How Do You Lower the pH Balance of Your Pool?


Any credible swimming pool care specialist will advise you to maintain your pool’s pH between 7.4 and 7.8. 

A pH reading of 7 or less indicates acidity, while anything above 7 is alkalinity. So naturally, you wouldn’t want your pool water to be anything close to acidic, hence the need to keep it within the neutral range.

However, acidity is not the only thing to worry about in your pool water. Too much alkalinity, as found in pH levels above 8, can cause some problems. 

Below are some of the effects of high pH levels:

  • The pool water may get discolored and become hazy and cloudy.
  • Swimmers may experience stinging eyes and dry skin depending on how high the pH is.
  • Chlorine does not work well in overly basic solutions. As such, the higher your pH levels, the more chlorine you have to use in your pool, which can be expensive. Moreover, low concentrations of chlorine promote bacterial and algal growth.
  • Alkaline water is typically considered “hard” as it contains more dissolved minerals than regular water, particularly calcium. 

If you don’t take timely steps to fix the alkalinity, the calcium deposits can build up in your pipes and filters and clog them. 

The consequences of this include leaks, motor failure, and problems with the water flow.

How to Lower pH Levels

Naturally, the first step in this process involves getting an accurate reading of your pool’s pH. Standard pool test kits are pretty good tools in this regard. 

Apart from the pH level, the kits also measure the actual acidity and alkalinity levels.

After determining how high your pH level is, the hard work begins. Below are the two most effective treatment products we would recommend and the steps to follow with each one.

Muriatic Acid

  1. It is highly corrosive and harmful to the skin, so ensure you have your gloves, goggles, and protective clothes on during the treatment.
  2. Different brands have different instructions, so read the instructions on the product you buy and use the exact measurements quoted.
  3. When adding the acid to your pool, you can use either of two methods:
  • First, turn off the pool pump and pour the solution into a slow stream from the deep end. Give it time to settle at the bottom (30-60 minutes), then turn on the pump.
  • With the pump turned on, pour the acid right above the return nozzles, and the pump will circulate it throughout the pool.
  • Do another pH test within 6-24 hours of the treatment and see if things have changed.

Sodium Bisulfate

  1. Check the product’s instructions label and use the recommended measurements. 
  2. Since the product is almost always sold as a powder, you want to ensure there’s no wind when you pour it. Otherwise, some of it may be blown onto your skin and clothes and cause problems.
  3. Get to where the return jets are, then get as close as possible to the water before pouring it over the nozzles. The return jet will ensure the powder reaches all corners of the pool.
  4. Leave the powder to dissolve in the water while keeping the pump on. 
  5. Do a retest after 6-24 hours to determine whether you need to reapply the solution.


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