Swimming Pool Total Alkalinity

by Joseph
(Conroe, Texas USA)

I have a 16x48 new Intex pool (from Target). I have a Hayward S180T92S sand filter and I have that connected to a Intex Klear Water Salt Water pump.

Chlorine: 10ppm
pH Level: Little above 8.5
Total Alkalinity: 0

So I think I need to raise my TA with Sodium Bicarbonate? Anything else?

Thanks for your question Joseph

Your pool chlorine seems a bit high but should come down with the sun, heat, and normal use. Be sure to keep your cyanuric acid (CYA) between 20ppm - 40ppm and your chlorine between 1.5ppm - 3.5ppm.

Adjust Your Swimming Pool Chlorine

Remember the pH levels and total alkalinity are opposite sides of the same coin. When you add sodium bicarbonate to raise one side, the other might be affected, so here's what you can do. Our fill water has a high pH level of 8.2ppm and TA of 30ppm. When I find I need to lower the pH and raise the alkalinity, I first adjust the pool pH level using muriatic acid. You can go to this link to learn the best way to do that.

Swimming Pool pH Levels

If you over-shoot a bit and the pH level is 7.2ppm, don't sweat it. It should come up on it's own, especially if you use the pool much and the fill water already has a high pH level.
Once the swimming pool pH level is between 7.6ppm - 7.8ppm, then it's time to raise the TA.

Swimming Pool Alkalinity

Just keep going back and forth from the pool pH to the TA until you reach the goal of the TA between 80ppm - 100ppm and the swimming pool pH between 7.6ppm - 7.8ppm. At the YMCA I don't have alot of time to make big corrections, so the corrections I do make need to be quick, fast, and in a hurry because the pool can't be shut down for long periods while adjustments are being made. The above techniques work very well and will work for you, Joseph, just fine.


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My Pool Alkalinity

by Tim
(San Diego, CA)

I'm having a problem lowering my alkalinity. The guy in the pool store said to use acid. It lowered the alkalinity but now my pH is down around 7.

What am I doing wrong and how can I fix it?

Thanks for your question Tim

Pool alkalinity is the opposite side of the same coin with your swimming pool pH level. When you raise one the other might be affected.

To lessen this there's a technique that I have used hundreds of times and it works perfectly.

To lower your total alkalinity you'll need baking soda (sodium bicarbonate). Turn the pump motor off and while standing in the deep end add the bi-carb. Allow this to sit for 2 - 3 hours, then turn your pump motor on and allow the pool to fully circulate all the pool water, then re-test and make another adjustment if needed.

Pool Alkalinity In Swimming Pools

Swimming Pool pH Levels

Swimming Pool Tips

Do the same procedure for lowering your total alkalinity, just use acid. Thanks for the question and good luck with your pool


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Alkalinity Up To Raise Both Swimming Pool pH Level & Total Alkalinity

by Bonnie
(Seattle, WA)

Can I add total alkalinity up to my swimming pool bring up the pH level? How would I do this?

Thanks for the question Bonnie

One of the best products to raise/increase your total alkalinity is sodium bicarbonate, or normal baking soda. Another good product for just raising/increasing the swimming pool water pH level is 20 Mule Team Borax, but I've always used bicarb at both the YMCA pool and for my customers. It's readily available and very inexpensive.

Swimming Pool pH Levels

Swimming Pool Alkalinity

It's just the technique you use that will raise either the pool water alkalinity or the pH level. The above links are a good start and will teach you all you need to know about raising one side, but not the other.

Pump motor on and water circulating, you hit the pH but not the alkalinity. Pump motor off and water motionless will hit the total alkalinity, but not too much on the pH. Very simple and easy, but it does require patience.


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