Is It Okay to Swim With Low Alkalinity?

It goes without saying that pool water needs a lot of elements in order to be in a healthy state. Chlorine, sodium, magnesium, or phosphates are all required. Maintaining a pool is no small feat. 

There’s so much to keep track of: from pH levels to alkalinity. The latter is a specifically important water quality factor that helps maintain the pH levels of any pool. But, if the levels become unbalanced, how do you decrease alkalinity in a pool? Keep reading to find out the best ways to adjust the alkalinity levels of your pool.

Swimming With Low Alkaline Levels 

You might be wondering what alkalinity level in pools is safe to swim in. Is it safe to swim when the alkaline levels are low? In elementary terms, it is not safe. Swimming in a pool with low alkalinity is potentially dangerous due to health concerns, and it will damage your pool over time. Low alkaline levels can cause skin irritation and rashes due to the water being high in acidity, making it unsafe for swimmers. 

Additionally, low alkalinity can affect chlorine. It reduces the effectiveness of chlorine and other sanitizers used to keep bacteria out of your pool. This can lead to other health risks, such as infections or diseases, if left unchecked. When chlorine is added to a pool, it reacts by killing microorganisms and preventing algae from growing. This is why keeping alkaline levels properly adjusted is necessary in order to enjoy healthy water.

Unbalanced Alkalinity Levels

Irregular alkaline levels can cause a variety of issues in your pool, ranging from discoloration to corrosion. It can unbalance the pH of the water, which can turn your water cloudy or hazy. When alkaline levels are higher than they should be, pH levels might be harder to adjust, because bicarbonates, hydroxides, and carbonates, which are alkaline elements, build up in excess. 

This not only causes skin irritation, but it can also cause scales to build up on the pool’s walls. It can also cause calcium scaling, which makes it harder for chlorine to dissolve in the water.

On the other hand, when levels are too low, it means that the pool’s water has a lower concentration of alkaline elements. When pH levels are lower than 7.2, water turns acidic, causing corrosion to the pool’s maintenance system, pumps, heaters or filters. This also can irritate the skin and eyes of swimmers. Low levels can also cause rapid pH fluctuations, meaning chemical treatments won’t work as effectively.

Effects of Low Alkaline Levels

In addition to causing potential health risks, low alkalinity levels can also have negative effects on the pool’s equipment. Over time, low pH levels cause corrosion, which can reduce the efficiency of the equipment. Additionally, low alkalinity may cause calcium deposits on objects like ladders or handrails, which may be difficult or impossible to remove without professional help. 

Balanced Levels Mean Safer Swims

Maintaining proper alkalinity levels in your swimming pool is essential for keeping swimmers safe from potential health risks and protecting your equipment from corrosion. If alkaline levels are low, increase it by using muriatic acid or sodium bicarbonate. If levels are too high, pour in distilled water until it is balanced.

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