A low pH level is an issue for pool owners because it comes with problems for their pool. A low water pH level can cause your swimming pool liners to become brittle. It also causes itchy eyes and skin rashes for swimmers. We shall be addressing the causes of low pH as we continue in this article. Stay with us.
Low pH levels can be caused by heavy rainfall, excess use, or improper use of chemicals. Rainwater has a pH level of 5–5.5, so it is acidic naturally. A heavy rainstorm is likely to alter the pH levels of your pool. A large number of people using the pool can also lower the pH level.
As we continue, we shall be looking at several things to do when your water pH is low and how you salvage the situation.
The pH level is an important topic in swimming pool maintenance, hence it is given so much attention.
How do I fix low pH in pool?
Treating a pool involves the all-round maintenance of a pool, in which balancing the pH water levels of a pool is involved.
In order to know or identify a pool with a low water level, it is necessary that you use a test strip to test the water level in the pool.
Doing a pH level test is necessary to know how much treatment to give to the pool. Recognizing the accurate alkalinity and pH is vital towards treating the pool.
Now, let’s look at some of the ways we can fix the pH level of your pool.
Generally, if your water’s alkalinity level is low, whatever chemical you add to treat the swimming pool will bounce. This reduces the swimming pool‘s pH level even more. If you end up adding more chemicals like chlorine to sanitize properly, it will ruin things more. It will leave the water with too many chemicals, which will cause an uncomfortable situation for the swimmers.
One of the most affordable means of resolving low pH levels in your pool is baking soda. Baking soda helps you reduce alkalinity and pH levels. It is also known as sodium bicarbonate and has a pH level of 8. The baking soda also helps with improving the stability and clarity of your swimming pool.
Let’s look at the steps to take in applying baking soda to your pool.
Step 1: Test your pool’s alkalinity level. Normally, your alkalinity level is supposed to be between 80 and 120 ppm. If you realize that your alkalinity is lower, then this is when you increase the alkalinity level.
Step 2: Get your baking soda and add it to your swimming pool. You should add from 1.5 lbs to as much as 8-10 lbs of baking soda to your pool, considering the size of the pool and the alkalinity level.
Step 3: Find out the actual amount of baking soda to be added to your pool. Pool chemical measurements are done by 10,000 gallons of water. Adding 1.5 lbs of baking soda per 10,000 gallons of water will likely raise the alkalinity level of your pool to 10ppm.
Step 4: Add the baking soda to the swimming pool: Spread the baking soda powder across the pool and ensure it is not dumped in a particular spot.
Step 5: Wait for the baking soda to dissolve. Wait for at least six hours for the baking soda to dissolve in the pool, then turn on your pool‘s pump to help it circulate.
Step 6: After you’ve embarked on the whole process, retest the water again to check for progress and confirm whether you’re to treat again or not.
What happens if pH level is too low in pool?
Pool alkalinity is one of the vital reasons why your water chemistry is not balanced. Alkalinity and pH are related because they both focus on your pool’s acid level.
A low alkalinity level in the pool can cause any additional chemicals that are added to the pool to bounce. It makes your pH level drop randomly, which poses a risk of damage to your pool walls, metal, and people who use the pool. That is why it is necessary to test your pool from time to time to know the actual level of your pool pH before things get out of hand.
Can you swim in a pool with low pH?
A low pH level causes the pool to bounce chemicals like chlorine when added to the pool, which can make the chemical less effective, prompting more chemicals to be added to the pool, which would be harsh for the swimmers. Chlorine overdose is toxic to the eyes and skin of swimmers.
Apart from the swimmers, a low pH level can also damage your pool wall, tile, and metal components.
Will baking soda raise pH levels?
Baking soda is used to increase alkalinity levels and helps to increase pH level a bit, while soda ash can be used to raise pH level and alkalinity level a bit. Both can be used to raise two elements in your swimming pool water.
Let’s look at certain risks attached to low or high alkalinity levels in your pool.
Low alkalinity levels for a long period of time can cause corrosion around your ladders, liners, tiles, or other parts.
Scaling and buildup around your pool equipment can be a sign of high alkalinity and pH levels.
Now, the necessary solution to these issues is to balance your water, keeping the alkalinity level between 80 and 120 ppm and the pH level between 7.4 and 7.6 as much as possible.
Does algae grow in low pH?
A pool with a low pH level can bring a lot of frustration to the average pool owner. This is why it is advised that regular testing and treatment should be done in order to curb the issue of a low pH level in your pool and all the problems it brings.
A low pH level in your pool can cause specific types of algae to grow, called acidophilic and acidotolerant. This kind of algae thrives well in acidic water. Another instance where a low pH can cause algae growth is if the pH is when acidic water damages the pump or the filtration system.
Allowing algae growth in your pool can make it unhealthy and hygienic, so we shall be looking at how we can maintain the pool from getting algae growth.
- Have a proper water balance: Balanced water is a nightmare for algae, bacteria, and other contaminants’ growth.
- Have a working filtration system: Ensure your filtration is working well and accurately time to time, the filtration system helps keep the pool clean and and helps water circulate which doesn’t allow algae growth.
- Ensure your pool’s sanitation level is top notch: always make keeping your pool clean by taking the necessary measures one of your priorities.
- Use chlorine and algaecide: apply necessary water treatment chemicals to your swimming pool, use chlorine to help kill algae and algaecide to prevent it.
How do I aerate my pool to raise the pH
When water is aerated, it normally creates turbulence. The created turbulence then causes the aqueous CO2 (carbon dioxide) to outgas. Hence, outgassing of CO2 from water results in an increase. Through aeration, this is the way you can increase your pH level without increasing alkalinity.
How to aerate your pool
- The first method is to point your returns upward and run your pump at a high frequency, so that the water can break the surface, which in turn creates waves.
- The second method is to point the water at a certain angle that creates an effect that also makes waves in the water. This is actually more effective than sending the flow up.
- The third method is by using an air compressor to produce little bubbles that start at the bottom of the deep end of your pool.
How can I raise the pH level of my pool water naturally?
How to raise a pool’s alkalinity level naturally still remains a big concern for the vast majority of new pool owners who are not familiar with pool treatment and maintenance.
The natural way of raising a pool’s water level is by applying baking soda. Baking soda, which is also known as sodium bicarbonate, is naturally alkaline.
Adding baking soda to your swimming pool helps you add both the alkaline and pH level, although it adds more alkaline than pH.
Your best bet for naturally increasing your pH level is by applying soda ash, as it helps increase more of the pH level and less of the alkaline.
A low water pH level can cause you and your pool some major issues. It can lead to itchy skin, eyes, and skin when it bounces chlorine, leading to the addition of more chlorine for balance.
It can also affect your pool’s walls and any metals attached to them.
While baking soda helps mainly with the alkalinity level of your swimming pool, soda ash helps to increase the pH level.
Chemically speaking, there is no way that baking soda or baking ash can be administered without each effecting the opposite elements. What I mean is, if you add baking soda, it will affect the pH level too, and if you add baking ash, it will affect the alkalinity level too.
But the fact is that their level of effect on the opposing element is average. The effect on an baking soda has on a pH level is average compared to the effect it has on alkalinity level, vice versa.