Salt Water Pool Maintenance: How to Balance Alkalinity

Pool testing strips
  • 1 hours
  • Beginner
  • 10-15
What You'll Need
Water testing kit
Alkalinity increaser
pH Plus
pH Minus
Calcium hardness increase product

Pool owners and operators need to pay close attention to the water chemistry when tending to salt water pool maintenance. The chemistry parameters control the chemical’s equality in the pool water. Alkalinity is an acid formed from the result of alkaline materials like hydroxides, carbonates, and bicarbonates. It helps prevent big variations in the pH when there are small amounts of acid added in the pool. PH is the measure of hydrogen ion concentration in water. PH affects all the other chemical balances in the pool. Alkalinity levels and pH levels need to stay balanced. The items and instructions needed to ensure the two stay balanced are listed below.

Step 1 - Prep Pool

The pool should be vacuumed and swept, and water should be filled to the correct level.

Step 2 - Test the Filter and Pump

The filter and the pump will now need to be run through the testing portion and the chemical addition process.

Step 3 - Test Water Samples

Get the water testing kit that will test the alkalinity, the pH and the calcium hardness. Do two tests of the water samples. This will assure you of an accurate test result reading. Before adding anything, figure out how much you will need to add and what component you need to add based on the gallon water amount in the pool.

Step 4 - Add Alkalinity

The alkalinity increaser bucket will give you the proper amount of it to add. The alkalinity range for the pool is anywhere between 80 to 120 parts/million. The required amount is to be separated into three parts and add them in ten-minute increments.

Step 5 - Run another Test

Test the water again after each of the three parts you add. This will let you know if you need to add all three of the parts you divided (prevents overdosing).

Step 6 - Test pH

After you have added the right amount of alkalinity increaser, test the pH. Alkalinity increases the pH level. Either pH minus or the pH plus will need to be added to get the range from 7.2 and 7.8. Distribute the pH plus as you need it. Add the amount of pH minus needed to a bucket of pool water and dump it into the skimmer. PH minus is extremely acidic and should be handled lightly.

Step 7 - Calcium Hardness Levels

Use the results of the test to measure the correct amount of calcium hardness increaser. This measurement dosage will need to be separated in three just as the alkalinity increaser was. Wait 10 minutes between each dose. The calcium hardness range should be between 180 and 240 parts per million. This is another harsh chemical to handle and the bucket method is advised.

Step 8 - Add Sanitizer

Once all the chemicals are balancing and have reached their correct range, add chlorine or your chosen sanitizer.