How to Lower pH in a Pool

Learning how to lower pH in the pool can be challenging but there are a few things that a homeowner who is looking to stabilize their pool or hot tub needs to know before they get started. For starters, muriatic acid is used in liquid form to lower pH in swimming pools. Meanwhile, sodium bisulfate is used in spas and hot tubs by those who prefer the dry form. Chlorine systems, on the other hand, rarely rely on chemicals to lower the pH level.

When it comes time to determine what chemicals and methods are needed to address the pH levels, the sanitizing agent for the water helps homeowners to make the right decision. With all that being said, what is the best method for lowering pH? Let’s take a closer look at the two most commonly used chemicals and how they can help.

Sodium Bisulfate vs Muriatic Acid

As mentioned above, the decision is typically based on the type of pool in question. Spas and hot tubs will rely on sodium bisulfate, in its dry form. Muriatic acid is relied upon by swimming pool owners, in its liquid form. Once this distinction has been made, it is time to take a closer look at the steps for each process.

Muriatic Acid

  1. Be sure to have gloves and goggles on.
  2. Measure accordingly and then choose from one of two methods. Some may decide to pour the acid over the return jets. Others could elect to turn the pump off, add the acid and then let the pump do the work.
  3. Re-test the water in at least six hours (but no more than 24).

Sodium Bisulfate

  1. Use the proper amount that is recommended by the manufacturer. Some will recommend using 75% of this amount, for easier correction.
  2. Get the chemical down into the water by placing it in the water return jet site.
  3. Within 10-15 minutes, the powder should be fully dissolved.
  4. Re-test the water in at least six hours (but no more than 24).

Testing and Balancing pH Levels

Thanks to over-the-counter test strips, the process of testing the pH level have never been easier. The CDC recommends that homeowners utilize these at-home testing strips but it is important to make sure that the expiration date on the packaging has not arrived yet. Once the homeowner is ready to get started, they are going to need three containers, 13 cups of normal tap water and three drops of liquid chlorine bleach.

Let the tap run for roughly two minutes. The first container should be filled with one cup of water. The other two containers should be filled with six cups of water apiece. Container two will need one drop of chlorine bleach and container two requires two drops of liquid chlorine bleach. Now, it is time to grab the strips and the instructions from the manufacturer.

The containers of water are going to serve as the testing mechanism for the testing strips. Container one should contain 0 to <1 ppm, container two should be somewhere between 2-3 ppm and container three should end up at 4-5 ppm. If pH needs to be brought down, there are a number of common symptoms to address. Swimmers will usually complain about skin and eye irritation. The water becomes cloudy. The filters and pipes start to clog more easily.

Once the aforementioned chemical-based cleaning methods have taken place, there are some simple ways to keep the pH balance at a desirable level going forward. Be sure to test the pool twice a week for best results. The pool must also be kept clean, as even something as simple as dirty leaves can alter the pH balance. The pool should also be shocked on a regular basis and the filtration system must be checked frequently. These simple preventive measures will go a long way towards preventing an unwanted rise in pH levels.

Contact the Professionals

If there are any other questions or concerns, it is time to speak with the professionals. Be sure to contact Ajax Pool and Spa for maintenance services or chemicals and supplies for pool maintenance. They are also on hand to help homeowners who need to learn how to lower the pH in their pool. Pick up the phone and give Ajax Pool and Spa a call at 970-279-5253 as soon as possible.