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A pool pH that is too low can reduce the effectiveness of disinfectants or cause eye and skin irritation. However, the pH value in the water can be increased again with simple means.

In a nutshell

  • pH levels that are too low can cause damage to the pool and health problems
  • Cause of low pH: rainwater and dirt
  • Before the value is changed, the current value and pool size must be determined
  • Washing soda suitable household remedy to increase the pH value
  • Always increase the pH value in the pool gradually

Optimal water value

Pool water with the wrong pH can cause serious problems. This not only includes damage to the equipment for the pool, such as in the area of the filter system, but also to the pool walls. Far more problematic, however, are the health effects if the pool water has incorrect values.

Possible effects on the body include irritation of the following areas:

  • eyes
  • skin
  • mucous membranes

The ideal range for pool water is between pH 7.0 and 7.4. Above a value of 7 the water is alkaline and below 7 the pool water is acidic. Within this range, certain agents that are added to the pool water, such as disinfectants, usually have a greater effect within this range.

Notice: One indication that the pool water is not of the right value is burning eyes. Tears have a pH of 7.5 and if the pool water is significantly lower, the mucous membranes of the eyes usually react first to the acidic water.

Reasons for low values

A main reason, especially in uncovered pools, is rainwater. Rainwater is usually in an acidic range of 5.6 to 5.8 and persistent precipitation in particular can regulate the value downwards. A simple remedy is pool covers, which also protect against another factor, pollution. Foreign objects such as leaves or insects falling in will also change the value as they decompose.

Remove dirt from the pool water with a net

One cause that cannot be avoided is foreign particles caused by humans. This includes, for example, dead skin particles but also body fluids such as sweat. Animals such as dogs are also responsible for such foreign particles and should therefore not swim in the pool.

Notice: Soiling, no matter what kind, should always be removed quickly. As a result, it is still necessary to increase the pH value in the pool from time to time, but at much longer intervals. Especially with larger pools, you should not do without suitable cleaning equipment, such as a pool robot.

Preparation for adaptation

In order to be able to determine the current value in the water, you need commercially available test strips. This is available in any store that sells pool accessories such as cleaning products. You can also get the test strips from various retailers on the Internet.

Instructions for pH measurement

  • Hold the test strip in the pool water for 10 seconds
  • Remove the test strip without shaking it off
  • Compare the color on the test strip with the enclosed color table
  • The value corresponds to the area in which the color of the table and the test strip are identical
Measure the pH in the pool with test strips

Tip: In addition to the simple method of reading the value with a test strip, there are also special measuring devices. However, they are much higher in price, but only have to be purchased once.

determine capacity

In order to be able to correctly dose special preparations or home remedies to increase the water value, you must determine the pool volume as precisely as possible.

Instructions for calculating the volume of water

  • rectangular pool: length x width x average depth
  • oval basin: length x width x average depth x 0.89
  • round basin: diameter x diameter x average depth x 0.78

The average depth is calculated from the mean of the shallowest and deepest points in the pool. If your pool has other shapes, divide the shape into areas that are easier to calculate. Once you have determined the capacity, you may have to convert the cubic meters into liters. This depends on whether the information for special preparations is given for liters or cubic meters. If you need the number of liters, multiply the calculated cubic meters by a factor of 1000 and you have the number of liters.

Increase pH: special preparations

Commercial preparations have the advantage that they are easy to dose and work very well. The disadvantage, however, is that chemical substances are often used that are not always tolerated. In addition, preparations for changing the pH value are usually associated with higher costs compared to home remedies.

In any case, you should use a suitable preparation if you want to adjust the pH value for the first time. In the case of very large differences from the optimal value, you should also use a suitable preparation, since home remedies usually have too little effect.

application guide

  • follow the instructions on the packaging
  • Dissolve granules in bucket of water
  • then put it in the pool
  • don't just fill in one place
  • better: along the edge of the pool
  • can be better distributed in the water
  • faster (measurable) results

Notice: Test again a few hours after each addition. Depending on the size of the tank, however, it can take several hours to a day for the solution to spread sufficiently for a change to take place.

Increase pH: home remedy

Two popular home remedies for raising pH are baking soda or washing soda. However, washing soda is much cheaper in price, mainly because larger quantities are usually required for the pool.

washing soda (sodium carbonate)

Instructions: Increase pH with washing soda

  • Determination of the pH value
  • Determination of the pool size
  • Adjust the amount of washing soda appropriately
  • Dissolve washing soda in distilled water
  • Distribute solution in the pool

To increase the pH by 0.2, you need around 5 g of soda per cubic meter of water.

Notice: When using home remedies, also make sure that you only increase the value gradually. Good water circulation is also necessary so that the solution is distributed as quickly as possible. You should also not use the pool again until the pool water is in the optimal range.

frequently asked Questions

Is too high a pH value in the pool water also problematic?

If the water value is above 8, it is alkaline water, which is not entirely unproblematic. A sign that the pH value is too high is usually a turbidity in the pool water. This subsequently leads to problems such as algae formation or encourages contamination.

How often do I need to test the pool water?

Even if you don't use the pool every day, you need to check the water level at least once a week. If used frequently, you should carry out a check twice a week. If you are having trouble getting the value right, perhaps due to environmental factors, you should check the pool water more frequently to make accurate adjustments.

Do I also have to check the pH value in winter?

Yes, with a pool set up all year round, the value should also be in the optimal range in winter, because this protects the pool from corrosion or limescale deposits.

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