High pH High Alkalinity

There are way too many explanations on the internet when it comes to the chemical balance of your swimming pool but the easiest way to explain it is most good and bad things that happen in your pool are a response to pH moving in either direction upsetting that balance. How do you adjust High pH with High Alkalinity?

  • Run pool pump-bypass filter
  • Test Total Alkalinity
  • Calculate Muriatic Acid addition with a Pool Alkalinity Calculator
  • Mix Muriatic Acid in a bucket of pool H2O
  • Evenly distribute by walking around the perimeter of the pool
  • Wait 6-8 hrs
  • If TA is 80-130 ppm
  • Adjust pH with pH increase/aerate to naturally raise


Once the Total Alkalinity (TA) is in check the pH and Chlorine will fall in line because Alkalinity is the muscle in your swimming pool’s water chemistry and is able to offset bad changes from happening too quickly for you to respond. It is the most important pool test you can run.


What Happens if pH is Too Low in Pool


Lower pH makes your swimming pool water acidic. If you let your pool pH get too low, several health and maintenance issues will develop. Your pool experience deterioration in your tiling, plaster, stone, grout, and concrete.  This will cause etching of vinyl surfaces which will increase its tears and cracks.  It will affect the filter’s efficiency. It can also lead to health issues for swimmers.

Maintaining an optimal pH is important because it can impact the effectiveness and efficiency of the chlorine which ultimately will lead to unsanitary swimming conditions. Chlorine efficiency is dependent on pH which can move too far high or low on a scale of 0 to 14 with 7.0 being neutral and desirable for chlorine kill.


Effects of High Alkalinity in Pool Water


When high alkalinity levels increase for whatever reason they will naturally decrease over time on their own. But high total alkalinity can increase the chance of other issues, like high pH and ineffective chlorine, which can lead to bacteria and algae taking over in the pool. So it’s often better to address the problem of high alkalinity levels before they can cause more trouble.

If your alkalinity level continues to become higher, 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 steps and your chlorine is no longer successfully sanitizing your pool. The process of properly re-balancing your pool water alkalinity can take more than one week, so be patient with this one.


Lower pH and Alkalinity in Pool


*When Mixing Muriatic-Never Pour Water Into Acid-Always Pour Acid Into Water!

  • Start with Total Alkalinity (TA) which is the basis for this chemistry
  • Run pool pump on bypass filter- (Some people don’t agree with this and say they should keep the pump off) Others like myself think the pool should be mixed
  • Calculate Acid addition with a Pool Alkalinity Calculator
  • Mix Muriatic Acid in a bucket of pool water- there are 2 different strengths-(Use the stronger Muriatic Acid)
  • Evenly distribute by walking around the perimeter of the pool broadcasting the diluted acid across the entire pool using gloves and goggles for protection.
  • Test every 6-8 hours
  • If you have the pool pump off wait a little longer
  • Then test pH
  • Adjust pH with pH increase or aerate to naturally raise

*pH normally will also lower once the muriatic acid is added to the pool water so take some time. 



High pH Low Alkalinity

For more great articles on pH and Alkalinity controls for your swimming pool like this one stay right here on MyWaterEarth&Sky-through the years I have run across different scenarios of pH and alkalinity some of which are kind of hard to understand or make no sense but as a pool …………………..… Continue reading




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