Raise Your Pool pH  

by Pool Builders on 08-10-2009 in Articles

Raising the pH level in your pool is not difficult at all. If you know what Sodium bicarbonate is, scoop some out and put it in the pool, and know how to take a pH test, then you can do it.

Don't get bogged down by all the information about how to do this and that. It's easy and simple.

If you're passionate about pools like me, this will be a breeze.

Pool pH is the comfort level of your water. The range for pH is 0-14, 7.0 being neutral. Anything under 6.9 and your water is acidic, anything over 7.1 is considered alkaline.

You want to run your pool water pH level between 7.6-7.8, not 7.2. Most pools guys get their info. on how to balance pools from your local water company. Yes, this is correct. It's called the Langelier Index, which was originally designed for public water systems. This index was never intended for pools.

In the 1950's, when pools started to come into the mainstream, this was the only index available, so it was used to balance pools and hot tubs.

The Hamilton Index, which I use, is much more pool-friendly and is specifically designed for pools. It takes into consideration acid rain, drag-off, heat, the sun, organic and inorganic matter in the pool, etc...

While I don't completely agree with the Hamilton Index, it is much closer to how a pool should be balanced and will save you much time and money in the long run.

To raise the pH in swimming pools, the most common and the safest chemical is Sodium Bicarbonate. You know, good ole' fashion Arm and Hammer Baking Soda. I used it in my fish tank, as well as all my swimming pools for a good pH up, and it works just fine.

Try to not add more than 2lbs. of Sodium Bicarbonate, or another kind of pH increase, for every 10,000 gallons of water in a single application.

Also, your pool pH will come up naturally through swimmer's waste, sweat, urine, etc... so be careful when adding your Bicarb. If you pH is at 7.2, great!! Leave it alone, go swimming with your friends and family, and it will come up.

Only use Bicarb. or another form of pH increase when your pool has a problem, not just because your pH seems a bit low, like 7.2.

While your filtration system is running and the water is circulating, broadcast, (don't dump the product or go too fast), the Sodium Bicarbonate or pH up into the pool starting in the deep end and working around the perimeter.

Allow the water to fully circulate, usually 2-3 hours for a normal 25,000-35,000 gallon pool, then re-test your pool's pH balance. Make another adjustment if needed and don't test too soon. You may hit a hot spot and get a bad reading.

Remember to go slow and add a little at a time. It's better and easier to add chemicals than take them out.

Using the proper chemicals and proper techniques will allow for better results.

For a normal 20,000 gallon pool, you'll use 40oz. or 2 1/2lbs. of Sodium Bicarb. to raise your pH.1ppm. A 30,000 gallon pool will use about 3lbs. to raise the pH.1. At 15,000 gallons you'll probably use about 1 1/2lbs. of Sodium Bicarb.

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