How to Raise pH level in Pool Water?

how to raise pH of pool water

As a responsible pool owner, it’s your duty to know how to raise pH level in pool water?  You should also know the desired pH range of pool water. pH is the most important parameter that needs to be maintained to balance your pool water chemistry.

If your pool water pH is low then it can cause many serious issues like irritation, sickness, burning of eyes, etc. 

In this in-depth guide, I will cover all the pH-related concepts in detail in a super simple way so that you can understand and implement them without any doubt.

Are you ready? Let’s start.

What is pH in Pool Water?

The chemical formula of water is H2O.

H2O is made up of two ions H+ and OH-

H+ is the acidic ion that represents acidity and OH- is the basic ion that represents the basicity of water. As per the scientific definition, pH means the concentration of H+ ions present in water. The more the H+ ions present the more acidic water will be.

The formula of pH is

pH = -log [H+] 

how to raise pH in pool water pH scale
pH Scale

The pH scale ranges between 0 to 14.

<7 is the acidic pH

>7 is the basic pH

7 is the neutral pH

7.4 pH is the perfect number for pool water. Normally, 7.4 -7.6 considered the ideal pH range for pool water.  

What Causes Low pH in Pool?

Low pH can create many negative effects like corrosion of pool ladders, liners & other pool components. Swimmers are also feeling the effects like irritation on the skin and burning eyes etc due to low pool water pH.

The major cause for low pH in the pool is improper use of chemicals, overuse of pool & heavy rainfall.

Do you know? 

Rainwater is acidic in nature. The pH of rainwater is around 5.5. It means when heavy rainfall occurs the rainwater mix up with your pool water and it decreases the pH.

The dissolved fluid of the human body can also lower the pool water pH. In case, there are lots of swimmers are using your pool then overuse of your pool is the solid reason for the low pH level of pool water.

How to Raise pH Level in Pool Water?

You can increase the pH of your pool water in simple 5 steps. Let’s go through this process step by step.

Step-1. Test the pH level of pool water

This is a very important step before you take any action to increase the pH of pool water. You should always use the best pool water test kit for pool to check & ensure the pH level.

If your pool water pH is below 7.2 then you must take an action to raise the pH of pool water.

Note down the pH if it is below 7.2 then go further to step-2.

You can increase the pH of your pool water in simple 5 steps. Let’s go through this process step by step.

Step-2 Calculate the amount of pool water (in case if you don’t know)

Before adding any chemical to your pool you must know, how much volume of water present in the pool? In case you know the volume then skip this step.

Pool Volume Calculator

Calculation of pool water volume is a super simple math calculation. 

Don’t panic! Anyone can easily calculate it.

For Rectangular or Square Pools

Length * Width * Depth * 7.5

For Round Pools

Diameter * Diameter * Depth * 5.9

Note: In case your pool has more than one depth then consider the average value.

Step-3 Calculate the required quantity of chemical 

Prefer Soda Ash (Sodium Carbonate) if you want to raise pH in the pool without raising alkalinity.

Note: Soda ash (sodium carbonate) increases the pH and slightly increase the alkalinity while, baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) increase more alkalinity and slightly increase the pH.

Remember this thumb rule, 5.3 ounces of soda ash is required to increase the pH by 0.1 for 10,000 gallons of pool water.

For Example,

The volume of pool water is 10,000 gallons & the pH of water is 7.0 You want to raise the pH of pool water from 7.0 to 7.4 then how much soda ash is required?

Here, you want to increase the pH of pool water by 0.4 means

5.3 * 4 =21.2 ounces of soda ash is required. 

Pool pH Calculator

Why pH Balance is Important For Pool?

We are using different types of chemicals like pool shock, algaecide in the pool to disinfect it. pH balance is the most important parameter for the proper working of disinfectant chemicals. The most popular & widely used disinfectant for pool water is chlorine.

Effectiveness of Chlorine Vs pH 

When chlorine dissolved in water it forms hypochlorous acid(HOCl) and hydrochloric acid(HCl). 

Cl+ H2O ——> HOCl + OCl

HOCl is further dissociated in H+ & OCl- ions according to the pH of pool water. Hypochlorous acid (HOCl) is 80 times more powerful than hypochlorite(OCl-) ion. It works as an algaecide to disinfect the water.  Availability of hypochlorous ion is 80% at 7.0 pH & almost 0 at 9.0 pH. 

The key takeaway here is, as the pH increases the effectiveness of chlorine decreases. 

The optimum level of pool water pH is also created a friendly environment for swimmers and makes them happy. They can swim safely in the pool without facing any health issues.

Maintained pool pH also beneficial for pool equipment like pumps, ladders, liners, etc. Pool equipment will last longer without any breakdown. On other hand, low or unbalanced pH can damage pool equipment & reduce its lifespan.

FAQs (How to Raise pH in Pool)

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