What Does Adding Acid to Water Do to the pH Level?

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Adding acid to water affects the pH level by increasing it. Find out what adding acid to water does to the pH level with help from an experienced chemistry professional in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Chemistry & Biology Concepts
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Robin Higgins and this is, "What does adding acid to water do to the pH level?" Alright, so let's take a look at our pH scale. So basically, it runs from 0 to 14 and in the neutral is 7 right in the middle, anything above 7 is going to be basic. Anything below 7 is going to be acidic. So just some fun facts at 0 you have battery acid and at 2 you have lemon juice over on the other end at 9 you have baking soda and at 10 you have antacid which as you can imagine combats acids. So our question is what happens to water if you release acid. Well if you release an acid in water, it's going to disassociate. For instance, hydrochloric acids will disassociate into positively charged hydrogen and negatively charged chlorine. Now, the way that we measure pH or how acid something is, acidic something is is simply a measure of how many free hydrogens there are. If there's a lot of free hydrogens, something is acidic, if there aren't, it's basic. So if we use all this in water, there's going to be tons of free hydrogens. This means that you will create an environment where there's tons of just disassociated ions and also there will be positively charged water called hydronium. So both of these things will combine to make the pH of water extremely acidic depending on how much acid you add. So, if you add acid to water, the pH will rise. If you want to quench that, you could add a base and bring it back down. I am Robin Higgins and this is, "What happens when you add an acid to water?"


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