Blog ABC’s of Pool Water Chemistry

Published on July 30th, 2020 | by Roger Corbinetti


Too High Or Too Low? How To Adjust Your Pool’s Alkalinity In 4 Simple Steps

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One of the mistakes nowadays made by pool owners is avoiding the right level of alkalinity, which is what brings safety.

There are many things pool owners are needed to look after. For example, the surface of the pool, the pipes part, and a lot of related equipment.

Now, if the alkaline level isn’t sustained correctly, each of them might undergo severe damage. This can take a toll on your health adversely.

So, the important thing is to correct the pool’s alkalinity that there’s no chance of skin or eye irritation, no matter how long you would like to remain in the waters.

Things To Know About The Average Alkalinity And pH Of Swimming Pool Water

pool water chemical

What determines the purity and the freshness of your pool water is its ph scale. If you don’t measure the exact pH and chlorine value, you’ll never have the ability to estimate the water quality inside the swimming pool. The expression pH suggests that the dimension of how alkaline or acidic is the water.

As a matter of reality, the pH scale ranges from 0 to 14. Where pH 7 is thought of as neutral, water over pH 7 could be considered alkaline (basic).

It could be taken as acidic in character if the pH value of this water is under 7. Thus, it is 7.4, which is thought of as the best pH value. This pH value is equal to that of our eyes and our membranes.

Effects Of High And Low Alkalinity In Pool Water

adjusting pool alkalinity

The impacts of alkalinity in pool water can be very unpleasant.

Skin irritation is one of the horrible consequences of high pH value in pool water. This is one reason many people end up with skin complications.

Secondly, there is a lot of precipitation and cloudiness, making it unclean for users to swim around. There could also be decreased chlorine effectiveness and also problems in fetching pH readings.

When the consequences of water having low pH are concerned, these can be rather unpleasant.

The water quality can be aggressive, leading to the destruction of the mechanical elements of the pool. Eye and skin problems are the effects that could be caused due to the low pH value in pool water.

The pool liner and pipes can experience significant damage for having a pH lower than 7. By comparison, water with the best pH value of 7.4 contributes to powerful chlorine disinfection.

What Are The Reasons For Higher Or Lower Alkalinity In A Swimming Pool Water?

The sensitivity of water within a swimming pool matters a lot of owners. Low or higher alkalinity levels can have a drastic effect on the person in the pool. The blunder happens mostly during the initial stage when the pool is first opened for use.

During the spring season, the swimming pool owner stays perplexed in setting the level of alkalinity. It so happens that they wind up, enhancing the level past 120 ppm.

Also, there are a few uncontrollable factors responsible for the significant rise in the water’s alkalinity level.

There are areas where the level of alkalinity is higher in comparison. So, when your pool is going to be filled up for the first time, the alkalinity level must be adjusted.

In other words, you will need to bring on the right balance in the alkalinity level, or the consequences are not going to be pleasant.

Note: Before going to winterize your pool, you should also correct pool Alkalinity and chemical equilibrium. It will be challenging to adjust in the next season.

How To Adjust pH Level Or Total Alkalinity On Your Pool?

pool chemistry guide

Setting up a pool filled with water for swimming doesn’t actually meet your purpose. Testing the pool water’s total pH value is extremely important. This is a significant reason why many pool owners today go with the idea of using pool test kits.

For this, what one needs is the sample of water, taking the help of a water collector. In this situation, one should draw water from a depth of 12 to 18 inches. Once done, the reagents should be introduced into the water and a little amount of chlorine neutralizer. This would bring you accurate readings of the pool’s total pH value.

If the readings imply that the pool’s alkalinity level is higher than what it should be, it must be reduced by all means for sustaining equilibrium. Similarly, if the level reads lower, it should then be changed and raised accordingly.

How To Lower Alkalinity In Pool?

If the pH value or alkalinity is high, the best way to lower it is by using Muriatic acid. Everything you need is to make an estimate of the required amount.

Here’s the step-by-step process which would make things simpler for you:

  • Turn on the water pump and make sure it is running at the maximum level. Do this while you’re adding muriatic acid to the pool.
  • Try dispersing the muriatic acid as much as possible around the pool, which would reluctantly shield your pool surfaces and equipment.
  • Use the pump so that it aids the acid to evenly disperse and assist other particles dissolve in the pool.
  • Keep monitoring the pH level of the pool regularly. It would be best if it could be tracked at a period of 6 to 12 hours.

How To Boost Alkalinity In Pool?

Boost Alkalinity In Pool

If a significant drop is in the pool water’s alkalinity, it has to be raised to maintain a balance. So, take a look at the step-by-step procedure for doing this:

  • Get complete protection for your eyes and your hands while adding sodium bicarbonate into the pool.
  • Make sure to switch off the pump. Once done, spread the chemical well deep inside the pool.
  • Try adding the chemical gradually. Once done, try sinking a handful of it into the pool.
  • Give a few hours to allow the chemical to get completely dissolved in water. Once done, switch on the water pump.

Storm and debris have a significant effect on your pool chemistry. So after a storm, assess your pool chemical balance by following the step by step process and re-adjusting it. It is a good practice to clean the pool regularly to eliminate debris and leaves. You may clean it manually or using an automatic pool vacuum cleaner.

Final Words

Pools look best when they’re safe, and to guarantee the same, you should measure the pH level of its water. Therefore, if your pool is already set and waiting for sufficient water to cover it up, make sure it comes along with the standard pH level.

If you are not sure about it, call a specialist and get things done before your nearest and dearest fall prey to skin issues. The cleaner and safer your pool, the better it is in terms of health and happiness.


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About the Author

I’ve owned a pool for over 20 years. During that time, I have owned and reviewed dozens of pool cleaners, especially robotic pool cleaners. I created RoboticPoolCleanersCompared to help other home owners leverage my experience to select the right pool cleaner, pool heater, pool cover and modern pool appliance for their needs & budget.

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