Owning a pool is fun but maintaining it is perhaps the most frustrating task.
But do not worry as we have a guide for you on how to lower alkalinity in the pool with household products.
See, maintaining the swimming pool does not only involve the proper care for the pieces of equipment around it.
There are some things, especially in the water that you need to deal with.
Swimming pools are the perfect breeding ground for microorganisms since it has stable and stagnant water in it.
This type of environment is where dirt and debris proliferate the most.
These types of debris and microorganisms are not simply removed even by the best pool cleaners in the market let alone just skimming the surface of your swimming pool.
See, the swimming pool is constantly exposed to dirt and debris from the outside.
That is why you need something else to make the dirt go away or at least not procreate in the water.
Enter the chemicals in the water of the swimming pool.
These chemicals help in dealing with the debris and microorganisms that constantly enter the water and damage the pool liner.
These chemicals are very important to both the health of the pool equipment and pool liner.
Plus, it helps in keeping a safe place for you to relieve stress by swimming in the pool.
However, there are times when these chemicals are damaged or disturbed by natural occurrences.
This means that you need to constantly keep an eye on them and keep them balanced.
Alkalinity is the one responsible for keeping your pool in the perfect condition for the chemicals to do their thing while also keeping them from irritating your skin, so here is how to maintain it.
What Is Alkalinity?
In order for you to know what you should do, you need to understand the chemicals that you are dealing with.
Read on as we first briefly describe what alkalinity in the water is.
Alkalinity is a measurement of the concentration of the alkaline substances in the water.
It is measured in larger numbers than other chemicals with 80 to 120 as the normal reading.
Because of many factors, the alkalinity in the water can rise abruptly which can also damage the other chemicals in the water.
This will then cause imbalances that can harm your health.
The rise in alkalinity means that there are no enough acidic components in the water to kill the bacteria in it.
So you need something in order to lower it and keep the water safe from bacteria.
Alkalinity is measured in parts per million which means that for every million parts of water, there should be somewhere between 80 and 120 parts of alkalinity for the water to be safe.
The lowered alkalinity in the water directly affects other chemical balances in the water such as the pH level.
So you always need to keep them both in line for the swimming pool’s water
How To Lower The Alkalinity In The Water
There are a lot of chemicals that you can use in order to do this job and most of them are household products.
The main thing that you need is the acid to lower the alkalinity.
That is why it is considered best to use muriatic acid when lowering the pool water’s alkalinity.
So bear with use with this process below.
This example and the process will use muriatic acid but we will be talking about the other chemicals as well right after the short guide in this post.
Test The Water
The first thing that you should do is to test the water to know how much chemical is in it.
You should also do regular tests even if the pool does not need any chemical changes.
In order to get the best results from the test, let the chemicals settle in the water first.
Stop the circulation of water by turning the pool pump off and then wait for at least an hour.
The waiting time will allow the chemicals to settle in the water evenly.
From there, make sure that you get to an area with the best natural lighting and then set your testing kit up there.
If you are using strips for testing the water, make sure that you dip them directly in the pool.
Do not hold the colored parts of the strip as they might make inaccurate readings later on.
Also, when you get water samples from the pool, do not put them in other containers.
Just dip the strips in the water without going over a foot deep to get the best sample from the water.
Within 15 seconds, compare the color of the strip that you dipped in the water to the guide on the testing kit.
Do not obstruct any light in order to get the most accurate reading.
From there, you should know what to add or remove from the pool.
Measure the volume of water in the pool to know the right proportions of the chemical that you need.
Add The Acid
The acid that you are going to need is industrial-grade.
This will be concentrated but you can dilute it in a bucket first by following the guide on the bottle of the acid before putting it in the pool.
Acid is a harsh chemical that can even burn the eyes or the skin of the ones swimming.
So you need to put exactly the right amount of acid in the water to prevent irritations.
If there are no instructions at the back of the bottle about diluting it first before pouring it into the pool, then you can go ahead and pour the right amount of acid directly into the water.
Pour Slowly and Evenly
One of the most common mistakes when adding an acid or other chemicals in the water is the application itself.
You need to pour it slowly in order for it to settle evenly around the pool.
If the instructions say that the water needs two gallons of acid, then do not pour those bottles of acid in a single area.
Go around the pool and slowly pour the acid into the water.
Going around the pool will also make the process as even as possible.
There, the chemical will be able to settle around the pool and dilute evenly throughout the water in the pool.
If, for example, you have extra acid that you need to pour and you feel like you have evenly distributed it around the pool, pour the extra acid into the deepest part of the swimming pool.
The best way to let the acid settle in the pool evenly is to add the air naturally.
Do not speed up the process of distributing the chemical in the water by turning the pool pump on.
As we have mentioned above, the pH level is directly affected by the alkalinity in the water.
Abrupt changes in the pH level of the water will give you a lot of problems.
That is why you need to slow the process down by waiting for the alkalinity of the water to naturally lower again.
This is attained by letting the water sit for a long time, even days.
This part is the longest part of the process.
You need to wait for the alkalinity to lower naturally by waiting it out for at least a couple of days before adding other chemicals to it.
Household Products That You Can Use For Controlling The Alkalinity In The Water
We have already mentioned that muriatic acid is the best chemical that you can use to lower the alkalinity of the water.
So here are some chemicals to help keep the water in the pool clean.
Simply putting the baking soda in the right amount of water and making a paste with it, it can help in controlling the alkalinity in the water to keep the chemical reaction balanced.
Alkalinity is lowered with acids in order to clean the water.
Baking soda, on the other hand, lets the alkalinity rise while also cleaning the pool liner no matter what material it is made out of.
1.5 pounds of baking soda for every 10,000 gallons of water will let the alkalinity rise by 10 parts per million.
So do this if the alkalinity in the water reads lower than 80 parts per million.
In simple terms, Sodium hypochlorite is simple household bleach.
This can help in cleaning the pool even more than what the baking soda can actually do by removing stains.
This has some acidic components so yes, you can use it to lower the alkalinity in the water.
However, it is more often used to shock the pool or let the chlorine level of the pool rise.
Just make sure to add the right amount of bleach to keep the water safe.
Also, remember to use the unscented type of bleach to prevent it from developing foul smells in the water.
Just like baking soda, this powdered product needs to be made to a paste before adding it into the pool’s water.
It is a natural cleaner that you can use to get rid of dirt in the pool.
If you accidentally lower the pH level while also lowering the alkalinity, you can use Borax to let the pH level rise again.
Just add it slowly into the water to prevent raising the pH too much.
What Causes High Alkalinity In The Pool?
The most common reason why alkalinity rises so abruptly in the pool is because of the chemical reactions that happen naturally.
However, there are also some mistakes that cause this phenomenon.
As I have repeatedly said above, you always need to pour the chemicals slowly and evenly around the swimming pool.
This will prevent unnecessary shocks to the water.
Also, you always need to test the water for the available chemicals.
This can affect the health of the swimmers in the pool as well as the equipment, and liner of the swimming pool.
You also need to let the chemicals dilute naturally.
Do not turn the pool pump when you just added the chemicals in the water, just observe the reactions and test it every day.
This factor is also a common reason why the alkalinity in your swimming pool’s water is too high.
You might have added too many chemicals to the water without knowing the process.
See, the water suppliers in your town treat the water first before delivering it to your household.
This treatment involves chemicals and they are required to disclose the process to their users.
So ask what kind of treatment they do with the water that you are receiving and what chemicals they use.
This is another reason why it is always important for you to always test the water.
Maintaining the water in the pool is very important so you do not have to spend too much time and money on draining the water in the swimming pool and then refilling it again.
Alkalinity is like the neutralizer in the pool so that the water does not end up too acidic for swimmers.
So you always need to keep it in balance and test it daily if possible.
Just to add a little bit of tip, avoid using powder chemicals when lowering the chemicals in the pool. Powdered chemicals are concentrated and are much harder to control.
So if you want to keep the chemicals balanced in your swimming pool, make sure to follow the guide above and use the most common household products to spend less money.
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