We all know baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) as a staple in baking needs and as an effective whitener and deodorizer. At times, you can use it as a cleaner.
However, it also has a place in pool maintenance. If you use baking soda, you can improve your water quality! Let's discuss how this happens below.
How To Use Baking Soda In Pool?
It's easy to use a bag of baking soda in your pool. Let's see each purpose.
Purpose of Baking Soda In Pool
Baking soda comes in to solve both acidity and alkalinity. When you use baking soda, you can lower acidity and raise alkalinity at the same time.
We may know baking soda as a cleaner. It is a perfect way to clean the bottom of your pool without requiring you to use a pool vacuum. While adding baking soda to clean grout and surfaces is great, you affect the pH by adding the baking soda into the water.
Instead of acidity, alkalinity, and pH levels jumping from high to low, baking soda can keep it neutral.
Baking soda is basically sodium bicarbonate. Baking soda's alkalinity levels are at 8.3. The bicarbonate ions can stabilize the water. This way, you clear the water and stop corrosion quickly.
Is It Safe to Use for Your Pool?
Yes! It is harmless and won't affect anything in an adverse manner.
How to Use Baking Soda For Your Pool
For Getting Rid of Algae
Use algaecide first, then spot-treat remaining algae with a small amount of baking soda.
Balancing pH Level of Your Pool
You can buy test kits from pool specialty stores, or purchase pool water alkalinity test strips. Dip deep! This way, you can get water unaffected by sunlight or air.
You may add a chemical or two with the kits. Results should read at 80 ppm to 100 ppm.
(If you aren't aware, PPM is a unit of measure, also called parts per million. It's a tool you can use to see how much chemical there is compared to the amount of water.)
If the total alkalinity results are lower than 80 ppm, scaling may develop. It's time to add some baking soda products into the water!
If the total alkalinity results are higher than 100 ppm, you don't need to add baking soda at all. Instead, you can add muriatic acid or sodium bisulfate products.
Some Tips to Adjust the pH Level
To add the right weight of soda to your pool, make sure you know how much water is in your pool, first. If you have 10,000 gallons of water in your pool, you can raise total alkalinity by 10 ppm by adding 1.25 pounds of baking soda.
You can add 3.75 pounds of baking soda per 10,000 gallons of water, for example, if you want to raise pH from 50 ppm to 80.
We do have a note of caution: be careful about adding too much baking soda! It isn't advisable to add more than 1.25 pounds into a 10,000-gallon pool in a single day.
So, if you need to add a lot of baking soda, space it out for the week.
Cloudy water means there is scale build-up in your pool. If you notice irregularities in your pool water (corrosion or scale build-up), do a test kit right away.
Sprinkle the baking soda and keep the pool in motion. If you have regular problems with pH and cloudy pool water, you might need to raise the alkalinity quickly, but it's best to go slow. Let it dissolve!
You can sit back and wait. While it can depend on the pool size, it will take around 6 to 10 hours before that much baking soda circulates.
General Cleaning of Your Pool
You can also use it for general cleaning.
Pool maintenance can be dizzying with the number of tasks.
One of the most important things you have to consider with your swimming pool is the chemicals you put in it. You have to make sure everything balances out to a specific pH level.
For example, you have to keep your pool at a pH level of 7.2 to 7.8. On the pH scale, your pool has to be basic or alkaline.
Wait, what do these words mean? How do you make sure your pool's pH is at the right levels?
pH and Acidity
On the scale, you have the numbers 0 to 14. If the level is at 0 to 7, whatever you're testing is acidic. The number 0 refers to the greatest acid activity. As it approaches the number 7, the weaker the activity gets.
Remember a pool's minimum pH levels? If you let the pool level go below 7.2, acidity can turn metal and equipment corrosive.
In the end, you might need to repair, if not completely replace, your pool equipment.
Plus, a lower pH can make it harder to keep chlorine in the water.
Chlorine is a must for all swimming pools. After all, chlorine keeps germs, viruses, and bacteria away.
pH and Alkalinity
Just because the acid is bad for the water doesn't mean alkaline is best.
If acidity is at levels 0 to 7, pH and alkalinity are at 7 to 14. Now, the minimum level for pools is 7.2, while the maximum pH levels are at 7.8.
If you raise the pH further than 7.8, that kind of pH and total alkalinity can lead to scale build-up.
If you start to notice white or crystalline deposits in the pool surfaces, pool liner, and pipes, then there may be high calcium build-up in your pool.
Scale build-up can render your heating system useless. That much alkalinity can look dingy and messes with the chlorine, too.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does baking soda kill algae in pools?
Only algaecides can "kill" algae in pool water. However, baking soda can help clear up algae. Use both so you can restore sparkly, clean water!
Is baking soda safe for swimming pools?
There are no risks if you want to add baking soda and pool water. Using baking soda is relatively safe and won't harm any equipment. Your filtration system, pipes, plugs, and other machinery are going to be fine!
Will baking soda clear up a cloudy pool?
Yes, within several hours! You can clear it up in a day or two.
Are you ready to take on your pool's pH levels? We hope we helped! Baking soda can take a load off your shoulders.
If things don't improve, you may need to use soda ash sodium carbonate instead.
There are times pH is low but overall alkalinity levels are fine. Soda ash may work instead. With a level of 11.4, adding soda to your pool can adjust pH levels, but not raise the alkalinity level by much.
Tell us about your pool maintenance experiences, issues, and any mishaps. We're here to listen in the comments!
If you ever encountered a green pool, then read our page about how to clean a green pool next.
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