The Effects of Swimming Pool Water That's Too Acidic

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Pools with high acidity cause problems with the pool and for people swimming.

Filtering the water in a swimming pool keeps trash out of a pool, but keeping the pH correct takes more than filtering the water. If the pH of a pool is too acidic, the water damages metal, plastic and skin. Acidic water causes problems in the pool's equipment. The metal parts inside the filtering system corrode and wear out faster. Acidic water eats at the vinyl pool liner, and the water causes burning of the eyes and skin. Check the water regularly, and keep the pH level properly balanced.


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Checking Acidity

Take a quart of your pool's water to your local pool supply store. Most pool supply stores test your pool water for free. Some of the stores provide free bottles for collecting your water from the pool. Test your pool water yourself with a pool water test strip from the pool supply store. Check the water by dipping one strip in the pool water for a few seconds. Lift the strip out of the water, and look at the chart on the back of the container. Look for the color of the strip on the chart. Any number lower than 7 indicates the pH is low. Follow instructions on the label for accurately reading the test strip.


Damage to Pool

Check the pool pH regularly so you avoid damage to your pool, pump and other pool equipment. The acidic water corrodes the metal parts in pumps, filters, chlorinators and pool heaters. Any part made of copper is damaged easily by acidic water. Acidic water causes problems for in-ground pools. It eats into the plaster and masonry surfaces on the pool and slowly erodes the surface. Acidic water eats into metal ladders, stainless steel rails and welded metal surfaces producing pitted metal surfaces.


Damage to People

Avoid getting into water with a pH below 7. The acidity of the water stings the eyes and makes them red and itchy. Using eye drops alleviates the effects of low pH water getting into the eyes. Acidic water sometimes aggravates swimmers skin, making it dry, red and itchy. Shower and apply lotion to skin after exposure to low pH water, and the symptoms go away quickly.

Lowering Acidity

Pick up a bag of pH (+), also know as pH up, at the pool supply store. Add the amount of pH up indicated on the package. Let the water run through the filtering system for an hour and check the pH level again. If the pH is still low, repeat the process until the pH level is in the normal range 7.2 to 7.6.


Water Type That Raises PH

Check the pH level every time you add water to the pool. When you add more water, the pH level might rise. Health codes require balanced pH in water provided by water companies. Well water isn't governed like city water, and the pH balance gets in the alkaline range easily depending on the depth of your well and its location.