Can Low Alkaline Affect Chlorine?

If you own a pool, you know about the importance of maintenance. When it comes to cleaning water, robotic pool cleaners are a great tool, and for regulating pH levels, you can install a distilled water pump. But how can you reduce alkalinity in a pool

Low alkalinity can cause a variety of issues, including chemical imbalances, discoloration, and harm to swimmers’ health. It can even have legal consequences. So, if you own a pool and are worried about unbalanced alkaline levels, keep reading to learn how to regulate them.

What Is Alkalinity? 

Alkalinity is the measure of the ability of water to neutralize acid or, in other words, the water’s ability to resist changes in pH levels. It’s expressed in parts-per-million (PPM) or milligrams per liter (mg/L). It’s also a measure of how much acid can be present in the water without changing the pH level. pH measures how basic or acidic something is on a scale from zero to fourteen: the lower the number, the more acidic; the higher, the more basic. 

The ideal pH for swimming pools is between 7.2 and 7.6. This range is the ideal for helping pool chemicals work correctly and preventing corrosion or scaling. The easiest way to correct it is with chemicals, such as sodium bicarbonate. If you are wondering how you can lower alkalinity without chemicals, it’s easy—you can do it by installing a water pump that will detect pH levels and add fresh water as needed. It’s essential to keep an eye on unbalanced alkalinity levels and try to correct them as soon as possible.  

How Does Low Alkalinity Affect Your Pool? 

If your pool has low levels of alkaline, it could lead to issues like cloudy water, discoloration of walls or liners, corrosion of filters, pumpers or heaters, and skin irritation of swimmers. If you are wondering if it is okay to swim with low alkalinity, you should know it can be harmful to humans. 

Chlorine in water acts as an oxidizing agent, and it becomes unstable when alkaline levels are not properly adjusted. Regularly checking alkaline and pH levels is essential for healthy, safe water.  

How Do You Correct Low Alkalinity Levels? 

Thankfully, correcting low alkaline levels is relatively easy, if you act quickly. If you plan on using chemicals, keep in mind that while it is not harmful, it might be recommended to hold off on swimming for some hours. 

To raise alkaline levels again, you’ll need to add sodium bicarbonate—baking soda—directly into your pool’s circulation system using a dosing pump. You can also manually add baking soda around skimmer baskets. Once done, use a test kit to check that alkaline levels are within range before you let anyone in the pool. Another option is to install a distilled water pump. 

Moving Forward

If you own a pool, it is essential to regularly check its alkaline levels. Failing to do so can negatively affect the presence of chlorine. Make sure that you regularly test for both pH and total alkaline levels so that any potential problems can be corrected. The longer you wait, the harder it is to correct unbalanced pH levels.

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