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How To Raise The pH Level In Your Pool Safely

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

Everyone likes to go swimming and if you are lucky enough to have a swimming pool in your own backyard then you can go swimming whenever you want.

However, if you have your own swimming pool, then you need to make sure that the pH balance of the water is correct. Otherwise, the water could irritate your skin or cause illness.

Raise The pH Level In Your Pool Safely

If you have tested your swimming pool’s pH levels recently and discovered that they are much too low, then this article is for you. 

In this article, we will be discussing how to raise the pH levels in your pool safely

What Should The pH In Your Pool Be?

 The pH levels of your pool measure the hydrogen ions that are found in the water. Generally, the pH will be measured on a scale that starts from 0 and goes up to 14.0 will typically represent a very acidic solution, while 14 is more alkaline and basic. 

Water is considered a neutral liquid and should be in the middle of the pH scale at around 7. Although when it comes to swimming pools, they are mixed with lots of other chemicals like chlorine which is to help bacteria and prevent algae from developing.

The chemicals added are to keep the water as safe as possible to be swum in. However, due to the chemicals, this then affects the pH of the natural water.

With this being said, the pH you should be aiming for your pool water should be around 7.4. It is still very neutral and basic, but the chemicals added increase the pH slightly. 

The pH Of Your Pool Is Important

The pH of your swimming pool’s water is really water. This is because chemicals are added to the water to keep the water safe for people to swim in. It gives the water sanitary and also helps improve the life of your swimming pool and the equipment it uses. 

The most common chemical that is used in swimming pools is chlorine. This is because chlorine is a really effective chemical and works in two different ways in your pool. 

Chlorine helps disinfect your water, as it kills the algae and water that can cause waterborne illnesses. If bacteria is found in your pool’s water, that can lead to people who have been in that water to suffer from skin or ear infections and even diarrhea. 

However, chlorine helps to neutralize and oxidize the water, including any debris or dirt that is found in the water. These will have been brought in by the weather and people who are swimming in the water. 

This is why it is so important to make sure the pH levels of your pool’s water remain balanced. The pH can affect how effective the chlorine is in the water.

This can then lead to the water being unsanitary and unhealthy for people to be swimming in if the pH levels are unbalanced as the chlorine is affected. 

Alongside this, making sure the pH levels are important not just for health,  but also to keep people comfy. If the pH levels are unbalanced, that can lead to swimmers suffering skin irritation and itchy eyes.

Also, as we mentioned above, the right pH levels can help improve the life of your swimming pool. This is because acidic water can lead to corrosion and then the equipment like filters, ladders, or pumps will be affected and need to be replaced. Thus, your pH levels are really important to be checked and kept balanced. 

Why Is The pH Level So Low?

Why Is The pH Level So Low?

There can be a number of things which can cause your pool’s pH levels to drop. We have spoken that if you allow swimmers in low pH water that can lead to health issues, corrosion, and pool liners (see also ‘How To Install A Base For Your Above Ground Pool Liner‘) are known to crack. 

When it comes to low pH levels, that is typically due to a lot of natural things. These can include heavy thunderstorms or using too many chemicals.

It is known that rainwater’s pH is between 5 and 5.5, which makes it quite acidic. If you receive a lot of rainwater, that can change the pH of your pool’s water and will make it acidic. 

Also, if you have a pool party with a lot of people, then you may notice the pH levels of the water will have reduced too. This is because bodily fluids will lower the levels in the water as well.

As you can see, even with the best intentions it is really easy for the pH levels to be thrown out of balance. However, there are many ways to raise these levels back up.

Ways To Raise Your pH Levels

If you have noticed that something isn’t right with your pool’s water, or you have tested the water. If you have done the test and the pH levels are low, then do the test again, just to make sure that the results you have gotten are correct.

Then, if the pH is definitely too low, then there are a couple of ways to help and rebalance the pH levels. 

  • Check the reagents.
  • Adding Soda Ash.
  • If the water is too alkaline, then add baking soda.
  • Aerate your water. 

As you can see, there are a few things that you can naturally do to try to rebalance the pH levels of your water. However, we would suggest that you check your reagents.

These should be changed every year and if you notice they are out of date then you should purchase a new kit and retest the water again. 

Below, we have gone into a little more detail over all the other ways you can rebalance your pH water levels. 

Soda Ash

It is known that soda ash is a very alkaline substance which dissolves in water. If your water is really acidic then adding soda ash which is really alkaline will help to balance out the pH levels and reduce the acidity of the water. 

When you are adding other substances to your water it can be really easy to add too much. Before you know if you have gone from having a low pH to a really high pH. 

You should work out how much soda ash you need. However, we would recommend that you don’t exceed more than 2 pounds per every 10,000 gallons of water that you have. Then double check that your pump is functional to pump the water properly.

Then you can spread the soda ash evenly over the surface of the water. You just let the pump naturally circulate the water. After an hour, you can retest the water. 

Total Alkalinity And Baking Soda

After adding your soda ash, if you are still finding that the pH levels are too low, then you need to check your total alkalinity. 

In this scenario you can add baking soda (see also ‘How To Use Baking Soda In Your Pool‘) which is very similar to soda ash to help raise the total alkalinity of your pool’s water. We would suggest adding around 1.4 pounds of baking soda for every 10,000 gallons of water.

Then let the pump circulate the water once again and after an hour retest the pH levels of the water. 

Aerate Your Water

If both soda ash and baking soda doesn’t work, then you may want to consider aerating your water. However, to aerate the water takes a lot longer than the other two methods. It can take a couple of days for this process to work. 

To aerate the water, you just need to point jets towards the surface of the water, turn on any water features or add aeration pipes above any jets.

However, as we say, this process takes a couple of days compared to the other methods that only takes an hour. However, this method will always work. 

Final Thoughts

You should always keep an eye on the pH of your swimming pool’s water. If you notice that the water’s levels are too low, then it is easy to raise them up. All you need to do is to add alkaline substances which combat the acidic water. 

Ideally, you want to be aiming for a water pH of around 7.4 to 7.6. Be careful not to add too many alkaline substances, otherwise you will then need to lower the pH levels of the water.

However, we hope you have found this article useful and that you now know how to raise the pH levels of your pool’s water. 

Thanks 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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