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How To Raise Pool Alkalinity: Step-by-Step

Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that at no cost to you, we may receive a small commission for made purchases.

If you are fortunate to own a pool, then you are probably aware of how important proper maintenance of your pool is.

When most people think of maintaining a pool, they are likely to think it is about removing debris and adding chlorine to the pool. 

However, one thing people tend to forget is the importance of maintaining the alkaline levels of your pool.

Many pool owners find it incredibly tricky to maintain the alkalinity of their pools. 

If you are someone who happens to be in a situation where the alkalinity of your pool is low but you don’t know what to do, don’t panic!

We have got you covered! In this guide, we are going to walk you through the steps on how to raise pool alkalinity. 

What Is Alkalinity? 

Alkalinity refers to the concentration of dissolved alkaline substances (higher than 7.00) in water. Alkalinity tells us about the water’s ability to neutralize the acid that is present in the water. 

Is Pool Alkalinity Important? 

Now that you know what alkalinity is, you might be wondering whether it is important and the reasons why it would be important. 

Well, the simple answer is yes, pool alkalinity is important. As mentioned earlier, alkalinity tells us more about the acidity levels in the water and the water’s ability to neutralize them.

Therefore, making sure the alkalinity in the pool is maintained is important to the health of the pool water. 

The pH levels of water can vary greatly depending on the source of the water. For example, if you use well water for your swimming pool, the pH level will be much lower than if you use city tap water. 

Therefore, when the pH level drops below 6.5, it becomes acidic. This means that there is an increase in the number of hydrogen ions in the water.

Hydrogen ions are negatively charged particles that attract positively charged cations such as calcium and magnesium. 

When these cations combine with the hydrogen ions, they form insoluble compounds called salts.

These salts precipitate out of the solution and cause the water to become cloudy.

Additionally, the salt deposits also reduce the efficiency of pumps and other equipment used in the pool

When you have a pool with a lower pH level, meaning the pool water is more acidic, it can cause irritation for those who swim in the pool.

It is likely that those who swim in a pool that is acidic will have irritated eyes and skin. 

Why Is Low Alkalinity Bad? 

Now we know why it is important to maintain the alkalinity of pool water, let us look at the negatives of having a pool where there is low alkalinity. 

When the pool water is acidic this can cause issues with the longevity of your pool. For example, it is likely that the walls of the pool will start to corrode if left in acidic water for too long.

On top of that, any hardware in the pool will be impacted, especially anything made of metal. You may notice rust forming on ladders. 

We’ve already mentioned how swimming in acidic pool water can irritate the eyes and skin.

However, if the pH levels are extremely low, swimming in acidic pool water can actually lead to chemical burns. 

The Reasons For Low Alkalinity In Pools 

How To Raise Pool Alkalinity: Step-by-Step

There are many reasons why pools can develop low alkalinity. Some of the most common causes include: 

Heavy Rainfall

If you’ve recently had heavy rainfall this could be the reason behind your pool having low alkalinity.

This is due to the fact that rainwater can have low alkalinity, so when there is heavy rainfall this rainwater can flood your pool. 

As this happens, your pool alkalinity will be impacted by the low alkalinity rainwater. Essentially, this rainwater throws off the balance of your pool water

Draining Your Pool 

When you drain your pool and add water back into it, this fresh water can affect the overall pH level of the pool, especially if you are adding water into water that is already in the pool.

This is because any new water you have added has not been treated to have a specific pH level. 

Muriatic Acid Or Dry Acid

Many people use these acids to treat their pool water as they are very effective at doing so.

However, these acids are known for having a strong impact on the pool water’s pH levels. When these acids are used too much, they are likely to cause your pool to have a low pH level

Raising Your Pool’s Alkalinity – Step-by-Step

Now we know all we need to know about the alkalinity of pools, here is how to raise your pool’s alkalinity. 

Step One 

The first step you need to do when raising your pool’s alkalinity is to test the water. The reason for this is that you need to know the quantity of chemicals you need to add to the pool.

When it comes to your pool’s alkalinity, the desired range for it to be is between 80 ppm to 120 ppm. 

Step Two

Now you are aware of what your pool’s alkalinity is, we can start to raise it. The best way to do this is to add baking soda to your pool.

The amount of baking soda you need changes depending on how much water there is in your pool. 

Most people stick to the rule that you will need 3 pounds of baking soda to 10000 gallons of water if the pool pH is below 7.2.

However, this can be confusing so it is best to search for an alkalinity calculator to see how much you need to add. 

Step Three

Now that you have added your baking soda into the pool water, you should keep your pool’s filter (see also ‘How To Read Your Pool Filter Pressure Gauge‘) on. This allows for the baking soda to circulate throughout the entire pool.

This is an important step, as it ensures that when you test the alkalinity of your water later, this is a reflection of the whole pool and not just a section of the water. 

Step Four

After at least 8 hours have passed, you can check the water again. Hopefully, your test results show that the alkalinity of the water is within the correct range. 

Final Thoughts

Maintaining the alkalinity of your pool is important for the health of your pool. Hopefully, this guide helped you understand the importance of maintaining the alkalinity of a swimming pool.

Maintaining the alkalinity of your pool has never been easier with these simple steps. 

Please share this guide with others who may benefit from this knowledge. Thank you for reading! 

author avatar
Anthony Barnes
Anthony Barnes is the founder of Water Heater Hub and a second-generation plumber by profession. Before developing Water Heater Hub, Anthony Barnes was a full-time plumber, and he has undertaken a wide variety of projects over the decades. As a second-generation plumber, it was easy for Anthony to get used to the technicalities of all from a tender age


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