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.
Total alkalinity should only be lowered when it causes a significant rise in pH levels, or when it causes calcium scaling through CSI. To lower pH and total alkalinity, use a strong acid such as muriatic acid, sulfuric acid, or sodium bisulfate, all of which lower both pH and TA, but at different rates.
A rule of thumb is 1.5 lbs. of baking soda per 10,000 gallons of water will raise alkalinity by about 10 ppm. If your pool's pH tested below 7.2, add 3-4 pounds of baking soda. If you're new to adding pool chemicals, start by adding only one-half or three-fourths of the recommended amount.
If you wish to lower the pH without also reducing the Total Alkalinity, simply pour the dose of muriatic acid about the pool. “ This would all be wonderful if it was only accurate. Still, just like the mythological “Chlorine Lock,” folkloric tales within the swimming pool industry do persist.
One of the most common reasons why alkalinity levels are so high in pools is because of too many chemicals. This is usually the result of human error. However, for people who live in a geographical area that experience acid rain, this can be a common problem. The acid rain can continuously change your pool's pH level.
Muriatic acid can help balance your water chemistry by lowering the total alkalinity and pH levels in your pool. It'll likely lower both levels together, since alkalinity and pH work hand-in-hand.
It's also not uncommon for pool owners to go a bit overboard when shocking their pool, and since chlorine-based pool shock is a high-alkaline substance, it will also naturally raise your pool alkalinity.
Check Total Alkalinity (TA) first, then adjust for proper pH range. Proper TA will buffer pH, that is, it will help to prevent pH fluctuations. Use fresh, high quality test strips. Excessively high bromine or chlorine levels can result in false pH and TA readings.
The alkaline substances act as buffers, inhibiting changes in pH. Therefore, total alkalinity is a measure of the buffering ability of pool water. The recommended level for swimming pool water is 80-120 ppm. When pool water is found to be low in alkalinity (below 80 ppm) it is recommended that this level be increased.
If both the pH and total alkalinity levels are too high, you'll need to add pH reducer. Once you get your pH levels between 7.2 and 7.5 and your total alkalinity between 60 and 120 ppm you can move on to working on the calcium hardness and chlorine levels.
Wait times for adding pool chemicals
The wait times between adding pool chemicals is usually around 10 minutes each, as that is also sufficient time for the chemicals to mix in the water. Users also under normal conditions can swim roughly 10 minutes after adding chemicals.
Ordinary household vinegar could in theory be used to lower the pH of your pool. The pH of vinegar is about 2.5, which is quite acidic when compared to your pool water. Household vinegar is very weak though (when compared to a strong acid like muriatic acid), so you would need quite a bit to lower pH.
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).
Depending on what PH you wish to achieve, adding a little baking soda will simply not affect the PH level of your pool, thereby causing it to remain almost the same way (acidic). However, adding too much baking soda might also raise the PH level of your pool to an undesired stage (alkaline).
Fundamentally, the problem is that your TA level is too high so there is a lot of outgassing of carbon dioxide that causes the pH to rise. You may also have a lot of splashing and aeration in the pool that accelerates such outgassing.
Along with balancing the pH levels of your pool water, muriatic acid is strong enough to kill mold, remove rust stains, get rid of calcium deposits, and clean the surfaces of your pool.
It will take 24 hours for the muriatic acid to react with the existing balanced pool water. Remember never to pour muriatic acid into your pool. Dilute part of the muriatic acid in a bucket of balanced pool water, and then pour it into your pool. "Dilution is the solution," Dukes says.
Adding muriatic acid directly to your pool can create a hot spot of acid that can potentially burn or irritate the skin if you swim too early. Even diluted muriatic acid can potentially cause harm. Muriatic acid contains hydrochloric acid concentration levels between 28 to 35 percent.
After Shocking Your Pool
It is safe to swim once your chlorine levels are around 5 ppm or after 24 hours. It is always best to test first!
Alkalinity Balance, pH up, pH down, Calcium Balance, Water Stabilizer, and clarifier are all swim-safe chemicals. Wait about 20 minutes, and you are free to swim. We suggest adding algaecide, Super Erace, and shock at night, after everyone is out of the pool.
The ideal time to shock your pool is in the evening after all swimming is complete. In the evening because the sun will not be boiling the chlorine out of your pool, and after everyone is done swimming because shocking is going to bring the chlorine level up to a level that may be irritating to skin and eyes.
The answer is to use both muriatic acid along with sodium CARBONATE also known as soda ash (Do not confuse with sodium BI-carbonate which raises alkalinity) Depending on how high the alkalinity is, add the desired amount of muriatic acid and let circulate for several hours.
i can add this to my pool while doing the SLAM. 80 TA is just fine. Don't add baking soda. But you can go ahead and add enough CYA to get to 30 and just assume it's there and use 12 FC as your new SLAM level.