PH Good for your waters health
pH is the abbreviation for ‘power of hydrogen and is an important factor in pool & hot tubs water chemistry. pH is a measurement of how acidic (0) to how alkaline (14) your water is. Substances that aren’t acidic or alkaline are referred to as neutral. Acids will have a pH that is less than 7 and alkalies have a pH that is greater than 7
The recommended range of pH should be maintained between 7.2 – 7.6. The main reason that you should keep the pH between these values is for the efficiency of chlorine and other sanitizers. At a pH level of 7.5, you get about 45% useful chlorine. If the pH level was allowed to get to 8.0, then you only get 25% out of your chlorine. By keeping your pH in the range, you maximize how effective your chlorine is and how well it does its job. Saving you time and spending less on chlorine.
With a low pH, it can cause eye and skin irritation. Acidic water not only stings your eyes and nasal passages but also strips off natural oils making hair brittle, and leaving your skin dry and itchy. Unfortunately, the same can arise if the pH drifts too high, as well as minerals, will come out, which can cause murky water, scaling, and mineral deposits left in the water.
Low pH can lead to corrosion on your pool and spa equipment. Acidic water can corrode everything from pumps and other mechanical systems to ladders, slides, and diving board supports. Low pH can even corrode the plaster in gunite pools. Unbalanced pH can damage vinyl liners, with low pH, a vinyl liner can actually grow, creating unsightly wrinkles. If the pH gets too high, a vinyl liner will age more rapidly and have to be replaced sooner.
What Causes PH To Rise
Surprisingly, Algae can raise pH by consuming carbon dioxide, which removes CO from the water. Every type of sanitizer has a pH impact on pool and spa water. This can depend on the sanitizer being used. Dichlor has a relatively neutral pH, as does bromine, so its pH impact is minimal. Non-stabilized chlorines like calcium hypochlorite, sodium hypochlorite (liquid chlorine), and salt chlorine generators tend to raise the pool’s pH.
What Causes PH To Lower
The water you use to fill your pool may have a low pH. Chemicals, if you have added too much pH reducer. Also, some chlorine tablets, such as Trichlor, have a low pH of around 2.8. Similarly, shocking the pool water will lower its pH. Rainwater can be acidic, and heavy downpours can reduce your pool’s pH. Organics like Leaves, bugs, grass cuttings, etc., will all contribute to lowering the pH. Our sweat leaves bodily oils, saliva, and urine all combine to lower the pool’s pH. That’s why it’s a good idea to check the pH after you’ve had a pool party.
Keeping PH Stable
There is often some confusion about pH and alkalinity regarding water chemistry. The misconception is that these are the same thing. Alkalinity measures calcium, magnesium, and other acid-moderating compounds that act as a buffer to pH change. It is essential to understand alkalinity because it helps stabilize the pH balance, preventing sudden pH changes in your water and thus keeping the pH within a normal range.
How To Increase PH
There Are Any Number Of Chemical Products You Can Use To Raise The PH Of Your Pool Or Spa. Usually, They Have Names Like “Increaser,” “Up,” Or “Raise.”
Whatever You Use All These Are All Based On Sodium Carbonate – Otherwise Known As Soda Ash. Be Aware; Sodium Carbonate Isn’t The Same Thing As Sodium Bicarbonate, AKA Baking Soda. Yes, You Can Use Baking Soda To Raise The PH In A Pool Or Spa, But It Will Also Affect Your Alkalinity. You Would Be More Likely To Use Baking Soda In A Spa To Raise PH And Alkalinity At The Same Time Because It Is A Much Smaller Body Of Water. These Chemicals Can Be Broadcast Over The Water Near Any Water Return Or Jet.
How To Lower PH
There are two ways to lower the pH in Pools and Spas. One is Sodium bisulfate which usually comes in powder form. Avoid using it on a windy day to avoid blowback to your skin and clothes.
You add this chemical by getting as close to the water as you can and downwind wind. Wait at least six hours before retesting to ensure your level is correct. Muriatic (Pools Only!) can also be used. This acid is a powerful corrosive, so ensure you’re wearing protective gear, such as gloves and goggles. Read the instructions and measure the amount accordingly. Retest the water after six hours.
Some PH FAQ's
Pool PH Is Always High
The most common reason for a consistently high pH level is liquid chlorine or a saltwater system as the primary sanitizer. Sodium hydroxide is produced with a pH of around 13. New pool plaster or pebble finishes will also raise the pH in pools for about a year.
Pool PH Is Always Low
The most common cause of consistently low pH levels in pools is using chlorine tablets or stabilized forms of chlorine, which have a pH level of around 3. Acidic rainfall, heavy leaf debris, and dirt/mulch can lower pool pH levels.
Pool PH Is Low, Alkalinity Is High
High Alkalinity over 120 ppm can cause some resistance to pH change. And adding a pH Increaser can also raise Alkalinity, compounding the problem.
Pool PH Is High, Alkalinity Is Low
Low Alkalinity under 80 ppm can cause pH to be unstable and erratic. To raise Alkalinity, add Alkalinity Increaser, which will also slightly increase your pool pH level.
Pool PH Will Not Increase (Or Decrease)
If it seems like you keep adding pH Increaser or Decreaser, it only seems to last a day, or maybe it does not take effect at all. Total Alkalinity levels over 120 ppm may prevent you from making an effective adjustment. Add a pH Decreaser or another acid to affect both pools with high alkalinity and pH levels.
Is It Safe To Swim Or Soak In High Or Low PH Or Alkalinity?
Maybe yes, maybe no. Your pool water pH and alkalinity can affect disinfection by chlorine. Chlorine is very slow to react at high pH levels and can be over 50% inactive at a pH above 8.2. However, even with high pH, the water could still be sanitary with good levels of free chlorine and clear water from effective filtration.