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To raise alkalinity in a pool you must add a base compound. Baking soda is the most popular base compound used in pools, but soda ash is another popular chemical compound that’s affective.

Both of these substances are fairly easy to add, as long as you know how much to use. We recommend that you use baking soda since it’s widely available and cheap. But if your struggling to balance your pool’s pH and alkalinity, you might need something more potent.

If you want to learn more about balancing your pool and keeping the water healthy, read on!

What’s the Best Way to Raise Your Pool’s Alkalinity? 

Baking soda is the best way to raise alkalinity levels in your swimming pool. Pool alkalinity is ranked on a scale of 0-14, with zero being the most acidic water can be and 14 being the most base.

Pool water chemistry should be balanced between 7-7.8 pH. While alkalinity, pH, and acidity aren’t directly connected, they do impact one another.

Pool alkalinity is determined by the amount of base (lack of acidic water) in the pool. The pH level tells you how much potential hydrogen there is in a water sample. This is directly correlated to the level of acidity in the pool water.

Sometimes, you might need to add a base compound, like baking soda, to raise alkalinity. Or, you may need to add an acidic compound, like muriatic acid, to lower alkalinity.

While baking soda is the best method of raising alkalinity and pH levels, soda ash can also do the trick. Soda ash is more fast acting and has a higher alkalinity than baking soda. Both will work fine, but if you need something more potent, you should try adding soda ash.

What’s the Fastest Way to Raise Your Pool’s Alkalinity? 

Soda ash is the quicker option and has an alkalinity level of 11.6. This means it will act faster and is more potent for raising pH and alkalinity levels.

Baking soda has a pH of 8 which makes it a great option to raise alkalinity. As an alkalinity increase, it is easy and safe to use and is relatively affordable. It will take baking soda between 6-8 hours to raise your pool water alkalinity.

Baking soda costs between $11-$13.00 for a 12 pound bag. However, depending on how much baking soda you need to raise alkalinity, you could end up using the whole bag.

What’s the Most Effective Way to Raise the Alkalinity of a Pool? 

Soda ash is the most potent tool for raise alkalinity. It has a higher alkalinity level and you won’t have to use as much of it as you would if you use baking soda.

However, for most purposes, baking soda is sufficiently potent. If you’re water chemistry is just a little off balance, baking soda is the better option. It’s easy to fine, cheap, and safe to handle.

How Much Sodium Bicarbonate Should You Use to Raise Your Pool Water Alkalinity?

You’ll need approximately one and a half pounds of sodium bicarbonate to raise your swimming pool alkalinity. Add 1.5 pounds of sodium bicarbonate to a 10,000 gallon pool will raise pH and alkalinity by 10 parts per million.

If you test your pool water and the pH reads below 7.2 you’ll need to add approximately 3-4 pounds. This should raise pH and alkalinity to the desired 7.4-7.8.

To use soda ash, you should add about 6 ounces per 10,000 gallons of water. Six ounces will raise your pool alkalinity by .2 points. As an alkalinity increaser, soda ash is much more effective and requires less than sodium bicarbonate.

How to Add Baking Soda to Your Pool Water?

Sodium bicarbonate, or baking soda, can be added directly to you pool water or filtration system. The filter is a good choice since it can circulate the contents evenly through the pool.

You can add baking soda directly to the pool water without diluting it. Its not a very potent compound and you won’t have to worry about handling it with bare hands. It’s also safe for people to swim in the pool after adding it to the pool water.

Diluting your baking soda can help it mix into the water easier, though. This will make your job a lot easier, since you won’t have to worry so much about the powder sinking to the bottom of the pool.

There’s no specific rules for proper dilution. You can add your baking soda to a 2-3 gallon bucket of water and stir it until it’s dissolved. You can pour this into your pool and run the filter for several hours until it’s evenly distributed in the pool water.

Is Low Alkalinity Dangerous For Your Pool? 

Low alkalinity means your water is acidic. Acidic water can damage your pool parts and liner if left untreated. It can also cause stains to any concrete and metal parts of your pool.

The level of damage to your pool depends on just how acidic your pool water is when you test it. If your water is simply a little acidic with a pH of 8-8.5, it’s not at a dangerously high acidic level.

It can still cause damage in the long run, but it’s not nearly as corrosive as an acidic level of 11-12. Balancing your pool water chemistry is important for all aspects of your pool and protects your investment in the long run.

Is Low Alkalinity in Your Swimming Pool Dangerous For Your Health? 

Low pool alkalinity isn’t necessarily dangerous to your health, but it can cause discomfort. Low alkalinity can lead to irritated skin and eyes since the water chemistry is acidic.

Baking soda should solve this problem after a few hours. While neither of these side effects are deadly, they can be annoying after a long time of exposure. To protect your eyes and skin, avoid going in the swimming pool for 6-8 hours after adding baking soda so the acidity lowers.


Finding the right balance of chemicals for your pool can seem complicated. But, fortunately, something as common place as baking soda can be used to balance your pool chemistry.

Whether you choose soda ash or sodium carbonate depends on how bad your pool alkalinity levels are at. Baking soda is a better choice for day-to-day use, but soda ash can make a powerful impact quickly!


How Does Baking Soda Raise Alkalinity Levels?

Baking soda raises alkalinity in water because it has a high alkalinity level. This means when it’s added to your pool, it displaces the acidity and neutralizes it. As a base compound, it reacts to acid and dissolves some of its potency.

Are Baking Soda and Baking Powder the Same?

Baking soda is not the same thing as baking powder. Baking powder has soda in it, but it also has other compounds like cream of tartar in it. This makes it an excellent binding agent for baking, but it won’t have the same potency when used in your swimming pool.

Are pH and Alkalinity the Same Thing?

No, pH refers to the overall potential hydrogen in your pool water. Alkalinity refers to the level of acidity in your pool when compared to base compounds.

Both the ph and alkalinity of your pool are used to determine if your pool chemistry is balanced. The pH of your swimming pool water is used to measure how much base or acidic compounds to add to reach a balanced pH level.

What is Sodium Carbonate?

Another name for soda ash is sodium carbonate. This is the left over salt and minerals which are usually extracted from the ocean or marine life. The powdery substance has high levels of sodium and very high alkalinity levels.

Are Alkalinity and Total alkalinity the Same?

Total alkalinity refers to the total level of alkalinity in your pool. This means its measured based on the amount of water it’s compared to. However, when used referring to pools, alkalinity and total alkalinity are used interchangeably.

Will Muriatic Acid Raise Alkalinity Levels?

Muriatic acid is an extremely acidic compound that’s used to lower alkalinity. It is not an alkalinity increaser, and should only be used if your pool’s alkalinity is too high. You should use this acid when your pool’s pH levels are above 7.8.

Can Acidic Water Damage Your Pool Walls?

Yes, acidic water can damage your pool walls. Acidic water can eat away at a pool liner and leave stains behind that are difficult to clean. Pool owners should test their water every day to prevent damage to their pool.