If you want to be able to swim comfortably and safely in a pool, you need to be able to balance the pH of the pool. It’s actually easier to do that than people think. Balancing the pH of a pool really isn’t that different from sterilizing the pool water and keeping it clean. People just have to make sure that they add the right chemicals at the right time and that they are careful to keep track of the pH levels of the pool water.
Ideally, pool water should have a pH of 7.4, which is very slightly on the basic side of neutral. While pure water is going to have a pH of 7, most of the water that people encounter in their own daily lives or the water that is actually found in nature is going to have a different pH level.
Usually, if you check the pH of your pool and it’s off a little, it’s going to be too basic rather than too acidic for a number of reasons. There are just a lot of alkaline substances in nature, and the basic nature of chlorine and most cleaning chemicals will tend to raise the pH of your pool water. Naturally, swimmers are going to add sweat and other bodily fluids to the pool environment. While some of the human body tends to be acidic, most human bodily fluids are slightly basic.
A lot of natural bodies of water have a pH of around 8.5, which is what’s going to happen to any pool water that is not properly tended. Algae and other contaminants can enter pool water that has become too acidic, and they can thrive there. While having a high pH is more common than having a low pH, it is still a potential health hazard for a pool.
When you balance the pH of a pool, you have to make sure there aren’t any swimmers in the pool area, of course. You also have to make sure that you’re able to introduce the acidic or alkaline substances gradually. Otherwise, you’re just going to disrupt the pH of a pool in a different direction. It’s a good idea to pour in the substances very slowly so the water pump is able to introduce the acidic or basic substances into the whole of the pool environment very gradually.
Sodium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate can allow you to raise the pH of your pool, making it closer to the alkaline side of neutral. Using liquid hydrochloric acid and dry acid can help you lower the pH of your pool water if necessary. Introducing too much of the acidic chemicals into the pool environment at once can actually make the water capable of causing burns, so it’s important to avoid that problem. However, as long as people test the pH of the pool water before people get into the pool and soon after treating it, everything should be fine. People should give themselves around four hours between treating the pool water and having anyone actually enter the pool environment.