Have you ever gone swimming in a pool and experienced burning eyes and itchy skin when you came out? And then you wonder what the problem might be with you or the water, and you keep asking what has been added to the pool that is making you feel uneasy. It is either the pool is lacking something important or there is a problem with the water. Well, let’s take a tour to find out what might be the reason behind that.
There is a popular household item that is commonly found in almost everyone’s kitchen and is usually used for other purposes, but never have you imagined that it could be used in the pool, right?
Well, it can. Actually, baking soda is one of the most popular pool chemicals you can easily find.
Sodium bicarbonate, generally known as baking soda, is a white solid that is crystalline but looks like a fine powder. In fact, it is a type of salt. It is usually used to minimally raise the pH level of your pool water.
Talking about the pH level of your pool- it is one of the most important elements to pay attention to.
What is the normal pH level of a pool?
The pH level of a swimming pool tells you how acidic or alkaline the water is at any given time. A pH level of 7 means the water is neutral; above 7 means the water is alkaline, while below 7 shows acidity. Therefore, it is advisable for the pH level to be between 7 and 7.6.
If you swim in a pool when the pH level is higher than 8, then you are at risk of itchy skin or skin rashes, while a pH level that is lower than 7 can cause burning eyes.
When baking soda is added to the pool, it raises both the pH and alkalinity, enhancing stability and clarity because sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) is naturally alkaline.
How long does it take baking soda to raise pH in pool?
One might ask, if the pH level of the pool increases immediately after the baking soda is added. Well, it does not raise the pH level immediately and this takes about 6 to 10 hours after the baking soda is added into the pool, as this is dependent on the size of the pool.
When the baking soda has been added allow it circulate and keep the filtration system running during this period and then use a liquid test kit or test strips to check the pH level and alkalinity as well, after testing if the pH level is still low the process should be repeated until you get the desired result.
Can you add too much baking soda to a pool?
Baking soda is good for cleaning and maintaining the health of the pool. However, adding too much of it to the pool can cause an increase in the pH level of the pool, and when it is added to hard water, it results in a build-up of calcium around the pool.
Does baking soda raise alkalinity?
Baking soda is naturally alkaline and, when added to a pool, will raise the pH and alkaline level. Most alkaline increaser products have one prominent ingredient found in them, and your guess is as good as mine; that ingredient is baking soda. Baking soda raises the alkalinity level of a pool when it is added into it.
Will baking soda clear up a cloudy pool?
A cloudy pool can be caused by different issues such as imbalanced pH, algae, faulty filter cartridge, debris, low chlorine level, etc. and this can be very frustrating. Even though the pool water is likely OK, the cloudy look makes people reluctant to go into the pool.
When the water is cloudy, the best approach to adopt is to test the water chemistry to know the reason behind the cloudiness of the water. Use the test kit to know the pH and alkalinity level, whether they are low or high. When it has been determined that the alkalinity and pH are not balanced or low, then the use of baking soda can now be employed. Whereby the alkalinity and pH level is balanced then it is advisable to use soda ash to raise the pool pH
What happens if pH level is too low in the pool?
The pH level, as stated earlier, is a very important factor to consider in maintaining the health of the pool. So when the pH level is low, there are so many dangers it can expose the users to as well as the pool.
Also, low pH levels in pools are capable of ruining the fun moments of users.
Dangers of low level pH in pool.
It causes skin and eye irritation: this happens when the pH level is low and users are bound to experience this if the pool is used at this time. It can also irritate the mucous membranes in our nasal cavity because at this point the water is acidic, and acidic water is not suitable for our body and can remove our body’s natural oils.
Aside from ruining the moment, low pH levels destroy the pool‘s equipment. Acid is dangerous, therefore anything that comes in contact with acidic water automatically gets bad, so when the pool is left unattended to and its pH level becomes low, it destroys the plumbing, liners, and other equipment in the pool.
You might be wondering what causes a low level in a pool. It is not farfetched as a low pH level can be caused by rainfall, allowing microbes to get into the pool etc.
How often should i put baking soda in a pool?
It is commonly said that when the purpose of a thing is unknown, abuse is inevitable.
As we go ahead to use the baking soda in our pool, we should try to stick to the ground rule: “Do not add more than 2.5 pounds of baking soda in a day, as adding too much of it might raise the pH level to an unwanted range, and when it is too much, it can cause a build up of calcium around the pool.”
How do you raise your pH level without increasing the
The pH level of a pool should be between 7.2 and 7.6 as mentioned earlier, but when it is low, there are ways we can raise the pH level to maintain the pool. Maintaining the normal or right pH level of the pool should not be overlooked.
The way we can raise the pH level is not limited to only adding sodium carbonate or baking soda until you get the desired pH level. It can also be raised through aeration; aerating the pool can help in increasing the pH without increasing the alkalinity. This can be done by bubbling air through the water, spraying droplets through the air with a pool fountain, and agitating the surface.
More so, to get an accurate pH level and alkaline, it is advisable to get an accurate water test. Employ the use of titration tests to get the correct pH and total alkalinity level as this is more reliable than test strips.
Does pool shock raise pH?
The essence of shocking the pool cannot be overemphasized as it helps to get rid of pollutants in the pool. One might be thinking, what is this pool shock all about? Pool shock simply means adding high volumes of concentrated chlorine to kill off any contaminants such as bacteria and algae that have grown within the pool and raise the free chlorine level.
Shocking the pool properly on a regular basis prevents bacteria from taking root in your pool. It also helps keep the pool from smelling and helps to balance the water.
In order to achieve the purpose of shocking, it would slightly raise the pH level of the pool and also increase the calcium hardness level of the pool. Therefore, it is advisable to check the pH level of the pool and balance it if need be.
How can I raise pH naturally?
When you observe that the pH level is low, there are steps used in raising the pH level to get it to balance. Firstly, check the reagents, add soda ash, check the alkalinity and add baking soda, then finally aerate the water.
Does soda ash raise pH in pool
Soda ash, also known as sodium carbonate, is an alkaline chemical refined from the mineral trona and is also a pool chemical that carries a high alkalinity and pH between 11.3 and 11.7.
Just like baking soda, soda ash is also very good at maintaining the health of the pool. Soda ash is used to raise the pH of the pool as well as raise the alkalinity level. It is usually labeled as a pH increaser in most stores.
When there is a need to increase the pH level and alkalinity of your pool at the same time, it is advisable to use soda ash as it has the capability to raise both the pH level and alkalinity level.
Soda ash produces a better effect on the pool’s pH level than baking soda. Unlike baking soda, where you need more to achieve a desired result, soda ash requires less to raise the pH level of your pool.
Is baking soda the same as clarifier?
No, a lot of people believe baking soda is the same thing as clarifier. That is totally wrong.
The main duty of the baking soda in a pool is to increase the alkalinity of the pool water. Although it can slightly increase the pH level, thereby making the water look cloudy, it is not a pool water cleaning chemical.
A pool clarifier is effective in cleaning cloudy waters by pulling together those tiny contaminants and particles which could not be caught or captured by the water filter.
Note: A water clarifier does not totally destroy particles in your cloudy water. When a clarifier is added to your pool, those little particles gather together and form bigger particles.
Without a clarifier, those tiny particles would pass through your water pumps and filters and head back into your pool with ease.
CONCLUSION: Baking soda is a very important ingredient in maintaining the health of the pool, keeping it safe, and slightly raising the pH level of the pool, and it is pocket-friendly to use the baking soda.