Enjoying the swimming pool is of utmost importance since using it after having a long day is like having a therapy. So it is recommended that you use the best chemicals to maintain it. One of such chemicals is muriatic acid which helps to lower the pH level of the pool. It can be used to deep-clean and scrub the walls of the pool. This will add up to keep the pool fresh and clean, and as well get rid of algae.
But can you add muriatic acid directly into a pool? Yes, muriatic acid can be added directly into the pool, this is done to lower the pH and alkalinity levels when they get too high.
So if you have been wondering whether you can add muriatic acid directly into your pool, and its purpose of use, then this post is for you. This article has been put together to teach you how to use muriatic acid in your pool.
What is muriatic acid?
Muriatic acid otherwise known as hydrochloric acid is a versatile chemical used to care for swimming pools. Muriatic acid is mildly corrosive and as such can be effective for pool maintenance. It offers enormous benefits to the swimming pool but the most important purpose of this acid is to help reduce the pH level of your pool water. The acid can be bought at either the pool supply stores or home improvement stores.
Can you add muriatic acid directly into the pool?
The truth is that muriatic acid can be added directly into your pool, even without dilution. But if you think of safety then it would be better to dilute it. Though muriatic acid is mildly corrosive, it is still harmful to the skin. So diluting it first will enable you to handle it better as it will be less harmful to your skin if the water splashes. You can water it down within 10 minutes if you are not in a hurry. Just add the acid to water up to the ratio of 10:1 (water : muriatic acid).
Warning – Do not add water to acid. Add acid to water.
How much muriatic acid can I add to my pool at one time?
Adding muriatic acid at any time depends mostly on the pH level of the pool water and the size of the pool. So to get a better reading it will be better to use the DPD drop test kit to ascertain how high. So if you have a pH of 7.8 or above and the average water size is 15,000 gallons then you can add about ¼ (a quart) of muriatic to the pool. If it is a small pool or an above–ground pool, you should begin with a cup of muriatic acid at a time. You can also retest to be sure you are at the ideal level.
What happens if you put too much muriatic acid in a pool?
Adding an excessive amount of muriatic acid to your pool will make the pool acidic as the pH of the water will become too low. Muriatic acid needs to be used in the right proportion just like any other chemical. You don’t have to jeopardize the process by adding the acid in excess. It is important to have the right dosage of the acid in your pool at a time. This will help in keeping the pH levels of your pool at an optimal range. It will also help your chlorine sanitizer to work better. To avoid driving your pH dangerously low, which might elicit eye irritation or rashes, you need to be careful with your dosage.
Well, sometimes we can’t help making the mistake of adding too much of each chemical to our pool. If you pour too much muriatic acid directly into your pool, there is a way to remedy the situation. This is because your pH would have been dropped to a level below the optimum level. So do the following to rebalance your ph level.
Use sodium carbonate or soda ash
You need to have the following handy:
- You would need a reliable test kit for measuring the pH and alkalinity
- A 5-gallon bucket (plastic)
- Protective glasses and gloves
- Wooden paint stirring stick
- Sodium bicarbonate or soda ash
- A dry measuring cup to get the right dosage
Test the pool water for both alkalinity and pH. You can use the test strip to get the right measurement.
Dip the bucket into the pool and scoop about ¾ full of water. Then pour in the right measured chemical. Make sure you do not go beyond 15 pounds per bucket
Stir in the powder until it is completely dissolved. Avoid pouring in undissolved soda ash or bicarb. It can make the pool cloudy – even sodium bicarbonate can get into the bottom of the pool and settle there without getting dissolved. This may then cause a strain on the filtration system. So stir it properly.
Pour the solution slowly into the pool. You can pour in half of the solution, and then add fresh water to the remaining solution before pouring it into the pool. Avoid pouring it through the skimmer rather pours it around the perimeter of the pool.
Note: You are not supposed to use the pool immediate. You need to wait until the acid is fully circulated in the pool.
How long before you can get in the pool after adding muriatic acid? The ideal time to wait is about 30 minutes. The truth is that muriatic acid can produce a hot spot of acid in the water. So this can irritate or burn the skin. It will be a lot better to allow the chemical to circulate for over 30 minutes before getting in. this will keep you away from any harmful effect
Do you add muriatic acid to water or water to muriatic acid?
As I have already stated, this chemical is still dangerous and harmful to the skin although it is milder than other chemicals. So it wills a lot better to dilute it before adding it to your pool. The degree of dilution might vary depending on the pool. But the ideal measure remains one-part muriatic acid to 10 parts water. So when you are diluting, carefully and slowly pour the acid into the water.
Please never add water to muriatic acid, instead, add acid to the water to avoid an exothermic reaction. This will make the acid splash from the bucket and can burn your skin. Even when you are done with the bucket, rinse it thoroughly and never add any other chemical to that same bucket. You can permanently keep that bucket specifically for muriatic acid. This is to help you avoid injury on the skin via any chemical reaction
Reasons for adding muriatic acid to the pool
Muriatic acid is very important to your pool. More so, it helps to protect the health of the swimmers. Below are some of the reasons why you need the acid in your pool.
- To aid in lowering the pool’s pH and alkalinity: The foremost reason for adding muriatic acid is to help lower the pH and alkalinity of your pool when they get high. Pool water pH higher than 7.8 makes the water alkaline. With this comes the effects like calcium buildup, cloudy water, scaling, etc. To avoid all these issues, it is pertinent to apply the right chemical to help bring the pH to its ideal range, and muriatic acid does it better. So, it helps lower the pool pH as well as its alkalinity.
- Muriatic acid is great for deep clean of the pool: If a deep cleaning of the pool is needed, using muriatic acid will give a better result. It will give the pool a thorough cleansing via scrubbing the wall of the pool. if there’s excessive algae growth it will help to get rid of them
- It does break down the residue found in pool filters: The pool filter system never needs any dirt or debris around it. They will put pressure on the filters and make them ineffective. To get rid of any debris, adding the muriatic acid will help in breaking them down for easy passage.
Steps on how to add muriatic acid directly to your pool
Step 1: Test the water
You need to know that testing your water before adding any chemical should always be your first step. You can use your test strips or the handy pool calculator to achieve this. Determine your pH and alkalinity levels as well as the quantity of water. You would also have to track and monitor your pool chemistry before adding your acid.
Step 2: Turn off your pump
The turning off of your pump is to stop it from circulating the chemical and to avoid adding oxygen too. This is because it can magnify the effect of the muriatic acid on the pH level of the pool. So it will be better to avoid keeping the pump running. It may get deep into the pool floor and eat it away if left there for too long. The best thing to do to avoid this from occurring is to turn the pump off.
Step 3: Add the muriatic acid
When adding muriatic acid directly into your pool, you need to apply caution. It’s even better to dilute it first. But if you are just directly pouring it into your pool, then you need to have your protective gear on. The following are the protective gears you need. They are:
- Safety goggles
- Acid-resistant gloves
- Chemical-resistant apron
- Plastic bucket
- Plastic stirrer
- Then go ahead and pour the right dosage of muriatic acid into the pool.
Step 4: Wait for at least 30 minutes
You can take about 30 minutes break to allow the muriatic acid to circulate. You can run your pump for this 30 minutes. This is to stop the acid from settling on the floor of the pool. However, if you still want to leave the pump off, you need to keep brushing the floor of your pool to prevent any damage. But it is safer to run the pump instead of going into the pool.
Step 5: Retest your water again
Wait for about 4 hours to retest the water. You would need to test for both alkalinity and pH levels. If the level isn’t right, you might just need to repeat the process.
Can you have a swim after adding muriatic acid directly to your pool?
Directly adding muriatic acid to your pool may create a hot spot of acid that will burn and irritate the skin if one swims in it too soon. Though some people are of the view that waiting for 30 minutes should be enough, it is still good to play safe because the concentration level of muriatic acid is between 28 and 35%. So swimming so soon in it after directly applying it in your pool can cause hoarseness, coughing, and inflammation of the respiratory tract. You can wait for about 3-4 hours, then test the water to be sure it is balanced before using the pool.
Muriatic acid is one versatile chemical that can be used for general pool care. Apart from the acid helping to lower the alkalinity and pH levels of a pool, it can be used to dissolve calcium deposits, clean the pool tiles, kill the molds in the pool as well as get rid of the algae in the pool. Though it is best to dilute the acid before adding it to the pool because of its harmful nature, you can still go ahead and pour it directly into your pool. If you are in a hurry or you don’t just want to dilute then, you have no issues with that but be careful with the chemical. All you should know is that you need to take precautions when handling it. Always get your protective gear handy. However, we highly recommend that you dilute it first before adding it to the pool water.