How Much Muriatic Acid Is Needed to Lower Alkalinity in Pools?

how much muriatic acid is needed in pool

Summer is here and that means the time for pool parties has arrived. Before you can start partying, is your pool ready? Remember, it’s important to keep your pool surfaces and pH levels in check to ensure your parties remain safe. Let’s explore how muriatic acid can help. 

What Is Muriatic Acid?

Muriatic acid, also known as hydrochloric acid, is a powerful and highly corrosive solution that is commonly used in swimming pool maintenance. The pool-grade version contains less hydrogen chloride than hydrochloric acid, which makes it a good solution to lower total alkalinity in the pool and clean pool surfaces, cartridges, and even filters. 

How Does Muriatic Acid Help Maintain Pools?

Muriatic acid is an excellent pH adjuster. The pH level of your pool water is a critical factor in maintaining a clean and healthy swimming environment. Ideally, you want your pool's pH level to be between 7.2 and 7.6. If the pH gets too high (above 7.8), you may notice cloudy water and anyone who swims in it can develop skin rashes. 

This is where muriatic acid comes in. By adding a small amount of muriatic acid to your pool water, you can easily lower the pH level to the desired range. 

Apart from maintaining the pool’s pH level, muriatic acid is also useful for cleaning the cartridge filters installed in your pool. Cleaning these filters can be a nuisance and most people clean them using distilled vinegar. However, you need to use large amounts of distilled vinegar to clean filters properly. This isn’t the case with muriatic acid—a little goes a long way.

Finally, muriatic acid can also help with acid-washing your pool. It is recommended that you periodically clean your pool with an acid wash. The pool surface can collect algae, grime, and all kinds of stains if left unattended. An acid wash helps clean the pool surface and gets rid of all kinds of bacteria and stains. 

It is worth noting that muriatic acid is a strong and dangerous chemical that should be handled with caution. Always carefully follow the manufacturer's instructions and wear appropriate protective equipment, such as gloves and goggles, before handling it.

How Long Does It Take for Muriatic Acid to Lower Alkalinity?

It usually takes around twenty-four hours for muriatic acid to fully react with the existing pH level of the pool water. You can also retest the pool water after about six hours to check the alkalinity levels. If it’s still too high, wait the full twenty-four hours, retest, and then add more if needed. 

How Much Muriatic Acid Do You Put in a Pool?

The muriatic acid-to-water ratio depends on your pool size and current pH levels. If your pool’s pH level is more than 7.8 and you own an average-sized pool (15,000 gallons), then you need a quarter gallon of muriatic acid. 

If you have a larger or a smaller pool, it’s best to consult with a pool professional like Pool Care Guy. You can also calculate the ratio with an online pool calculator. 

It is important to note that muriatic acid should be diluted before putting it in the pool. Acid is heavier than water, meaning it sinks at the bottom and can burn through flesh and metal if poured directly. So it is advised to pour the diluted acid into the deepest end of the pool.

What Happens if You Put Too Much Muriatic Acid in the Pool?

Too much muriatic acid can destroy metal pool surfaces, such as pool rods and ladders. It can also lower the pH levels drastically and can cause health hazards. If you feel that you accidentally added too much muriatic acid, it’s best to call a pool professional to correct the pH levels.

How Long After Adding Muriatic Acid Can You Swim?

Muriatic acid contains a high concentration of hydrochloric acid, which is harmful to the eyes and respiratory tract. So, it is usually advised to wait thirty minutes after treating your pool with muriatic acid. If you don’t follow the manufacturer’s guidelines, it can cause acid hot spots in the pool that are harmful to swimmers. The best thing to do is to give the treated pool at least two hours or check the instructions on the pack for further details. Remember, it’s better to be safe than sorry!

When you are a pool owner, it’s best to educate yourself on as many different aspects of pool maintenance as possible. For more helpful pool-related information, check out our posts on what causes alkalinity to drop in a pool and the dangers of low pH and high alkalinity.

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