How to Raise pH in Saltwater Pool

Basic knowledge of pool sampling and testing along with a reliable test kit and fresh reagents are important when opening up your pool if the pool is a saltwater pool then some emphasis should be placed on pH because of its tendency to fluctuate. How to Raise pH in Saltwater Pool?

  • Baking soda-sodium bicarbonate is naturally alkaline, pH of 8. When you add baking soda to your pool H2O, you will raise pH & the alkalinity
  • Soda ash/sodium carbonate- 6oz. will increase pH by 0.2 per 10,000 gals.
  • Aeration-When H2O is aerated, it outgassing CO2 from H2O resulting in an increase in pH.

Stick with basic pool water test reagents for pH that can be refilled at the nearest swimming pool center. If your reagents are left in the sun then change them the sun’s UV rays will destroy them and you will be working with bogus results. If they are expired from last season then buy new ones.

How to Raise pH in Saltwater Pool


To raise the pH level in your saltwater pool, you can use either natural or chemical methods. One natural method is aeration. This method involves increasing the water’s exposure to air, which will cause carbon dioxide to escape and raise the pH level. Another natural method is to use baking soda or sodium bicarbonate.

Soda ash or sodium carbonate are chemical methods to increase pH and alkalinity. These chemicals are sold as pH increases in pool stores. It takes about 6 ounces of soda ash for every 0.2 pH point you need to raise 10,000 gallons of water.

It’s important to note that you should not add more than 1 pound of baking soda per 10,000 gallons of water at a time.  Also, it’s recommended that you test your pool water regularly to ensure that the pH level is within the recommended pH range of 7.4-7.6. 

Baking soda-also known as sodium bicarbonate is naturally alkaline, with a pH of 8. When you add baking soda to your pool water, you will raise both the pH and the alkalinity, improving stability and clarity. Many commercial pool products for raising alkalinity utilize baking soda as their main active ingredient.




Why is My pH Always High in My Saltwater Pool?

The reason why saltwater pools usually have elevated pH levels is that the generation of chlorine with the electrolysis process tends to create byproducts like Sodium hydroxide, also known as lye and caustic soda that have a very high pH, Sodium Hydroxide has a 13 pH and is extremely high .…………………………………………………… Read more


Aeration-If you don’t have chemicals to add to the pool, assuming all other levels are correct, there is another way that you can raise the pH level of a pool naturally. The easiest way to achieve success with this technique is to run your pool for longer and activate all water features.

The idea is to create as many bubbles and disturbances as possible to allow your pool water to release carbon dioxide (which is acidic) and thus raise your pool’s pH. Aeration is the best way to raise pH. That raises your pH gradually while not affecting your TA. It is free and requires no chemicals.

When water is aerated, it creates turbulence. The turbulence then causes the aqueous CO(carbon dioxide) to outgas. Outgassing of COfrom water results in an increase in pH. Aeration is the only means of increasing pH that will not increase the Total Alkalinity. This is both beneficial and problematic.

If you want to keep your pH stable you should eliminate as much aeration as possible. Turn off any water features in the pool and point return jets down pointing the pool return pointed up will gas off the chlorine from the pool. Run the spa spillover only as needed to keep the spa water chlorinated.

As for why the pH rises, the easiest way to explain it is that some of the carbon dioxides in water is carbonic acid — that is, carbon dioxide plus water makes carbonic acid — so removing carbon dioxide is like removing carbonic acid. Removing an acid from the water makes the pH rise. Saltwater pool’s pH can skyrocket at times even above 8.4 where most testing kits don’t go.


What Causes High pH in Pools?

  • Sudden rise in water temperature
  • Water features that take water out of the pool aerating it
  • Release of Carbon Dioxide(CO2)
  • Swimmers using sunblock or lotions
  • Liquid bleach, such as Clorox has a pH level of around 11-13
  • New pool surface and walls leaching in H2O
  •  Off-gassing ……………………………………………………………………………………………….. Read more


JimGalloway Author/Editor


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