Select Page

Add an acid to lower alkalinity levels if your pool water has high alkalinity. Pool owners can use a variety of acids to correct their pool chemistry.

Muriatic, hydrochloric, and sodium bisulfate are the most common forms of acids for pools. While the first two are far more potent and fast-acting, the latter is much safer to handle and use.

Keep reading if you want to know more about how much muriatic acid to use and balance your pool water’s pH!

What is the Best Way to Lower Pool Alkalinity? 

The most effective way to lower your pool’s alkalinity is with muriatic acid. Muriatic acid is a highly acidic compound known as muriatic acid salt spirits or hydrochloric acid.

Muriatic acid is a potent chemical for lowering alkalinity in a pool. However, it will also reduce your pool’s pH levels. This can be good if your pH levels are too high, but it can create more work if that isn’t what you need.

Pool pH levels indicate your pool water’s overall acidity or alkalinity. The term pH is an abbreviation for potential hydrogen. It refers to the amount of hydrogen or the overall aeration of the water.

The scale of pH ranges between 0-14. A scale of seven is considered neutral, which is what you want to achieve in your swimming pool.

A level of pH between 0-6 is considered acidic, while 8-14 is considered alkaline. Adding muriatic acid will lower the pH levels of your swimming pool, making it more acidic.

How Much Muriatic Acid Should You Use to Lower Alkalinity?

Before adding acid to your pool, make sure you wear protective gear. Safety goggles and thick rubber gloves should always be worn when handling this acid. Some brands of muriatic acid come ready to use, so you can add it directly to your pool water, while others require you to dilute it first.

To dilute this acid, add it to a ten-gallon bucket at a ratio of 1/10. Once you have it properly diluted, you can add it to your pool water.

While different brands come with different strengths, you need 25-26 ounces of muriatic acid as a general rule. This will lower your alkalinity by ten parts per million in a 10,000-gallon pool.

Can you Lower Alkalinity Without Lowering the pH?

You can lower pool alkalinity levels without lowering the pH level in a swimming pool. However, it’s not an easy thing to do and requires a special kind of filter.

You can lower alkalinity by adding muriatic acid or sodium bisulfate to your water. This will alter your water chemistry but will also lower your pH levels. The only way to alter this is by aerating the pool’s surface.

This will increase the potential hydrogen particles in the water while retaining the acidic compounds. Unfortunately, you may need to install a specialized water system that pumps the water to the surface and disperses it over the pool surface water.

The muriatic acid or sodium bisulfate will still lower the alkalinity of your swimming pool, but the aeration keeps the pH up.

Is Muriatic Acid or Sodium Bisulfate Better for Lowering Alkalinity?

Both muriatic acid and sodium bisulfate will lower alkalinity in a pool. However, muriatic acid is a faster-acting compound and will start to work almost immediately at lowering your pool’s alkalinity.

However, sodium bisulfate is considerably safer to handle than muriatic acid. It’s not as corrosive or abrasive as muriatic acid. It may take a few days of continual use to see the alkalinity level you desire, but you won’t have to wear as much protective gear when handling sodium bisulfate.

Adding sodium bisulfate directly to your pool water is much safer than adding muriatic or hydrochloric acid to your swimming pool. Adding more intense acids to your pool can create dangerous fumes which can harm your nostrils and esophagus. You won’t have to worry about this as much when handling sodium bisulfate.

Is it Bad for Your Pool to Have High Alkalinity Levels?

High alkalinity can cause calcium deposits in your pool’s filter and pump. These calcium deposits can disrupt your pool pump and cause clogs and erosion on your pool parts.

It’s particularly bad if you have mineral buildup on metal parts. The calcium can cause these pieces to erode and break important parts of your pool’s filter system.

Is it Bad for Your Health to Have High Alkalinity Levels in Your Pool?

Your pool’s water chemistry is important for maintaining a clean swimming environment. When the acidity and alkalinity of your pool are off balance, it can create a breeding ground for bacteria and parasites.

It can also mean that our sweat, skin oils, and other bodily fluids are purified as they should be. This can be especially dangerous in public pools, but it can also happen in home pools.

Maintaining an appropriate alkalinity level will enable your chlorine and other pool chemicals to work properly. Balanced pool water is much safer to swim in since it allows the sanitizing chemicals to do their job right.


Balancing water in swimming pools is an important part of pool maintenance. Elevated alkalinity can impede how your chlorine and other chemicals operate.

Keeping a neutral pH level keeps your water safe and protects your investment. Alkalinity levels above eight can cause dangerous mineral deposits to develop in your pool’s filter and impede its performance.


Should You Add Baking Soda to Your Swimming Pool to Raise Alkalinity?

Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, will raise your pool’s alkalinity and pH. You should only add this to your pool water if the pool’s acidity is high and you need to lower it.

Add approximately 12.5 pounds of baking soda to your pool water to raise the alkalinity and pH. This works for a 10,000-gallon pool and should affect both the pool’s alkalinity and pH.

What is Sodium Bicarbonate?

Sodium bicarbonate is another name for baking soda. It’s a fairly effective way to raise pool alkalinity levels. It interacts with the acids and neutralizes acids. This should only be used if you’re trying to raise pool alkalinity, not lower it.

Is pH Minus the Same as pH Reducer?

Yes, pH Minus is the same as pH reducer. The latter is the generic term for a brand name for chemicals that lower your pool alkalinity and ph. Most brands include dry ice and other potent acids.

Should You Use Full Strength Muriatic Acid?

You can use full-strength muriatic acid, but it’s not necessary. This will work quickly to lower your pool’s alkalinity and pH. However, it’s very potent, potentially eroding pool parts and hurting you if you breathe the fumes.