How to test and raise your pool's pH level 

A guide for easy testing and understanding - Updated: Jun - 2020

Summer is just around the corner and it’s getting hotter and hotter by the day. By this time you should be getting your outdoor pool ready for swimming activities. A pool will always add value to any home but you should know by now that having a pool requires heavy maintenance and care. Maintaining a pool and caring for it may also be expensive but it is extremely worth it. 

One of the most important factors to consider is your pool’s pH level. pH stands for “Potential Hydrogen.” This is the measure of how acidic and basic the water is. If you think your PH is too high, read our guide to lowering your pH level.

A quick recap on basic chemistry; the range of pH level is from 0 to 14 with 7 being the water’s neutral state. If the water measures less than 7 that means it is acidic if it measures greater 7 that means the water is basic. The International Pool Group (IPG) recommends that the water must be in between the levels of 7.2 and 7.8. this guarantees safety to both the swimmer and the equipment used to maintain the pool. 

"There are multiple different ways to measure and adjust your pool's Ph. My team of reviewers and I took a look at some of the best ways to handle raising your ph levels.  However you want to do it, here are some of the best ways reviewed by the best to give you a real view before you invest".

Ted Carson
Pool Professional & Editor

What Causes Low pH level in your Pool. 

The low pH level of your pool may have been caused by a plethora of things. But the primary cause of this is rainwater from recent rainfall. Most of the time, quick rainfalls won’t really cause much difference in the pH level of your pool. It’s the heavy rainfall that lasts for days is what you should be most worried about. 

Rain is formed by evaporated water. As the water condenses and then forms into clouds it has transformed into its purest form— meaning its cleanest form. When the cloud starts precipitating, the pure water falling down into rain starts to accumulate pollutants and contaminants like ash in the air. When it reaches your pool, it is now being contaminated by debris that will cause your pool to be acidic (low pH level). Every time this happens you must treat your pool water for its pH level and apply the right amount of pH increaser powder. 

The IPG pH Plus Balancer is a good product to use for cases like this. Click here for more information. 

Reasons Why You Should Raise the pH level of your pool.

You must now be wondering why this is important in pool maintenance. Despite all of the other important things you have to worry about, why even give a bother with as simple as rainfall?

  1. A low pH level means that water is acidic. Acidic water is irritating for the eyes and skin because it strips away natural body oils. 
  2. This pH level will corrode the equipment you are using to keep your pool water clean. By leaving the pH level low for a long time it will eventually damage your plumbing, accessories, liners, and other equipment. 
  3. An unbalanced pH level kills the power of the chlorine. Chlorine is the germ-fighting substance of your pool. This is another primary reason why you should raise your pH level.

Another factor you have to bear in mind is your pool’s total alkalinity level. The pool water’s total alkalinity is a “measure of how much acid it can neutralize.” The recommended level of a pool’s alkalinity is between 80-120 ppm. Raising the levels of your alkalinity level when it goes below the recommended ppm level is extremely easy. All you have to do is go to your kitchen and look for sodium carbonate. Sodium carbonate is your kitchen’s baking soda. Simply add 1 1/2 pounds of baking soda to increase 10ppm to 10,000 gallons of your pool water. 

If you want to be sure of the products you put. We suggest adding the IPG Alkalinity Plus Balancer. Click here for more information about this product. 

How to Raise pH in a Pool.

The International Pool Group or IPG gave a suggested step-by-step way on how to raise the pH level of your pool. 

Step by Step:


Test the Chemistry Levels 

To test the chemistry levels of your pool. The IPG suggests bringing a sample of your pool water to the nearest authorized IPG retailer. If you want to do this on your own, you can purchase Taylor Technologies Inc’s K-2206 Test Kit on Amazon. Click here to proceed to amazon. 


Calculate the Amount of Water in your Pool. 

To simply calculate the number of gallons your pool has. All you have to do is multiple the length to the width, then the depth, then multiply all of to 7.5. The resulting number is your pool’s amount of water in gallons. 


Measure your Chemicals. 

To measure your chemicals, follow the instructions given by the authorized IPG retailer or follow the instructions on the side of the product you purchased. Make sure you are following the instructions clearly. 


Add your Chemicals. 

Slowly add the pH Level Balancer around your pool for a finer mixture. 


Wait for Two Hours, then Test Again! 

Rinse and Repeat for accuracy is crucial.

Liquid Chlorine will NOT raise your pool’s pH Level. 

Chlorine is the germ-fighting substance of your pool. Most people confuse this with sodium carbonate, which is extremely wrong. The pH level of chlorine is 13 which means it is highly basic. 

In chemistry, when liquid chlorine is added to water it will form the chemical HOCI or Hypochlorous Acid. This is the killing form of the chlorine. But it also makes the chemical NaOH or Sodium Hydroxide, this chemical can raise the pH level of your pool. The reason why it can’t in the case of your pool water is that when HOCI is degraded by UV and used to for killing bacteria and oxidation it also creates HCI or Hydrochloric Acid. The amount of HCI will now be identical to the amount of NaOH which cancels the pH increasing capability of the NaOH. 

Final Thoughts

Having a pool in your home is extremely difficult to manage and care for. You have to make sure of your pool's chemistry content for better and safe swimming. The pH levels and alkalinity levels of the water are critical swimming. Low pH levels and alkalinity levels will both bring harm to you and your equipments.