Pool chemistry is a hard thing to deal with if you do not know the proper process and relations between chemicals.
So here is how to lower the alkalinity in the pool without affecting the pH.
See, swimming pools need specific amounts of both chemicals and water in order to keep the water crystal clear.
This is important to both the pool itself and the swimmers in it.
The chemicals used in swimming pools are there for eliminating microorganisms and other debris that are too small for either the pool pump or pool cleaners.
So you really need them.
However, you cannot just pour the chemicals into the pool and call it a day.
You need to get to the specifics and measure the amount of water in the pool and the chemicals that it needs.
If you do not do this, you can get chemical imbalances in the pool which will harm the pool liner.
It can also damage the pieces of equipment around the pool if you put too much chemical in it.
Not to mention, you are also going to risk infections or irritation on the swimmers.
Too much acidity or too much alkalinity can cause skin irritations as well as other health problems.
High alkalinity means that there is not enough acid in the pool which makes the pool go cloudy and dirty. The acid from the chemicals is meant to eradicate the debris that you cannot see in the pool.
So without them, you are going to have a murky pool and even scaly pool liner.
This can build up in the long run and your pool will eventually have damages that are beyond repair.
However, when you control the pool’s alkalinity, you are going to affect the pH level so it is also tricky to do it without lowering the pH level.
Luckily, we have a guide for you in doing this task.
What Is The Difference Between Alkalinity And pH?
Most of the time, pH levels and Alkalinity are the same in terms of the reasons why they rise.
This is because the two are very similar and so it is hard to control one without affecting the other.
However, it is important to know the difference between these two in order to take the proper actions in fixing your pool chemistry.
This will make better and healthier water for swimmers.
pH levels refer to the measurement of acids within the water in the pool.
It is measured on a scale of 1 to 14 with the middle ground of 7-7.6 being the safest pH level for any pool.
Alkalinity, on the other hand, is about the number and measurement of the concentration of alkaline substances in the water.
It is measured with larger numbers with 80-120 as the safe reading.
The reason why these two are related is that they directly affect each other.
So if you add more alkaline substances in the pool, the lower the pH level with go and vice versa.
That is why it is hard to measure and control one of the substances without affecting the level of the other.
Doing this is not impossible, however, it just takes a bit of practice and a lot of time.
The pH level also needs alkalinity in order to change slowly.
See, abrupt changes in the pH level of the water will affect not only the pool but the swimmers as well with irritations.
There are tricks that you can do in order to lower the alkalinity of the water in the pool without affecting the pH level.
But before that, let us learn more about the two chemical reactions.
What Causes Rise In pH Level And Total Alkalinity In The Pool?
There are some steps that you need to take before putting chemicals in the pool.
If you do not do them, you will most likely bring either too much or too low amounts of chemical in the water.
With that said, the carelessness of the user is not always to blame as there are some other factors that affect the level of chemicals in the pool.
So here are some of those reasons.
Using chemicals in the form of powders can be tricky.
They offer concentrations that you can hardly control and so they can cause imbalances in the chemical reactions in the pool.
For example, the use of Calcium Hypochlorite or powder chlorine hugely affects the pH level in the water.
Yes, this chemical can bring what we call “pool shock” but it is sometimes too much.
See, powder chlorine brings a lot of pH and Calcium in the water which is hard to control.
If you use it, you need to adjust the amount that you put in the water according to the tests.
You need to test the pool first before using powder chlorine to make the pH level rise.
This will also help you in determining the concentration of other chemicals within the pool.
Control Of Chemicals
Again, it is not all about the user’s mistakes but we cannot deny that we make these mistakes oftentimes.
See, pouring chemicals all at one time in the pool can damage the pool itself.
Using too many chemicals in one area can create imbalances in the pool. This will then in turn create either high alkalinity or high pH levels in the pool which is pretty hard to fix.
So one thing that you should always keep in mind when adding chemicals to your swimming pool is to pour them slowly.
Go around the pool if you can and pour the chemicals slowly.
Another common reason why there is a rise in alkalinity and pH levels is because of the water source.
This is a tricky factor because you will hardly notice it when you put the water in the pool.
See, there are water sources where there is already high alkalinity in it and so there is no need to add too much alkaline in the water.
So you need to know all of these factors.
Water distributors are required to release and disclose their process of cleaning the water that they supply.
So as much as possible, ask them about the chemicals that they use.
You should do it as a habit to test the water before you add any chemical to it.
That way, you will know how much the water needs to keep the chemicals balanced when you put the chemicals.
Speaking of testing the water for chemical amounts, it is the first thing that you need to know and do in order to change or lower the alkalinity or pH level in the swimming pool.
How To Lower Alkalinity Without Affecting The pH Level
See, it is tricky to make the alkalinity in the water go lower without the pH level also going down because the acid both affects them.
Although they are affected at different rates so that is your opening.
One thing that you should also understand is that this process takes time.
The process will not be able to immediately lower on balance the chemicals in just one hour or one full day.
Sometimes, the pool needs to be left like it is for days in order to attain balance in the chemicals. You should also be careful with the chemicals that you use in shocking the pool.
Also, I recommend using tablets or liquid acid when lowering the alkalinity in the water rather than powder.
These are easier to control and measure in relation to the amount of water in the pool.
Step One: Test Your Pool
Even if you do not have to lower the alkalinity of the water, it is good to regularly test your pool.
It will also let you know exactly what to put and the exact amount of the chemical to put.
In order to do this, you need to first stop the distribution of chemicals in the water.
So stop the pool pump and then wait for at least an hour to make sure that the water has stopped flowing.
From there, get your test kit and then get water samples from the surface of the pool.
Apply the needed reagents in the sample and then wait for the chemicals to react before testing.
Then, read the results by comparing the color of the strips to the dedicated guide.
If you have the app option, it is better to get a more accurate reading, just do it under bright areas.
Here’s The Thing…
The reality behind this is that you cannot control one chemical without affecting the other.
If you add acids to control the pH level, you will also get the Total Alkalinity to go lower.
If you also add acid to reduce the Total Alkalinity, you will also reduce the level of pH in the water.
Even injecting Carbon Dioxide into the water will also affect the alkalinity of the water.
So Here Is The Trick: Pour Slowly
After determining the amount needed for the water to lower the Total Alkalinity, you will need to add it slowly around the pool.
This is the best way to lower alkalinity without affecting the pH level.
It will, in fact, affect the pH level but this process will cause less damage to the pH balance.
It does not affect the levels in drastic ways which means that the pool will be safe from scales.
You will need to know exactly how much the water needs and then pour it evenly around the pool.
That’s it, there is no need to involve other tools or equipment to make the alkalinity go lower.
If you need to dilute the acid first, then do it in a bucket and then pour it into the pool.
The bottle of acid should have instructions on it that indicate how much to put in a certain amount of water.
From there, the waiting game begins as the acid starts to settle and the alkaline level goes lower. You need to aim for at most 120 and at least 80 to keep the water safe for swimming.
In order to affect the pH level as little as possible, you need to get the pool pump and other equipment out of the equation.
It will only make the process faster which is not advisable.
As I have mentioned, sudden changes in the pH level will only make it harmful.
So let the acid sit in the water and let it evaporate or distribute itself around the pool.
You will need to constantly measure and test the water.
Do it every day so you can see the improvement and then do further actions if the water does not change after two days.
Natural Aeration gives you a better chance of letting the pH level climb back up to the normal state than circulating the water using the pool pump.
It is also the most natural way to do it.
When you need to change the alkalinity in your swimming pool, you are going to need muriatic acid.
This is a strong acid that when diluted, will eliminate debris without hurting you.
However, this sometimes affects the pH level which is also an important chemical reaction that needs to be balanced.
So in order to do the process without affecting the pH level, you need to be careful.
Literally, be careful when pouring the acid and be careful with how much you put.
Always remember to test the water in order to know the amount that needs to be added.
To get to the right amount of acid to put in the water to lower the Total Alkalinity while also affecting the pH level as little as possible, pour the acid slowly and follow the instructions above!
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