Muriatic acid has always been the go-to solution for regulating swimming pool pH levels. It’s accessible and affordable since it’s a staple at local hardware stores. The acid is also easy to use. You only need to dilute it in some water and add it to your pool and the water’s pH level should already be lower after four hours.
Muriatic acid, however, poses some health problems. Long-term exposure to its fumes can lead to severe lung complications; direct skin contact can cause chemical burns.
Given that, residential and commercial pool owners are encouraged to look for alternative acids for swimming pools. There are some viable choices, but one of the safest options for regulating pool pH levels is carbon dioxide (CO2).
Poolsmith Technologies explains the differences between these two pool pH control solutions.
Muriatic Acid for Pools
Many pool owners prefer to use muriatic acid to maintain their pools because of its versatility. Aside from regulating the water’s pH levels, the acid can be used to clean swimming pools.
You can scrub the walls of your pool with muriatic acid to get rid of the stains, grime, and even algae growth that make the water cloudy. Muriatic acid also effectively removes calcium scaling on pools, which typically occurs when the water’s pH level is too high.
Muriatic acid is used to clean the pool’s cartridge filter as well. Submerge the filter in a mixture of one part muriatic acid and 30 parts water. Leave the cartridge to soak for at least 10 minutes, rinse it, then replace it in the filter tank.
It can be difficult to estimate how much muriatic acid your pool needs to rebalance its pH level, however. Adding too much can result in acidic water, which can cause rashes and irritation when it touches the skin.
Additionally, muriatic acid is difficult to store and dispose of — you can’t store the acid in metal containers or flush it down the drain because it’s highly corrosive. To dispose of muriatic acid, you need to bring it to a hazardous-waste facility that could handle the acid properly.
For these reasons, it’s best to look for an alternative pH level stabilizer that works just as effectively as muriatic acid but with fewer health risks involved.
CO2 for Pools
Carbon dioxide is a colorless, odorless, non-flammable gas, and it is a safer pH reducer alternative because it’s a naturally occurring substance. You don’t need to wear protective equipment when handling CO2 since it poses no potential health risks to humans who come into direct contact with it.
Moreover, it doesn’t require any special containers to keep it with outdoor elements, unlike muriatic acid that needs to be stored in a PVC container and kept in a dry, well-ventilated room away from sources of moisture.
Compared to muriatic acid, CO2 makes pH level control more accurate. It has a natural buffering action that gradually raises the water’s pH level, so you can easily reach the suggested pH balance of 7.3 to 7.6.
CO2 can also be more cost-effective than muriatic acid in the long run. You don’t need to hire a professional or provide special protective clothing for the dosing procedures, which can translate to cost savings.
Although CO2 can be a bit pricey, you can save costs by refilling the tank instead of replacing it each time.
Switch to a CO2-Based pH Management System
Ultimately, carbon dioxide is the better choice between the two pH stabilizer options. Aside from being considerably safer to handle than muriatic acid, CO2 is also easier to use since you only need to turn on the tank to rebalance your pool’s pH.
Just remember to get the right CO2-based pH control system for your pool size so that it functions as intended.
If you want to learn more about CO2 for your swimming pool, Poolsmith Technologies is here to help. We have our own patented process for using CO2 in pools, which can be tailored for residential and commercial pools. With Poolsmith Technologies, your pool will stay safe and clean without having to risk your health by using harmful chemicals.
Fill out our online form to switch to a CO2-based pH control system.