How to Lower pH in Pool

There are quite a few issues which can occur if proper water chemistry is not ensured. One of the balance elements which must be kept in check at all times to ensure a safe swimming environment is pool water pH – yes, it is not only important to assure the water you drink and bathe with has a proper pH level, but the one you swim in as well. In the following, we will focus on all aspects regarding pool water pH, not only the importance of keeping it in check but how you can perform adequate changes to restore it when it is needed.

How pH Impacts Proper Water Chemistry

This is a never-ending issue among all pool owners, so you need not worry as you are not alone in this situation. Consistently high or low pH levels have a domino-effect when it comes to pool problems, causing a chain of reactions. To have a better idea of how severe imbalanced pH actually is, know that it is one of the main reasons why algae, including the dreaded black algae, appear. But let’s look into this subject a little more and see what influence it has and why it is caused to start with.

  • Why pH Unbalance Occurs

Before we move on to analyzing the implications of improper pool water chemistry levels, let’s first go over the reasons why the pH level goes rogue. This way, you not only have a better understanding on what exactly influences and induces this issue, but you can take certain precautionary measures where you can, lengthening for how long the pH will remain at normal levels.
Why pH is low:

  • The local water source provides low pH water;
  • You have shocked the pool with chlorine a bit too much;
  • Organic matter like dust, grass, or insects have landed in the pool;
  • Rainwater filled with impurities gets in the pool;
  • Contamination with saliva, body oils, or perspiration.

Why pH is high:

    • Implications of High pH

As aforementioned, improper pH levels have consequences. Now, we will cover the implications of high pH levels so you understand why it is needed to lower it as you notice the shift. First of all, swimming in water high in pH will cause eye and skin irritations. Secondly, the pool will seem a lot less inviting as it will have a cloudy aspect. Other issues which arise include an impossibility to maintain an overall proper water chemistry balance, and scale build-up on pipes and filters.

    • Implications of Low pH

Now that we covered the consequences of high levels, let’s move on to the dangers of low pool pH. Probably the worst effect of this imbalance is the fact that all metal surfaces, like ladders, railings, screws, and so on, are at risk for corrosion. Furthermore, you will lose control over the total alkalinity of the water, finding it almost impossible to keep it in balance. Also, you will feel the effects of this imbalance as your eyes will sting and your skin will become dry.

Methods to Test Pool pH Level

There are two methods you can turn to in order to find out the pH level of pool water – take a sample to a laboratory and wait for the results to come in, a process which usually takes a few days, even a couple of weeks, or test the water at home for any chemical imbalance, including pH, with a test kit specially made for this procedure. We recommend the second option, as results are instant, having to wait only a few minutes to receive a response. All the more important is the fact that, depending on the type of test you acquire, you might be able to learn more about other pool water chemistry elements like total alkalinity and hardness.

How to Correct the pH

Regardless of the issue at hand, whether it is high or low pH levels in the pool’s water, there are solutions you can turn to in order to resolve the problem. Find out how you can solve high pH from this section of the article!

Methods to Lower the pH Level

  • Method #1 – Using muriatic acid: Muriatic acid is a powerful acid which, if used improperly, could damage the surfaces of the pool. Additionally, if you are not careful when handling it and enter into contact with the substance, you could burn your eyes and skin. Thus, make sure you check the instructions first and be careful with any spills. Depending on the results of the test, establish how much muriatic acid you need to use to lower the pH. Afterward, just add the acid in the pool’s water, and wait at least six hours before performing another test to see where the pH level has landed.
  • Method #2 – Using sodium bisulfate: Take a test to figure out how much sodium bisulfate you actually need to add to re-stabilize pH levels. As it comes in a powder form, avoid adding it to the water when it is windy outside. Also, do not add it in the skimmer area, but rather as close to the center of the pool as possible for the solution to spread all around the pool and deliver the chemical stabilization you are rooting for. After approximately 10 minutes, the acid will dissolve and start roaming the water, rebalancing it. Wait for about 6 hours before redoing the test and establishing whether you must add some more or not.

Frequently Asked Questions

1 How to reduce the pH in your swimming pool?
If you want to lower the pH in your swimming pool, it is recommended to use sodium bisulphate.

2 How to raise the pH in your swimming pool?
If you want to raise the pH in your swimming pool, it is recommended to use sodium carbonate.

3 How to reduce chlorine in your swimming pool?
If you want to lower the chlorine level in your swimming pool, you can use hydrogen peroxide or sodium thiosulfate.

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