Testing the Total Alkalinity in Pool Water
The total alkalinity is a measure of how much of the alkaline substances there are in the water. In the swimming pool
water we are concerned with bicarbonate alkalinity, which should be between 80 ppm and 120 ppm.
When the total alkalinity is within this range, it prevents rapid pH changes and "stabilises" the pH level.
If the total alkalinity is too high, the pH is difficult to adjust, the water becomes cloudy, the pool constantly needs acid
and the chlorine loses its efficiency as a sanitizer and disinfectant.
It is recommended that you test the pool regularly, but if your pool is well maintained the alkalinity should change very
If the total alkalinity is to low, you will use sodium bicarbonate to raise the level of alkalinity in the pool. Sodium
bicarbonate will raise the alkaline level without increasing the pH to much. Only add sodium bicarbonate at the ratio of
1.4 lbs per 10,000 gallons of water every 4 days until it is at proper levels. If the alkalinity is to low it can corrode metal
and etch plaster walls. It can burn eyes and turn the water green and stain the pool floor.
If the alkalinity is to high., acid either dry or liquid,is added to the deepest part of the pool with the filter off. Dilute the
acid in a bucket of water before pouring it into the pool and only add the acid a little at a time. Wait 3 days between
adding the acid this is a time consuming process and It could take days or even weeks to reduce the total alkalinity if it
is very high. You should consult a pool professional if you have tool high of an alkalinity .
Swimming Pool Maintenance Tips
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