4+ Surprising Things That Can Cause Your Pool’s pH to Rise

Heavy rain, debris, wildlife, and people can raise your pool pH. Balancing pH is crucial to prevent issues like skin irritations and algae buildup.

what causes pool ph to rise

Everyone knows that one of the most complex parts of owning a pool is balancing your pH. Knowing what chemicals to add and when to balance your pH can take time and effort. 

Keep reading to find out what causes pool pH to rise and what you can do to balance it.

Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, this site earns from qualifying purchases. Thank you!

What Is pH? 

Potential of hydrogen, or pH, is one of the vital things in owning a pool. The pH balance of your pool is a scale that depicts the alkalinity or acidity levels of the water. This scale scopes from 0 to 14, with seven being “neutral.” 

Hey hey – real quick! Don’t forget to subscribe to get our best content 🙂

Under seven is deemed more acidic, and beyond seven is higher alkaline. When your pool exceeds 7.8 pH, you can assume your water has a high pH balance. You want to aspire for a level of seven to 7.6. 

How Does pH Impact You? 

Ensure that you check your pool’s pH daily (and adjust accordingly). There are risks if you are higher than 7.8 or lower than 7.2. If the pH level is above 8, you could present the risk of skin rashes and decrease the efficacy of the chlorine. 

You want a stable pool to avoid problems. A pH of 7 or lower could sting your eyes or make your skin and hair dry.

Make a habit of checking your pH before your first swim of the day to prevent issues. You may need to check it twice daily when it gets scorching outside. 

1. Heavy Rain 

One thing you may not realize raises your pool’s pH levels is heavy rain. Though the effect is slight, it can dilute the alkalinity level. 

Rainwater doesn’t contain alkaline. When it falls through the air, it can pick up pollutants on the way down. Due to this, it can cause your alkalinity levels to drop up to 5 parts per million, or ppm. 

How Can You Fix Your pH Balance Due to Rain? 

Before sampling your pool, it would be best to wait until it stops raining. You should test your pool’s levels after heavy rain. It is easy to correct your pH balance due to the rain.

If the heavy rain does not impact your pool’s pH and is between seven and 7.6, you do not need to do anything.

If your pool’s alkaline is low, you need to increase the alkaline level. You can add the correct amount of sodium bicarbonate or baking soda to balance your pool out.

2. Debris

An annoying part of owning a pool is cleaning out the debris from your yard. The debris can meddle with the chemicals in your pool, like chlorine.

Debris, like grass, dust, or leaves, could impact your pool’s pH levels. If you know what causes pool pH to rise, you are better off fixing the problem. 

Debris in your pool could result in higher acidity. The longer you leave the leaves or grass in your pool, the longer they have to damage your pool. 

Decaying leaves could produce chemical responses. These chemical changes could lead to algae buildup, leading to issues. Bacterial infections or low visibility are the results of algae buildup. 

What Should You Do for Debris in Your Pool? 

If you are one of the unlucky ones who catch leaves and other pollutants in your pool, there are choices to fix your problem.

For the best results, you should clean your pool daily. You could use a deep leaf net to remove as much debris as possible. 

After getting the majority of pollutants out, you can use a pool vacuum to complete the task. If you skip the leaf net, your vacuum could clog, taking longer to clean your pool.

After you have removed the debris and cleaned the pool, check the pH balance. You should add the proper chemicals if your pool’s balance is off. 

After adding chemicals, you should remain out of your pool for twenty minutes to prevent rashes or stinging eyes. 

3. Wildlife 

Wildlife like frogs, snakes, lizards, rats, or insects could get in your pool. These animals could get into your pool effortlessly but struggle to get out. After finding no escape, animals could drown and perish in your swimming pool. 

Several deceased animals you find in your pool will not pose a risk to swimmers. Most of the germs animals carry will not transmit to humans, or chlorine kills the germs. 

What Should You do When You Find a Deceased Animal in Your Pool? 

What do you do if you meet a deceased animal in your pool? Removing a perished animal is easy. The first goal is to remove the swimmers and not let them back in.

Though there is little risk with a deceased animal in your pool, clearing people out of the pool makes the process easier. 

After clearing the pool, put on disposable gloves, and it’s time to get to work. Using a net, remove the animal from your pool.

Once you have removed the animal, you should double-wrap the animal in plastic bags. You can do what you want with the animal.

Placing it in a sealed trash can is urged. A sealed trash bin will prevent other wildlife from messing with it. 

After you dispose of the animal, you should disinfect your net or item used to remove the animal. It is best to wash your hands after handling the deceased animal. The animal could pollute your pool. Test your pH level to indicate any pollution.

Raising the chlorine to 2 parts per million, a constant temperature of 77°F or 25°C, and pH levels of 7.5 or below can eliminate issues the animal caused.

4. People 

The primary pollutant is people swimming in the pool. That’s right; you can pollute your pool!

If you have several different people in your pool, you will likely contaminate your pool (just like a hot tub). Swimmers in the pool can bring in microbes. 

A microbe is a tiny microorganism that lives in the air, water, and soil. These microbes are way too little to see with your naked eye. Some microbes can make us sick; others could pollute your pool. 

The microbes and other germs in humans can break up the CO2 in your pool, raising your pH levels. Adding chemicals will balance your pH level and fix the issue. 

FAQs about Pool pH

You may still have questions about the pH level of your pool. Refer below to answer all of your questions. 

How can you fix your pool’s pH?

Knowing what causes pool pH to rise can be helpful. If your pool’s pH level is under 7.2 on the pH scale, you will want to add proper chemicals to bring up the alkaline. To add alkaline, you can add soda ash at a pace of one pound per 10,000 gallons in four-hour intervals. Retest your pH levels in between those intervals. 

If your pool’s pH is above 7.8 on the pH scale, you want to add Sodium Bisulfate or Muriatic Acid at a pace of 16 fluid ounces per 10,000 gallons in four-hour intervals. Test between breaks, adding more until you reach the correct pH level. 

How Long should you wait to swim in the pool after balancing?

Not getting into your pool immediately after adding your chemicals would be best. Ideally, you want to wait at least 20 minutes before hopping in. Getting in your pool too early after adjusting the levels could give you rashes or other skin irritations. 

More FAQs

What causes pH to increase?

The increase in pH is caused by high concentrations of hydroxide ions and a scarcity of hydrogen ions. While human activities are often responsible for acidic conditions, alkaline conditions can also occur and have negative impacts on aquatic organisms.

What brings pH back to normal?

The pH is brought back to normal by the body pulling from alkaline stores, such as water, calcium, magnesium, and potassium, to balance the excess acid stored in the tissues.

Does sunlight raise pH in pool?

The statement is: Sunlight raises pH in a pool. Rewritten answer: The pH in a pool is increased by sunlight as it speeds up the breakdown of chlorine, while wind aids in water evaporation, further contributing to the pH increase.

Does temperature affect pH of water?

The pH of water is affected by temperature, as observed by the decrease in pH of pure water with increasing temperature. Likewise, the pOH also decreases.

Does rain increase pH in pool?

Rain does not significantly increase the pH in a pool. A light rainfall of .25 to .50 inches may temporarily lower the pH, but it will naturally return to normal levels. As long as you consistently maintain proper water chemistry, including pH, alkalinity, and stabilizer levels, there is no need to be concerned about a bit of rain in the pool.

How do you lower the pH in a pool naturally?

To lower the pH in a pool naturally, you can employ several methods. One option is to utilize a distilled water system to introduce water into the pool. Additionally, it is important to regularly clean the pool. Another approach is to allow the pH level to decrease naturally over time as minerals accumulate. Lastly, installing a pool heater can also assist in lowering the pH.

Will shock work if pH is high?

The statement is: Shock will not work effectively if the pH is high. Rewritten answer: It is important to note that a low pH level is essential for the successful use of shock in a pool. When the pH level is 8.0, more than half of the shock becomes ineffective and is wasted. However, when the pH level is 7.2, over 90% of the shock becomes active and effectively kills algae and bacteria.

Will baking soda lower the pH in my pool?

Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, will raise the pH in your pool. It is naturally alkaline with a pH of 8. Adding baking soda to your pool water will increase both the pH and alkalinity, resulting in improved stability and clarity. Baking soda is commonly used as the main active ingredient in many commercial pool products designed to raise alkalinity.

How do I get my pH balance back to normal in my pool?

To adjust the pH of your pool water back to normal, you can follow these steps: If the pH level of your pool water is higher than 7.8, you can lower it by adding an acid like muriatic acid or sodium bisulfate. On the other hand, if the pH level is below 7.2, you can raise it by adding an alkaline base such as sodium carbonate (soda ash) or sodium bicarbonate (baking soda).

Does sunlight lower pH in pool?

The statement is: Sunlight lowers the pH in a pool.Rewritten answer: Sunlight speeds up the breakdown of chlorine, leading to an increase in pH levels. Additionally, wind promotes water evaporation, which further contributes to the rise in pH levels.

Does pool shock lower pH?

The use of pool shock, whether chlorine-based (calcium hypochlorite) or non-chlorine (potassium peroxymonosulfate), will result in a decrease in pH levels.

Will white vinegar lower pH in pool?

White vinegar can be used to lower the pH in a pool, similar to how baking soda can be used to raise the pH. However, it is not the most efficient option for this purpose. Adding a large amount of vinegar to the pool can actually increase the sugar content, which can then serve as a food source for microbes.

What household products raise the pH in a pool?

Household products that can raise the pH in a pool include sodium carbonate (soda ash) or sodium bicarbonate (baking soda). Low pH in a pool is commonly caused by the entry of rainwater and debris.

Does muriatic acid lower pH?

Muriatic acid is capable of lowering the pH levels of pool water when used properly. Its strong potency is advantageous for treating excessively alkaline water and removing hard water deposits.

Does vinegar lower pH?

Vinegar lowers pH levels. Its acidity is due to its low pH. Unless there is an underlying medical condition, consuming vinegar does not impact the body’s natural pH levels, which remain stable. Vinegars have various uses, such as cooking, food preservation, and cleaning.

How do I lower the pH and alkalinity in my pool naturally?

To naturally lower the pH and alkalinity in your pool, start by using a reliable test kit to accurately measure the TA and pH levels. Next, evenly distribute diluted muriatic acid throughout the pool. Afterward, allow the pool water to naturally aerate without the use of aerators like spa jets, waterfalls, fountains, return pointers, air compressors, or similar devices.

How do I get rid of high pH in my pool?

To lower the pH levels in your pool, you can use a pH reducer, which is a chemical additive specifically designed for pools. pH reducers, also known as pH minus, contain either muriatic acid or sodium bisulfate (dry acid) as their main active ingredients. These reducers can be easily obtained from pool supply stores, home improvement centers, or online retailers.

Does rain lower pH in pool?

Rainfall does have an impact on the pH levels in a pool by diluting the pool chemistry and causing a decrease in readings for pH, alkalinity, hardness, stabilizer, and chlorine. It is important to note that rainfall does not contain chlorine.

How long does it take for pH down to work in pool?

The time it takes for pH down to take effect in a pool can vary, but it is generally recommended to wait for about two to four hours, or even a full turnover cycle according to some chemical manufacturers, before retesting. The stability of the pH levels will depend on the extent of adjustment needed, with smaller increments requiring less time for the results to become stable.

Can I use vinegar to lower the pH in my pool?

The statement: “You can use vinegar to lower the pH in your pool, but it is not the most effective additive for this purpose. Adding a large amount of vinegar to the pool can raise the sugar level and provide food for microbes.”

How do I lower my pH level?

To lower your pH level, you can start by reducing or eliminating harmful acidic foods from your diet, such as sugar. Instead, opt for healthier acidic foods. Additionally, aim to incorporate alkaline foods into 70% of your diet and make alkalizing lifestyle choices.

Does pool algae like high or low pH?

Pool algae generally prefers high pH levels.

Will high pH make pool cloudy?

High pH levels can cause pool water to become cloudy. This occurs because a high pH reduces the effectiveness of chlorine. If the pH of your pool is above 7.8, it is necessary to use a pH reducer to bring it back to safe levels. Similarly, low pH levels can also lead to cloudy water as they promote the growth of bacteria and algae.

What happens if pH is too high in pool?

If the pH is too high in a pool, swimmers may experience stinging eyes, dry skin, and a sticky feeling. Additionally, the pool may appear hazy or cloudy, which is unappealing for those who want to swim. Moreover, higher pH levels can reduce the effectiveness of chlorine.

Should I shock my pool if pH is high?

You should shock your pool if the pH is high. For optimal outcomes, it is recommended to shock when the pH levels are within the range of 7.2-7.4, which is on the lower side of the ideal range. To facilitate the rapid distribution of chlorine, keep the pump running and brush your pool after shocking.

Will baking soda lower pH in pool?

The statement: Baking soda will raise both the pH and alkalinity in a pool, improving stability and clarity. Many commercial pool products for raising alkalinity use baking soda as their main active ingredient.

How do I keep my pool pH stable?

To keep your pool pH stable, you can adjust the pool water pH by following these steps: If the pH of your pool water is higher than 7.8, you can lower it by adding an acid like muriatic acid or sodium bisulfate. On the other hand, if the pH level is below 7.2, you can raise it by adding an alkaline base such as sodium carbonate (soda ash) or sodium bicarbonate (baking soda).

Does high pH make pool green?

High pH can cause the pool to appear green or cloudy as it slows down the reaction of chlorine and allows algae to form. Conversely, low pH levels can make the chlorine overly active, leading to rapid dissipation and a low chlorine residual in the pool.

Does muriatic acid lower pH?

Muriatic acid is capable of lowering the pH levels when used properly. Its strong properties are advantageous for treating excessively alkaline pool water and eliminating hard water buildup.

Similar Posts