Is pH Increaser the Same as Baking Soda?

In order to get the most out of your swimming pool and enjoy it all year round, maintenance is crucial. Getting this right can be a challenging task.

One of the most important factors to maintaining your swimming pool is keeping the pH level balanced. The pH level is a measure of how acidic or basic the water in the pool is. If the pH level is too low or too high, it can cause damage to the pool and be harmful to swimmers. 

Should pH levels drop, you’ll need to know how to raise the pH in a saltwater pool, or any other type of pool you have. Even if you know how much soda ash to use to raise the pH in a pool, you may want to consider other options. Using pH increaser or baking soda are two common solutions, but which is best?

What Are pH Increasers and Baking Soda?

A pH increaser, also known as sodium carbonate, is a stronger alkaline than baking soda, which is sodium bicarbonate. A pH increaser is a chemical that is added to a swimming pool to increase the pH level. The chemical works by neutralizing the acidity in the pool water, which raises the pH level.

Baking soda is a natural substance and a weaker alkali than sodium carbonate. It also works by reacting with the acidity in the pool water to increase the pH level.

How Are pH Increaser and Baking Soda Different?

The main difference between pH increaser and baking soda is the strength of the alkali. A pH increaser is made from sodium carbonate, a strong alkali; baking soda is made from sodium bicarbonate, a weaker alkali. This means that a pH increaser can raise pH levels more quickly than baking soda, but because pH increaser is a stronger chemical, it can also be more dangerous to handle and store.

What Are the Advantages of Each?

pH Increasers

The primary advantage of using pH increaser is its superior effectiveness. As a stronger alkali than baking soda, pH increaser can raise the pH level significantly faster with a smaller amount. Additionally, pH increaser is more suitable for larger pools and those with a more significant pH imbalance.

Baking Soda

A significant advantage of using baking soda is its low cost. Baking soda is widely available and considered a household staple, making it a more affordable option for pool owners. Additionally, baking soda does not contain harmful chemicals and is safe to use around swimmers.

Shocking Your Pool

If you’re considering shocking your pool, you’ll have most likely asked yourself, “Should I shock my pool or adjust the pH first?”

We recommend adjusting the pH of your pool before shocking it. If the pH level is not at the optimal level, the chlorine in the shock treatment may end up being less effective. Correct pH levels are crucial for shock treatments to work properly.

To Summarize

While both can be used to increase the pH level in a swimming pool, pH increaser and baking soda are not the same. A pH increaser is more effective and faster acting, but more dangerous to handle and store. Baking soda is less expensive, safer to handle, and more environmentally friendly–but it may take longer to work.

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