Alkalinity and PH

by LB
(Sarasota, FL)

How can I raise my Alkalinity and not raise my PH? My PH is perfect @ 7.2-7.4 and alkalinity is low... 50.

If I add an alkalinity increaser or baking soda the PH goes up and when I add muratic acid to lower the PH the alkalinity also goes down. It is a constant battle.

Is there a product that will raise alkalinity and not raise the PH?

Thank you so much!

Thanks for the question LB

When adjusting the TA and pH it does take patience. As you know you use the same products that raise and lower each one.

Here's how I did it on my pool route and at the YMCA pool.

Turn the pump off and add the right amount of bicarb into the deep end. Don't broadcast it around the pool.

Allow it to sit for 4 hours or more if you can, turn the pump back on and allow to filter for 10 - 12 hours then retest and make another adjustment.

Remember that it's 1 1/3 lbs. of bicarb per 10,000 gallons to raise the TA 10ppm. Be sure to do this in stages because you don't want to over-shoot your target.

Pool Alkalinity

Total Alkalinity


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I Put Alkalinity Up And Hardness Plus In My Pool The Same Day

by Sarah
(Round Rock TX)

I just found out that I wasn't supposed to do this. What will happen to my pool?

Thanks for the question Sarah

Pretty much nothing should happen. By "happen" I assume you mean something wrong such as a bad chemical reaction.

When making any chemical additions to the pool, you want to separate them by about 2 - 3 hours.

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

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Hope this helps and have a great Summer.


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Alkalinity Level For Winter

I had a new liner put in and when filled with water I was told my alkalinity was too high and told to put acid in which I have done approx 5 times after my water was tested.

Now I took a water sample in and they advised me to put a pail of alkalinity PLUS in because during the winter months your alkalinity will drop.

Is this correct??

Does not make sense to me as I was told to lower my alkalinity and now to raise it.

Thanks for the question

You were correct in making the right adjustments for the TA and getting the pool ready for Winter closing.

The first thing I'd advise you to do is to take control of your pool and get a good test kit. The Taylor K-2006 is the best and will give you the most accurate readings. I've made several detailed videos on YouTube on how to use it.

The #1 rule for winterizing pools is to properly close as LATE as you can and properly open as EARLY as you can. This lessens the effects of unbalanced water and gets chemicals in the pool to get rid of the algae.

Once you get all the chem readings in line, including the TA, and properly close the pool, there's no need to touch it again until Spring opening. Why you were told to add a bucket of TA Up is a new one to me, and I've been taking care of pools since 1999. If the water freezes the TA Up can't leech into the pool anyway, so what good is it? All you end up with is a frozen bucket of bicarb.

Go to Costco and buy a 13 lb. bag of bicarb for $8. TA and pH Up can run $12.99 for 1 lb. at the pool store. Generic grocery store bicarb normally runs about $4.99 for a 4 lb. box. That's what pH and TA Up are, nothing more than sodium carbonate or sodium bicarb.

Remember it's 1 lb. of bicarb to raise the TA 10ppm per 10k gallons.


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White Flakes

by Tracy
(North Carolina)

I have a bag that is supposed to be baking soda. Inside the bag it's not loose like sand, it's white flakes, but when you hold them in your hand they get warm.

Is this baking soda or not?

Thanks for the question Tracy

Some pH and alkalinity up products are flakes. Without having a picture of the bag or a better description it's a little difficult to say what you do have.

I would ask you what it says on the bag. Does it say baking soda or sodium bicarbonate or something else?

What are the ingredients? Sodium bicarb can be used to raise both the pH and alkalinity. If the ingredients say sodium bicarb you're probably safe. White flakes sometimes means it's calcium chloride. This is used to raise the calcium level.

Hope this helps and have a great Summer.


By: Tracy
Date: August 5, 2011

The problem is the bag got wet so the contents had to be placed in buckets with lids. We added a piece of tape to tell what it was.

Somehow it has fell off and can't be found. I thought when I bought it I remember when I got it home I thought to myself I have this already. I am pretty sure it said sodium bicarbonate on the bag.

Does sodium bicarbonate come in white flakes and when you hold it in your hand will it get warm or hot? I have and do use the powder sodium bicarbonate and never had the powder feel this was before and I have even threw it in my pool with my hands before (the powder) and never has it got warm.

By: Robert
Date: August 6, 2011

Thanks for the follow up Tracy

Sodium bicarb is very white and has a somewhat gritty texture. If you bought a large bag there might be small chunks in it, about the size of a dime all the way up to the size of a baseball.

Bicarb doesn't melt in your hands or turn warm or hot. To the best of my knowledge it doesn't come in flakes. It looks like white flour. Calcium can come in flakes and melt.

If I were you, and the least bit unsure, I'd throw it out and buy some new bicarb. I can get 25lbs. of it from our local feed store for $10. This is for the YMCA pool. It's very inexpensive.

Hope this helps and have a great Summer.


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