What’s the Ideal pH Level for a Pool?

A beautiful swimming pool is a great feature for any home, but there are clearly some routine maintenance considerations to keep in mind if you want to keep the water clear and all related equipment running efficiently. If you maintain your pool yourself, you need to take on the role of janitor and chemist simultaneously. While removing debris like twigs and bugs is easy, balancing pool water chemicals can be a difficult job. Here’s what you need to know about maintaining consistent pool pH levels so you can safely enjoy your investment.

What happens when pool pH levels get too high?

A pool’s pH is a measure of the water’s balance between acidity and alkalinity, and maintaining a consistent balance is crucial for safe swimming. Water pH ranges from 1 to 14, and lower numbers indicate higher water acidity, while high numbers indicate increased alkalinity. The right pH for all pools lies right in the middle, between about 7.3 and 7.6 pH. At these levels, your equipment will run optimally, and you’ll enjoy the cleanest possible water in your pool.

When pH levels get too high, and the water becomes alkaline, the effectiveness of chlorine is significantly reduced, making it harder to kill harmful pathogens in the pool. Alkaline water can also cause skin rashes, cloudy water and a buildup of scale on pool equipment. Left for too long, the scaling can render your equipment completely ineffective and put a strain on the most important element of a pool: the water circulation system.

Remember that the higher the alkalinity in your pool water, the harder it is to bring it all back in balance. The moment your pool water tests for a high pH is the moment you need to take action—it can save you significant time, money and hassle in the long run.

How can you bring an alkaline pool back in balance?

If your pool water has tested for a high pH, you need to add a chemical additive called pH reducer, or pH minus, to the pool water. These chemicals contain either muriatic acid or sodium bisulfate, both of which work to reduce pH levels. They’re readily available at pool supply stores, home improvement stores and online. Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions regarding the correct amount of reducer to use for the volume of your pool and its current pH level.

If you choose a reducer that contains muriatic acid, be sure to handle with great care. This powerful chemical comes in a liquid form, so you need to follow the manufacturer’s directions for safe handling, applying and storing of the chemical.

Sodium bisulfate-based chemicals, on the other hand, come in dry form and are easier and safer to handle than muriatic acid. It should also be handled carefully, though, and you should wear protective eye and skin coverings and a mask to avoid inhalation of the granules.

It takes skill, patience and a watchful eye to keep pool pH levels balanced. Learn more about proper swimming pool care and maintenance by contacting Avanti Pools, Inc. today. We build self-cleaning pools that eliminate your worries about balancing chemicals, allowing you to get hassle-free enjoyment from your investment.