Adjust Swimming Pool pH In Water

Understanding swimming pool pH and easy pH chart for perfect pool water balance. 

Before Adjusting Your Pool pH Level, Do This & Get Results

Raising and lowering your levels takes only muriatic acid and sodium carbonate/soda ash. 


Keep on eye on your pool's total alkalinity.  

If you choose to use sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) and/or pool acid you're actually hitting both the pH and TA.   

That's why these techniques are so important. It's to decrease the effect of the other side. Watch the above video as I walk you through how to take your pool's pH level using a Taylor Reagent K-2006 pool water test kit.

Try to not add more than 2lbs. of soda ash or another kind of pH increaser, for every 10,000 gallons of water in a single application. Adding too much at once can result in cloudy pool water and over-shooting your target.

While your filtration system is running and the water is circulating, broadcast, (don’t dump the product or go too fast), the soda ash or pH Up into the pool. Start in the deep end and work around the perimeter. Sweep well to mix it up.

Using the proper swimming pool chemicals and techniques will allow for better pool water chemistry.

Allow the water to fully circulate, usually 8 - 10 hours, then re-test your pool's pH balance.

Please refer to the chart to see the amount your pool needs to raise your swimming pool pH level.

Take care in using sodium bicarbonate as it tends to affect both the swimming pool pH and total alkalinity.

A Normal 20,000 Gallon Pool

Raise pH 0.1 40oz. (2 ½ pounds) of Soda Ash (pump motor on and water circulating)
Lower pH 0.1 ¼-½ gallon of acid or 8oz. of dry acid along the perimeter of the deep end with the pump on (pump motor on and water circulating)

pH Color Chart- Lowering pH with Muriatic Acid

Decrease GALLONS IN POOL
pH 1,000 5,000 10,000 15,000 20,000 25,000 50,000
7.6-7.8 1 1/2 oz. 6 oz. 12 oz. 18 oz. 24 oz. 1 qt. 2 qts.
7.8-8.0 1 1/2 oz. 8 oz. 16 oz. 24 oz. 1 qt. 1 1/4 qts. 2 1/2 qts.
8.0-8.4 2 1/2 oz. 12 oz. 24 oz. 1 1/4 qts. 1 1/2 qts. 2 qts. 1 gal.
Over 8.4 3 oz. 16 oz. 1 qt. 1 1/4 qts. 2 qts. 2 1/2 qts. 1 1/4 gal.

Swimming Pool pH Balance

If you use too much pool acid or pH minus and the pH drops to 7.0 or 7.2, don’t worry. 

The pool's pH level should come up naturally. Use sodium carbonate or another pH Up sparingly and only when needed. 20 Mule Team Borax and Arm & Hammer Washing Soda are also good choices.

When filling a pool, first test the pH of the fill water so you may have a good starting point. You may realize no corrections are even needed.

Let’s Recap About Swimming Pool pH

What is pH definition?

The definition of pH is is a measure of hydrogen ion concentration and has a range from 0-14, 7.0 being neutral. You’ll want to keep your pool pH at 7.2-7.8.

When do I test my pool pH balance?

You’ll want to test your pH in late afternoon or early evening.

Where do I test pH in my pool?

The most accurate place in the pool would be either the deep end or the point furthest away from the filter.

Why should the pool pH be tested?

pH, like chlorine, pool alkalinity, and hardness is an integral part of your pool’s water balance. At a correct pH level, 7.4-7.8, the chlorine is effective and bathers won’t get that itchy feeling from an unbalanced pool. Also, too high or too low pH is not good for your filtration system. 

How do I test my swimming pool pH level?

If you’re using a dropper test kit, you’ll want to follow the instructions. Most dropper kits say to fill the larger vial with pool water. No pH litmus paper, pH strips, or pH indicator paper. To do this you will hold the vial upside down over the pool and go straight into the water, about 1 foot deep.

Flip the vial over to collect the sample water and come straight out of the water. Place 5 pH drops (pH indicator) into the sample water, put the cap on the vial, mix the water by gently shaking up and down then compare the sample color to the chart color.

Test strips are safe and convenient but can never give you accurate measurements like the Taylor K-2006 pool kit.

Never place your hand over the vial when mixing the sample water, always use the cap.

Happy Swimming

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What Other Visitors Have Said

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...

How Much Baking Soda To Raise The pH Pool Level 
How many lbs. of baking soda do I need to add to my 24ft around 5ft deep swimming pool to raise the pH level? It is at 0 right now says the test. …

pH Level Of My Pool 
The pH level of my Intex pool (15 feet diameter) is very low and I have put in 2 boxes (in total 2 lbs) of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda into the pool. The …

Soda Ash For Increasing Swimming Pool pH Level Not rated yet
My Intex 15" swimming pool pH level is low, around 6.2. Can I use soda ash to increase the pH level for Intex frame pool? Thanks for your …

Swimming Pool pH Level Question Not rated yet
I have a question about my swimming pool pH level. I have an Intex Pool (15 feet, about 3,800 gallon of water). I haven't been using it for 3 months since …

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