How to Lower Pool pH in 3 steps

A high pH level in pool is considered to be anything above 7.8. A high pH level in the pool water indicates the pool water is too alkaline, reducing the effectiveness of chlorine, causing skin irritation, excessive cloudiness in the water, and scale buildup. If the pool water pH is higher than 8, anyone who swims in the pool water (the pool) is at risk of skin rashes. High pH levels cause the pool water to scale on pool filters, plugs, pipes, and other equipment. Therefore, the pool water pH level is important to regularly monitor and adjust the pH levels to maintain the ideal range of 7.2 to 7.8 for a safe and comfortable swimming environment.

How to lower pH level in pool?

To lower pH level in pool, you can follow the steps and use the items mentioned below.

  • Use a made-for-pools chemical additive called pH reducer (or pH minus). The main active ingredients in pH reducers are either muriatic acid or sodium bisulfate (also known as dry acid).
  • Purchase pH reducers from pool supply stores, home improvement centers, or online.
  • Use vinegar as an alternative to lower the pH level in your pool.

Maintain a pH level between 7 and 7.6 for the best swimming experience. This is crucial as a high pH level reduces the effectiveness of chlorine and a low pH level can irritate swimmers’ skin.

1. Use pH reducer (pH minus)

A pH reducer (pH minus) is a chemical additive specifically designed for pools. The main active ingredients in pH reducers are either muriatic acid or sodium bisulfate, also known as dry acid. The pH reducer lowers pH level in a pool by gradually reducing the pH and alkalinity until they (the pH and alkalinity) reach the desired level. Gradually reducing the pH and alkalinity prevents scale build-up and cloudy water that occurs when the pool operates at the high end of the pH scale. The pH reducer is added to the pool water and allowed to circulate for at least two hours for the chemicals to balance the pH. Add more of the pH reducer product after retesting the pH level.

Muriatic Acid

Muriatic Acid lowers pH level in a pool by releasing hydrogen ions when dissolved in water. These hydrogen ions (they) react with hydroxide ions in the water, effectively reducing the water’s pH. Muriatic Acid, a strong and highly corrosive acid, is commonly used for pH adjustment in pools due to its ability to quickly and effectively alter the water’s chemistry. Use muriatic acid carefully, as adding too much muriatic acid causes the pH to drop to dangerously low levels, damaging pool equipment and causing skin irritations.

Sodium Bisulfate

Sodium Bisulfate lowers pH level in a pool by regulating acidity and reducing the alkalinity of the water. Sodium Bisulfate granular formula acts quickly, showing results in just minutes. Sodium Bisulfate works by reacting with bicarbonates in the pool water, effectively reducing both pH and alkalinity levels. Sodium Bisulfate helps to keep the pool water pH and alkalinity at the optimal levels, allowing chlorine to work effectively. The general rule of thumb is to use 3.5 ounces of sodium bisulfate for every one thousand gallons of pool water to lower alkalinity by 10ppm. It is important to remember to turn on the pool so the sodium bisulfate granules disperse throughout the pool water for effective results.

2. Buy pH reducer

You can purchase pH reducers at pool supply stores, home improvement centers, and online. These reducers, which are used to bring down the pH level in pools, are readily available and come in different forms. The main active ingredients in pH reducers are either muriatic acid or sodium bisulfate, also known as dry acid. Popular online platforms to find pH reducers include Walmart.com, Target, and various pool and spa supply websites.

3. Use Vinegar

You should use vinegar as a homemade alternative to pH reducer by diluting it with water before application. Add 1 US tbsp (15 mL) of plain white vinegar to 1 US gal (3,800 mL) of water. The mixture of vinegar and water neutralizes the alkalinity in the water, bringing a pH of 7.5-7.7 down to about 5.8-6.0. However, it is important to note that vinegar is highly soluble, so any change to the pH is temporary until the rain falls or until you water the garden. Vinegar harms your plants or alters your soil’s micro ecology if not used in a very dilute form. Exercise caution when using vinegar as a pH reducer.

Ideal pH Level

You should lower the pool at pH level higher than 7.8 when using pH reducer. The pH reducer is because a pH level above 7.8 indicates that the pool water is becoming too alkaline. The ideal pH range for pool water is between 7.3 and 7.6. Therefore, if the pH level of the pool water exceeds 7.8, it is recommended to use a pH reducer to bring the pH level of the pool water back to the optimal range.

What are the effects of high pH level in swminng pool water?

The effects of high pH level in swimming pool water are numerous and can negatively impact both the swimmers and the pool equipment. The list below will cover them.

  • The water becomes too alkaline when the pH level exceeds 7.8, reducing the effectiveness of chlorine. This is the chemical used to kill pathogens in the pool.
  • High pH levels lead to cloudy water and potential algae buildup.
  • Swimmers may experience skin rashes and eye irritation, especially if the pH level exceeds 8.
  • High pH levels can cause scaling on pool equipment, leading to damage and reduced circulation.
  • The process of rebalancing the pool water’s alkalinity can take more than a week, causing inconvenience and potential health risks.

When should you increase pool pH?

You should increase pool pH when the water’s pH level is below the ideal range of 7.2 to 7.8. If the pool’s water is acidic, meaning the pool’s water has a low pH, the pool’s water is necessary to raise the levels to prevent potential damage to the pool liner and other equipment. Acidic water causes discomfort to swimmers, stinging their eyes and removing natural oils from their skin. Therefore, maintaining the correct pH level is crucial for both the longevity of the pool and the comfort of the pool’s users.






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