What should your pH level be in your swimming pool?

Why keep the swimming pool pH and Alkalinity levels between the recommended ranges?

Why having a swimming pool is amazing and it does provide you with a ton of fun, there’s no denying that you do need to think about pool maintenance very often. Not only that, but it’s important to check the pH and Alkalinity levels as often as you can, because any value fluctuations can easily lead to some massive health problems. Even your pool might be damaged during this process.

What values should the pool pH be at?

pH, also known as potential hydrogen has a scale that runs from 0 to 14, with 7 being the neutral value. If you want you avoid any issues, the best thing you can do is to keep your pool pH at a value of anywhere between 7.2 and 7.6. This is the ideal range, even if you do go under/over these values a little bit you don’t have to worry, but try to get as close as possible to them.

Try and keep the pH balance as close to the proper range of 7.2 to 7.6 as possible.  Pick one day a week to perform a test and make adjustments as necessary.

However, the main problems appear when your pool pH gets either too high or too low. Each situation comes with specific consequences.

If the value is too low, the water pH will be acidic. When you have to acidic water in your pool, it will lead to an excess of sanitizer use, it will start etching concrete and plaster surfaces, not to mention it will corrode the equipment and surfaces. In fact, acidic water will corrode metal very fast and it will even irritate your eyes and skin.

On the other hand, when the water pH is too high, the water will be more basic. This means you will have cloudy water, you will have to deal with eye irritation, not to mention the sanitizer efficiency will be very pool. In this situation, you will also get to see scale deposits on your equipment and pool surface.

That’s the main reason why you should try and use chemical such as bleach in order to chlorinate the pool and keep both your pool pH and alkalinity levels in check.

Chlorine test.
Using clean pool water to test the pH balance.

What alkalinity values should we focus on?

You can find a variety of materials in the pool water that are used as buffering agents. Alkalinity focuses on measuring the amount of alkalinity materials which are needed to maintain a specific pool pH. The recommended value is around 80-120ppm.

Just like in the case of pH, having values that are either lower or higher is not ok. Low alkalinity will make the water more corrosive and it will make the pH values drift. On the other hand, higher alkalinity will make water cloudy, not to mention you will have a lower sanitizer efficiency.


As you can see, both pH and water alkalinity are very important if you want to maintain the pool water clean and healthy. They are important components for the pool water chemistry, which is why you have to use the proper chemicals and alleviate any issues that might appear. Don’t hesitate to work with a professional in order to maintain both the alkalinity and pH values between the recommended values to enjoy a relaxing summer filled with swimming and pool fun!

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