Call for a free quote - 480-530-8209 →

How To Balance Pool's pH Levels

If you prefer to learn visually, check out the video version of this article.

PH measures the acidity or basicness of pool water.

The scale for PH is from 0-14. 7 is considered Neutral.

Less than 7 means acidic. More than 7 means it is basic. Sometimes people use the word alkaline as a substitute for basic.

The goal for pool water is to always keep it between 7.2 to 7.6.

Week to week, we use test strips to measure the PH of the water. If the test strip is too red, or too orange, the PH needs to be modified. You should be able to look at the back of the bottle and compare it to the test strip to determine the PH level.

When pool water goes above 7.6, the chlorine used in the pool becomes significantly less effective. Water above 7.6 can also cause rashes, cloudy water, and scaling on pool equipment.

If the pool is a saltwater pool, when the PH is above 8.2, the chlorine generated by the salt cell does very little in the pool.

How To Lower Your Pool's pH Levels

To lower PH in pool water, muriatic acid is used. Muriatic Acid has a PH level of 1-2. A general rule is that one gallon of muriatic acid will lower a 10,000-gallon pool by .4. So if you have a 10,000-gallon pool, and the PH is at 8.0, a gallon should lower the water PH to 7.6.

When you add muriatic acid to the pool water, you should always add it to the area of the pool that is the deepest. This will allow the water to dilute the acid before the acid can reach the sides of the pool and cause staining. Always be careful not to let the acid touch your skin, because it is Acid!

If the PH in pool water is too low, you also have problems. This is because the water is too acidic.

Too low of PH can cause irritated eyes, damage your pool finish, corrode the metal parts such as ladders or diving boards, corrode your pump, and make chlorine unstable.

How To Raise Your Pool's pH Levels

You can use sodium carbonate (soda ash) or sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) to raise PH.

The general rule is that 3-4 pounds of sodium carbonate or sodium bicarbonate should be added when PH is below 7.0 at a time, and then remeasured after several hours.

Sodium Carbonate raises just the PH in a pool.

Sodium Bicarbonate raises the PH in a pool and raises the Alkalinity. Alkalinity is covered in a different video.

If you are struggling with the PH in the pool, please call the office and we can help walk you through the process.