Chemicals For Balancing Water
The following recommended amounts of chemicals are added to pools, spas and hot tubs to balance pH and total alkalinity. If possible, add minimum amounts and test often; add more often. Too much is not better when these balance adjustment chemicals are used.
Is used to lower pH and TA liquid. Use only in pools with over 3,000 gallons of water. One pint per10,000 gallons. Dilute in a one-gallon jug with water- one quart acid to three quarts of water. To lower pH, pour diluted solution completely around the pool. Be careful splashing on decking, shoes, or clothing. Do not pour on steps, love seats, or near light or metal fixtures. To lower TA, pour in several areas of deep end.
Dry Acid (Sodium Bisulfate)
Is used to lower pH and TA in spas, hot tubs, and pools with less than 3,000 gallons of water, must be dissolved before adding. Never add more than 2 ½ ounces at a time for each 5,000 gallons of water. Run the filter for several hours, retest, and repeat procedure if more is needed.
Is used to raise TA in pools, spas and hot tubs. Ten ounces will raise TA approximately 10 ppm per 5,000 gallons.
Soda Ash (Sodium Carbonate)
Cyanuric Acid (Conditioner)
Is used to raise pH. Dissolve in water before adding. Follow directions on container regarding amount to be used. Never add more than two pounds per 20,000 gallons at a time. Run the system for six hours, retest, and add more if needed. Guidelines to consider when balancing pH and total alkalinity (approximate amounts): To raise pH from 6.8 to 7.2 add six ounces of Soda Ash per 5,000 gallons. To raise pH from 6.5 to 6.8 add eight ounces of Soda Ash per 5,000, dissolve before adding. To lower pH using dry acid (dissolve before adding): 8.0 down to 7.6, add four ounces per 5,000 gallons. 8.4 down to 8.0 add eight ounces dry acid per 5,000. If pH is above 8.4, use 12 ounces per 5,000 gallons of water. Run the filter for several hours, then retest, and add more if needed. Repeat procedure if needed.
For a minimum Cyanuric Acid (CYA), add 1 ½ pounds per 5,000 gallons of water. If pool, spa, or hot tub is covered or enclosed, degradation of chlorine from the sun is not a factor and stabilizer is not needed. If using stabilized chlorines, test CYA levels every 30 days. If the CYA is above 80 ppm, stop or reduce the stabilized chlorines added. Use more non-stabilized chlorines and/or change some water to reduce CYA. Recommended CYA is 40-70 ppm.
Sequestering/Chelating Specialty Additives
These are not used to balance water, but to help control or reduce the possibilities of stains from copper, iron, and other metals and scale formation. If the pool, spa, or hot tub has higher concentrations of calcium, copper, or other metals, sequestering/chelating additives hold them in suspension. Higher chlorines levels, filtration and sunlight can reduce or remove these additives; they will have to be added occasionally to frequently depending on conditions, see section on Specialty Chemicals. Remember, when you add chemicals to water, too much is not always better. There can be adverse reactions if too much is added or if some are added with others. If all else fails, read the directions on containers, some algaecides and specialty chemicals should be added with lower chlorine levels and may be more effective if added after the sun sets.