How to Balance Your Pools pH

How to Balance Your Pools pH

It’s best to always keep your pool's pH level in balance to ensure that everyone has the best time in your swimming pool. If the pool has a very low pH level, it can create a situation where its chlorine is not effective. If it’s too high, it can rust your pool’s metal parts and cause skin irritation.

How to measure pools pH and what this means

When our pool service professionals test the pool's pH balance, they check the water’s level of alkalinity or acidity. A pool water’s alkalinity is the measurement of calcium carbonate, which establishes the water hardness level. The perfect water hardness measurement is between 100ppm and 150ppm. A 7.2 pH level is best for a standard pool. If you test your pool water and notice too low or too high a pH balance, add an acid or calcium bicarbonate to your pool water. It’s important that you hire a professional at Pool Surgeon who will skillfully add the right chemicals to the pool and take the right chemical measurements.

A pH level that’s off-balance will result in several different issues for your concrete pool. If it’s too low, the pool water can begin pulling calcium deposits from its plaster shell, eroding the bottom and sides. If it gets too high, you might see the formation of calcium deposits on the filter or tiles. Additionally, an off-balanced pH will result in murky or cloudy pool water that is unfit for swimming.


How to lower pools pH level

Before you do anything, make sure you test the pool water first. A pool test kit is best to check the total alkalinity, acid demand, and pH.

If you find out your pool water has too high pH level, it’s best to work on restoring the balance immediately. You can use two key products to lower the pH. These are muriatic acid and sodium bisulfate.

Here’s how each product works:

Sodium Bisulfate

sodium bisulfate

1. Adhere to the manufacturer’s directions and measure the right amount depending on the first testing you did.

2. Also called a dry cell, you can get it in the form of powder. A windy day is not the best time to use this product to prevent blowback to your clothes and skin.

3. Add sodium bisulfate by going as near the water as possible and downwind from you if there’s a strong wind. Apply the chemical over your pool water return jets. This will help spread the powder all over your swimming pool.

4. Dry acid will dissolve after 10 to 15 minutes.

5. For retesting, it’s important that you wait at least 6 hours; however, ensure that you do the test within a day.

Muriatic Acid

muriatic and sulfuric acid, muriatic acid vs. sulfuric acid

1. This is a powerful acid, so ensure you have protective gear on, like goggles and gloves.

2. Once more, follow the manufacturer’s directions and measure the quantity accordingly.

3. You can use two methods to add this acid to the pool. First and foremost, turn the pump off and then pour a steady, slow stream at your pool’s deep end. Let muriatic acid settle at the pool’s bottom area, then turn the pump on to circulate the acid.

4. Secondly, you can pour the acid over the return jets and allow the pump to get the job done.

5. It is important that you retest the pool water after 6 hours; however, do not wait for over a day.

Reasons why the right pool's pH is important

Here are some reasons why balancing your pools pH is important.

1. Cloudy water due to high pH Most minerals emerge from the solution as pH goes up. This will result in mineral deposits and murky pool water.

2. Damage to the vinyl liners due to unbalanced pH With high or low pH, vinyl will grow, which creates unappealing creases by absorbing water. If the water has too much pH, a vinyl can also age faster and need you to replace it sooner.

3. High pH levels renders chlorine inactive The further the level of pH in your pool water goes into the range of alkaline or basic, the less impact the chlorine will have. As a result, you’ll end up spending lots of money on chlorine and still have murky water.

4. Corrosion due to low pH Acidic water will start corroding everything from pool pumps and other pool systems to diving board bases, slides, and ladders. Low pools pH will even etch or corrode the plaster in gunite swimming pools.

5. Skin and eye irritation due to low pH acidic pool water will not only irritate the nasal passages and eyes but will also strip your body of its natural oil. This will leave you with hair brittle and itchy, and dry skin. Additionally, similar physical problems will occur if the pools pH becomes very high.

Balancing your pools pH is a constant process

Balancing your pools pH is an ongoing process. Remember to check the level of pH frequently to make sure it has not changed a lot in one day. You should know that nearly anything will interfere with your pool’s pH balance. Everything from leaves to swimmers and other debris entering the pool can make it essential to lower or raise the pools pH level.


When it comes to maintaining your pool, it’s important to balance your pools pH. While there are lots of factors that will affect the level of pH in your pool, with frequent attention and a bit of practice, you can make sure the water remains in the range that’s perfect for your backyard oasis and ideal for you and your loved ones. If you are not sure how to keep the right pH level in the swimming pool, don’t hesitate to contact us to schedule an appointment. Our pool service professionals will handle your work professionally.

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