Your pool’s pH level is critical to its water clarity, comfort, and safety, which is why you need to have some diluted hydrochloric acid like muriatic acid ready in case your pH level fluctuates.
Muriatic acid, however, is dangerous to use and difficult to store: direct skin contact can cause severe irritation and burns and prolonged inhalation can lead to respiratory problems. Moreover, it has complicated storage and disposal requirements to make sure it doesn’t cause damage to your property and the environment.
Pool owners are, therefore, encouraged to look for alternatives to muriatic acid for regulating their pool pH level. One of the best choices is sodium bisulfate or dry acid.
What Is Dry Acid?
Sodium bisulfate is a dry acid that comes in granular form and dissolves easily when introduced to water. This makes dry acid easier to store compared to muriatic acid, since you don’t have to worry about it leaking or burning a hole through the container if you accidentally choose the wrong storage material.
Dry acid works just as effectively as muriatic acid when it comes to rebalancing your pool’s pH levels, but without the usual health risks involved. It doesn’t cause skin irritation or burns, making it much easier to handle than muriatic acid, although you do still need to wear protective gear as a precaution.
One of the complaints pool owners have about using dry acid is that it works slower than muriatic acid. This is a good thing, though. Muriatic acid triggers a quick reaction from the water, which can drastically lower its pH level and result in an acidic pool. This makes it difficult to estimate how much acid your pool needs to rebalance its pH.
Dry acid, on the other hand, gradually brings down the pool’s pH level, making it easier for you to reach the suggested balance of 7.3 to 7.6.
Tip: Dry acid can cause poisoning when ingested in large amounts, so keep it out of reach of children and pets.
How to Use Dry Acid for Pools
To use sodium bisulfate for your pool, you have to first measure your pool’s current pH level to know how much dry acid you need to add. You can do this by using a pool testing kit, which you can buy at your local pool supply store.
The dry acid you bought should have a guide on the packaging on how much you need to use depending on your pool’s pH level. Dissolve the powder in a bucket of water then add the solution into your pool near the jets to allow it to spread faster.
When introducing the solution to the water, keep in mind to:
- Use only three-fourths of the recommended amount to make sure you don’t overdo it. You can retest your pool later on to see if you need to add more.
- Pour it near the walls of your pool or the pump to keep the acid from clinging to surfaces.
Afterward, wait at least six hours before retesting the pool. If the pH level reads between 7.3 to 7.6, then your pool’s good to go. If the reading is lower than 7.3, you can add the remaining quarter of the dry acid.
Looking for a Muriatic Acid Alternative
Sodium bisulfate is just one of the few alternatives to muriatic acid you can use. Some other substitutes you can consider are sodium dichlor, trichlor, and a carbon dioxide pH control system.
If you want to learn more about alternative acids for swimming pools, Poolsmith Technologies is here to help. We have our patented organic pH control system, which eliminates the need for acids and manual rebalancing processes.