A low pH level in pool is any value below 7 on the pH scale, indicating that the water is acidic. The ideal pH level for a pool is between 7.2 and 7.8, with a perfect level being between 7.4 and 7.6. The pH level in a pool below 7.2 causes irritation to the eyes and mucous membranes of swimmers, damages the pool’s plaster finish, and corrodes metal parts such as ladders or diving board bases. Therefore, it is important to regularly monitor and adjust the pH level in a pool to ensure the pH level in a pool stays within the ideal range.
How to raise and increase pH level in pool?
To raise and increase pH level in pool, you can follow the steps and concepts mentioned below.
- Add sodium carbonate (soda ash) or sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) to the pool.
- Follow the general rule of adding 1.5 lbs. of baking soda per 10,000 gallons of water to raise alkalinity by about 10 ppm.
- If the pool’s pH tested below 7.2, add 3-4 pounds of baking soda.
- If you are new to adding pool chemicals, start by adding only one-half or three-fourths of the recommended amount.
- Understand that soda ash is more alkaline than baking soda and raises pH more drastically.
- Know that baking soda increases pH more subtly and is less harsh than soda ash.
- Retest your swimming pool water to ensure the pH level is between 7.2 and 7.6.
You add sodium carbonate (soda ash) to the pool to raise and increase pH level in pool by first ensuring that you do not add more than two pounds of soda ash per 10,000 gallons of water per treatment. The general rule of thumb is to add 6 ounces of sodium carbonate (soda ash) per 10,000-gallons of pool water to raise the pH level by 0.2 and the total alkalinity (TA) by 5 PPM. When adding the sodium carbonate (soda ash), start from the deep end of your pool and work your way up to the shallow end. Adding too much of sodium carbonate (soda ash) makes the pool water cloudy, so add the sodium carbonate (soda ash) gradually and test the pool water to ensure the pH level in pool is within the ideal range of 7.4.
You add sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) to the pool to raise and increase pH level in pool by sprinkling the baking soda directly into your pool water. It is recommended to spread the baking soda in wide arcs across the pool’s surface to avoid dumping the baking soda all in one spot. Use around 1.5 pounds of baking soda for every 10,000 gallons of water to raise the pH by 0.1. After adding the baking soda, turn on your pool’s circulation system to help the baking soda disperse. Wait six hours before retesting your pool’s pH and total alkalinity. Repeat the process of adding baking soda and retesting pH and total alkalinity if necessary. Be careful when adding baking soda on a windy day, as the powder can go airborne.
Soda Ash Amount
The amount of soda ash to add per 10,000 gallons to raise alkalinity when increasing pool pH is generally 6 ounces. 6 ounces of soda ash raises the pH level by 0.2 and the total alkalinity by 5 PPM. Do not add more than 1 pound of soda ash per 10,000 gallons of water at a time as it may cause the pool to cloud. If your alkalinity is over 120 ppm, the addition of soda ash may cause your water to cloud.
Baking Soda Amount
The amount of baking soda to add per 10,000 gallons to raise alkalinity when increasing pool pH is 1.5 pounds of baking soda. Baking soda raises the alkalinity by about 10 ppm. If the pool’s pH tested below 7.2, the pool’s pH is recommended to add 3-4 pounds of baking soda. Avoid adding more than 1.25 pounds of baking soda into a 10,000-gallon pool in a single day.
Baking Soda vs. Soda Ash
The difference between baking soda and soda ash when increasing the pool pH is primarily in their strength and the specific pool chemistry they each address. Soda ash, or sodium carbonate, is stronger and is used for larger pH adjustments. Sodium carbonate is effective in raising both the pH and alkalinity levels simultaneously. Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, is milder and is used for smaller, more precise adjustments. Sodium bicarbonate is particularly useful when the goal is to raise the alkalinity level without significantly affecting the pH level. Therefore, the choice between baking soda and soda ash depends on the specific needs of the pool’s water chemistry (the specific needs of the pool’s water chemistry).
You should retest the pool when increasing pool pH by first waiting for about two to four hours after adding the pH increaser. Some chemical manufacturers suggest waiting for a full turnover cycle before retesting the pool. It is also recommended to test the pool again after 24 hours, and then again after 48 hours to gauge if any small changes have occurred since adding the buffer product. If the pool’s water chemistry falls within the ideal range of 80-120 PPM (alkalinity) and 7.4-7.8 (pH), then no further action is needed. Regular testing of the pool’s pH level, ideally twice per week, is also advised to maintain the balance.
What are the effects of low pH level in swminng pool water?
The effects of low pH level in swimming pool water are numerous and harmful, affecting both the swimmers and the pool infrastructure. The list below will cover them.
- Causes irritation in swimmers’ eyes and mucous membranes.
- Damages the swimming pool water’s plaster finish, leading to dimpling or other forms of deterioration.
- Corrodes metal parts of the swimming pool, such as ladders or diving board bases.
- Decreases the effectiveness of chlorine, a common pool disinfectant, potentially leading to an increase in germs.
- Causes skin rashes and stings swimmers’ eyes.
- Leads to corrosion and leaching of metals from pipes and plumbing fixtures, contaminating the swimming pool water.
When should you lower and decrease pool pH?
You should lower and decrease pool pH when the levels are too high, specifically above 7.8. High pH levels reduce the effectiveness of chlorine, which is essential for killing pathogens in the pool. High pH levels cause skin rashes, cloudy water, and scaling on pool equipment. Therefore, maintaining the pH level between 7.2 and 7.6 is crucial for optimal pool health and safety. You use products like sodium bisulfate or muriatic acid to restore the balance if the pH level is too high.