People have been pooling for thousands of years, and for a good reason: pools provide a healthy environment free of contaminants and pollutants that may affect your health. But today, more and more people are pooling to keep their kids safe and save on expenses. They build their pools on a budget and opt for a backyard pool to do this. But as with most things in life, some basic rules must be followed to ensure the health of your pool and your family. Readers of this blog are no exception. This article will discuss the five most important things you need to know about raising and lowering your pool’s pH level.
Know the Cause of Your Pool’s pH Problem
The first thing you need to know about pools is that they are no-rinse environments. When you fill your pool up to the top with water, all the bacteria and other organisms that live in your pool will be swamped. To maintain the health of your pool, you need to keep the level of organic matter (bacteria and other microbes) in your pool low. A proper pH level allows your sanitizers to work to kill bacteria and keep your pool water healthy.
Common causes of high pH can include:
- Water features and agitation that cause aeration, which lets carbon dioxide escape
- Algae consume CO2 and thereby raises the pH
- Sanitizers with non-stabilized chlorines can also raise the pH
Causes of low pH, which is far rarer, can include:
- Using acidic chlorine like trichlor
- Excessive rain, as rain tends to be rather acidic
How to Raise the pH in a Pool
Adding sodium bicarbonate (also known as baking soda) or soda ash to your pool can raise your pool’s pH level by raising the number of carbonate ions in your pool. This is because sodium carbonate, unlike other chemicals, is not acidic and does not readily react with water. It is best used at night when the pool’s water chemistry has stabilized.
Adding alkaline substances to your pool can also raise the pH level. Alkaline substances include sodium bicarbonate, calcium carbonate, potassium chloride, and other alkaline chemicals.
How to Lower the pH in a Pool
Adding acidic substances to your pool will lower the pH level of your pool. The most common product for this task is muriatic acid or hydrochloric acid. A general rule of thumb when it comes to how much muriatic acid to use to lower your pH is to start with about a quarter of a gallon, let it circulate for about an hour, and then re-test. Continue until you hit a healthy range.
A healthy pH range for your pool is between 7 and 7.6.
Why is it So Important to Maintain a Healthy Pool pH?
The reason why you should maintain a healthy pool pH is to keep your pool safe for swimmers and to make sure you don’t damage your pool. It is essential to understand why your pool pH needs to be regulated to prevent future problems.
- If pH gets too low it can cause irritation in people’s eyes and on their skin
- Low pH can also cause corrosion due to high acid content – damaging everything coming in contact with the water
- High pH stops chlorine from working, raising the amount necessary to keep your pool water clean and healthy
- High pH can also cause cloudy water, which isn’t inviting to swimmers
- Volatile pH can cause liners to grow, making them wrinkly and more prone to damage
Know and Manage Your Pool’s pH Level
pH level is the foundation of pool maintenance. When it comes to keeping your water chemistry in balance, there are many factors that can impact pH and with a little practice you will be able ensure your pH levels stay at an optimal range for all aspects including equipment functionality as well what’s best suited for your family and your pool guests.
Now that you’ve got a handle on what it takes to keep your pH levels in order, maybe it’s time to upgrade your pool with some top-quality American-made accessories from Global Pool Products. Our pool handrails, ladders, slides, and lifts can take your pool area to the next level!