What Causes pH To Rise In Pools?
For every pool owner, maintaining the perfect balance of the water’s chemical composition is essential. Among these, the pH level plays a pivotal role in ensuring your pool’s health, the efficiency of your sanitizers, and the comfort of swimmers. But what exactly is pH, and what causes it to rise in a pool? Let’s dive into the details.
What is pH?
At its core, pH is a measure of the acidity or basicity of a water solution. In the context of pools, it is paramount to monitor and maintain this balance. A pH scale ranges from 0 to 14. The ideal pH for a pool typically rests between 7.2 and 7.8. This not only ensures maximum efficiency of the chlorine used as sanitizer but also ensures the water doesn’t irritate the skin or eyes of swimmers.
Factors That Raise pH in a Swimming Pool
- Natural pH Rise: Carbon Dioxide Loss
Water and carbon dioxide form carbonic acid, which affects the pH of your pool. When pools are exposed to the open air, they lose carbon dioxide. This loss results in a decrease in carbonic acid and subsequently an increase in pH, making the water more alkaline.
- Sanitizers and their pH Impact
While sanitizers are essential for maintaining pool hygiene, they can affect its pH level. For example, calcium hypochlorite and sodium hypochlorite are chlorines with a high pH. When introduced into pool water, especially in large amounts, they can significantly elevate the pool’s pH level.
- pH and Alkalinity Adjustment Chemicals
Balancing pool chemistry is a delicate act. When you use sodium bicarbonate to raise the alkalinity, you could inadvertently raise the pH too. The two often go hand in hand, and an increase in alkalinity can often mean an increase in pH.
- Over-correction of the LSI (Langelier Saturation Index)
The LSI provides a snapshot of your pool water’s balance. An unbalanced LSI can lead to problems like scaling or corrosion. In attempts to balance it, especially with chemicals, you might inadvertently send your pH skyrocketing.
- Swimmer Load and Other Additives
A higher number of swimmers can introduce various contaminants, like sweat and suntan lotion, which can cause a pH shift. Moreover, other additions, like fresh water due to rainfall or top-ups, can also alter pH if their pH is different from your pool’s.
Factors that Lower pH
- Introduction of Acids: Acids, like muriatic acid or dry acid, are often used to decrease pH when it climbs too high.
- Rainwater: Natural rainwater is slightly acidic. Thus, after a heavy rainfall, you might find your pool’s pH has dropped.
The Interplay of pH with Other Factors
pH doesn’t operate in isolation. Its balance can affect and be affected by other aspects:
- Effect on Sanitizers: The efficiency of chlorine, a common sanitizer, is heavily influenced by pH. Chlorine works best in slightly alkaline conditions.
- Comfort and Health: High pH can lead to cloudy water, scale formation, and can irritate skin and eyes. On the contrary, low pH can corrode metal equipment, erode pool linings, and also cause skin and eye irritation.
- Consistent Monitoring: Equip yourself with a reliable pH testing kit. Regular checks help in preemptive actions.
- Gradual Adjustments: It’s easier to make incremental changes than drastic ones. Start by adding smaller amounts of chemicals and then retest.
- Seek Professional Insight: Sometimes, even with the best efforts, you might find maintaining the pH tricky. Don’t hesitate to consult experts.
Contact Community Home Services Today
Maintaining the perfect pH balance is crucial but can seem daunting. At Community Home Services, we’re backed by over 40 years of experience and state-of-the-art technology to ensure your pool remains in optimal condition. Our experts understand the intricacies of pool chemistry. Let us take the guesswork out of pool maintenance service and repair. Contact Community Home Services today and ensure your pool gets the professional care it deserves.