In order to have a sparkling, safe swimming pool, its chemistry must be perfect at all times. One of the most important elements to achieving this is having the right pH balance. The pH, or “potential of hydrogen,” measures the acidity or alkalinity of your pool, and it should be maintained at levels between 7.2 and 7.8.
What Is pH in Swimming Pool Water?
The pH level is the measure of how acidic or alkaline the water is. On a scale ranging from zero (highly acidic) to fourteen (highly alkaline), the ideal pH of pool water is between 7.2 and 7.8.
This is important for a number of reasons. Chlorine, the most commonly used sanitizer in swimming pools, is only effective in killing germs and bacteria when the pH level is within the recommended range. Also, a pH level outside this range can lead to discomfort, irritation, and health hazards for users.
Potential Causes of Low pH
If it has been raining heavily and your pool is uncovered, the water may experience a drop in pH levels. This occurs because rainwater is slightly acidic and can alter the pool’s chemical balance.
Low Total Alkalinity
Total alkalinity refers to the amount of alkaline substances in pool water, and when this is low, pH levels will drop. Pool owners can use alkaline products to increase total alkalinity levels, which should range between eighty and 120 parts per million (PPM).
If pool chemistry is out of sync, this might result in pH levels being too low. If such issues are addressed incorrectly and the wrong quantities of chemicals are used to solve the problem, the situation can worsen.
Be sure to check the pH of the water source used to refill your pool, as an acidic water source will cause an immediate decrease in pH levels.
Ways to Increase pH in a Swimming Pool
If you know your swimming pool has a low pH, there are several steps you can take to restore the proper balance.
Add a pH Increaser
Sodium carbonate, also known as ‘soda ash,’ is the most effective way to increase pH levels. It is best to sprinkle it around the perimeter of the pool, let it dissolve, and run the pool pump for several hours to ensure the product is adequately distributed throughout the pool water.
Add Baking Soda
Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, is a naturally alkaline product. When added to your pool, it will raise pH and alkaline levels. This is a cost-effective solution, although it is more time consuming than using stronger pH increasers.
Check Sanitizer Level
Properly sanitizing pool water is an important step in maintaining correct pH levels. Most sanitizers release small amounts of calcium hydroxide and calcium carbonate, which increase pH and total alkalinity. Regularly check sanitizers and readjust them when necessary.
Your pH level maintenance in swimming pools is essential to ensuring swimmer safety. What happens when pool pH is too low? Decreased levels can have adverse effects for swimmers in the form of discomfort and health hazards. Make sure you regularly check pH levels and follow the advice in this article to rectify any drops in these levels.
Hi, I’m Matt Harper, the founder of poolcareguy.com, a site I started with one simple mission: to help people around the world clean and take care of their pools and hot tubs on their own, without the hassle.
I’m not a professional pool cleaner and don’t have any formal training, I’m just an average guy who loves hanging out by his pool and hot tub and taking care of it. After many years on the job, I’ve become quite good at it.
On this website I will be teaching you absolutely everything I know about pools and hot tubs.