If you own a pool, you are among 10.4 million Americans who do so. Pools are very popular, especially with more people staying at home and looking to create a relaxing oasis in their own backyard. However, owning one has its own set of challenges: pools require a lot of maintenance.

      One of the main tasks of an owner is to maintain the pool’s pH balance. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), you must lower your pool’s pH level to 7.2–7.8. This article will explain why and how to do it safely.

      What Is pH?

      The pH scale measures how acidic or alkaline a substance is. It ranges from 0 to 14, with 7 being neutral. Anything below 7 is acidic, and anything above 7 is alkaline. The lower the pH number, the more acidic the substance is.

      What Happens if Your Pool pH Is Too High?

      If the water’s pH exceeds 7.8, it is too alkaline. The water becomes cloudy, and scaling can develop on pool equipment. Scales that build up in pipes can eventually hinder water flow. In turn, this puts strain on the pool’s circulation system, resulting in a breakdown and costly repairs.

      High alkalinity lowers the effectiveness of chlorine in killing pathogens, such as bacteria, in the water. This creates an unhealthy environment for swimmers. Highly alkaline water can also trigger skin irritation and rashes.

      What Happens if Your Pool pH Is Too Low?

      When the water’s pH drops below 7, it is too acidic for a pool. It becomes corrosive to pool equipment. Even more alarming is that the chlorine will dissipate completely, leaving the water unprotected from bacterial contamination. This can result in life-threatening illnesses for swimmers. The water’s acidity can also irritate the eyes and mucus membranes.

      woman floating in the pool

      How to Measure Pool Acidity

      Experts suggest testing your pool’s pH level two to three times a week. Test first for residual chlorine. It has to be below three to get an accurate pH reading. You can purchase residual chlorine and water pH testing kits even online.

      • Get water 18 inchesbelow the pool’s surface. Ensure that the tester vial is filled to the indicated level.
      • Add five drops of the solution provided for this test. Some kits contain a dissolving tablet instead. Secure the cap and mix the solution by turning it upside down a few times.
      • Check the resulting color against the color standards of the kit to get a reading of the residual chlorine level.

      Proceed with the pH test if the residual chlorine is below 3.

      • Repeat the first step above.
      • Add one drop of the sodium thiosulfateprovided to neutralize the chlorine. Swirl the tube carefully.
      • Add five drops of the phenol red indicator solution provided. Swirl the tube again.
      • Check the resulting color against the color standards of the kit to get a reading of the water’s pH level.

      How to Lower Your Pool pH Safely

      Many pool owners only know of adding muriatic acid to their pool water to lower its pH level. This acid is dangerous, though. Its fumes can cause severe lung problems after long-term exposure. Splashes on the skin can result in chemical burns.

      It is much safer to use carbon dioxide to lower the pool’s pH level. It is a natural substance that does not cause any health risks, even with direct contact. Carbon dioxide is safe for the handler and all pool users.

      Contact Poolsmith Technologies in Phoenix to learn more about our patented CO2-based pH control system for your pool. You deserve to enjoy your swimming pool without any health risks from harmful chemicals.