How To Raise Alkalinity In Pool

How To Raise Alkalinity In Pool? Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, has 8 pH and is naturally alkaline. Baking soda boosts the pH and alkalinity of your pool water, improving clarity and stability. Many commercial pool alkalinity boosters include baking soda as the primary active ingredient.

How To Raise Alkalinity In Pool

How To Raise Alkalinity Of Pool

There are different methods used to increase the alkalinity of pool water. Some of them are given below:

With Sodium Bicarbonate

Following are some steps that should be followed to raise the alkalinity of the pool by using sodium carbonate:

  • Examine The Pool’s Overall Alkalinity: The total alkalinity level of your pool will indicate whether it has to be increased or decreased. If your pool alkalinity is less than 80 ppm after testing, it is time to increase the pH concentration.

  • Purchase Enough Sodium Bicarbonate: If your pool’s alkalinity is low, a five-pound bottle of baking soda will most likely not suffice. It would be preferable if you had more. You should check with your pool provider or the merchant to see how much you can buy or what the prices are.

  • You should ask your pool supplier or the shop to determine how much you may buy and the size of the largest feasible container.

  • Know How Much to Add: If your pool’s alkaline level is too low, the water will become acidic. Is it too high? Just as many issues. The trick is to know how much baking soda to put into your low-alkaline pool. Half or three-quarters of the prescribed dose should suffice. If your pool’s alkalinity remains low after adding this quantity, you can add extra baking soda.

  • Dilute the Baking Soda: Each container of sodium bicarbonate comes with diluting instructions. Make sure to dilute!

  • Baking soda should be poured into the pool. Avoid pouring everything at once, and especially avoid doing so in areas where the wind is strong, since the powder particles may be blown into your eyes and mouth.

  • After applying all of the treatments for raising alkalinity to your pool, you may retest to see the results after six hours. Even if you are unable to recheck in six hours, the time limit should not exceed 24 hours.

Effect Of Baking Soda On Pool Water

Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, has 8 pH and is naturally alkaline. Baking soda boosts the alkalinity and pH of your pool water, improving clarity and stability.

Baking soda is the major active element in many commercial pool alkalinity boosters. By going right to the source and utilizing pure baking soda in your pool, you can maintain it for a fraction of the expense.

Procedure For Raising Alkalinity Of Pool Using Baking Soda

Follow these methods to test and increase the alkalinity and pH of your pool with baking soda.

1. Every day, check the alkalinity of your pool. Your pH should be between 7.2 and 7.8 and your alkalinity should be between 110 and 150 ppm (parts per million). If your alkalinity level is low, especially if it is less than 80 ppm, you must increase the pool water alkalinity.

2. Buy baking soda in bulk (available in pouches up to 15 lbs.). You will be putting anything from 1.5 to 8-10 pounds of baking soda into your pool.

3. Pour baking soda into the pool. Sodium bicarbonate comes in powder form and may be placed straight into your water pool. Spread it out in wide arcs around the pool’s surface to prevent pouring it all in one location. If you add baking soda on a windy day, the powder may get airborne.

4. Wait for 6 hours. Allow the baking soda to dissolve in the water. Turn on your pool’s circulation system to help it spread.

5. If necessary, repeat the test. Retest your pool’s pH and the alkalinity between 6 and 24 hours after adding the baking soda. Repeat these procedures if the pH is less than 7.2 and the alkalinity is less than 110 ppm.


Baking soda, commonly called sodium bicarbonate, has 8 pH and is inherently alkaline. Adding baking soda to the water of the pool raises the alkalinity and pH, which improves clarity. If your pool’s pH is below 7.2, you may need to add baking soda. Increase the alkalinity of your pool by adding 1.5 pounds of baking soda per thousand gallons of water.

Why Is It Important To Raise The Alkalinity Of Your Pool

If your swimming pool includes water with low alkalinity, it might cause irreparable damage. You run the danger of etching, delamination, or cracking your pool walls. Some metal surfaces will corrode and melt when exposed to corrosive water, resulting in a discolored pool wall.

Even little changes in pool water chemical composition can produce significant swings in pH levels. When the pH level becomes uneven, the condition is known as pH bounce, and it can result in low alkalinity in the pool.

The typical quantity of chlorine put in your pool would be ineffective with insufficient alkalinity. It would be beneficial only when more than the normal quantity is applied.

Alkalinity Of Pool Water

Alkalinity is essentially a solution’s resistance to acid. In the case of swimming pools, the “solution” in question is pool water.

1. Proper alkalinity levels aid in the management and stabilization of your pool’s pH, making chlorine more efficient, and protecting your pool from becoming too corrosive or creating scale.

2. Its major role is to act as a buffer for your pool’s alkalinity, reducing pH fluctuations that would otherwise need regular correction.

3. These fluctuations are known as “Ph bounces,” and they may be a pain to handle, especially in salt chlorinated pools, which have a propensity to automatically raise a pool’s Ph.

4. The buffering effect absorbs the bounces like a soft cushion.

5. In most pools, the buffering effect functions as a soft pillow, absorbing bounces and stabilizing the pH level, making maintenance considerably more predictable and less frequent.

The Optimal Alkalinity Range In A Pool

The optimal alkalinity level for a pool is between 100 and 140 ppm. This range provides an adequate buffer as well as some favorable benefits for chlorine.

Calcium hypochlorite and sodium hypochlorite are projected to work slightly better at the lower end of this range, whereas di-color, tri-color, and chlorine gas are likely to function better at the upper end.

However, there is no actual advantage to micromanaging this much for the average household pool, so we just recommend staying between the 100-140 ppm range.

For practically all pools, any value at/below 60 ppm or beyond 180 ppm will necessitate quick correction. These values are likely to have a significant impact on a pool’s LSI reading, placing your pool’s surface and equipment at danger of failure.

A standard alkalinity test will give you your total alkalinity, which is nearly enough. You should be aware of your carbonate alkalinity level in addition to your overall alkalinity. Subtracting carbonate alkalinity from total alkalinity is required to determine the corrected or real total alkalinity, which is the amount to be adjusted.


Alkalinity is essentially a solution’s resistance to acid. Proper alkalinity levels aid in the management and stabilization of your pool’s pH. They also make chlorine more efficient and protect your pool from becoming too corrosive or creating scale.

Effects Of Low Alkalinity On Pool

A low level of alkalinity, like a low pH or calcium hardness level, can be harmful to the pool. As a low level of alkalinity may not be immediately visible on the surfaces of the pool, it will frequently trigger the level of the PH of the pool water to drop, increasing the acidity of the pool water, resulting in itchy, dry skin and sore eyes.

Other issues connected with a low level of alkalinity in many pools are the following:

1. Pool wall and surface etching, pitting, delamination, and cracking.

2. Metal surfaces in or near your pool (such as screws, filters, pipes, and so on) may corrode, resulting in discolored walls of the pool.

3. Sanitizers of the pool such as bromine and chlorine are considered less effective, that’s why you’ll need to add more to have the desired effect of sanitization.

4. Increase pH

How To Reduce Pool Alkalinity

Muriatic acid is one of the most popular compounds used to reduce alkalinity. We propose putting muriatic acid around the border of the pool to avoid “columns” of the acid. In our Ph article, we explored the safety of muriatic acid.

We propose diluting muriatic acid in an already filled bucket of water in a 4:1 ratio before putting it into the pool. This can make big numbers safer to handle.

Effects Of High Alkalinity On Pool

Although high levels of alkalinity are not as bad for your pool as low levels are, you still need to have balanced total alkalinity to prevent unplanned maintenance costs and to increase the lifespan of your filter, pool pump, and pipes.

Cloudy or murky water is the most common problem pool owners have when their alkalinity levels are high since this condition makes it easier for particles to dissolve in the water.

This water breakdown is the root cause of several more pool issues related to high alkalinity, including:

1. Scaling of water on surfaces of pool and its equipment

2. Reduced water circulation as a result of blocked pipes and filters as particles escape

3. Scaling of water on pool surfaces and equipment

4. Water circulation is reduced as a result of clogged pipes and filters, as particles emerge from the solution, float freely in the water, and deposit on items with which the pool water comes into contact (i.e. scaling)

5. Filters that are clogged: Increased water pressure; when pumps are clogged and then the pipes become restricted with the scale they are made to work hard, resulting in fractures and a shorter pool pump lifespan.

6. Because of the pool’s high alkaline content, changes to the pH of the pool water are resisted.

PH Scale

Maintaining a stable pH level is essential if you want the water in your swimming pool to seem inviting and be completely clean. On the pH scale, which goes from 0 to 14, neutrality is indicated when the number 7 is reached.

It is used in the process of determining whether water is acidic or basic. When the pH is low, the substance in question is acidic; when it is high, the substance in question is basic or alkaline.

The pH range of swimming pools should be between 7.4 and 7.6, ideally (7.2-7.8 acceptable). A scale for determining the acidity or alkalinity of things based on their pH value. A proper pH reading provides surface areas of swimming pools with protection against corrosion, discoloration, and the development of scale.

Maintaining a pH balance in your pool is the most effective method for preventing the growth of algae, keeping the water clear, and cleaning it. The following is a rule of thumb that is often used when altering pH:

You will need to add one ounce of pH Increaser into the mixture if you want to see a 0.1 increase in pH. (soda ash or sodium carbonate). If one ounce of pH Reducer (sodium bisulfate) is mixed into one thousand liters of water, it is possible to bring the pH down by 0.1 units.

Always refer to the product label for instructions and suggestions about the pH balancing of the product. The temperature of the water, the total alkalinity of the water, and the calcium hardness of the water all affect the pH level, which may make adjusting it difficult and lead to errors.

Check the pH level of the pool a few hours after applying pH chemicals to ensure that you have not overdosed on the pool with the chemicals.

Relationship Of PH And Alkalinity

pH has a strong relationship with total alkalinity, which is a measurement of all the alkaline components of the water. When describing the function that proper amounts of alkalinity play in maintaining pH equilibrium, the term “pH buffer” is a popular term that is used.

When the total alkalinity is high, it is difficult to modify the pH, but when it is low, the pH changes quickly. On the other hand, it is better to alter one at a time as opposed to both at the same time.

The first thing that has to be done is to make any necessary adjustments to the Total Alkalinity.
The optimal range for total alkalinity will change depending on the kind of sanitizer that is used.

When using a primary sanitizer such as calcium hypochlorite (cal-hypo), sodium hypochlorite (sodium hypo), or lithium hypochlorite, the ideal range for total alkalinity (TA) is 80-100 ppm (lithium hypo).

The Addition Of PH Booster To The Pool Water

If your Total Alkalinity is too low (below 80 ppm), yet your pH is greater than 6.8, you will need to add Alkalinity Increaser to your water supply. When both the Total Alkalinity and the pH levels are excessively low, a pH Increaser, such as sodium carbonate, should be employed (TA less than 80 ppm, pH less than 6.8).

If your total alkalinity levels are too high, you should add some pH Reducer (sodium bisulfate).
Because sodium bisulfate reduces pH at the same time as it reduces total alkalinity, bringing down your Total Alkalinity levels may need a significant amount of time and effort on your part at times.

The alkalinity and pH levels may need to be adjusted many times before reaching a point where they are both within the permitted range. Before adding any more chemicals to the water, you should always take a sample of it first, regardless of the specific adjustments that need to be made.

At all times, you should adhere to the dose and administration instructions that are listed on the label. This is especially important as you gradually bring your levels up into the acceptable range.

Problems Associated With Total Alkalinity And PH In Swimming Pools

Typical Issues Now that you have a general understanding of how pH and alkalinity interact with one another, we will discuss how to address specific imbalances in your pool’s water chemistry.

When making adjustments to the chemistry of your pool water, you should always read the product label and follow the guidelines on the label. When the pump is operating, and only then, should balancing chemicals be added to the pool?

We won’t beat the bush, since it bears repeating: To begin, you need to do an accurate water test in the pool to ensure that you are appropriately dosing the pool.

It is important to keep in mind that making little, step-by-step adjustments is much better than making major adjustments. Pool water chemistry should be examined at least twice a week.

The pH Of The Pool Is Consistently High.

Liquid chlorine or a saltwater system employed as the primary sanitizer is the most typical cause of a high pH level in pools. The reaction results in the formation of sodium hydroxide, which has a pH of around 13.

Plaster or pebble finishes that are newly installed in swimming pools will raise the pH of the water for about a year after installation. Your pool’s pH will rise even further if it has water features like a cascade or a fountain in it. Examples of these include: (more on that below).

Without Increasing pH, Add Alkalinity To Your Pool

This technique of boosting alkalinity without affecting pH may be used in both on surface of ground pool and inside the ground pool. To increase the alkalinity, you’ll have to get the given below items:

1. Alkalinity Testing

Determine your pool’s total alkalinity by the application of strips for test. The optimal concentration range is between 80 and 120 parts per million. If alkalinity goes below the value of 80 parts per million, it must be raised.

2. Determine The Quantity Of Alkalinity Enhancer

Take the time to figure out how much baking soda you’ll need for the pool water. Adding 1.5 pounds (680.4 grams) of baking soda in 37,854 liters of pool water may boost alkalinity by 10 ppm.

3. Add Enhancer To The Mixture

There should be no more than 14 or 12 added to the amount in above step.
Because we don’t want to overuse baking soda, we just use a portion of it. Allow the baking soda to dissolve in the pool water for about six hours.

To guarantee a well-mixed final product, keep the pump of pool running at all times. If the alkalinity is insufficient, add more baking soda. If the pH value is excessively high, sodium bisulfate or muriatic acid should be added.

4. Take the Test Again!

Small adjustments to the pool’s pH should be adjusted every 24 to 48 hours to ensure optimal swimming conditions.


On the pH scale, neutrality is indicated when the number 7 is reached. Maintaining a pH balance in your pool is the most effective method for preventing the growth of algae. An all-natural alkalinity enhancer, such as baking soda, may help.

Raise Alkalinity Of Pool Water By Using Soda Ash

If you don’t have access to baking soda, you may use soda ash or sodium carbonate instead. Adding soda ash, on the other hand, will elevate the pH. This is what you need to do, in order:

1. The Initial Phase In The Process Is Alkalinity.

The pH and alkalinity of your pool may be determined using strips for testing pool water or a kit. When it comes to accuracy, drop test kits far outperform test strips.

The ideal range for alkalinity is 80-120 ppm. You’ll need to find out how much Soda Ash will be needed to add to boost alkalinity.

2. Add The Baking Soda Ash To The Mixture And Mix Well.

You don’t want to use soda ash at once. Make sure you don’t overestimate by more than 14 or 12. To prevent over reaction, you should gradually elevate the alkalinity.

3. PH and Alaklinity Tests From Step 4 Should Be Repeated

You may need to put extra soda ash for the water is too alkaline or acidic. For optimal results, check the pool’s alkalinity every 1 to 2 days.

Soda ash boosts pH of pool far more than baking soda does. Baking soda is the greatest method for raising alkalinity without increasing pH. Always use a reputable kit to guarantee accurate pH and alaklinity values.

A Value Of pH That Is Too Low In The Pool

The most common reason for swimming pools to have a low pH is the presence of stable forms of chlorine, such as chlorine tablets. They function adequately at a pH of 3.

The presence of acid precipitation, leaf litter, and soil or mulch in the pool are all possible contributors to pH depletion.

The pH of the pool water is on the acidic side, but the alkalinity level is rather high.

High total alkalinity of more than 180 ppm may be the source of some resistance to pH change in a given environment. If you use pH Increaser to boost Total Alkalinity as well, the problem might become much more severe than it already is.

Test the water once again before adding any further chemicals once you have determined the right level of pH balance for the water.

Even though the pool has a high pH, the total alkalinity of the water is quite low.

If the total alkalinity is less than 80 parts per million, the pH might become unstable and unpredictable. Increase its alkalinity with Alkalinity Increaser (add 1 lb. per 10,000 gals to increase by 10 ppm).

Be aware that this will cause the pH level of your pool to rise, but not as much as the total alkalinity level would. After the TA level has been brought back to balance, the pH may be changed.

Similar to the example that came before it, adjusting the levels could need a series of alternate modifications to get them just right.

Both the pH and alkalinity levels in the pool are significantly elevated.

The only thing you need to bring the pH and total alkalinity down is pH Reducer, which is also known as dry acid. In addition to the aforementioned techniques, you may lower the Total Alkalinity and pH levels of a pool by making use of muriatic acid, acid magic, or no more acid. These are all viable options.

Low pH and a Lack of Sufficient Alkalinity in the Pool

Make use of a pH Increaser to raise the solution’s pH as well as its total alkalinity all at the same time. Perform any necessary testing to determine whether or not the pool contains any metals before adding anything to it.

There will be no change in either direction in the pH of the pool.

Even if you add pH Increasers or pH Reducers to your water supply, if the Total Alkalinity levels in your water supply are higher than 180 ppm, you may not be able to successfully adjust the pH of your water supply. Add pH Reducer or another acid to pools with high Total Alkalinity and high pH levels.

Swimming In A Pool With A High PH Or Low Alkalinity

It’s not impossible, but we can’t say for sure either way.

  • The pH and Total Alkalinity of the pool water may have an impact on the effectiveness of the chlorine disinfection process.

  • In contrast, the reaction time for chlorine is much longer when the pH value is high, but it is much shorter when the pH level is low.

  • However, if sufficient levels of free available chlorine and an adequate filtration system are used, it is still possible to keep a pool clean and free from bacteria.

  • In addition to this, the water might potentially irritate both your skin and your eyes, in addition to causing long-term harm to your pool.

  • It is essential to address any chemical imbalances as soon as they are discovered to preserve the quality of the swimming experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

People usually ask the following questions.

1. Should Alkalinity or pH be corrected first?

The overall alkaline substance in your pool water is referred to as alkalinity. Alkalinity should be tested first since it will buffer pH. Your reading should be between 80 and 120 parts per million (ppm).

2. What causes low pool alkalinity?

Alkalinity levels can drop for a variety of causes, including A large amount of precipitation entering the pool, causing the water to become diluted. Acid rain can induce a decrease in alkalinity and pH. Sweat and even urine can reduce alkalinity levels.

3. Should I start by increasing the pool’s pH or alkalinity?

Because alkalinity protects pH, you should always adjust alkalinity first, then pH if required. Obtaining alkalinity is sometimes necessary.

4. Does shocking the pool boost the pH?

It will slightly elevate your pH, so adjust it while using it. It will also significantly increase the calcium hardness levels in your pool, as the name says. It is available in granular or puck/tablet form.

5. How much baking soda is required to raise alkalinity?

Aim for 1.5 pounds of baking soda per 10,000 gallons of water to increase alkalinity by roughly 10 ppm. If the pH of your pool is less than 7.2, add 3-4 pounds of baking soda. If you’re new to pool chemicals, start with half or three-fourths of the suggested amount.

6. Does chlorine cause alkalinity to rise?

There are several things that you may add to your pool to increase the overall alkalinity of the water. Cyanuric acid is the most common ingredient added to pool water to increase total alkalinity (aka chlorine stabilizer).

7. Is alkalinity increaser the same as pH increaser?

No, despite their chemical compositions being extremely similar, pH increaser and alkalinity increaser are not the same things. Sodium bicarbonate is an alkalinity booster (yes, normal baking soda like you have in your pantry).

8. Is swimming in a pool with a low pH safe?

A pH level between 7 and 7.6 is ideal. Anyone swimming in a pool with a pH greater than 8 is in danger of skin rashes, while a pH lower than 7 might hurt swimmers’ eyes.

9. Is alkalinity lowered by pool shock?

When you shock your pool, you may also have problems with excessive alkalinity levels. Shocking your pool is essential, however, chlorine-based shocks are very alkaline and will elevate the pH and hence alkalinity of your pool. As a result, after shocking your water, you may observe an increase in pH and total alkalinity.

10. Is increasing alkalinity the same as increasing pH?

Carbonate and bicarbonate are examples of alkaline chemicals, which are found in pH increasers and buffers. They may have the same name, but they are not the same thing. A pH buffer, on the other hand, will raise the alkalinity of the solution.

11. What are the consequences of adding an excessive amount of shock to a pool?

However, if you use too much of the shock treatment, you run the danger of having green hair from the chlorine. This is because too much chlorine may cause the copper in the water to get oxidized. A shock treatment may be carried out with any one of many distinct kinds of pool shock; nonetheless, it is important to pay attention to the quantity that you apply.

12. Should I use a shock treatment in my pool once a week?

When should I shock my pool and how often should I do it? Shocking your pool on a regular basis is one of the best ways to maintain clean water that is also free of toxins. It is recommended that you shock your pool roughly once per week, with an extra shock after excessive usage. Cloudy, frothy, green, or odorous water are some of the telltale symptoms that your pool needs to be shocked. Other signs include the presence of algae.

13. Do you mind if I add some bleach to my swimming pool?

It is preferable to use bleach, as well as any other kind of pool treatment, at particular concentrations. This means that you will want to be able to identify a certain quantity of chlorine in your pool water. If you use too little, you won’t be able to adequately clean the water and surfaces of your pool. If you use too much, the water in your pool may become unusable because it becomes too acidic.

14. The pool is hazy, therefore would vinegar help?

You might use a sponge or soft cloth dipped in vinegar and water to get rid of that stubborn residue. You may use vinegar in your pool, but if you’re worried, you should test the water after using it and correct any levels that need to be tinkered with.


Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, has a pH of 8 and is naturally alkaline. Baking soda boosts the pH and alkalinity of your pool water, improving stability and clarity. If the pH of your pool is less than 7.2, you may need to add baking soda. Add 1.5 pounds of baking soda per thousand gallons of water to your pool to increase its alkalinity.

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