pH Level Won't Increase My My Pool

by Brenda McGee
(Elizabethtonm TN USA)

I am having trouble raising the pH level and I have algae. I have brushed the algae and used pH increaser. Hasn't worked. I keep trying.

Tried baking soda. Still not successful.

Do I need to drain my pool so much and fill up again?

Thanks for the question Brenda

First, I'd like to have your complete chemicals readings: Chlorine, CYA (cyanuric acid/stabilizer), pH, Alkalinity, Calcium, Hardness, Metals (iron and copper), Total Dissolved Solids. It makes troubleshooting much easier and the process of clearing up your pool will go much faster. Without these numbers I'm just guessing at what the problem is.

The question also says the pool has algae. Have you taken any measures to correct this?
If so, exactly what have you done? And what was the outcome? I need to know so I can have the information to best help your situation. It's just very difficult to diagnose a problem when the information I have is incomplete.

You may not have any stabilizer in the pool which will cause you to lose chlorine which will turn your pool green. Or you may have too much stabilizer which will cause your chlorine to be rendered ineffective. Or the pH might be too high which will also render the chlorine ineffective.

A pH level over 8.2ppm and you're only using about 25% of the available chlorine. If you could give me the chemical readings and answer the above questions I'm sure I can help.

To post a reply, or if you have a similar question, you can see your post on the Q&A page in the "Swimming Pool pH" category.

Swimming Pool Questions and Answers

Check back to this post for answers. Hope this helps and have a great Summer.


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Aug 02, 2015
pH Level Won't Increase My My Pool
by: Randie

I have a 25k gal pool and the pH will not come up or stay up very long. I have in the last week added 10 lb of soda ask and 8 lb of Clorox pH increaser. The total Alkalinity has been tested at 110 and 120 ppm. I have also triple and quad shock amounts and the cl will not increase.

After doing all this and retesting this evening, I had a cl level of one and a pH of 6.8 I was told copper might keep from raising so I had also added a metal free product.

Thanks for the question Randie. Posting a full set of chemical would be very helpful. I'd first ask what kind of chlorine do you use? Some chlorine is more acidic than others. Dichlor and trichlor can be more acidic than liquid chlorine (which I recommend for weekly maintenance). Then there's the over-use of trichlor tabs which are acidic. If you're combining tabs and dichlor the pH will normally decrease which will cause an increase in soda ash use.

Using that much would increase the pH but something is causing it to drop. Again, first check the kind of chlorine and the use of tabs. If you're using dichlor I'd suspect the CYA is rapidly increasing as well. The range is 30 - 50ppm. Once it gets to 70 - 80ppm it'll be time for a partial drain and refill. The FC cannot hold at 3ppm with a CYA level of 70 - 80ppm+.

If you don't have metals in the water then a metal sequestrant won't help. Regardless of what you may have heard in the pool store a metal sequestrant holds metal in solution and away from the pool surface.

If you feel your situation is more complex than this, I do phone and/or SKYPE consultations. It makes things go much faster and many people have found it extremely beneficial, saving them time and money in the long run. All your questions will be answered. I have nothing to sell you so you know I'm not bias. If you purchase a personal phone consult you'll get all 3 eBooks for free.

Pool Consultation

Clear Blue Pool eBook

How To Clear Up A Green Pool eBook

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Jan 14, 2015
Problem With Algae
by: Phil

One of the main problems for keeping algae from growing is the the grout in your tiles. If it has washed away it will need to be re-done, otherwise algea gets in and is an impossible task to keep it from coming back again.

If you can get the edge of a screwdriver between the tiles then it needs doing. I had this problem last year but since re-grouting it's been great.

Jan 14, 2015
pH Bounce
by: Haus

Check the alkalinity of the water (not Ph). If it is low it affects the Ph and will continue until balanced with an alkalinity booster. The algae is probably from the chlorine not being effective as it is Ph specific and works best in the 7.2-7.6 range. Sort out alkalinity, then Ph, then shock treat the pool.

That's why I want a complete chemical reading. It will give the alkalinity and pH level, and everything else. What does she mean by "trouble raising the pH"? What has she done? Maybe her pool is 55,000 gallons and she only used 1 lb. of pH increaser.

We don't know unless the numbers are given. We can't assume anything. I've had questions about chlorine and how to lower it because it was at 4ppm. This is not high, by any stretch of the imagination, but the visitor who asked the question thought it was.

I run the Y pool between 3.5 - 4.5ppm and everything is perfect. I told the visitor to leave the chlorine alone and maybe take out the chlorine tabs. The sun and heat will decrease the chlorine level without having to drain and refill or using Thiosulfate.

Concerning this post, her pH might be at 7.4ppm already. Who knows? Yes, you want to balance out the alkalinity, but it can be presumptuous to say "sort out the alkalinity" when we don't know what the alkalinity is. You're correct in saying that chlorine is more active at a lesser pH level, but first we need to establish what that level is before we give her advice.

A nurse would never give a doctor a patient's vital signs by writing or saying "pulse is good, blood pressure is fine, and temperature is o.k." The doctor would say he needs actual numbers. We'll just need wait for the visitor's chemical readings.

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