What If pH and Alkalinity Levels Are Low?

Having a swimming pool is a great way to enjoy summer days with family and friends. Unfortunately, if your pool’s pH and alkalinity levels are out of balance, it can negatively affect your pool’s health (as evidenced by cloudy water) as well as your family’s (e.g., skin irritations). 

Knowing how to lower total alkalinity in your pool could be a way to avoid the dangers and negative effects of unbalanced pH and alkalinity.

The Importance of Balanced pH Levels

Maintaining the proper pH level in your pool is essential for ensuring a safe and enjoyable swimming experience. A balanced pH level between 7.2 and 7.6 indicates that your pool’s water is neither too acidic nor too alkaline. When these two are balanced, you don’t have to worry if you can swim with low pH and alkalinity.

When pH levels fall below 7.0, the water becomes acidic, leading to skin and eye irritation for swimmers and potential damage to pool equipment. Conversely, when pH levels rise above 8.0, the water becomes too alkaline, which can cause cloudiness and make swimming uncomfortable. 

Regular pH Monitoring for a Safe and Comfortable Pool

It’s crucial to monitor your pool’s pH and alkalinity levels regularly to prevent potential issues. Keeping the ideal alkalinity for a pool of eighty to 120 parts per million (PPM) affects the water’s basicity. Imbalances in pH and alkalinity levels can have several negative consequences, including:

  • Damage to pool components: Acidic water can corrode liners, metallic parts, and pool lights.
  • Skin and eye irritation: Swimmers may experience discomfort due to the acidic content of the water.
  • Increased chlorine: Low pH levels necessitate the use of more chlorine, which can exacerbate pH imbalances and increase maintenance expenses.

By keeping a close eye on your pool’s pH and alkalinity levels, you can ensure a safe, comfortable, and enjoyable swimming environment for everyone.

How to Balance Pool Chemicals

To maintain the right pH levels, pool owners must ensure that their pool is balanced with chemicals such as sodium carbonate, sodium bicarbonate, and sodium hydroxide. These chemicals help elevate pH levels and control the acidity of the pool water. To manage the alkalinity levels, you can add baking soda or sodium bicarbonate to the pool water.

To correct low pH and alkalinity levels, follow these steps:

  1. Raise the alkalinity level because adjusting alkalinity will also influence the pH level. Use an alkalinity increaser, typically sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), following the manufacturer’s instructions for dosage. Make sure to add the chemical slowly and evenly around the pool, allowing it to circulate.
  2. Retest the pool water after several hours or the next day to check the alkalinity and pH levels. If the pH is still low, use a pH increaser, such as soda ash (sodium carbonate), following the manufacturer’s instructions. Add the pH increaser slowly and evenly around the pool, allowing it to circulate.
  3. Continue to monitor and test the pool water regularly to ensure both pH and alkalinity remain within the recommended ranges.

Remember, always adjust alkalinity before adjusting pH because changes in alkalinity affect the pH level.

Know the Dangers of Unbalanced Chemicals and How to Even Them Out

Swimming during the hot summer days is an enjoyable experience, but it’s important to ensure that your pool’s pH and alkalinity levels are balanced. An imbalance in these levels could cause serious damage to your pool and your health. To maintain the right pH levels, pool owners can utilize chemicals such as sodium carbonate, sodium bicarbonate, and sodium hydroxide. 

Balancing pool chemicals is crucial to the maintenance, longevity, and health of your pool, and will ensure that your family enjoys your backyard oasis for years to come. If you’re not confident that you can do this on your own, reach out to the Pool Care Guy for help.

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