Having a pool day in the hot sweltering summer is a fun way to enjoy the weekend or relax after a tough day. However, that could take an ugly turn for you if the pH value of the swimming pool is unbalanced, which can cause sickness, vomiting, skin irritations, allergic reactions, and whatnot.
In this article, we will guide you on how to raise the pH level in your pool to avoid such dangerous instances.
What is pH, and What is the Required Level for a Swimming Pool?
In layman’s terms, the pH value denotes the acidity level of the water. For instance, the pH level of drinking water must be 7 to be safe for consumption.
Now, in more scientific terms, the pH results from the number of hydrogen ions present in a liquid. It is measured on a scale that ranges from 0-14. The zero represents the highest level of acidity in the fluid, and the other end represents other basic solutions. The middle of this scale denotes neutrality and is considered to be the pH of pure water.
The water in a swimming pool is mixed with various chemicals such as chlorine and others for sanitary reasons. Chlorine is added to kill any bacteria, bugs, etc. Because of this, the ideal pH level of a swimming pool can’t be neutral. Hence, 7.4 on the pH scale is considered ideal and balanced for swimming pools.
This pH level is also known to be ideal for the human eye and the mucous membranes. Hence, if the pH level of the pool water is not raised to 7.4, they could fall victim to excessive skin irritation or itching in the eye.
Why is it Important to Raise and Balance the pH Level of a Pool?
As mentioned above, the water in swimming pools is treated with chemicals to make it sanitary for swimming. This makes it even more important for the pH level to be balanced.
Moreover, a balanced pH level in a swimming pool also ensures the longevity of the pool’s equipment. If the pool is highly acidic, the pool’s equipment can corrode and break.
This equipment includes ladders, diving structures, the pool liner, and water pumps. Moreover, a low pH level can cause other maintenance issues like early erosion of grout. So, if the pH level isn’t raised, you can expect frequent replacements.
Furthermore, maintaining the pH level also helps chlorine perform its functions better as it impacts its effectiveness. Now, chlorine is vital for swimming pools as it disinfects and neutralizes the dirt that gets inside the water. Without this chemical, swimmers could get seriously ill, and it can also endanger their life.
What Causes the pH Level to Decrease?
A low pH level in a swimming pool is most often caused by heavy rain or improper or too many chemicals. These chemicals and the natural rainwater are towards the acidic side on the pH scale. Natural rainwater lies between 5 to 5.5 on the pH scale, which makes it acidic.
Apart from the heavy rainfall or miscalculation of the chemicals, the pH level of the pool water can also be lower after a huge pool party. This is because bodily fluids (sweat, oil, urine) can dissolve with the pool water and affect the pH level.
How to Raise pH in Your Pool
Various commercial products can help raise the pH levels of your pool. However, one stroll through a pool supply store will tell you these products are too expensive.
No need to worry because, thanks to science, other common agents will help raise the pH of your pool. However, before you take action, make sure it needs to be raised. This can be achieved by checking your reagents through testing strip kits.
If the litmus test results show that the pH level of your swimming pool has lowered, you can use the following methods to raise it.
Add Soda Ash to Your Pool Water
Soda ash, aka sodium carbonate, has strong alkaline properties, which quickly dissolve in water. Therefore, the residue is almost next to none. Adding soda ash to the pool water will raise its pH level by reducing the acidity. However, you must avoid overpouring as it will be counterproductive to the cause.
For this purpose, measure the amount of sodium carbonate required. This must not exceed 2 pounds in 10k gallons of water.
Next, make sure that the water pump is effectively circulating the water. Then you can distribute the soda ash all around the pool. It will take up to one hour for the water pump to circulate the water. So, wait at least an hour before retesting it.
Aerate the Pool Water
If the soda ash doesn’t do the trick, aerating the water to raise the pH is your next effective option. You can aerate the water by turning on this feature or using aeration pipes above the jets.
Use Baking Soda
Another common ingredient that is high in alkaline is baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate. Add 1.4 pounds of it to 10k gallons of water. Retest after one hour of water circulation. The water might look a bit cloudy for a while but, it will go back to normal once the water circulation process is complete.
Raising the pH level of your pool water to 7.4 or 7.6 is an important task. However, it is relatively easy as well.
Keep adding alkaline in small amounts until the pH level is optimal, and in no time, your pool is good to go. However, adding too much could lower the pH levels instead of raising them. Hence, follow the golden rule of science and accurately measure all the ingredients before conducting the experiment.
You can’t afford to be careless with it, as it will cost you more time and effort. Moreover, to avoid having to frequently raise the pH level of the pool, you should skim the pool for debris or leaves to keep it clean and balanced.
Moreover, weekly testing and vacuuming or shocking the pool water every month should be added to your pool maintenance list. Despite all this, the pH level of your pool can drop to lower levels. However, it definitely won’t be as frequent without this pool maintenance routine.