As a pool owner, I know that maintaining the pH level of my pool is crucial for a clean and healthy swimming environment. After all, no one wants to swim in water that is too acidic or basic. It can cause skin irritation, damage pool equipment, and even make the water cloudy.

But maintaining proper pH levels can be challenging, especially if you are new to pool ownership. Don’t worry, though, with a little bit of knowledge and effort, you can keep your pool’s pH levels in check and enjoy crystal clear water all season long.

They say that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and this is especially true when it comes to pool maintenance. Understanding the basics of pH levels and testing your water regularly can save you a lot of headaches and money in the long run.

In this article, I will share some tips and tricks I have learned over the years to help you maintain your pool’s pH levels. From adjusting the levels with chemicals to using natural pH balancers, we will cover everything you need to know to keep your pool water clean, clear, and healthy.

Key Takeaways

  • Maintaining proper pH levels is crucial for a clean and healthy swimming environment.
  • Regularly testing and adjusting pH levels can save money and prevent headaches in the long run.
  • Use acid to lower pH and alkaline substances to raise pH, following manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Proper pool filtration is essential for crystal clear water and a healthy swimming environment, and regularly cleaning and maintaining system components is important.

Understanding pH Levels in Pools

You need to understand the pH levels in your pool if you want to keep it crystal clear and ready for a refreshing swim! The pH level of your pool refers to the acidity or alkalinity of the water.

The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14, with 7 being neutral. A pH level below 7 indicates an acidic environment, while a pH level above 7 indicates an alkaline environment.

The ideal pH level for a swimming pool is between 7.2 and 7.8. When the pH level is within this range, the water is comfortable for swimmers, and the chlorine is most effective in killing bacteria and algae.

If the pH level is too high or too low, it can cause skin irritation, cloudy water, and even damage to the pool equipment.

To maintain the pH level in your pool, you should test the water regularly using a pool test kit. If the pH level is too high, you can lower it by adding an acid such as muriatic acid or sodium bisulfate. If the pH level is too low, you can raise it by adding an alkaline substance such as sodium carbonate or baking soda.

By keeping the pH level balanced, you can enjoy a sparkling clean pool all summer long!

Testing Your Water Regularly

Regularly testing your pool water is crucial for ensuring a safe and enjoyable swimming experience. The pH level of your pool water can affect the comfort of your skin and eyes, as well as the efficiency of any chemical treatments you may be using.

Testing your water regularly can help you maintain the optimal pH level for your pool. There are a few different options for testing your pool water, including test strips and liquid testing kits. Test strips are a quick and easy option, but they may not be as accurate as liquid testing kits. Liquid testing kits are more reliable, but they require a bit more time and effort to use.

Whichever option you choose, be sure to follow the instructions carefully and record your results. Once you have tested your water, you may need to adjust the pH level to keep it within the optimal range of 7.2-7.8. If the pH is too high, you can add an acid such as muriatic acid or sodium bisulfate. If the pH is too low, you can add a base such as sodium carbonate or sodium bicarbonate.

Make sure to add these chemicals slowly and in small amounts, testing the water frequently to avoid over-correcting the pH level. By regularly testing and adjusting your pool water’s pH level, you can enjoy a safe and comfortable swimming experience all season long.

Adjusting pH Levels with Chemicals

Adjusting the pH levels in your pool can be done easily with chemicals such as muriatic acid or sodium carbonate. Did you know that maintaining a balanced pH level can reduce the amount of chlorine needed by up to 50%?

It’s important to remember that pH levels should be tested regularly, and any adjustments to the levels should be made gradually. A pH level that is too high can cause cloudy water and irritate swimmers’ eyes and skin, while a pH level that is too low can corrode metal fixtures and damage pool surfaces.

When adjusting your pool’s pH levels, it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the specific chemicals you are using. Muriatic acid is commonly used to lower pH levels, while sodium carbonate is used to raise them. It’s important to add the chemicals to the water slowly and in small amounts, allowing time for the water to circulate and the pH level to stabilize before testing again.

It’s also recommended to wear protective gloves and eyewear when handling these chemicals. Remember that maintaining a balanced pH level is just one aspect of overall pool maintenance. Regular cleaning, skimming, and filtering are also important for keeping your pool in top condition.

By following proper maintenance procedures, you can ensure that your pool is safe, enjoyable, and crystal clear all season long.

Using Baking Soda as a Natural pH Balancer

Did you know that baking soda can be a natural solution for keeping your pool water balanced? It’s true! Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, can help regulate the pH levels in your pool without the use of harsh chemicals.

Using baking soda as a pH balancer is not only environmentally friendly, but it’s also cost-effective. To use baking soda as a pH balancer, you’ll need to know your pool’s current pH level.

If the pH level is too low, add a small amount of baking soda to the water. For every 10,000 gallons of water, add about 1.5 pounds of baking soda. Be sure to add the baking soda slowly and carefully, as adding too much at once can cause the pH level to swing in the opposite direction.

It’s important to note that baking soda should not be used to lower the pH level of your pool. Instead, it’s best used as a natural solution for raising the pH level. If your pool’s pH level is consistently low, it may be a sign of a larger issue, such as poor circulation or a faulty filtration system. In these cases, it’s best to consult a professional for further advice.

Balancing Other Chemical Levels in Your Pool

You simply can’t ignore the importance of properly balancing all the chemical levels in your pool if you want to enjoy a swim without worrying about skin irritation, algae growth, or other unpleasant surprises.

In addition to monitoring and maintaining your pH levels, you should also keep a close eye on your chlorine, alkalinity, and calcium hardness levels. Chlorine is crucial for killing bacteria and keeping your water clean, but too much can cause skin and eye irritation.

Alkalinity helps to stabilize your pH levels and prevent sudden fluctuations, while calcium hardness ensures that your water is not too soft or too hard.

To balance your chlorine levels, you should test your water regularly and add chlorine as needed. This may involve adding granular chlorine, chlorine tablets, or liquid chlorine, depending on your preference and the specific needs of your pool.

You should also shock your pool periodically to remove any built-up contaminants and keep your water crystal clear. To maintain proper alkalinity levels, you can add an alkalinity increaser or decreaser as needed. Similarly, you can adjust your calcium hardness levels with a calcium increaser or decreaser, depending on your water source and other factors.

Overall, maintaining a healthy and balanced pool requires regular testing, monitoring, and adjustments. By staying on top of your chemical levels and making necessary changes, you can keep your pool safe, comfortable, and enjoyable for everyone who uses it. So don’t hesitate to invest in quality testing kits and chemical treatments, and make sure to follow the instructions carefully to achieve optimal results.

Maintaining Proper Pool Filtration

Proper pool filtration is essential for crystal clear water and a healthy swimming environment, so it’s important to understand how the filtration system works and how to keep it running smoothly.

The filtration system is responsible for removing debris and contaminants from the water, which helps to keep the pool clean and safe for swimming. The system consists of a pump, filter, and skimmer basket, which work together to circulate and clean the water.

To maintain proper pool filtration, it’s important to regularly clean and maintain the system components. The pump should be checked regularly for any signs of damage or wear, and the filter should be cleaned or replaced as needed. The skimmer basket should also be cleared of any debris to prevent clogging.

Additionally, it’s important to maintain proper water levels in the pool, as low water levels can cause the pump to run dry and become damaged. In addition to regular maintenance, it’s important to properly size the filtration system for your pool.

A system that is too small for the pool can result in poor filtration, while a system that is too large can waste energy and increase operating costs. Consulting with a pool professional can help ensure that the filtration system is properly sized and installed for optimal performance.

By properly maintaining and sizing the filtration system, you can ensure crystal clear water and a healthy swimming environment for years to come.

Seeking Professional Help When Needed

If you encounter any issues with your pool filtration system, it’s recommended to seek the assistance of a professional to ensure proper maintenance and repair. While some minor repairs can be done by the pool owner, larger issues may require the expertise of a professional.

It’s important to remember that attempting to fix a problem without the proper knowledge and experience can lead to further damage or even injury. One of the benefits of seeking professional help is that they can identify and diagnose the specific issue with your pool filtration system.

They can also provide recommendations for repairs or replacements, ensuring that your pool remains safe and functional. Additionally, professionals have access to specialized tools and equipment that are necessary for certain repairs, which can be costly for the average pool owner to purchase.

Professional pool maintenance can save you time and money in the long run. Proper maintenance can prevent larger issues from occurring, which can be more expensive to repair. A professional can also provide regular maintenance services, such as cleaning and adjusting the filtration system, to keep your pool in optimal condition.

By investing in professional assistance, you can ensure that your pool remains a safe and enjoyable place for you and your family to relax and have fun.


In conclusion, maintaining the pH level of your pool is crucial in ensuring a safe and enjoyable swimming experience. By regularly testing the water and adjusting the pH levels with chemicals or natural remedies such as baking soda, you can prevent harmful bacteria growth and protect your pool equipment.

But balancing the pH level is not the only factor to consider. It’s also important to maintain the proper levels of other chemicals in your pool and ensure proper filtration. Neglecting any of these factors can lead to cloudy water, algae growth, and potential health hazards.

Remember, as a pool owner, it’s your responsibility to maintain a safe and clean environment for your family and friends to enjoy. Don’t hesitate to seek professional help when needed.

By taking these steps, you can enjoy a refreshing and safe swimming experience all summer long.

Brian Ozorco

Author: Brian Ozorco

Brian started working with pools more than two decades ago. He's really good at making old pools look new and beautiful again. This is called pool resurfacing, and it's one of his specialties. Brian is not just good at fixing pools; he's also great at helping people. He set up to provide pool services, via a network of expert pool contractors, to home owners all over the US. Brian believes it's important to treat customers well, and that's a big part of his business.