a pH buffer.
The ideal range for alkalinity in your swimming pool is between 80 and 120 parts per million, and anything above that will ultimately lead to issues with your water chemistry.
Lets talk about why this happens, why it matters, and how to lower alkalinity in your pool the correct way.
Stop Adding Chlorine And Use The Sun:
It might seem a bit of a far-fetched method, but using sunshine to reduce chlorine levels is actually super effective.
For this, you need to first stop adding any extra chlorine, by stopping the feeder or removing your method of chlorine. Then, leave the pool exposed to sunlight.;
After around 2 hours or so, chlorine levels can be reduced by up to 90%!
This works because the UV rays will react with the chlorine, creating chlorine gas that then simply disperses into the atmosphere.
Just keep monitoring the levels, and once youre satisfied with the results, the pool is back to being ready.
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Its Safer Than Muriatic Acid
Muriatic acid can lower pH, but its extremely corrosive. It also creates toxic fumes. On the other hand, sodium bisulfate is non-toxic and safe for use around your family and pets. So if you have the option to use something else in your pool, you should, especially if you want to protect your children.
What About Low Ph
If your pool water problem is due to too low pH, then youll have issues like pool plaster and grouting erosion, metal corrosion, and staining among many others. You may also notice your swimwear thinning or fraying out! It can also take a toll on your health, the same way as having high pH does.
So how do you go about solving this?
For starters, you can add alkali or a base chemical designed to increase pool water pH level. Most pH increasers use sodium carbonate as their active ingredient. Keep in mind that dosage also depends on Total alkalinity, so be sure to follow the chemicals instructions to a T.
Youll also notice that your pools pH goes down after heavy rains. This said, youd want to check the pH level after several days of rain before getting into the water.
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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.
If you have a pH reading of 7.8 or higher, and an average size in-ground pool, you should add 1/4 gallon of muriatic acid, and re-test after the water has circulated for an hour. If you have a smaller pool, or an above-ground pool, you would start with one cup of acid, and then re-test and add more if needed. If you have a spa, we are talking only capfuls at a time. Very little acid is needed to adjust pH in a spa.
For a more exact idea of how much acid to add, see the table below or use a pool calculator, which can be found online, that will give you an amount based on estimated pool volume and chemistry.
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 Is Having Too Much Chlorine In Your Swimming Pool Bad
Before we get into the how of fixing the chlorine problem in your pool, you might be wondering why exactly too much chlorine is a bad thing. Is it dangerous?;
As a general rule, having slightly higher than normal levels of chlorine is completely harmless. Youll simply have an extra clean swimming pool.
The problem is when the levels of chlorine are way too high, for a prolonged amount of time, as being over-exposed to too much chlorine can result in some issues.;
Basically, too much chlorine in the pool will alter the pH level of the water, turning it more acidic.
This, in turn, can cause a few negative symptoms in those using the pool. Here are the main ones:;
- Irritant dermatitis
- Eye irritation
- Asthma and respiratory problems due to the chlorine vapors
Usually, these symptoms should clear up by themselves after a few days, as long as you stay away from the pool full of chlorine.
These are super common, and theyre a pretty good sign of your pool having way too much chlorine in it.;
Sometimes, if the chlorine is at really high levels, you can get chlorine poisoning.
This is a little more serious, and you should definitely contact your doctor.
However, this will usually only happen if youve been exposed to high levels of chlorine regularly, which you normally wouldnt as you will quickly be able to tell theres too much chlorine thanks to the previous symptoms.;
The symptoms of chlorine poisoning, for reference, are as follow:;
What Causes High Ph Levels
The normal pH of pool water is between 7.2 and 7.6. We consider 7.4 as the optimum pH. However, you shouldnt be worried if this value isnt exactly 7.4. Its perfectly normal for your pools pH to occasionally fluctuate.
You should be concerned if the value frequently goes beyond 7.8. High pH levels mean your pools water is very alkaline.
Water pH is extremely unstable, and many factors contribute to its surge. Below are the most common causes.
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Add The Muriatic Acid
If you were in a hurry, you could pour muriatic acid straight into your pool water, but diluting it first makes it easier to handle and less dangerous to you if it splashes. Its worth a few extra minutes and a bucket to water it down.
The ideal ratio of water to muriatic acid is 10:1. Pour the appropriate amount of acid into the water, then stir it gently with a plastic or wooden stir stick.
Important: Add water to your bucket first. If you add the acid first, you run the risk of a chemical reaction.
Pour the contents of the bucket into the deep end of your pool. If your pH is also high, you can walk around the pool slowly pouring the mixture in as you go. This helps add a little air to the water and gets the chemical circulating as you add it.
Warning: Rinse your muriatic acid bucket thoroughly after every use, and do not use it for any other chemicals. You could cause an actual explosion.
Factoring In Ongoing Costs
In addition to the face value of installing a swimming pool, there are annual costs associated with a swimming pool that can influence its value to your home and your time.
Annual maintenance for pool cleaning and adjusting chemicals runs $500 to $1,000 per year if you do the work yourself, and the cost varies depending on where you live. If youre in a warm climate and use your pool throughout most of the year, youll have more upkeep. In colder climates, youll probably shut down your pool for most of the year.
Professional pool services will clean your pool and filters and adjust chemicals for $80 to $150 per month, depending on the size of your pool and how detailed the services are. Pros charge $150 to $300 for opening up a pool at the beginning of the swim season and the same amount for closing down and winterizing your pool at the end of the year.
Electricity costs for running a circulating pool pump costs about $300 per year. Heating a pool can add $500 to $800 to your annual utility bills.
Homeowners insurance typically covers other structures such as pools, but if you plan to install a pool you should check with your insurance agent about increasing your liability coverage. You can mitigate insurance costs and add a significant measure of safety if your pool is protected by childproof fencing and locked gates.
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How To Slow Calcium Level Growth
Over time, as we add products and contaminants infiltrate the pool, the total dissolved solids will increase. When the pool becomes oversaturated with these dissolved solids, the chlorine becomes increasingly ineffective.;
If youve noticed that your chlorine isnt as effective as it used to be, and the sequestering agent just isnt fixing the problem, its likely that there are too many dissolved solids in your pool, and a lot of these dissolved solids are probably calcium. At this point, you need to drain some of the pool or use an alternative method to extract the calcium.
Draining a portion of your pools water is the simplest solution to reducing an overabundance of calcium. However, depending upon where you live and any potential drought conditions, this might not be a viable option for you. In that case, here are a few alternative methods to reduce your pools calcium content.
Reverse Osmosis Filtration
Many of you are likely familiar with reverse osmosis filtration systems. They are the vanguard filtration systems capable of removing the most stubborn impurities from water. Some homeowners install them within their homes to remove fluoride, and some install them to remove calcium from the water used to fill up their pools.
What they can do is filter out calcium from any water you use to fill up your pool. Once your calcium levels are correct, you can turn on that filter to keep the calcium levels from rising every time to top off your pool.
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.
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First Things First What Causes A High Ph In A Swimming Pool
A spike in your pools pH can be caused by several different things. First off, it could be as a result of the chemicals or products used to disinfect the pool. Speaking of which, the addition of chlorine stabilizer or HTH Granular to your pools water can cause its pH to climb well above 7. Its however important to note that these chlorine products are your best bet when it comes to keeping your pools chlorine in good shape. So yes, its great to use them. But, of course, too much can make your water overly soft and also cloudy.
Besides these products, an increase in the pH level can be triggered by a sudden spike in the temperature of the water. For instance, if your pool water is always exposed to direct sunlight, an unexpected heatwave could cause the pH to go higher than normal.
Direct The Downspouts From Your House To The Pool
This method could be a challenging technique, but it is possible. You can lower the pH naturally by directing downspouts from the house to your pool. Once the pool becomes full because of the backwash, it throws out water. Since the rainwater has 5.6pH, it can lower the pH naturally.
The low alkalinity is the primary concern with rainwater. If you choose this method, you will need to check your pool continually. Make sure that you can balance it so that the chlorine will not destroy the pool and the pipes in the system. But, if you are living in an area where your source of water is expensive, rainwater could be the best way to cut on the water bill.
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Ph Minus Didnt Work What Next
Yes, there are times when pH Minus may not be strong enough to lower the pH levels of your swimming pool. This is basically as a result of excessive alkalinity. But the good news is, there are still other options that can help get the job done . Both these acids should reduce the pH level effectively.
Got any other questions? If yes, dont waste a second to contact us today. Were very much available to provide answers and if necessary offer lasting solutions to your pool problems.