nontoxic way to raise/lower salt pool ph

Problems relating to pH and total alkalinity.
Increase ph, increase TA. Reduce pH, reduce TA.
pH chemistry advice and techniques for the pool.
toxinphobe

nontoxic way to raise/lower salt pool ph

Postby toxinphobe » Tue 05 Sep, 2006 17:13

help!
we have a new salt pool and i want to be able to raise/lower the ph
without using sodium bisulfate and sodium carbonate.
what nontoxic stuff can i use? baking soda? vinegar? or what?
thanks, toxinphobe
upstate new york


Demons1964
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Location: Australia

Postby Demons1964 » Tue 05 Sep, 2006 19:04

Good news and bad news. Good news is that if you're running a SWG you'll never have to worry about raising the pH. The pH will continue to rise through the action of running the SWG so you're always having to reduce the pH by adding chemicals. If you leave your pH unchecked it will eventually settle around 7.9-8.0 which isn't a healthy level for residual chlorine - aim for a pH of 7.4

And that's the bad news. There's only 2 ways to lower the pH: liquid muriatic acid (aka hydrochloric acid) and solid sodium bisulfate. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. I prefer muriatic acid but I take full safety precautions. Muriatic acid is not classified as toxic, here's the link to the EPA site: http://www.epa.gov/ttn/atw/hlthef/hydrochl.html but it will burn your skin in high concentrations. When adding acid it needs to be diluted in water, I usually do it in a large bucket in a ratio of about 50 parts water to 1 part acid. At that level of concentration it is relatively harmless. Remember to wear rubber gloves and eye protection, never sniff it, and always add acid to water not the other way round. If you have a liner pool keep it away from the liner and and add it in front of a return outlet with the pump running to disperse it. I leave the pump running for 4 hours afterwards before swimming and I've never had a problem.

Note that adding acid will reduce your total alkalinity so occasionally you'll need to add sodium bicarbonate. For that you can use household baking soda. No point in using sodium carbonate, as that has the effect of drastically increasing pH which is what you're trying to stop in the first place!!
kamkuda
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Postby kamkuda » Wed 06 Sep, 2006 18:11

Good advice listed above from our Australian friend.

FYI, neither product you listed is toxic

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