How Quickly Can You Raise Alkalinity in a Pool?

A swimming pool is an ecosystem of elements which work in harmony to ensure that the pool is clean, safe, and beautiful. To maintain a high-quality swimming experience, you need to know how to maintain the proper water chemistry. It is important to know how to lower total alkalinity in a pool or raise it, depending on the chemistry imbalances in your water. Imbalance chemical levels in your pool water can lead to your pool becoming damaged and dirty, as well as unsafe to swim in.

When we refer to alkalinity, we are talking about the water’s resistance to spikes in pH levels. Alkaline neutralizes pH levels, allowing for chemicals with high pH content to clean the water while the alkaline makes it safe to swim with these chemicals in the water.

Swimming pools should have a pH between 7.2 and 7.6, as this allows the chemicals in the water to function in the way needed to maintain the health of your pool. What happens when alkalinity is too low? Your pool water could begin to damage the walls and surfaces of your pool, resulting in cracks and pits. Metallic surfaces begin to corrode and dissolve due to the high levels of acidity.

In this article, we detail the ways you can safely raise your alkaline levels. Let’s dive in!

Different Methods of Raising Alkalinity in a Pool

Sodium Bicarbonate

Sodium bicarbonate is actually just a common household ingredient: baking soda. It’s an effective and inexpensive way to increase alkalinity levels. We recommend increasing the alkalinity by ten parts per million (PPM) in a 10,000-gallon pool by adding one and a half pounds of baking soda.

Alkalinity Increaser

Alkalinity Increaser is a special pool chemical available in granular form and can quickly raise the alkalinity level by ten PPM in a 10,000-gallon pool. A little goes a long way, as using just a little too much or not enough will have a noticeable impact on your pool. Read the labels on the packaging carefully to ensure correct use.

Sodium Sesquicarbonate

Sodium sesquicarbonate is another commonly used chemical to raise the alkalinity level in a pool. It’s a combination of sodium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate that is a widely trusted method of raising the alkalinity and pH levels in a pool. To increase the alkalinity level by ten PPM in a 10,000-gallon pool, you need to add one pound of sodium sesquicarbonate.


Borax, or sodium borate, is a natural chemical used to increase the pH and alkalinity levels in a pool. However, it’s not as fast-acting as other methods mentioned in this list. If you use Borax to increase the alkalinity level by ten PPM in a 10,000-gallon pool, we recommend adding one and a half pounds of borax to the water.


Aeration is a completely natural process for raising the alkalinity and pH levels in a pool, no chemicals necessary. Adding air to the water increases the pH and alkalinity levels. This method, while relatively simple, usually is not advisable for larger pools as it will be time consuming and therefore not cost-effective to aerate the entire pool.

How Long Does It Take To Raise Alkalinity in a Pool?

The time it takes to raise the alkalinity level in a pool usually depends on the size of the pool, the current alkalinity level, and the method used to increase the alkalinity. 

Generally speaking, your average pool will need twenty-four to forty-eight hours to raise the alkalinity level by ten PPM. However, if the pool’s alkalinity level is extremely low (below sixty PPM), it may take several days. In such cases, it’s crucial to add small amounts of pool chemicals, measure the alkalinity level regularly, and be patient while waiting for the desired results.

Closing Thoughts

The exact time it takes to increase the alkalinity level in a pool comes down to various factors, including the starting level of alkalinity and the size of the pool. With this in mind, the best thing is prevention, and knowing how long it takes for alkalinity to drop in the first place. 

Monitor your water frequently and if a problem starts, address it early on. This is especially important for larger pools where treatment times take longer. Low alkalinity is something to be avoided, but it can be remedied. Contact us if you have any questions, and we’ll be delighted to help!

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