How to Raise PH in Pool
How To Raise pH in Pool? Fast and Easy Method – Layman’s Guide!
Properly balanced pH levels are integral to pool maintenance and safety. When pH levels are out of whack, they prevent chlorine from doing it’s job – which is to fight off germs. In short, a pool with unbalanced pH levels can well become a breeding ground for bacteria. And that’s just the beginning of your problems.
While high pH levels can cause cloudy water and scaling on pool surfaces, low pH can corrode pool equipment. This is both complicated and expensive to fix. Low pH means that the water is acidic and swimmers may complain of itchy skin and a burning sensation in their eyes.
Thus, it is of prime importance that you keep the pool chemistry balanced at all times. While this may seem a bit daunting to new pool owners, it is really not that complicated if you pay attention to the process.
We’ll not delve too deep into the scientific aspect of pool pH but we’ll definitely acquire some useful functional knowledge on the matter.
PH basically stands for potential hydrogen or a solution’s capacity to attract hydrogen ions. In layman’s terms, pH is a measure of how acidic or alkaline a solution is. The pH scale ranges between 0 to 14.
A measure of 0 means most acidic and a pH value of 14 means most alkaline.
7 is right in the middle; a pH of 7 means that the solution is neutral – neither basic nor acidic. Pure distilled water usually has a pH of 7 (theoretically). Human tears have a pH value ranging from 6.5 to 7.6, the mean being 7.
Experts recommend that the pH of pool water should range between 7.2 to 7.6.
This means that the water should be slightly alkaline. The right pool chemistry protects pool equipment and also prevents build-up of algae and bacteria.
What causes pH levels to fall?
Everything that enters the water affects the pH in one way or the other. Sweat, debris, pollen, algae spores, body fluids constantly mess with the pH levels. This is precisely why a good pool owner performs all routine checks on a regular basis. (This can be easily done with the help of a pool testing kit).
Rainwater can cause the pool water to become diluted and lower the pH levels. Whatever the reason, if your pH levels are below normal, it means that the acid is slowly eating away at the pool equipment and irritating swimmers’ skin, nasal cavity and eyes. Hence, the pH should quickly be rebalanced.
How To Raise pH in Pool – 5 easy steps:
1) Check the pool chemistry
You’ve probably already done this. Check if total alkalinity, pH and chlorine levels are within the recommended range. If pH has fallen to a value below 7.2, it needs to be raised. Note: If pH is low (or high), alkalinity will also be off, in the same direction.
A simple pool testing kit (chemical or digital) can help you to maintain the health of your pool without paying a fat fee to pool cleaning companies (who also use the very same kits).
2) Now it’s time to do a little bit of Math 🙂
Pool pH is raised using a chemical known as Sodium Carbonate (also called soda ash). However, before adding it, you’ll have to determine how much of it do you need. Here is a simple formula:
You need 3 ounces of soda ash to raise the pH by 0.1 for every 10,000 gallons of pool water.
I’ll elucidate with the help of an example: Let us say that your pool pH has fallen to 7 and you want to raise it to 7.4. The size of your pool is 20000 gallons
We want to raise pH by 0.4
Easy, 3 Ounces of Soda Ash multiplied by 4 = 12 ounces.
However, this is the quantity for 10000 gallons of water. Since our imaginary pool has 20000 gallons ((10000 galons x 2), we will multiply our result (12 ounces) by 2, which equals to 24 ounces of soda ash.
3) Add Sodium Carbonate to pool water in the right quantity:
Take a clean bucket and add clean water to it. Add soda ash to the water and dissolve by stirring well. Now introduce this solution into the pool water, adding a little bit uniformly along the boundary of the pool. Make sure that the pool pump is running as this will help to circulate the chemical thoroughly.
4) Wait for at least 1 hour:
I know that you cannot wait to jump into the refreshing pool water (it’s not refreshing yet though, probably slightly acidic still), but it’s recommended that you wait for at least an hour to allow the soda ash to work its magic.
5) Test and balance if required:
If you’ve done the Math right, your pH has probably returned to the normal range. If not, test and balance again. You also need to check the water for total chlorine and more importantly, for free or available chlorine.
Even if the pool pH is now normal, it’s quite possible that the water is a little cloudy. This usually clears up on its own within a few hours. Alternately, you can use a pool clarifier to expedite the process.
Enjoy your pristine pool 🙂
In a world where some people travel for miles to fetch a pail of water, having a pool is a luxury and maintaining it is a privilege. So do it right!
Clean your pool every day, check all chemical levels every week and shock the pool at least once per month. If you’re busy, you might not have time to scrub the pool and clear out leaves and other debris every day.
Even if a pool is neglected for a couple of days, it takes on a dishevelled appearance. Leaves make it look unkempt; algae spores constantly find ways to enter the water. Dirts accumulates in nooks and crannies, making the pool seem rather uninviting.
If you’re smart and like to save money, it might be a good idea to consider investing in a robotic pool cleaner. It will save you hours of manual labor and clean the pool everyday for a fraction of the cost that you’ll pay for pool cleaning contracts.
We recommend the Dolphin Nautilius CC Plus as it’s currently the best damn robotic pool cleaner on the planet!
(Read our Review of the Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus)