People who are owners of their own recreational pool should take responsibility in keeping it safe for use. Regularly checking for pool pH level is a necessity. Being that the recommended pH level is between 7.2 and 7.8, one must make constant adjustments to keep the balance in check.
It is recommended that a pool test kit should be easily available for a regular pool checkup and see if one needs to lower or raise pH in pool. Because of certain factors, pH levels may fluctuate and may affect the overall chemical balance of the water. Chlorine is important as it actively kills off bacteria. However, its effectivity is highly dependent on the pool’s pH level.
What Happens if pH Level is too Low?
- Water becomes too acidic and may cause serious irritation to eyes and skin
- Strips the body of its natural oils causing dry, cracked, or flaky skin
- Chlorine loses its effectivity in killing germs and other bacteria
- Metal fixtures like ladders, screws, etc., are at high risk of corrosion
- Stone, masonry, or any other tiling décor may end up dissolving due to the acidity of the water
- Water gets cloudy from contamination from corrosion of pool fixtures
What to do if pH level is too low?
Before buying the best pool chemical, one must first make sure to indicate if the pH level is too high or too low. Different chemicals are needed depending on the status of the pool. In case the pH level is too low, there are two options to correct the balance: aerate the pool to raise pH or by using sodium carbonate.
Raising pH Level by Aerating the Pool
This simple and straightforward method takes several days to accomplish but is a perfect solution for pools that stubbornly maintain a low pH level. This method is simply done by turning the pool’s water features on and make sure that the water jets point towards the surface. The purpose of this is to ensure water surface is active to remove carbon dioxide that is present in the water. By using this method, it raises the pH level without interfering with the pool’s total alkalinity.
How to Raise pH in Pool by Using Sodium Carbonate (Soda Ash)
- It is imperative that the instructions on the label of the packet must be carefully read. The manufacturers may have important notes that will affect the method of application.
- Based on the results of the pool test kit, ration out the amount needed and add three-quarters of the recommended dosage for the pool. Re-test to see if more sodium carbonate is needed to reach the proper pH level.
- Since sodium carbonate comes in powder form, double check if manufacturer suggests diluting the chemical first before administering to pool water. If dilution is necessary, follow the instructions carefully.
- If no dilution is necessary, take caution in adding the sodium carbonate during windy days. If unavoidable, apply downwind to avoid powder getting on skin or clothes.
- Add the sodium carbonate where the water return jet sights are. This will allow for the powder to spread fully onto all parts of the pool. Never add the sodium carbonate where the water inlet sights are or where it can be easily pulled into the pump or pool filter.
- There is no need to use the pole brush to spread the powder around as sodium carbonate is easily dissolved.
Important to Note:
On the off chance wherein the level stays low even though you did all the necessary procedures to get your pH levels higher, then it might be due to the alkalinity of the water. Alkalinity has something to do with the water’s ability to resist change in pH levels. When alkalinity is low, the pH level randomly fluctuates. Total alkalinity in a pool should be between 80 ppm to 150 ppm. Depending on how much alkalinity your pool has, you can add 1.4 pounds of sodium bicarbonate for every 10,000 gallons of pool water. By doing this, total alkalinity will increase by 10 ppm. Allow for an hour before testing the pool water again.
Baking soda is very effective in raising total alkalinity, but it also adds to pH levels. Avoid adding copious amounts of baking soda because it is easier to raise pH in pool rather than lower them. On another note, sodium carbonate will also raise alkalinity. This is not necessarily a bad thing but make sure total alkalinity will not be too high.