How Long After Adding pH Up Can You Add Shock?

Being a pool owner will make you end up a chemist of some sort. One factor that goes into making your pool chemicals balanced is timing. Knowing when to add different chemicals is what will ensure that your pool is kept in good sanitary condition.

The best time to shock a pool is one to two hours after adding pH-Up. A better way, though, would involve checking the pH after adjusting it, before shocking the pool.

Follow along as I thoroughly go over everything you need to know about adding pH Up and shock in a timely manner in this article.

Let’s dive in.

Can I shock my pool after adding pH-Up?

First, you may wonder what pH up means if you are not familiar with the term. In fact, let’s start from the basics: what pH actually is.

In chemistry, pH stands for the hydrogen ion’s potential or power. In simple terms, we can say that pH gives us a measure of how acidic or basic a solution is. The pH, in mathematical terms, is the negative logarithmic value of the hydrogen ion concentration in any solution. On a pH scale, 0 is the lowest and 14 is the highest, with 7 being neutral. Values below 7 show an acidic nature, while values above 7 show an alkaline nature.

Now let’s get into what pH up is. From the name, it gives you an idea of what it does. I am sure you guessed right. Yeah, it increases the pH of pools. In pool circles, pH up is a very vital weapon in your arsenal(permit me to use that). The active component of pH Up is sodium carbonate, or more commonly known as soda ash.

You might be familiar with it, as it plays a large role in the glass making industry. It is quite pivotal in the making of so many beautiful glassware and ornaments. However, this is not the only use it is limited to. Soda ash plays a huge role in swimming pools. It is used to raise both the pH and alkalinity of a pool, though its major work is primarily to raise the pH.

That is the proper course of action in terms of shocking your pool after using pH up. I will list the steps below as to how you can properly administer the pH up and shock.

  1. Test the water first: The number one rule of any pool water application is to test the water. This is a very good idea, as it will give you an idea of what is in your pool and what is missing. You get to know your water’s pH, how alkaline it is, the levels of calcium hardness, the levels of stabilizer, and so on. It is highly recommended that you test your pool at least once a week.

When you carry out pool tests, it will allow you to know how many chemicals you need. You will then determine what dosage and quantity to add. To carry out these tests, there are some specialized test strips that you can use. Just get them from your nearby pool store.

  • Adjust Alkalinity: The next thing to do is to work on your alkalinity levels. Your pool’s alkalinity levels are quite crucial to your pH levels. The total alkalinity of your pool acts as a buffer for your pool. It keeps the pH from going all over the place.

The total alkalinity of your pool should be in a range between 80 and 120 parts per million. If the values you got when you tested the water are higher or lower, then there are chemicals you can add to bring it into range.

To increase your alkalinity, you can make use of baking soda or sodium bicarbonate. The dosage for that is 1.5 pounds of sodium bicarbonate to 10,000 gallons of water. This will raise the alkalinity of that volume by 10 parts per million. You should calculate the volume of your pool and adjust the proportion accordingly.

On the other hand, if you want to reduce the alkalinity of your pool, you have the option of choosing between muriatic acid and sodium bisulfate. The required dosage for adding them is this. You add 1.6 pounds of sodium bisulfate or 0.3 gallons of muriatic acid to every 10,000 gallons of water. This dosage will reduce the alkalinity of that volume of water by 10 parts per million.

  • Adjust pH: You must adjust the pH next. The pH of your pool is very pivotal to the efficacy of your shock treatment. If the pH of your pool is not in the right range, it can cause your shock treatment to become useless. The ideal pH range is between 7.2 and 7.8. This is where chlorine works best. After your initial tests, you should know what the pH of your pool is, and whether there is a need to increase it or not.

If there is a need to increase the pH, this is where pH up or soda ash comes in. The required dosage of pH up is this: The use of 6 oz of soda ash will raise the pH of 10,000 gallons of water by 0.2 points. For example, you have a pool whose volume is 10,000 gallons. And the pH is 7.0. If you want to raise this pH to 7.2, you will need to add 6 ounces of soda ash. Take note that when adding soda ash, it is always best to mix it or pre-dissolve it in a bucket first. It will then disperse easily in your pool.

On the other hand, if your pH is higher than the recommended range, your best bet is still muriatic acid or sodium bisulfate. They are quite effective pH decreasers. They serve the dual purpose of reducing pH and alkalinity. Just be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using the product.

  • Add the shock treatment: After you have adjusted your pH and alkalinity, you can go ahead and shock the pool. The purpose of shocking a pool is to raise the free chlorine level in your pool. Most of the time, shocking takes the free chlorine levels to 10 parts per million or above. It is not recommended that you enter the pool at this time. It is safe to enter the pool when the chlorine levels have come down to normal ( between 1 – 3 parts per million).

How long does it take pH up to work?

It may take 1–3 hours for the pH Up to take effect. Unlike alkalinity levels, which can take longer to adjust, pH levels can be easily tweaked once total alkalinity has stabilized. However, this timeframe can vary depending on how much pH adjustment needs to be made. Naturally, the smaller the adjustment, the less time it will take to get a stable pH.

How long after adding pH up can I add chlorine?

A school of thought advised that you should add your chlorine after the pump has run a full cycle. Another school of thought feels you could add chlorine about an hour after adding soda ash or pH up.

However, the best method is to add chlorine only after you have tested. Ensure that the pH values are between 7.2 and 7.8, before adding chlorine. As mentioned before, this is the range where chlorine is most effective.

How long after adding soda ash can I add shock?

As mentioned above, carry out the same procedure with shock as when you are routinely sanitizing your pool. Your shock treatment contains chlorine and will only be highly effective within a certain pH range—7.2 to 7.8.

Is soda ash the same as pH up?

Yes, it is. Like I explained earlier, soda ash is the major component of pH up. pH up is a trade name, and for reasons related to branding, it was chosen as such. Some other crucial chemicals, such as “alkalinity increasers” and “alkalinity decreasers,” fall under the same category. These are also commercial or brand names.

How fast does soda ash raise pH?

Soda ash can take just an hour to raise your water’s pH. After adding the required dosage of soda ash to your pool, turn on the pump for 1 or 2 hours. The pH should have gone up by 0.2 points.

Does shocking a pool lower alkalinity?

This depends on the type of shock that you are using. A Cal-hypo shock or sodium hypochlorite shock will raise the alkalinity levels initially, but as time goes on, it will come down to normal. This is because the NaOH is being neutralized by HCl.

Do I shock my pool before adding chemicals?

It is best to add the other chemicals such as pH up, pH down, alkalinity increaser and decreaser, etc. before adding your shock. When you have adjusted those other chemical levels, it makes it easier for your shock to work.

What time of day should I shock my pool?

The best times of the day to shock your pool are in the evenings. Dusk or dawn is also fine. This is because the chlorine in your pool won’t be exposed to sunlight. Remember that the UV rays from sunlight degrade your pool chlorine faster.

Why is my pool cloudy after adding the pH increaser?

pH up is quite alkaline. When you add it to your pool, it can lead to a violation of your water’s LSI (Langelier Saturation Index). The increased pH can cause the precipitation of calcium carbonate if it is already saturated with calcium carbonate.

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