Low pH & Alkaline Levels in a Pool


Alkalinity and pH along with chlorine are the three most important aspects of pool chemical maintenance. Each of these levels correspond with one another and are dependent on each other to maintain crystal clear swimming pool water. Low pH and alkalinity levels in a pool is a problem that should be addressed immediately with the help of the proper chemicals.

What Is pH?

  • The pool level that corresponds most closely with the clarity of the water is pH. If the chlorine levels are not in place, this leads to cloudy water and most likely a fluctuation in pH. The pH measures the acidity of the water. A normal range of pH readings for your pool is somewhere between 7.0 and 7.6. The pH is lowered when the concentration of hydrogen ions is increased in the water.

What Is Alkalinity?

  • Alkalinity goes hand and hand with pH. The total alkalinity is a number that must be kept in a normal range to prevent fluctuations in the pH levels. Basically, if the alkalinity levels are not normal it causes the pH to easily be manipulated and change.


  • If the pH is low, the chances are that the alkalinity is low as well. The level can also drop right after receiving a large amount of precipitation as well.This causes a drop in pH because of the high amount of acid rain. Consequences of low pH can include erosion of pool plaster pool walls, corroding of metals, decreased effectiveness of chlorine and deterioration of vinyl pool liners.


  • Visit your pool supply store and purchase an alkalinity increase product. These products are sold in granulated form and should be applied to the pool water in the recommended doses. One indicated dosage usually treats up to 5,500 gallons of water. Adjust accordingly based on your pool capacity. Low alkalinity should be treated before you add chemicals to raise the pH. Let the filter run for a few hours. Test the water using testing strips and determine if the pH needs to be raised. Also at this time bring the chlorine levels to normal ranges as well. This will help balance the alkalinity as well.

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