Why Is A Low Ph Dangerous
Low pH can have detrimental effects on people and equipment in the pool. If you are slightly below a pH of seven, you might notice your eyes burning or moderate skin irritation.
Low pH can also make a pool less sanitary. It interferes with chlorine killing bacteria and oxidizing other contaminants in the water. When the pH is too low, chlorine doesn’t work as well, and your pool can grow nasty bacteria that makes you sick.
Your equipment can rust when exposed to lower pH. Your ladders, pumps, piping, and filters will break down quicker, and you will have to spend more money fixing them. It can also destroy your pool’s lining, which can be expensive to replace.
Measure The Amount Of Soda Ash You Need
Make sure to follow the manufacturers instructions here but the general rule of thumb is that 6 oz. of soda ash will raise the pH of a 10,000-gallon pool by 0.2 points.
So to get from a pH of 6.8 to the minimum of 7.2 for a 20,000-gallon pool, you would need to add 24 oz. of soda ash. Do the math for your own pool to get the exact amount you need.
What Does Ph In A Pool Mean
pH indicates how acidic or basic the water is. In a simple sense, pH is a measure of the hydrogen ion concentration in your pool water. The pH scale is logarithmic and reversed, which means it measures things in orders of magnitude and smaller numbers are a representative of larger hydrogen ion concentrations. For example, a pH of 7 means theres ten times as many hydrogen ions in solution as compared to a pH of 8.
The pH scale runs from 0 to 14 .
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Measure And Add Chemicals
We then use sodium carbonate, also known as soda ash, which is high in alkalinity and dissolves efficiently in water. The other benefit of soda ash is that it leaves almost no trace in the water.
If you add strongly alkaline matter to your pool water, this will raise the pH level, while at the same time reducing the acidity in your pool water. Here’s what we do next:
- We calculate how much soda ash we need making sure not to exceed 2 pounds for every 10,000 gallons of water.
- We then check that your pool pump is working. We will need this to circulate the water.
- We broadcast the soda ash evenly across the surface of the pool water.
- We wait for at least 1 hour. Once the water has recirculated, we test the pH levels again.
What Is Alkalinity And How Is It Related To Ph
The first step to understanding how to keep your pools pH levels under control is by understanding the factors that affect the pH. One important concept to understand in this regard is alkalinity. Alkalinity refers to the pools total alkalinity or TA, which is the total concentration of hydroxides, cyanurates, dissolved carbonates and bicarbonates in the pools water.
Considered alkaline substances, each of these is high on the pH scale, meaning they are extremely alkaline or basic, as opposed to substances low on the pH scale that are extremely acidic. The ideal pH for a swimming pool is between 7.4 and 7.8 to ensure the water is neutral, not too acidic or basic, and suitable for human use.
It is easy to confuse pH and alkalinity because of how closely they relate, but the two aspects of your pool are not the same. While pH measures the acidity or alkalinity of the water, alkaline is a measurement of all alkaline substances present in the water, as measured by parts per million . The alkaline substances in your pool water act as a buffer against fluctuations in the pH of your pools water.
Because of this, your pH levels usually will correlate with the alkaline substance measurements of your pool. If your pH is low, your alkalinity is likely low as well. If your pH is high, it is likely that your alkalinity is high as well.
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How To Bring Ph Back Down
Balancing your pool can be tricky, and you may find after raising the alkalinity that the pH level is now too high.
You can lower the pH by adding a measured amount of muriatic acid or dry acid to your pool water. Sulfuric acid is another option, but it significantly raises your TDS levels too.
Muriatic acid is highly corrosive so always make sure you take extreme safety precautions when using it. Instructions on the bottle will help you with the correct dosage for your pool, and adding it is simple using a 10:1 solution thats diluted with water.
Dry acid is a milder option that comes in granular or powder form, which makes it slightly easier to work with. Its also more expensive and just as dangerous if mishandled. Once again, its best to follow the instructions on the label.
Be aware that lowering pH will also ultimately lower alkalinity using the methods described above. In that case, you can use baking soda to raise alkalinity with minimal effect on pH.
Finally, as usual, use water testing methods before and after to lower the pH to between 7.4 and 7.6, the ideal range for neutral pool water.
What Happens If Ph Is Too Low In The Pool
The pools overall health could suffer if proper care isnt taken because bacterial growth rates increase with lowered pH. It may not take long before you have a green or black slimy surface as well as an unpleasant odor coming from your pool.
It also can affect swimmers experience like itchy eyes and irritated skin. The pool pH should be in the range 7.2 to 7.6 which is generally a similar pH to that of human tears. If the pH is lower than this then that is a major factor in making eyes sore after opening your eyes under water. When that happens people assume it is because of too much chlorine but that isnt usually correct. It is more likely incorrect pH.
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Adding Ash Soda To The Pool
Ash soda is one of the chemical products that have strong alkaline. It can dissolve easily in the water but leaves some traces. This strong alkaline will raise the pH level and work best to lower down the acidity. At the same time, dont overdose on it. It will cause another problem in the pool.
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How To Lower Ph In A Pool
A pH thats too high can cause a lot of problems, including rendering your chlorine useless, which is dangerous. With ineffective chlorine, your water isnt clean and could lead to health problems for swimmers. Plus, with the chlorine shortage, you want to get as much as you can out of your chlorine, so having to completely replenish your pool is going to be difficult and expensive.
The most obvious sign your pH may be too high is cloudy water. You could also see scaling or notice some clogged pipes or filters. Common causes of a high pH include a high alkalinity or improperly balanced chemicals.
Use BioGuard Lo N Slo to lower your pools pH. This will help lower the alkalinity into the ideal 125-150 ppm range, which then moves the pH into its ideal 7.2-7.6 range. We do not recommend using muriatic acid, which is also known as hydrochloric acid. Muriatic acid is extremely caustic and can damage the pool surface. BioGuard Lo N Slo is a safer, easier way to lower your pools alkalinity and pH.
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Your Total Alkalinity Is High
Total alkalinity refers to the neutralization of acids and bases in the water. This is important as it works to stabilize the pH level, which in turn, affects the functionality of your pool.
The ideal range of alkalinity is between 80 to 120 ppm .
High total alkalinity is a common issue and there are steps you can take to reduce its level.
If left unchecked, it causes a chain reaction of events that will spike the pools pH level, leading to potential pool damage and skin irritation issues for those who swim in it.
When your waters alkalinity is too high, it needs to be lowered. This is usually done by adding muriatic acid.
Why Is Your Pool’s Ph Balance High
Normal pH range is considered anything between 7.2 and 7.6, 7.4 being ideal. But, its not always easy to keep it there.
An occasional spike in the pH balance isnt too much to be concerned about, but if you’re constantly battling keeping it in range, you could have a bigger problem.
The pH level is an extremely unstable factor in water and one of the hardest to keep under control this is simply because it is affected by almost everything that enters the water.
But some of the main causes are:
- High alkalinity. When total alkalinity is high, then it will also raise the pH levels almost 100% of the time. These two factors are very intertwined and when one is off, the other follows. .
- Improperly measured chemicals. Its extremely important to err on the side of caution when adding chemicals to adjust any factor, but if you recently added something to raise your pH or alkalinity levels, it’s possible you added too much and sent it to the other side of the scale.
- Pool shock. Shocking your pool is important, but if you’re using cal-hypo , it can raise your pools pH levels. Dont stop shocking your pool, but do test all your chemistry levels consistently, especially after shocking.
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Pool Ph Is Always High
The most common reason for a consistently high pH level in pools is the use of liquid chlorine or a saltwater system as the primary sanitizer. Sodium hydroxide is produced, which has a pH of around 13. New pool plaster or pebble finishes will also raise pH in pools for about a year after installation. If your pool has water features, such as a waterfall or fountain, these will also raise pH levels in your pool .
Does Pool Ph Have An Effect On The Chlorine’s Ability To Sanitize Water
In a pool with zero CYA, chlorine is more effective at lower pH, but this relationship is much less with CYA in the water to point of being irrelevant.
pH does affect the active chlorine level that is responsible for most of the disinfection of the water. However, when Cyanuric Acid is in the water, it buffers this active chlorine so that pH has far less of an effect on it.
To be specific, with no CYA in the water, going from a pH of 7.5 to 8.0 has the active chlorine level drop by 50%. With CYA in the water, it drops by only 15%. Going the other direction, going from a pH of 7.5 to 7.0 the active chlorine level with no CYA increases by a little more than 50% but with CYA in the water it increases by 35%.
So we generally ignore the pH effect on chlorine except for a SLAM because the larger amounts of chlorine have the pH rise significantly so we recommend lowering the pH first before a SLAM, especially when it’s a lot of FC due to high CYA levels.
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How To Raise Your Pools Ph Level With The Right Chemicals
For balanced pool water, keep the pH between pH of 7.4-7.6. And there are two different chemicals you can use to raise the pH in your pool:
- Baking Soda aka sodium bicarbonate .
- Soda Ash aka sodium carbonate .
Note: Before you add any chemicals to your pool, make sure you know exactly how much water your pool holds so you add the correct amount of chemicals to raise your pH and other levels.
If you decide to use baking soda, just note that this chemical will also increase your alkalinity level. So if both your pH and alkalinity are low, this is the right chemical to use to raise each one.
Test Ph And Pool Alkalinity
After we add the product and wait about 6 hours for it to disperse and dissolve in your swimming pool, its time to start testing. We will have a testing kit for both total alkalinity and pH.
WE will begin to take readings after 6 hours, then 24 hours, then 48 hours to gauge if there are any small changes over this period and to ensure the chemicals are balanced. We will make sure that both the total alkalinity and pH values are within optimal ranges.
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Will Baking Soda Clear Up A Cloudy Pool
Not immediately, but it can be beneficial. If your water is cloudy because it has been under-sanitized, ensure your pH and alkalinity are adjusted before adding sanitizer.
However, if you add an excessive amount of baking soda all at once, your pool water will get cloudy. Dont be worried when you have to wait for this to completely dissolve. Cloudy water can also be caused by high alkalinity.
Does Baking Soda Kill Algae In Pools
No. However, managing the pH and alkalinity levels appropriately aids in the maintenance of a consistent chlorine level, which aids in the killing of pool algae and the removal of it from the water. You might also try applying an algaecide.
How to Spot-Treat Algae in a Pool with Baking Soda
Baking soda can also be used to treat algae in a pool on a spot-by-spot basis. Heres how to use sodium bicarbonate to treat brown or black algae stains in a pool:
Step 1: Make use of an algae product. Purchase an algae-killing product and apply it to the pool according to the manufacturers directions.
Step 2: Let the product circulate. This could take about 6 to 10 hours based on the size of the pool.
Step 3: Then apply baking soda to the affected region.
Step 4: Scrub the area with a pool brush.
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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.
Test The Ph Using A Digital Ph Meter
A digital pH meter is a little more expensive but its worth the investment. A digital pH meter requires you to put your probe in water and press one button to get instant results of your pools pH levels.
To use a digital pH meter, you have to calibrate the device with some liquid or buffer solution. The calibration instructions will be included in the package for your specific model of digital pH meter.
After calibration is complete, just dip your probe into a clean sample of pool water and wait until it gets an accurate reading on the screen!
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How To Raise Alkalinity In Your Pool
- |January 30, 2021
Total alkalinity keeps your pools pH level balanced by absorbing fluctuations in the water chemistry. Its basically a pH buffer.
The optimal range for pool alkalinity is between 80 and 120 parts per million, so anything below 80 ppm will leave your pH especially vulnerable.
So, what causes this, what happens as a result, and how do you raise alkalinity in your pool the right way? Lets discuss.
Low Alkaline: What Does That Mean
Just as low pH and low calcium hardness levels can be damaging to your pool, so can having a low total alkalinity level.
While a low alkalinity level may not immediately be noticeable on pool equipment and surfaces, a low alkalinity level will often drive the pH level in the pool down.
Along with the damage to your pool surfaces, low alkalinity will also interfere with the sanitizing activity of chlorine. Without a good disinfectant, your pool will turn into a breeding ground for microorganisms in no time.
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Balanced Water Is The Key To A Clean And Clear Swimming Pool
All pools need to be tested and balanced on a regular basis with basic pool chemistry. The key is understanding the pools pH level, which will determine how acidic or basic your water is. If you know what balance of chemicals your pool needs for proper maintenance then all you have to do is follow our quick tips for maintaining it!
This includes keeping an eye on the chlorine levels as well as adding in the right amount of algaecide or shock treatment each week.
For those who want more information about how to keep their pool clear and healthy without too much effort, we recommend that highlights our top 10 best practices for maintaining your swimming area with ease!
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.
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