An alkalinity increaser is a chemical added to the pool to increase the alkalinity level of the pool water. There is a need to add alkalinity increaser to our swimming pools when we observe the alkaline level in the pool water is very low.
A very low alkaline level in pool water means the water is acidic, and acidic water is very dangerous and very harmful to swim in.
Apart from that, pool water is not meant to be acidic, and that is why we have to check the alkaline levels of our pool water and make sure to add an alkalinity increaser to it when it has a low alkaline level.
Alkalinity increasers, or alkalinity-ups, increase the alkaline level of your pool water, thereby making it safe for you to swim in.
Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, is naturally alkaline, and this makes it a good alkaline level increaser. Using baking soda will increase both the alkalinity and pH of the pool water.
Alkalinity: low alkalinity
Alkalinity is not a chemical in water, but a property of water that depends on the presence of various chemicals in the water. It is the measure of the ability of the water to neutralise acidic effects and ensure stability in pH level.
Low alkalinity can cause serious damage to your pool. Low alkalinity levels in the pool cause the pool finish to become stained and rusty.
Also, it can wear down the metals, make the pool water green, and create an imbalance in the pH of the pool water.
What causes low alkalinity?
Seasonally, you should expect a drop in your pool’s alkaline level. Why should you expect it? You should because of natural causes such as evaporation.
We have other causes of low alkalinity, such as excess rainwater in the pool, draining pool water, and abusive usage of alkalinity-reducing products (for example, dry acid).
Excess rainwater in the pool can cause low alkalinity at specific times (such as when it rains hard). During times like that, the pool becomes flooded, and it will surely affect the alkalinity level of the pool water.
Is it safe to swim in a pool with low alkalinity?
The acidity of pool water increases as the alkalinity level decreases. You should try to know the status of the water in which you are swimming because an acidic swimming pool is corrosive and obviously very harmful.
That is why it is advisable and very safe to check the alkaline level of your swimming pool water and add an alkaline increaser if the alkaline level is very low.
You should note that low alkalinity is more dangerous than high alkalinity. Acidic water poses a lot of threats to swimmers as well as pool components.
How to add alkalinity increaser to your pool
Alkalinity increasers such as baking soda have steps and methods on how to use them to increase the alkaline levels in our pool. You can employ the steps listed below to raise your pool‘s alkalinity with our preferred alkalinity increase (baking soda).
- Every day, try to test your pool’s alkaline level. The safe zone of alkaline level should be between 80ppm and 120ppm. If your pool’s alkalinity level is lower, especially when it’s lower than 80ppm, that means you must raise the pool water alkalinity as soon as possible.
- Make sure your baking soda is in bulk. Depending on how low your pool water’s alkalinity level is, a larger amount of baking soda is needed for very low-alkaline pool water. If you are a beginner in the game of adding pool chemicals, begin by adding one-half of the recommended amount. If you are uncertain of what to do, feel free to consult a professional.
- You should add baking soda to the pool. Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) is kept in powdery form and can be sprinkled into your pool water. Nevertheless, you should be very cautious when adding baking soda in a windy environment, as the powder can be carried by air.
- Wait for about 7 to 8 hours for the baking soda to dissolve in the water. I would advise you to turn on your pool’s circulatory system.
- Repeat the steps and try to keep the alkaline level around the safe zones.
Does raising alkalinity also raise pH?
High alkalinity will always raise the pH. To balance the pH, you will need to add acid to a pool that has high alkalinity.
Should I adjust pH or alkalinity first?
I recommend testing for alkalinity first. Doing that first will help in precisely determining your pH. As I mentioned earlier, the reading of your pool water alkalinity level should be in the range of 80 to 120 parts per million (ppm).
If it goes below the moderate level, you know you will need to increase the alkalinity by adding an increaser.
How much baking soda does it take to increase alkalinity?
A measured amount of baking soda increases alkalinity to a certain stage. Baking soda is not just poured into the pool water. It is measured to give the desired result.
A safe and preferable measurement is 1.5lbs of baking soda per 10,000 gallons of water. This prescription will raise your pool’s alkaline level by about 10 parts per million (ppm).
Can I raise alkalinity in my pool without affecting ph?
Yes, it is possible to raise alkaline levels in pool water without the pH being affected. Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) is used to raise the alkalinity of pool water without affecting the pH.
How to raise alkalinity in my pool without affecting pH
Is it really possible to raise alkalinity without affecting the pH level? Of course, yes! It is very possible to do so. Your pool’s total alkalinity and pH levels are like 5 and 6; what you do to the alkalinity will affect the pH.
What then, can you do to increase the alkalinity level without tampering with the pH?
You just have to work using a process called aeration. Not the usual aeration of outgassing CO2. That method increases pH without affecting alkalinity. To increase, alkalinity without pH, you need to add air to your pool.
The process seems complicated, but a few people reported that it worked for them. Some pool scientists have tested it, seen its effectiveness, and recommended it. This aeration means the circulation of air in the pool every time.
In other words, as you make attempts to increase the alkalinity in your pool, you must allow air to circulate in your pool every time.
You can do this by turning on your swimming pool motor and using any water feature of your choice (such as slides or waterfalls) to add air into the water. Consequently, there will be an increase in your pool’s alkalinity level without the pH being affected.
However, it is not expected that you are good at it on your first attempt. It might take some time before you get good at raising the alkaline level without affecting the pH. With regular practice, you will be good to go in no time.
From everything said above, I recommend baking soda and alkalinity Up as effective alkalinity increasers for pools. How to apply them has also been addressed.
You should ensure that you regularly practice how to apply them to become a pro in no time. Lastly, as you add an alkalinity increaser to your pool water, ensure that you test your water so as not to disrupt your water balance.
You can also seek the services of a professional for guidance or assistance in any form, regarding how to add alkalinity increaser to your pool.
Is Alkalinity Increaser just baking soda?
Baking soda is not only an alkalinity increaser. But, most alkalinity increasers are made with baking soda.
However, baking soda is cheaper, readily available, and very effective. Soda ash (sodium carbonate) is also used to raise alkalinity but is mainly for increasing pH.
Obviously, it is best to use baking soda as soda ash only slightly increases alkalinity and it is made mainly for increasing water pH.
Are there any risks in using baking soda as alkalinity increaser in pool?
Although baking soda is harmless and effective for your pool water, it must be used with precaution as it must not come into contact with the eyes. Also, it must not be used in a windy environment to prevent it from being blown by air.
What is the difference between baking soda and baking powder?
Baking soda contains only sodium bicarbonate, which makes it suitable for use as an alkalinity increaser for pool water. On the other hand, baking powder is a leavening agent that contains both sodium bicarbonate and acid.
The presence of acid makes it unfit to be used as an alkaline increaser for pool water.
Alkalinity-Up increases the total alkaline level in pool water. Keeping a balanced alkaline level helps in preventing the pH level from fluctuating. This product is easy to apply, but with care.
You only need to pour it directly into the pool. Alkalinity Up can also be used with ozone, bromine, chlorine, and saltwater pools.
Is soda ash the same as alkalinity up?
Soda ash is not the same as alkalinity-Up although they both raise the alkaline level of water. The difference between them is that soda ash raises pH with little increase in alkalinity while alkalinity-Up raises the alkalinity level with little or no effect on pH.
However, I recommend the use of alkalinity-Up if you want to increase only the alkaline level of your pool water.
Does pool shock raise alkalinity?
Pool shock is mainly for scattering microorganism colonies in pool water as well as getting rid of them. It is not uncommon for pool owners to use pool shock to increase the alkalinity level of their pool water, but not just any shock.
They use chlorine-based shocks because chlorine is a highly alkaline substance. Even with that, it is not as effective as baking soda, but it also increases the alkaline level to a reasonable level.
Can I add shock and alkalinity increaser at the same time?
This is not advisable because adjusting alkalinity after adding calcium hypochlorite can cause the calcium to temporarily cloud the water.
After adding shock, you should wait for at least a day before adding any alkalinity increaser to your pool to avoid the temporary cloudiness of the water.
Does rain lower pool alkalinity?
A pool is an enlarged body of water. Rainwater affects the chemical balance of a pool in different ways. Firstly, rain dilutes your pool and that tampers with the level of chemicals in your pool.
I recommend that you check your pool’s chemical level after every rainfall. Rainwater also decreases pool pH, which means your pool will become more acidic.
The pH of pool water should be in the range of 7.2 to 7.8 and that is what the pH of a person’s body should be. Then, if a pool of water becomes acidic, your skin will become irritated.
The diluting nature of rain will eventually reduce the total alkaline level of your pool water. Low total alkalinity can cause corrosion in your pool and promote algae growth.
Low total alkalinity is not the only thing that can damage parts of your pool. Rain is acidic, and with that, if it becomes too much in your pool, it will cause the metals in your pool to corrode easily.