How To Lower Alkalinity In Pool

Although having your own pool is always a fun way to spend time with your loved ones, caring for it might pose some problems, especially if you have to deal with water chemistry. Cloudy water and scaling present on toys, equipment, and basin shell are the first signs you’re dealing with high alkalinity levels which require to be lowered. Have you noticed a white-ish buildup starting to form around? Has the water flow pressure suddenly started to increase? Then it’s high time you take a look at the core of the problem.

Why Keep It Low?

Since all the chemical elements present in the process of balancing the water are interrelated, if one of them steps out of line it becomes increasingly difficult to preserve the equilibrium. Keeping the alkaline level low is highly important for the overall sanitization process of the pool, otherwise, you might have to deal with the following:

  • Cloudy water might become a permanent struggle if the alkalinity is not improved.
  • Staining and deterioration of both shell and plumbing system is never pleasant. Especially if you have to replace them, which increases the overall maintenance costs.
  • Scaling and buildups are other inconveniences, as they attack the basin, as well as other objects introduced into the water, like toys or upkeep equipment
  • Faulty filters and high pressure are also a cause of concern, as buildups will impede the skimmer to do its job, resulting in high water pressure, which will damage the pipes. Additionally, if the skimmer can’t function properly, debris won’t be taken out of the pool, bacteria and pathogens flourishing.
  • Poor sanitization will soon follow closely. Although alkalinity has nothing do to, directly, with sanitization, it will affect the pH levels, which in turn will impede chlorine from doing its job

Causes of Rising

Three situations might be the cause of the sudden disturbance in your pool chemistry:

  1. High amounts of sodium bicarbonate – as one of the most reliable methods to raise the alkalinity level, if utilized in large volumes, it will inevitably lead to satiety. Therefore, it is important to carefully calculate the exact amount of baking soda you should use according to the pool’s overall capacity.
  2. Sources of water supply – if you’ve just filled or refilled the basin, and you’ve already had to deal with cloudy water, its source might be a reason for this chemical imbalance.
  3. Intrusive elements – once an object makes contact with the water, the pH level should decrease. Instead, alkalinity acts as a shield and, in turn, rises.

How to Reduce It

Before you jump into pouring chemicals into the water, you should be aware of two facts, the capacity of your pool and the ideal range for alkalinity (between 80 and 120 ppm). To find the volume of your pool, measure the width, length, and depth on both ends. Once you know all this data, you can easily insert it into a pool-calculator, as many websites offer this for free. As soon as you know it, memorize it, as it will be very useful in the future. Depending on its volume, you can now calculate the required amount of substances to lower the alkalinity.

Option 1: Muriatic Acid
  • Always use it with the proper safety equipment, as it can produce high-degree burns
  • Sometimes the package will instruct you to first dilute it, and then pour the solution into the pool. This will prevent it from damaging the shell.
  • Exercise caution if you plan on using it on concrete-made surfaces or pools, as it is highly corrosive

Step 1. Turn off the filtration system and pump. Wait until the water is still, and doesn’t present any sort of movement.

Step 2. Calculate the correct amount required for your pool.

Step 3. Pour it slowly into both ends of the pool. Don’t hurry it, as you wish for the product to reach deep into the water and not simply stay at the waterline level.

Step 4. Wait for at least 1 hour before you decide to test the water.

Step 5. (optional) If necessary, repeat steps 3 and 4 until the level reaches the perfect equilibrium.

Step 6. Test the water. Don’t forget to check the pH level as well.

Step 7. Turn on the pump and filtration system and enjoy it.

Option 2: Sodium Bisulfate
  • Not as corrosive as its counterpart, but it should still be used with safety gear
  • Has a powder form, so you should pick a day without wind, for safe handling
  • Might require dilution, as well

Although it follows the same operational pattern as its counterpart, (steps 1 to 3 are identical), the required time it needs to actively change the water is longer. Once poured into the water, it will need a full day before you can test the water and check how it fares. Additionally, the process shouldn’t be repeated too often, as you should give at least 3 days before you reattempt it. This will prevent plumbing and shell deterioration.

Final Thoughts

In a nutshell, all the water chemicals are connected with one another, so you have to pay attention to all of them and not just one facet of it. Tightly connected to pH, the alkalinity levels should never go beyond 120 ppm, otherwise, it might become an obstacle for your pool system. As long as you keep it above 80 ppm, and under 120 ppm, it will act properly, fulfilling its task in the fight against bacteria and pathogens.

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