How to Lower pH in Pool

When your pool chemistry levels become compromised, you may require some energy and time to balance it out. 

That said, pH levels in your pool are certainly no exception to this rule.

To be specific, when the pH levels are excessive, it might compromise various aspects of our pool, such as the effectiveness of the chlorine. Being able to lower the levels in your pH levels in your pool has many benefits. It will ensure your pool stays clean at all times, and that it's also safe for everyone in your home to use.

While it may seem like a difficult process, it is easy once you get the hang of it each time. Plus, you won't have to invest in a professional service provider to help you with the process. 

There are several techniques in this guide you can use to fix your pool. We shall go over each of these factors relating to lowering the pH in your pool.

what is ph

The pH level of water is just a measure of the acid and alkaline balance levels in a pool. You should note that pH levels fall between 1-14, with 7.2 to 7.7 being ideal for swimming pools. Any level lower than seven is acidic, and any lever higher is a base.

What does this mean?

Acidic water can compromise your tools, lead to etching on pool surfaces, or even irritate your eyes. Acid water can have significant side effects on your equipment. More so, it can also lead to etching on the pool surface, or even irritate the skin or eyes. That said, water that is too alkaline might lead to scaling or cloudy water complications. 

When the water is not clear enough, you won't be able to determine whether it's clean enough for your usage. Thus, balancing the pH at this point would be a great solution.

Why Should You Lower the pH Balance of Your Pool? 

Lower the pH Balance

If your pool has a ph balance that often becomes excessive, you will start to notice various water quality issues. It can even be harmful for regular pool users such as swimmers, which can have some health concerns. The common ones include: 

  • Skin and eye irritation

  • Clogged pipes and filters

  • High chlorine demand

  • Scaling issues

Clogged filters or scaling might not sound like significant complications. That said, it can compromise the circulation of water, and cause strain on your pool equipment. For instance, if you encounter excessive scaling in a pipe, it can cause the water to move through at a poor speed.

At such a point, the pump still pushes water through the pipes, as fast as before. The clogging will cause a strain on the entire system, thereby having adverse effects on its efficiency.  

Why is The Ph Balance in Your Pool High?

The average ph range falls between 7.2 to 7.7, with 7.4 being the ideal level. That said, it's not always easy to maintain these ph levels at this point. An occasional increase in the ph balance is not a significant issue to consider. That said, if you find it challenging to maintain this level, then you could have a bigger challenge. 

Remember, the ph is easy to maintain when you are well informed and have the right resources for the same. While it may seem like a difficult process at first, things will become easy, you get accustomed to using the system. The common causes of poor pool ph balance includes

  • High alkalinity – when the alkalinity levels are excessive, this might also compromise the ph levels. These two factors often occur together, and you should keep track of both of them;

  • Poor chemical measurements – it's vital for you to practice caution when it comes to adding chemicals to adjust ph levels in your pool. If you added a chemical to improve the ph or alkalinity of your pool, you might have added excessive levels.

  • Pool shock – shocking your pool is a crucial technique. That said, if you use cal-hyo, it can increase the pH levels of the pool. Never stop shocking your pool, but ensure you test the chemistry levels at all times. 

Products for Lowering Ph Levels

There are two crucial chemicals you can use to lower the ph levels in pools. These are sodium bisulfate and muriatic acid.

Both of these chemicals can comprise the pool surface, and have side effects on your skin. Thus, ensure you practice caution when using these products. Some techniques include wearing gloves and clothing that covers the body fully.

Also, you will often find these chemicals in products such as “ph Reducers” or “Ph Minus.” If you are specific about the type you want to use, ensure you check the levels before making a purchase.

Below is a description of both chemicals:

  • Sodium Bisulfate - Dry acid or sodium bisulfate is available in a powder form. It's much milder when compared to Muriatic acid, and it's also easy to store.

  • Muriatic acid – otherwise referred to as hydrochloric acid, this is a popular product for various commercial and DIY applications. That said, it's often in a highly concentrated form, so you have to practice caution when using it for the best results.

How to Lower ph Levels Using Sodium Bisulfate

Sodium bisufate crystal

If you prefer using sodium bisulfate to lower the pH or alkalinity levels of your pool, ensure you practice caution. For instance, avoid using the product on a windy day, such that the powder won't blow back to your eyes or skin. Also, try to get down close to the water when adding the product to your pool

Then, start with the following steps:

  1. Test the Ph and Alkalinity

The ideal ph level should be between 7.2 and 7.6. More so, the alkalinity should average between 80 and 120ppm. If you find the levels of pH excessive, then consider the techniques for lowering the ph.

  1. Measure the Chemicals

Evaluate the manufacturer's specifications to determine the amount of product that should be added to increase ph levels.

Most professionals recommend that you add an average of ¾ of the products that were recommended initially. Also, it's often easy to add more than to adjust the chemistry levels if they are excessive.

  1. Add the Chemical

Pour the powder directly to the return jet sites, where the water gets to the pool. Ensure you avoid adding it to the skimmer. If you have an above ground pool, you may circulate the water DIY, and spread the chemical using your hands.

  1. Let the Chemical Dissolve

During this step, let the filtration system help you circulate the chemical throughout the pool. Expect an average of 15 minutes for the product to dissolve completely.

  1. Re-test and Repeat as Required

You won’t have to retest the levels of the pool immediately. That said, ensure you test these levels after every 24 hours. Also, if the pH and alkalinity levels are within the normal range, the process is complete. However, if the pH levels are still high, then repeat the measurement process. You should add an average of ¾ of what the instructions require each time.

How to Lower pH Levels with ​

Muriatic Acid

We have already discussed the importance of being cautious when using these products for your pool. Thus, ensure you cover your body entirely when using this product. More so, break out the rubber gloves and goggles for convenience.

The steps involved include: 

  1. Test pH and Alkalinity

The pH level should be above 7.2 and 7.6, while the alkalinity levels should average between 80 and 120ppm. If these levels are high, then muriatic acid will be ideal for lowering these levels.

  1. Measure the Chemicals

Check the labeling on the product, to determine the amount you should add, and in relation to the specifications of your pool, such as the size. 

  1. Add the Chemical

You can add the chemical in various ways when using muriatic acid.

One key technique is to switch off the pump, and add some liquid to a steady stream of water at the depend section. This will ensure the acid to go to the bottom of the pool, and so that it won't just float on top. More so, you can even turn the pump back on to allow the water to circulate effectively.

You can also pour the chemical into the pool close to the return jets, which will also work great for circulation. For an above ground pool, you may have to add the acid slowly in many ways, and in different locations. Then, with full-arm gloves, you can use your hands to mix the water and chemical manually. 

  1. Let the Chemical Dissolve

It's good to let the filtration system circulate the chemical as well. The process should take a few hours for the best results. 

  1. Re-test and Repeat as Required

You will have to retest the pH and total alkalinity in a few hours. If the pH and alkalinity levels are normal, then the process is complete. That said, if these levels are still excessive, then repeat the procedure. A good suggestion would be to read the labeling on your chosen product for convenience. 

Sanitizers and Their Impact on pH

Each type of sanitizer has a side effect on your pool, and the pH depends on the sanitizer type you want to use. For instance, chlorine gas and trichlor, are products that have excess acid. Thus, they have a low pH, and might help to reduce the pH of the pool. More so, Dicholor has a neutral pH, as does bromine. As such, they have a small impact on your pool.

The typical non stabilized chlorine such as calcium and sodium hypochlorite both have high pH levels. Thus, they may increase the pH levels of the pool. One common technique in the pool industry is to add some acid to “offset” the high levels of pH caused by chlorine.

In the book, Pool Chemistry for Service Pros by expert Robert Lowry says that when liquid chlorine gets to the water, it won’t increase the pH as most people believe. Liquid chlorine reactions make products of high and low pH levels, which will lead to neutralization. The average pH change at this point will be zero. 

You can only use sanitizer in a few parts per million. As such, even if there is a significant change in the pH, it's not often a vital factor to consider. That said, the salt-generated chlorine is a sanitizer type that will consistently increase the pH of your pool.

Yes! Saltwater pools are also referred to as chlorine pools. The chlorine is produced when electricity passes through the saltwater in a process referred to as electrolysis. The product created from this process is sodium hydroxide (NaOH).

Usually, salt pools often have a pH level that increases gradually. Fortunately, any increases in pH are easy to predict, and you can counteract them by using a specific amount of acid or carbon dioxide. 

Tips for Balancing pH Levels in Swimming Pools

While pH is a relatively unstable factor in pool chemistry, you can maintain its balance using specific techniques. The following are some tips for balancing your pool pH levels: 

  • Test the pool chemistry twice each week – if you have faced issues in the past with ph balance. Test these levels each day, until you achieve the correct balance levels. While this might seem like an inconveniencing process, it's useful for adjusting the Ph levels in your pool.

  • Keep the pool clean – since issues such as dirty leaves or dirt can compromise the quality of water, it's good to ensure you keep the pool clean. It will make it easy for you to clear out the junk from the pool each day. More so, it's also an excellent technique for keeping track of the ph balance in your pool.

  • Check the filtration system regularly – if the pool filter functions as required, it will take a small amount of grease to keep the water balanced and clean

  • Shock your pool as needed - most experts recommend that you shock your pool at least once each month. You can perform it more often if it's used frequently, or when the weather changes frequently. Shocking your pool is an excellent way of restoring the ph levels of the pool.

Finally

Keeping your pool clean at all times should be an essential priority. There are many factors to consider when it comes to how to lower pH in pool. These techniques usually involve being able to balance the presence of chemicals correctly in the water. Even more, it also includes being able to keep track of the usage of your pool regularly. Instead of investing in a professional service provider, it would be if you could master these useful techniques in DIY pool care. These techniques make it easy to keep your pool clean, minus the hassles of investing in a professional pool service. 

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