What Causes Low Ph
Because pH is such an unstable factor, many things can affect it.
But when its low, it is usually caused by things like rainwater or debris getting into your pool.
Total alkalinity is sort of the stabilizing factor for pH, so its important to test this level every time you test your pH levels.
When it is off, pH is almost always off in the same direction as well.
Accelerating The Aeration Process Using An Air Compressor
Using an air compressor at the surface of the water will add more disturbance and speed up the process.
With an air compressor, it may take only a few hours to get TA and pH back to recommended levels.
Take Readings Again After 24 Hours
The next day, a full 24 hours since I started my test, the total alkalinity had gone down to 120 ppm. This is not the 100 ppm target value I set, but I was still impressed since 120 ppm is already within the recommended value for a standard swimming pool.
On the other hand, pH was lower, reading 7.1. I didn’t worry too much about this because according to my digital pool water test kit and pool calculator, the lowest it pH can go is 6.8 and still be okay and non-destructive. Plus, the aeration process wasn’t finished.
Since both chemicals were within a reasonable range, all was fine for me. So I waited to take my next reading in the evening, approximately 5 to 6 hours later. At that time, TA was ranging at 106 ppm, and pH had dropped to 6.9.
This means that total alkalinity was inching closer to my target value of 100, despite pH going down.
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Reasons Why You Should Raise The Ph Level Of Your Pool
You must now be wondering why this is important in pool maintenance. Despite all of the other important things you have to worry about, why even give a bother with as simple as rainfall?
Another factor you have to bear in mind is your pools total alkalinity level. The pool waters total alkalinity is a measure of how much acid it can neutralize. The recommended level of a pools alkalinity is between 80-120 ppm. Raising the levels of your alkalinity level when it goes below the recommended ppm level is extremely easy. All you have to do is go to your kitchen and look for sodium carbonate. Sodium carbonate is your kitchens baking soda. Simply add 1 1/2 pounds of baking soda to increase 10ppm to 10,000 gallons of your pool water.
If you want to be sure of the products you put. We suggest adding the IPG Alkalinity Plus Balancer. Click here for more information about this product.
Raising Your Pool Ph With Sodium Carbonate
Raise your pool pH with soda ash, also called sodium carbonate.
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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.
How To Raise Ph In Your Pool
- |March 2, 2020
You have your pool, your testing kit, and your chemicals youre a confident pool owner and youre dying for an afternoon swim. Before you dive in, however, its a good idea for you to get acquainted with a little thing called pH.
Youve heard of it before but why does it matter when it comes to your pool? Low pH can take your pool and turn it into a post-apocalyptic swamp before your first summer swim season has ended. Do I have your attention now? Awesome. Lets dive in.
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Keep Your Water Well Circulated
You could have Dexters laboratory in your pool, but if the water isnt being circulated, you wont see much benefit from all those chemicals.
Its important to check that your water is moving through your pool filter system without restriction, and that the circulation cycle is optimized, helping to keep your chemistry in check.
Much of this ties back to proper maintenance, particularly when it comes to your pool pump and filter, as well keeping things like calcium scale from clogging up your pipes.
But there are a few other things you can do, including:
- Installing a flow meter to check the flow of water
- Installing some water features to keep water moving
- Directing your pool jets to improve the overall flow
- Checking your pump sizing is correct to move enough water
- Making sure youre running your pump long enough
- Checking your water level is at the right level for the skimmers
- Using a pool cover to limit contamination
Mix The Chemicals With Water
Whether you are using baking soda or soda ash, always fill a bucket with water and then add them to it, mixing thoroughly before adding to the pool. Dont try and add too much at a time. Just enough to fully dissolve it, then do it again if you need to.
Never put the chemicals in the bucket first and put water in afterwards. Always water first.
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How Can I Balance Water Quickly How Do I Raise Ph Without Raising Alkalinity
I wrote another long paper about this that has been I also included this information in the IPSSA Basic Training Manual 2016 Revised Edition Part 1 Chemicals. We all know that adding acid of any type to the pool water decreases pH and alkalinity. But pH and alkalinity are not lowered equally by adding acid. The reason is that pH is measured on a logarithmic scale and alkalinity is measured on a linear scale. So they will never lower together equally. We all should know that adding soda ash will raise pH and alkalinity, and adding sodium bicarbonate will raise only alkalinity with very little effect on pH. This presents a problem you can raise alkalinity and pH, you can raise only alkalinity and you can lower both, but there has not been a way to raise pH alone without raising alkalinity. The only chemical we use to raise pH, soda ash, also raises alkalinity. So all we have are soda ash, which raises both pH and alkalinity or bicarb, which raises only alkalinity.
Now it becomes possible to lower high pH and alkalinity with acid to get the alkalinity to the desired level of 90 ppm with one addition of acid, which will cause the pH to be very low . But now we can aerate and create turbulence and, depending on how much aeration and turbulence we generate, raise pH within hours to 7.5. We can get perfectly balanced water in the same day.
Does Liquid Chlorine Raise Ph
Liquid chlorine and bleach which is called Sodium hypochlorite or Bleach have a pH of 11.0 to nearly 13.0 so it is logical to think that they will raise the pH of the pool water. The fact is that initially or upon addition liquid chlorine raises pH because sodium hydroxide is made which is on the base side of the pH scale.
Here is what happens when liquid chlorine sodium hypochlorite NaOCl is added to pool water:
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Natural Ph Rise: Carbon Dioxide Loss
The chemistry of pH sounds a lot more complicated than it is. In short, the less CO2 in solution, the higher the pH. CO2, when dissolved in water becomes something called carbonic acid .
H2O + CO2 H2CO3
Water + Carbon Dioxide creates Carbonic Acid
See the chart below.
The more carbonic acid in your water, the lower your pH will be. Injecting CO2 lowers your pH, but not total alkalinity. Acid, on the other hand, lowers both pH and total alkalinity. The opposite is also true about CO2. When CO2 off-gasses , the amount of carbonic acid decreases so the pH rises. So aeration itself raises the pH of water because CO2 escapes. If you want to raise the pH without adding any chemicals, just aerate the water to release CO2.
Check out this detailed diagram of all the chemistry going on, courtesy of Robert Lowry:
Henry’s Law of Solubility of Gases
Naturally, CO2 wants to be in about the same concentration in the water as it is in the air. So CO2 off-gasses until it is in relative equilibrium with the air above the pool. This phenomenon is known as Henry’s Law. And don’t worry, we had no idea what Henry’s Law was either…but it makes a lot of sense as to why carbon dioxide naturally leaves, and the pH rebounds some time after putting acid in. This means chasing pH is a bad habit, because it is futile. pH is naturally going to rise. Embrace this.
Related: CO2 and pH: Understanding Henry’s Law
Algae raises the pH of water too
Use Aeration To Raise Pool Ph
Looking to raise pH without affecting Total Alkalinity? You can sometimes raise the pH through aerating the pool water. Yep, just add air! Its the same reason hot tubs and spas often suffer from high pH issues. Although this will raise your pH, its important to note that this isnt an exact science, and results will vary by pool.
You can aerate a pool by bubbling air through the water, agitating the surface, spraying droplets through the air with a pool fountain, or even just playing and splashing around in the pool. During the hot summer months, this method also can be used to lower pool water temperature.
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What Causes A High Ph In A Swimming Pool
It happens all the time. Swimming pool pH climbs, or sometimes spikes, and all sorts of problems like calcium dust and carbonate scale can occur. But what causes high pH in pools? Why does the pH sometimes climb, and other times stay relatively steady? In this article, we will discuss pH and how it shifts, and offer some remedies to correct the pH, based on each situation.
Key points in this article:
Regularly Test Your Water
The best way to know whats going on with your pH and the rest of your swimming pool chemistry is to test it.
Not just at the start of the pool season. Not every once in a while. And not when something goes wrong. You need to be testing your pool water regularly and consistently.
When one aspect of your pool chemistry falls out of line, it creates a ripple effect that eventually impacts other aspects of your chemistry and ultimately upsets your pH level.
Heres what you should be testing and aiming for:
- Water pH should be between 7.4 and 7.6.
- Total alkalinity should be between 80 and 120 parts per million .
- Sanitizing agents should be between 1 and 3 ppm.
- Pool stabilizer should be around 50 ppm if using chlorine products to sanitize.
- Calcium hardness should be between 200 and 400 ppm. Ideally 300 ppm.
Any decent pool testing kit should be able to pick these up, whether it be using test strips, a liquid test kit or a digital test kit.
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Does Soda Ash Lower Ph
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. As you can see, it can take 2.4 times more soda ash to change pH from 6.8 to 7.5 when the CYA goes from 0 ppm to 200 ppm .
Aerate The Pool Water
Sometimes, adding alkalines to your water still doesnt raise the levels sufficiently.
In this case, its time to aerate the water thoroughly. This is a lengthy process that could stretch out over a few days. One method of achieving it is to activate water features so that jets hit the surface of the water. An alternative method is to go all-in and add some aeration pipes.
If you follow this guidance, low pH levels in your pool should be no further cause for concern.
What causes this situation to happen in the first place, though?
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How Do I Make My Pool Water Crystal Clear
How to Make Your Pool Crystal Clear Again
What Causes Low Ph Levels
Low pH levels lead to a number of issues from maintenance headaches like premature erosion of grout and corroded fixtures like ladders and diving boards. Low pH causes pool liners to become brittle and crack. It also causes discomfort for swimmers like burning eyes and itchy skins.
In most cases, low pH levels are caused by natural factors like a heavy rainstorm, overuse, and improper use of chemicals. Natural rainwater has a pH of 5 5.5, so it is naturally acidic. A substantial amount of rainfall can alter the pH of pool water to become more acidic. pH levels might also be low after a large party.
Dissolved bodily fluids can lower pH levels, so if you have had a lot of swimmers in your pool recently, overuse could be the culprit. And, sometimes, despite our best intentions, all of the concoctions on the market to try and manage pH levels can do more harm than good. It is easy to get pH levels out of balance when you are trying to DIY a solution to a pool water problem.
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What Is The Ph In Your Pool
pH is the measure of hydrogen ions in a liquid, like the water in a swimming pool. pH is measured on a scale from zero to fourteen with one end representing an acidic solution and the other representing a basic solution.
A perfectly neutral solution, like pure water, falls in the middle of the scale at a pH of seven. Pool water is mixed with chemicals, primarily chlorine, to kill bacteria and maintain sanitary swimming conditions. Since pool water contains chemicals, it will not be a perfect neutral. An ideal target for optimal pool water is a pH of 7.4, which is slightly basic.
So Does Sodium Hypochlorite Raise Ph
According to pool/spa water chemistry expert Richard Falk , When any hypochlorite source of chlorine is added to a pool, the pH rises because hypochlorite is high in pH. However, when the added chlorine is consumed over time, this is an acidic process and pH drops back down close to where it started. The only net pH rise from the hypochlorite addition comes from the excess lye in the product such as chlorinating liquid that is used for greater stability of that product.
Richard went on to explain: Nevertheless, there is the observation that pH rises in pools using hypochlorite. The reason is that the pH rise comes from other sources, primarily from the outgassing of carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide outgasses from pools causing the pH to rise with no change in Total Alkalinity . The reason is that swimming pools are intentionally over-carbonated in order to provide pH buffering and to saturate the water with calcium carbonate in order to protect plaster surfaces. The other main source of pH rise is the plaster itself as it continues to hydrate and cure though this is most noticeable in the first months to year of a new or re-plastered surface. Vinyl pools do not show this effect but may still have carbon dioxide outgassing.
Check back with us on July 26th for the second half of this 2-Part series when we speak with chemical consultant, author, and pool/spa water chemistry expert Robert Lowry in our cleverly titled Sequel: Does Liquid Chlorine Raise pH?
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