Home Remedy To Lower Alkalinity In Pool

Home Remedy To Lower Alkalinity In Pool

Many pool owners have come to me with this same issue. It is apparent that many people are seriously looking for natural ways to lower the alkalinity of their pools.

However, there is no recommended home alternative to chemical means. Using muriatic acid or dry acid has proven to be the best means of lowering alkalinity in pools.

So far, there is no particular home remedy to lower the alkalinity in your pool. Some folks have suggested trying vinegar. But the fact is that vinegar is not effective in lowering the alkalinity of pool water. Though it can be used to lower pH, you can’t use it to lower the alkalinity of your pool.

Nevertheless, from experience so far, rainwater can help lower the alkalinity of pool water. If you have rainwater readily available, that could be a home remedy to lower the alkalinity in your pool.

However, the home remedy for high alkalinity in your pool is to first understand the possible causes of the alkalinity increase in your pool. Knowing the potential causes will help you tackle the issue better, and also prevent future occurrences.

Why is my pool alkalinity high?

There are many factors that can increase your pool water alkalinity. Some of the common factors responsible for the alkalinity increase include;

Excess amount of alkalinity or pH increaser: if you recently increased the alkalinity of your pool water, then there is a higher probability that you might have added an excessive amount of the alkalinity increaser you used. 

Many people use baking soda for this purpose. If you checked very well, you might have used too much baking soda. 

It could also be that you tried to increase the pH. Remember, whatever affects pH will likely have a significant effect on the alkalinity because there is a correlation between the two.

Water source: Check the alkalinity of the water you get from your supplier. Sometimes, the water obtained from the local water supply is not chemically balanced as expected.

It’s good to always test the water to be sure of what you are using. If the alkalinity of the water supplied to you is high, then the pool alkalinity will eventually go up when the water is added to the pool.

Debris and dissolved particles: Some debris and particles can get into your pool while using it. If you allow them to continue entering the pool at some point, they will get saturated and can alter the pH and alkalinity of the pool water.

Swimsuit: Your swimsuit can also be the cause of the alkalinity increase in your pool. It’s good to keep your swimsuit neat, but not rinsing it well when you wash it can introduce highly alkaline compounds into the pool.

Most detergents and soaps are made with highly alkaline compounds and/or produce alkaline byproducts when they are used. If you don’t rinse the swim pants well after washing, you will end up using them in the pool anytime you make use of them. As these compounds accumulate in the pool, the alkalinity of the pool water will increase.

Can I use vinegar to lower the alkalinity in the pool?

As we started earlier, vinegar cannot be used to lower the alkalinity in your pool. But it can be used to wash the pool and keep it clean and clear.

But you don’t use it to lower the alkalinity in your pool. Though some folks use vinegar to lower pH in spas, you don’t want to try it in your pool. 

The only natural means to lower the alkalinity in your pool is to wait a while to see if the level will go down. A faster alternative is to refill it with fresh water of lower alkalinity. Rainwater can also help lower your pool’s alkalinity.

However, all these natural methods don’t give perfect or immediate results. So, it is better to use the right chemicals to lower the alkalinity.

What is the best way to lower alkalinity in a pool?

From our discussion so far, it is obvious that there is no particular home remedy that lowers pool alkalinity perfectly. For increasing alkalinity, one can consider using baking soda. But you can’t use baking soda to lower alkalinity. And vinegar is not a good option here.

This means that one has to rely on chemical means to lower pool water alkalinity. And the best chemical compounds to lower the alkalinity of your pool are muriatic acid and dry acid (sodium bisulfate).

The general instructions on how to use these chemicals are listed below. But before you start, always make sure that you read the instructions that come with the product. Also, remember to test the pool water first to determine the right amount of acid to add to the pool.

Warning: Please, do not add water to the acid. If you must dilute the acid, always endeavor to add the acid to water. 

Method 1: Using muriatic acid

Muriatic acid is the most commonly used acid by pool owners because it is less expensive as it is highly reactive with a very low pH value of 1-2.

Moreover, it can remove rust and calcium deposits. It is also effective in killing molds. This makes it more efficient than other compounds.

However, you need to be very careful while handling the product because it is very reactive and volatile. So, make sure you are well covered with personal protective equipment (PPE). 

Once you are ready with the above, follow the instructions below;

How to lower pool alkalinity with muriatic acid:

  • Turn off the pool pump and make sure nothing is working and the pool water is still before you start.
  • With your test strips or test kits, determine the level of the pool water’s alkalinity. This will help you know the right amount of acid to add.
  • Check the package instructions to know the quantity of acid to add. Remember, the target is to bring the alkalinity to a range between 80 ppm and 120 ppm. Usually, 25.6 ounces of undiluted muriatic acid will lower the alkalinity of about 10,000 gallons of water by 10 ppm. So, do the calculation to know the right quantity to add. 
  • However, you may want to dilute the acid before adding it to make it a lot easier. Don’t forget to add the acid to the water to do that. So add water to your bucket first before adding the acid, using a ratio of about 10:1 water to acid.
  • Add the solution to the pool and allow it to circulate for about an hour. Add it to the deeper ends if there are any.
  • Then turn on the pump to help circulate it further for a while.
  • Retest the levels to repeat the process if required.

Method 2: Using dry acid

Dry acid is safer to use but more expensive than muriatic acid. Its granular form makes it safer, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t harm you if not handled carefully. 

Another thing to note is that it can easily damage the pool if not diluted. Unlike muriatic acid, the granules of sodium bisulfate can drop to the bottom of the pool and corrode the surface.

How to lower pool alkalinity with dry acid:

  • Turn off the pool pump and make sure nothing is working and the pool water is still before you start.
  • With your test strips or test kits, determine the level of the pool water’s alkalinity. This will help you know the right amount of acid to add.
  • Check the package instructions to know the quantity of acid to add. Remember, the target is to bring the alkalinity to a range between 80 ppm and 120 ppm. So, do the calculation to know the right quantity to add. 
  • However, you need to dissolve the acid granules in water before adding them to the pool. Don’t forget to add the acid to the water to do that. Fill your bucket first with about three-quarters of the water before adding the acid.
  • Add the solution to the pool and allow it for about an hour to circulate. Add it to the deeper ends if there are any.
  • Then turn on the pump to help circulate it further for a while.
  • Retest the levels to repeat the process if required.

What happens if alkalinity is high?

You may be wondering if high alkalinity in pool water is bad. Yes, high alkalinity in your pool is bad for your pool and also for you. 

It can cause a lot of damage if not handled properly. Below are some of the things that can happen if your pool’s alkalinity becomes high:

The sanitizer becomes less effective: high alkalinity levels affect the efficiency of the chlorine used as a sanitizer in your pool. Once the sanitizer becomes less effective, microbes and other contaminants can easily invade the pool, making it unfit for swimmers.

Incessant increase in pH levels: high alkalinity levels always lead to high pH levels. An increase in pH level can be easily managed, but when the alkalinity is high, managing the pH becomes a big problem.

It is usually difficult to control pH when the alkalinity level is off the mark. So, to be able to properly manage pH, the alkalinity level must be corrected first. 

Cloudy pool water: high alkalinity levels usually lead to murky pool water because of the accumulation of microbes and calcium compounds. The high level of calcium present is the common cause of cloudy pool water.

Scaling: scaling is usually caused by calcium deposits in the pool water. If the deposits are left for a while, they will lead to scaling on the pool surfaces.

Moreover, if the issue is not controlled, it can start clogging the filter system when the deposits accumulate in the filter. This can build up pressure and lead to more damage to the pool components.

Skin irritation: burning eyes and itchy skin are some of the signs of high alkalinity in your pool. Once the pool’s alkalinity becomes high, the water will no longer be comfortable for the swimmer. More so, it can make the swimsuit wear off faster.

What do I do if my pool has high alkalinity?

Once you notice that the pool alkalinity has gone high, the first thing to do is to stop using the pool.

Then, you need to test the pool to be sure that the alkalinity level has truly gone high. Once you have ascertained that the level is high, try your best to correct it immediately. 

If you allow it to linger, it will only cause more damage to the pool. So, to avoid spending more, it is better to tackle the situation head-on and start enjoying your pool as usual.

What does baking soda do to pool water?

If you are wondering whether you can use baking soda to lower the alkalinity of your pool, you are not far from the truth.

But you have to think otherwise. Baking soda is used to increase the alkalinity of a pool. So, you can only use it when your pool’s alkalinity is low. It will help you increase it.

But now that it is high, you can only use acidic compounds like the ones we discussed above.

Does rain raise or lower pool alkalinity?

Rainwater has a low pH level of about 5. Since it is a little bit acidic, it indicates that rainwater can help to lower the alkalinity of your pool.

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