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Mastering Pool Alkalinity: Your Comprehensive Guide

Updated: Nov 26, 2023

Unlocking the Secrets of Pool Alkalinity

Understanding and controlling pool alkalinity is the key to maintaining a stable and inviting swimming environment. In this comprehensive guide, we'll delve into the importance of alkalinity, how to manage it effectively, and address common issues to keep your pool pristine.


The Significance of Alkalinity in Pools

Alkalinity acts as a crucial buffer, preventing sudden changes in pH that can lead to various complications. Total alkalinity, measured in parts per million (ppm), is a reflection of ionic compounds that stabilize pH. In your pool, keeping alkalinity within the recommended range of 80 to 100 ppm is vital for a hassle-free experience.


Low Alkalinity: Balancing the Equation

When alkalinity is too low, pH levels become erratic, causing problems like chlorine inefficiency, metal corrosion, staining, and scale buildup. The remedy is simple yet effective—introduce sodium bicarbonate (baking soda). Use 1.4 pounds per 10,000 gallons of water for a 10ppm increase. An example: a 15,000 gallon pool with a TA(total alkalinity) level of 40ppm. we need to get it up to 90ppm, thats a 50ppm increase. 15,000 gal pool / 10,000 gal dosage = 1.5 * 1.4 dosage = 2.1 pounds per 10ppm. 50Ppm increase / 10pmm dosage = 5 * 2.1 pounds = 10.5 pounds of sodium bicarbonate to achieve our desired TA. Best way to add sodium bicarbonate(SB) is to fill a bucket with pool water, and dilute the SB( 1-2 lbs per 3-4 gallons) then pour directly in front of the pool return slowly. Its also best to add any chemicals at the beginning of the daily cycle to ensure it gets properly mixed.


High Alkalinity: Rising Above the Cloudiness

On the flip side, high alkalinity leads to elevated pH and cloudy water. Counteract this by introducing muriatic acid or sodium bisulfate, available at reputable pool and spa stores. Begin by reducing pH to 7.0, allowing it to climb back to 7.2 gradually. Repeat until alkalinity stabilizes, following product guidelines. A simple liquid tester such as the one pictured below, will have a acid demand test to tell you know much muratic acid you need. ALWAYS fill a bucket with pool water and add acid to the bucket, then into the pool.

Crucial Factors Influencing Alkalinity Levels

Understanding the factors influencing alkalinity levels is essential. Rain, body fluids, sunscreens, pool shock, and high-alkaline water sources can cause fluctuations. Regular testing and swift rebalancing are essential to avoid potential problems.


Adjusting Alkalinity Levels: Your Action Plan

To raise alkalinity, add sodium bicarbonate when levels fall below 80 ppm. If alkalinity exceeds 160 ppm, consider a partial water replacement. Acid can also be used, gradually reducing both pH and alkalinity. Follow product guidelines to avoid over-acidification.


When to Seek Professional Assistance

Experiencing challenges with alkalinity? Give us a call HERE. Our commitment to providing high-quality chemicals and services ensures your pool remains beautiful and balanced. Explore our Water Management Program to find the right solution for your property. Contact Us for expert assistance in maintaining your pool's optimal alkalinity levels.

Mastering pool alkalinity is a vital aspect of pool care. Don't let misinformation guide you—keeping your pool in top condition is simpler than you think. Trust Utopia Custom Pools & Spas Inc. for all your pool maintenance needs.


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