Ensuring the optimal pH in the pool is a vital part of maintaining your swimming pool. Generally, swimming pools are treated with harsh chemicals to maintain a pleasant odor and appearance. Those chemicals might kill the bacteria and do other things to maintain a healthy look and feel of your swimming pool but that is not what happens in reality. pH is what determines the acidity level and most pools suffer from imbalanced pH levels. To keep your pool at a stable pH level, you need to ensure the total alkalinity (TA) of the pool to be in the optimal range. In other words, the level of the sum total of bicarbonate-alkaline in the pool needs to be in the range of 80 to 120 parts per million.
An ideal pH should be in the range of 7.2 to 7.8. If the pH goes beyond this range, it is an indication of more alkalinity. This can only be balanced by using some acid. The most common pool acid is Muriatic Acid. Also known as hydrochloric acid, adding muriatic acid to the pool helps to bring pH level down.
What Is Muriatic Acid Used For In Pools
Muriatic acid is also referred to as pH minus, pH-decreaser or pH reducer. It does an excellent job in keeping your pool’s pH well-balanced. To determine if it has high pH, you need to check for a few things. Generally, when pH is too high, the pool becomes alkaline as well. If pool has high alkalinity, it will appear too cloudy. That is the first visual sign of pH of the pool. You may also notice a subsequent decrease in efficiency of chlorine. This is followed by the gradual discoloration of pool walls. All these factors lead to further damages to pool’s surface and costly equipment. The pool having high pH is unhealthy for regular swimmers as well and can cause eye and skin irritations.
This is where the need for lowering pH level in a pool arises. Muriatic acid does an excellent job in keeping the pH level down. It works real quickly and can lower pH in a swimming pool within no time. Muriatic acid makes for great chemistry with your swimming pool. Apart from making the pool mild, it is also a popular cleaning agent. There are two most common types of pool acids – Liquid Hydrochloric acid and Dry Acid.
Most of the pool owners use muriatic acid for pools because of their high efficiency. Apart from this, sodium bisulfate or Dry acid is also a great alternative. That depends entirely on you which one you wish to use as both of them will bring the exact results. Still, you need to take some precautions and follow the necessary steps before you use either one of them.
Let us understand the step-by-step process of lowering pH level in a swimming pool using muriatic acid and make your pool free of high pH and alkalinity.
How to Use Muriatic Acid In The Swimming Pool
First of all, make sure that you have everything ready at your disposal. Make sure that pool’s pump is circulating fresh water and no swimmer is present at the pool site.
What you’ll need
- Muriatic or Liquid Hydrochloric Acid
- Rubber Gloves
- Plastic Bucket
- Pool test kit
- Measuring Cups
How to add Muriatic Acid
Step 1: Using a pool test kit, test the pH of the swimming pool and get the reading. Ensure the pH level of pool being too high or too alkaline before using muriatic acid.
Step 2: Read the manufacturer’s instructions on the acid bottle. Wear your gloves as it can be risky to come in direct contact with the acid. If not used properly, it can burn your skin and ruin your pool surface.
Step 3: Establish the amount of muriatic acid you need to decrease pH. For this, you may enter your pool’s measurement into some pool calculator like Pool Wizard to determine the exact amount of muriatic acid needed.
Step 4: Measure the required amount into measuring cups based upon the pH levels you tested. Alternatively, you can consult a pool specialist to help you with the exact amount
Step 5: Read for manufacturer’s instruction whether to dilute the muriatic acid. Since muriatic acid is liquid, avoid pouring it into the plastic bucket in the direction of the wind.
Step 6: To start with, you can add three-quarters of the acid into bucket full of pool water. Make sure you add it very slowly. It is highly recommended to dilute the acid before spilling it directly into it.
Step 7: The most effective way of adding muriatic acid to the pool is by pouring it on one spot in one continuous stream. Be careful and avoid pouring it near walls or fixtures as it can harm those surfaces. Turn off the pool pumps temporarily while you are doing this.
Step 8: Turn on the pump back when you are finished pouring muriatic acid into the pool. The pump will help to distribute the water acid mixture evenly. You don’t want it to be concentrated at just one spot.
Step 9: Allow it to circulate for at least four hours to let it work. Test the pH level at this point. Check if it reached at its normal range which is 7.0 to 7.6 parts per million. Otherwise, reduce pH as per the need.
Step 10: You can repeat the procedure if you do not get a balanced pH yet. Run the test again until you get the desired result. Make sure it is circulated well enough before any swimmer returns to the pool.
A word of caution
Extreme care should be taken while adding the Muriatic acid into the pool. The acid is highly reactive so make sure you are wearing the required protective wear. Keep in mind to add the acid mixture to pool and not the other way around. Never let the acid come directly in contact with your skin.