Diving into a Rare Issue: Decreasing Total Alkalinity with Muriatic Acid

Diving into a Rare Issue: Decreasing Total Alkalinity with Muriatic Acid

Are you ready to make a splash in the world of pool maintenance? Keeping your pool’s total alkalinity (TA) level in line is essential to maintain a crystal-clear oasis all summer long. Usually total alkalinity is too low, in which case the answer is raising it using Alkalinity Multiplier


However, sometimes your total alkalinity level is too high (over 150 parts per million, or ppm), in which case you’ll want to lower it to prevent damage to your pool surface. In this guide, we'll explain how to decrease total alkalinity using muriatic acid, one tool in your pool care arsenal.


Step 1: Test the Water

Before diving into any pool maintenance task, it's crucial to test the water to determine the current total alkalinity level. You can use reliable test strips or a test kit for this. The ideal total alkalinity range is 80-120ppm, and levels slightly above 120 are no cause for concern. However, if your TA level reaches 150ppm, it’s best to take action and decrease it.


Step 2: Calculate the Amount of Muriatic Acid Needed

Once you have your total alkalinity reading, it's time to calculate how much muriatic acid you'll need to lower it to the desired range. Most pool maintenance guides recommend adding 20-25 ounces of muriatic acid per 10,000 gallons of water to reduce total alkalinity by 10ppm. You can scale these numbers up or down depending on the size of your pool. And don’t forget, it's always best to start with a conservative approach and retest the water before adding more acid. It’s easier to add more muriatic acid than take some out!


Step 3: Safety First!

Before handling muriatic acid, make sure you're equipped with the proper safety gear. This includes gloves, goggles, and a mask to protect yourself from potential splashes or fumes. Work in a well-ventilated area and never mix muriatic acid with other chemicals.


Step 4: Dilute and Disperse

To avoid damaging your pool surface or equipment, dilute the muriatic acid by adding it slowly to a bucket of water. Remember to never pour water into acid as this can cause splashing. The ratio you want is 10 parts water to every 1 part muriatic acid. Once diluted, slowly pour the mixture around the perimeter of the pool while the pump is running to ensure even distribution.


Step 5: Monitor and Retest

After adding muriatic acid to lower TA, give it some time to circulate and take effect. It's recommended to wait at least 6-8 hours before retesting the water. If needed, you can repeat the process until you reach the desired total alkalinity level within the safe range.


By following these steps and taking proper precautions, you can drop your TA to the perfect level using muriatic acid. As always, maintaining balanced water chemistry is the key to enjoying your pool all season long.

Dive in, have fun, and see you soon for more expert tips!