If your Total Alkalinity levels are too low (below 80 ppm) but pH levels are above 6.8, you will need to add Alkalinity Increaser (sodium bicarbonate). When both Total Alkalinity and pH are too low (TA less than 80 ppm, pH below 6.8), use pH Increaser (sodium carbonate) to bring both levels up.
Diluted in water, Alkalinity Increaser will not raise pH above its normal range. Proper TA will buffer pH, and help prevent pH fluctuations. pH & Alkalinity Decreaser is sodium bisulfate. It reduces Total Alkalinity and pH which is too high.
You can decrease pH without lowering the Total Alkalinity using Carbon Dioxide (CO₂) injection for pH control. Still, this does not lessen one without an effect on the other. When CO₂ is injected into water, it forms carbonic acid (H₂CO₃), which will reduce the pH.
The Orderly Addition of Chemicals
If you find your pH and total alkalinity levels are too low, you'll need to add pH increaser to bump up the pH. If both the pH and total alkalinity levels are too high, you'll need to add pH reducer.
Alkalinity is the total alkaline material in your pool water. You should test alkalinity first because it will buffer pH. Your reading should be in the range of 80 to 120 parts per million (ppm).
Can You Safely Swim in a Pool With High Alkalinity? As long as you have enough chlorine in your pool (around 3ppm for total chlorine) and the pH level is balanced (between 7.4 to 7.8), then a pool with high total alkalinity is still safe to swim in.
If your alkalinity level becomes too high, it will become difficult to change the pH. You'll know your pH is too high when your pool water is cloudy, there is scale build up on your pool walls and your chlorine is no longer successfully sanitizing your pool.
Another cause for high alkalinity can be when you shock the pool. While this is performed to quickly rid the pool of pollutants, chlorine-based pool shock is highly alkaline, and can raise the water's total alkalinity level in the process.
A good rule of thumb is to never mix pool chemicals with each other. After adding Calcium Hypochlorite a user should always wait 24 hours before adding chemicals that would alter their pH. Adjusting pH or Total Alkalinty after adding Calcium Hypochlorite can cause the calcium to temporarily cloud the water.
There are two ways to increase your swimming pools alkalinity level: sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) or any type of alkalinity increaser product. If you choose to purchase an alkalinity increaser product be sure the product is made from sodium bicarbonate, which is the main substance used to raise pH.
What Happens if Alkalinity is Too High in Hot Tub? The main thing that can happen is it renders your sanitizer (chlorine, bromine, etc.) useless. And that can cause your water to turn green and bacteria to grow making the hot tub unsafe to soak in.
The fastest, easiest way to reduce alkalinity is to dilute the aquarium water with purified, low-mineral water. Reverse-osmosis or RO units produce water with almost no dissolved minerals. You can add this water to the aquarium to water down the overly alkaline water.
Most people know that chlorine is an important chemical in keeping pool water safe for swimming. But adding too much chlorine can lower your pool's pH as well as its total alkalinity. When alkalinity falls, it is more difficult to maintain a stable pH.
Geology - the types of rocks surrounding the stream affects alkalinty. Phosphates, limestone, and borates give the water a higher alkalinity and buffering capacity. Seasonal weather - spring snow melt and rain can increase runoff which generally also increases acidity, in turn decreasing alkalinity.
Pool water with a high total alkalinity (TA) is often associated with cloudiness. This is because it can cause an imbalance in the pH levels and lead to calcium scaling. Typically if your TA is higher than 200 ppm, you're at risk of a cloudy pool and just like imbalanced pH levels, your chlorine will be less effective.
One gallon of muriatic acid will lower the alkalinity about 50 parts per million per 15,000 gallons of existing balanced pool water. So if you had a reading of 100 ppm and you added one gallon of muriatic acid in the same-size pool, the reading should drop to around 50 ppm.
High alkalinity means your pool water is buffering too much and possibly diluting the effectiveness of chlorine to the point it is unable to sanitize some contaminants in your pool or hot tub. Lowering total alkalinity is a two-step process.
Test the pH level
The most optimal and effective pH level to shock a pool is anywhere between 7.2 and 7.4. If the pool water is anywhere outside of this range, the water will not be suitable for the shock, making the treatment significantly less effective.
High chlorine levels decrease the pH of your pool's water, making it more acidic. The more acidic the water, the higher the likelihood of corrosion. This corrosion can affect metal piping, equipment, and the surface of your pool (tiles, liners, concrete, etc.).
Algae is certainly the cause of the green, but an imbalance of pH and/or alkalinity is why you have algae in the first place (while there is adequate chlorine). Very high or low pH significantly decreases the effectiveness of chlorine.
To bring down pH, use a made-for-pools chemical additive called pH reducer (or pH minus). The main active ingredients in pH reducers are either muriatic acid or sodium bisulfate (also called dry acid).
Adding acids to reduce total alkalinity will inevitably lower pH. To lower total alkalinity without lowering pH, you will need to follow a two-step process. First, add the acid until the alkalinity is at the level you want. Don't worry about the pH.