Alkalinity is the backbone of well-balanced pool chemistry because of its ability to neutralize acids and keep pH in check by creating a buffer from constant changes which can affect chlorine’s ability to sanitize and clean your pool water. Can you use baking soda in pools?
- Baking soda(sodium bicarbonate)-the main ingredient in pH Plus naturally adjusts pH
- Naturally strengthens Alkalinity
- Cheaper alternative to chemicals
- Helps maintain balance & Buffering capability
- Helps Chemical stability in pool H2O
- Improves disinfection & clarity.
- Softens Pool H2O
- Offsets Acidity
Total Alkalinity or TA in swimming pool water or any kind of water is an important step in keeping stability and chemical working especially chlorine. Water contains ionic compounds that are Alkaline in nature. They act as a buffer for keeping the pH in your pool from slipping. Think of it as a muscle for pH. The stronger the muscle or Alkalinity in the pH the less chance that it moves up or down leaving that ideal range in pH that is needed for the optimum level to keep your pool water sanitized properly
Baking Soda Alkalinity
Baking Soda can be an important part of your scheduled swimming pool maintenance program and has natural ingredients that can improve its chemistry look and feel. Baking Soda is made up of Sodium bicarbonate one of the most useful natural compounds in the pool industry. Substances like pH plus or Alkaline Increaser are all products that use Sodium Bicarbonate to increase the alkalinity and pH of a swimming pool.
Sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3), also called baking soda, is a crystalline salt, found in a natural mineral form of nahcolite deposits. The science of baking soda has a long and interesting history it is used in numerous industrial and domestic products. There are very few substances that can increase alkalinity in water like baking soda, and the fact that it is readily available and cheap makes it a very well-known product.
Alkalinity is a measure of how much acid your pool water can absorb. It does this by absorbing hydrogen, which it uses to create neutral bicarbonate ions. In other words, PH levels represent the current acidic level of your pool, whereas alkalinity measures your pool’s ability to break down acid. If there is a problem with Alkalinity then there is most likely a problem with pH.
Sodium bicarbonate is the same product that you would buy from a retail store or a swimming pool supplier it is the same compound that will naturally raise alkalinity in your swimming pool. Both bicarbonates of soda and baking soda are exactly the same. These two are the name of one chemical only which is Sodium Bicarbonate. When used in laboratories, scientists call it Bicarbonate of Soda or Soda Bicarbonate. When used in bakeries, bakers call it Baking Soda. Sodium bicarbonate a safe, natural compound is used in numerous products in more industries than you can count.
Baking Soda is a naturally alkaline compound and has a pH of 8. When you add baking soda to your pool’s water, it will raise the pH and more importantly pool alkalinity, improving the water’s chemical balance-strengthening the stability and buffering capability of Alkalinity which is the most important test that you run in the chemistry of your swimming pool.
Alkalinity is the backbone of a Balanced Chemistry in your pool. Many commercial pool products that raise alkalinity utilize Sodium bicarbonates as their main active ingredient. It makes sense that you may want to use Baking Soda on a regular maintenance program to control and balance your pool water.
Due to its acid-neutralizing ability, baking soda when used in acidic pools to offset the acid content of the pool can make the water feel more soothing and comfortable slightly alkaline that is not harmful to the skin. An acidic pool is both corrosive and irritating making it uncomfortable to swim in
How Much Baking Soda to Raise Alkalinity in Pool
Alkalinity is an important step in keeping stability and chemical working especially chlorine. Water contains ionic compounds that are Alkaline in nature. They act as a buffer for keeping the pH in your pool from slipping. Think of it as a muscle for pH. The stronger the muscle in the pH the less chance that it moves up or down leaving that ideal range in pH that is needed for the optimum level to keep your pool water sanitized properly
The acceptable range for Total Alkalinity levels is somewhere between 80-120 ppm, however, the ideal range is between 100 to 120 ppm. You should check the total alkalinity levels once a week using a reliable test kit. If your Total Alkalinity is outside of this range, then adjust the total alkalinity by adding (sodium bicarbonate) baking soda to raise it within range.
A rule of thumb is that 1.5 lbs. of baking soda per 10,000 gallons of water will raise alkalinity by about 10 ppm but this is true only if the pH is within the ideal range. If pH is below the ideal range then add 3.0 pounds.
How long you wait between chemical doses and applications depends on a few variables that you should already know about your pool. Variables like:
- Size-The size of your pool pump and the volume of your swimming pool are the keys to how long your run your filter for a turnover rate. To get the Volume of your swimming pool-take the Length x Width x Average Depth = Volume-check the specs on your filtering system that should be sized to the size of your pool.
- There are 7.5 Gallons of water in 1 cubic ft. So if your pool was 20 ft long and 17 ft. wide with 4ft at the shallow end and 8ft at the deep end that will give you an average depth of 12 divided by 2 equals an average of 6ft.
- 20 x 17 x 6 =1440 x 7.5 = 15,239 gal.
- Length x width gives you the surface area of the pool. Multiplying that by the depth gives the volume in cubic feet. Since there are 7.5 gallons in each cubic foot, multiply the cubic feet of the pool by 7.5 to arrive at the volume of the pool, expressed in gallons. Now you know exactly how much water is in your
How to Add Baking Soda to Pool
- Determine how much Baking Soda you will need to raise the Alkalinity and pH of the pool water(100-120 ppm & pH should be 7.4 target range)
- Turn your filtering system on Recirculate to keep the water moving
- The rule of thumb is 1.5 lbs of Baking Soda for every 10 ppm of alkalinity per 10,000 gals.
- Make small incremental doses of Baking Soda instead of killing it all at once!
- Or add Baking Soda to your swimming pool by doing a walk around and broadcasting the powder over the surface of the pool.
- Wait at least 6- 8 hours
Your pool pump should turn over your pool’s water in as little as 6 hours When I add a chemical to increase or decrease alkalinity I normally wait for 6- 8 hrs. or over nite before retesting the pool water again. When your pool filter was installed the pump and filter were sized accordingly.
If Alkalinity is not solid then all other parameter control tests like pH and Chlorine won’t stay consistent for very long and will drift back and forth. Baking Soda can help a pool owner take control of the pool’s Alkalinity and that will save money and time. Read this article here on mywaterearth& sky called How Long Does it Take For Pool Chemicals To Work.
References: ACS-The Science of Baking Soda
Arm & Hammer-How to use Baking Soda for Pool Maintenace