How To Lower Alkalinity In Pool In 4 Steps

dirty pool

Having a pool is one thing you can definitely be very happy about. Unfortunately, most pool owners fail to understand that maintaining it is an entirely different story. Aside from having to keep the chlorine levels in the water safe, you should also make sure that the water is clear and not cloudy.

In some cases, when the pool is too cloudy, it can simply mean that the pool pump needs to run at least 2 full cycles. But when the filter gets plugged and you start to see scaling on the surfaces of your pool equipment, it might mean that the water in your pool is too alkaline.

You can also tell if the pool water is too alkaline by trying to see whether the pressure reading on the pump is too high. Having a high alkalinity can cause a lot of problems especially to your pool equipment. It can damage the pool pump motor, cause problems with the pipe and can lead to extra maintenance costs.

Preparing The Things You Will Need

1. A Taylor Or Lamotte Total Alkalinity Test

testing kit

This testing kit should be drop-based since these are known to provide more accurate results. If you are not able to find any of these brand name products, you can opt to buy other Carbonate alkalinity or Total alkalinity testing kits.

You should only consider using strip alkalinity tests if you have no other options. There are some dealers who can do this for you. However, I should warn you that there are dealers who will try to trick you into thinking that the chemical balance in your pool is off so you will avail of unnecessary services.

2. A Spa Jet

ripped pool water

This will be used to aerate the pool. If you do not have a spa jet, you can connect a spray nozzle to a hose so you can slowly fill the pool while creating bubbles on the surface of the water. If you do not have a good nozzle for the hose, you can just play in the pool yourself and splash the water but please do not do this right after adding the acid.

3. Muriatic Acid


This will be used to lower the pH of the pool. You need to use this chemical properly, and please keep in mind that it can burn your skin and irritate your eyes especially when you are using high concentrations. Always use gloves, goggles and a face mask when handling chemicals.

If you do not have muriatic acid, you can use diluted sulfuric acid or dry acid, also known as sodium bisulfate. But you should know that they cannot be used on swimming pools made from plaster or concrete.

How To Lower Alkalinity In Pool In 4 Steps

Step 1: Testing The Alkalinity Of The Pool

testing kit

The first thing you need to do is to try to test the alkalinity of the pool using a Lamotte or Taylor drop-based total alkalinity testing kit. It needs to have a value of at least 80 - 120 parts per million. Avoid trying to lower it unnecessarily but try to aim for around 100 ppm if you want to be on the safe side.

You can lower down the pH if you want to avoid scaling and make sure that the pH will not go up too fast. There is no magic number when it comes to the pool’s alkalinity level. But if you think that it is way too high, you should try to lower it using the next step.

Step 2: Using Muriatic Acid


Before you try to open the acid, you should wear protective gear so you can avoid harming yourself. Make sure that it is opened and stored away from children or pets so that it will not get spilled by accident. Keep in mind that this acid can cause serious injuries and even death.

Turn off the swimming pool and make sure that the water is completely still before you try to use the acid. You need to find out how much of the acid you need to use by knowing your target ppm value and finding out how many gallons of water your pool can contain.

Most products will have a table that will help you determine how many pounds of acid you will have to use to decrease the alkalinity by 10 ppm up to 100 ppm. In general, you will need to use 4.3 pounds of acid to lower a 20,000 gallon pool by as much as 10 ppm. Follow the product’s instructions carefully.

Always pour the acid on the deep end using a steady stream that will be able to go down the bottom of the pool. After an hour, you can turn the pump back on to help circulate the acid. Check the alkalinity levels again after 6 hours. Sometimes, it can take several days for the acid to lower the alkalinity.

Step 3: Aerate The Pool

ripped pool water

Aerating the water in the pool can actually help you lower the alkaline levels of the pool water on its own. Of course, it will take a lot of time without the help of acid. Waiting for the acid to do its work can also take a lot of time, this is why I highly recommend that you use one to complement the other.

Step 4: Recheck The Alkalinity Of The Pool

testing pool water

Before you turn off the aerator, you need to check the alkalinity of the pool first. If the target level has been reached, you can turn off the aerator. But if not, you will have to use more muriatic acid and wait for more several hours or days before you can use the pool again.


When it comes to lowering the alkalinity of the pool, you will have to make use of the correct measurements and be very careful since you will need to use acids. Lowering the level of alkalinity in your pool is very important when it comes to protecting the pool against scales.

To protect your pool and pool equipment from the damage that can be caused by the alkaline water, you need to prepare muriatic acid. Make the necessary calculations and then use aeration so you will be able to avoid having unnecessary or unexpected maintenance and repair costs.

About the Author Emily Taylor

My name is Emily Taylor, gardening is my passion and I’m looking forward to sharing it with everyone. I know that there are millions of people out there want their backyard and garden be attractive just like their front yard, so I am here to help you create your own backyard paradise.

Leave a Comment:

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This