Introduction to Alkalinity Increaser
Shockingly, swimming pool alkalinity is usually the least of worries to a lot of pool owners. A significant majority of pool owners will worry about algae, bacteria and a dozen other things and overlook the importance of their pool’s alkalinity. What they do not realize is that if alkalinity levels are interfered with, the water can get really corrosive damaging different parts of the pool. This water can etch, pit, delaminate and even crack the surface and walls of your pool. Metallic surfaces on your pool could also get discolored, corroded and end up dissolving into the water. As if that isn’t enough, low alkalinity will reduce the effectiveness of the chlorine or any other sanitizer. You will have to increase the amount of sanitizer you are using to achieve the same results, and this becomes very expensive. If you don’t resolve the alkalinity issue, sanitizers will be rendered ineffective leading to bacteria and algae accumulation in your pool.
To avoid all this, you need to understand the importance of balanced pool alkalinity, the cause for low alkalinity and how you can restore the levels.
What causes low alkalinity?
A drop in alkalinity levels can be as a result of:
- Rain or floods finding their way into your pool. When significant amounts of water with low alkalinity enters your pool, it is bound to reduce the total alkalinity of your swimming pool.
- Draining or backwashing your pool and replacing it with water with low alkalinity. The more the water you add, the lower the alkalinity levels will fall.
- Using excess dry acid, muriatic acid or any other alkalinity reducer. Always be careful when using alkalinity reducers. Make sure that you are aware of just how much you need to add to your pool to avoid lowering alkalinity to dangerous levels.
Raising Alkalinity levels
Ideally, your pool alkalinity should be somewhere between 80 to 120 ppm. This is the perfect range where the pool water is safe enough for human use and your pool equipment. It is also the right range where pool maintenance chemicals such as sanitizers can work optimally.
Boosting alkalinity levels involves the use of sodium bicarbonate products. Baking soda is the best compound for raising alkalinity levels, and the best part is that the compound is cheap and readily available even in our kitchen shelves. Yes, the baking soda you buy from your local retail store is good enough to raise your pool pH levels. Unfortunately, it won’t come with enough labeling details showing you how much of it you need to add to achieve the results you are looking for. That’s why we usually recommend our clients to purchase sodium bicarbonate products from pool suppliers as these are typically accompanied with sufficient details showing how much you need to use and how they should be used. Just make sure that it contains sodium bicarbonate.
Before you even start raising your pool alkalinity levels, you need first to do some tests to determine just how low the alkalinity really is. Use a water collector to fetch a sample of water and use a pool test kit to get the readings. To ensure that you are getting accurate figures you must take the water sample 12 to 18 inches deep from your pool. You should also add reagents and small amounts of chlorine neutralizer into the sample before taking the readings. Chlorine levels are known to interfere with pool pH, and that’s why neutralizing the sanitizer before taking your readings is essential. Once everything is in place, cover the test kit and shake it and wait for around 30 seconds before dipping your test strips. Go ahead and compare the color from your kit with the kit’s chart. If the reading is between 7.2 and 7.6, then your total alkalinity levels are balanced and safe. If it is lower than 7.2, you’ll have to use an alkalinity increaser to boost the pH levels.
Use the results you obtained to determine how much of sodium bicarbonate you need to add. Depending on the specific product you’ve bought, you could either add the product directly into your pool or dilute it before pouring it. Read through the application details of the product you’ve purchased before getting started. Also, the water pump must remain turned off when applying this compound.
If you are going to add the baking soda directly, make sure that you do so when it isn’t windy. This will prevent some of it from getting lost in the process. Additionally, ensure you apply it in light and arcing motions to avoid putting too much of it in one spot.
The upside with sodium bicarbonate products is that they usually dissolve pretty fast. The compound will disappear seconds after touching the water surface. It will take around 2 hours for the chemical to dissolve fully though. Retest your pool alkalinity levels after 2-3 days. This is enough time for the sodium bicarbonate to adjust the pool’s total alkalinity.
When handling sodium bicarbonate products, make sure that you are well protected because the compounds can get really corrosive. Wear some gloves and protect your skin at all times.
Which is the Best Pool Alkalinity Increaser?
If you are in the market looking for the best alkalinity increaser, you seriously need to consider the:
Pool & Spa pH Increaser (Pure Soda Ash, Sodium Bicarbonate)
This highly rated product from FDC has helped lots of people to increase their pool and Spa alkalinity levels within a very short time. It is concentrated enough to boost alkalinity of huge pools using just a few doses. For instance, 1 pound of this increaser can increase the alkalinity of 10,000 gallons by up to 10ppm. Having this increaser, therefore, saves you a lot of cash.
Something else really amazing about this alkalinity increaser is that it can also work with spa and hot-tubs. For this purpose, you will need less than 2 oz. to increase the alkalinity of 500 gallons. The exact dosage depends on how low the alkalinity levels are and the amount of water in your spa or hot tub.
The increaser comes in granular form, and this makes it even easier for you to use.
Conclusively, alkalinity levels are just as important as all other pool maintenance tasks. Ignore your pool’s pH levels, and you could very easily find yourself dealing with corroded pool walls and surface, and we don’t even need to tell you about the effect this may have on the swimmers. Always check your pool alkalinity levels and make sure they are within the safe and recommended standards. This saves you a lot of cash and also keeps your pool looking great and safe for use.