How to Raise pH in a Swimming Pool: A Comprehensive Guide for Pool Owners

How to Raise pH in a Swimming Pool: A Comprehensive Guide for Pool Owners

Maintain the Perfect pH Balance for a Healthy and Enjoyable Swimming Experience


Maintaining the ideal pH level in your swimming pool is crucial to ensuring a comfortable swimming experience, protecting your pool equipment, and promoting effective sanitization. The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14, with 7 being neutral. The optimal pH level for a swimming pool is typically between 7.2 and 7.8. If your pool’s pH is too low, it can lead to corrosion of pool equipment, skin and eye irritation, and reduced effectiveness of sanitizing chemicals. This article will provide you with a comprehensive guide on how to raise the pH level in your swimming pool to achieve a well-balanced and healthy swimming environment.

Step 1: Test Your Pool Water

Begin by testing your pool water to determine the current pH level. You can use a pool test kit or test strips, which are readily available at most pool supply stores. Follow the instructions provided with your testing method to obtain accurate results.

Step 2: Calculate the Required pH Increaser Amount

If your pH level is below 7.2, you will need to add a pH increaser (also known as a pH up or pH plus) to raise the pH. Sodium carbonate (soda ash) and sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) are two common chemicals used as pH increasers.

To calculate the amount of pH increaser required, consult the product label or use an online pool calculator. You will need to know your pool’s volume, the current pH level, and the target pH level.

Step 3: Pre-dissolve the pH Increaser

To ensure even distribution and prevent cloudiness or damage to your pool surfaces, pre-dissolve the pH increaser in a bucket of water before adding it to your pool. Fill a large plastic bucket with water, and gradually add the required amount of pH increaser, stirring continuously until it’s fully dissolved.

Step 4: Add the pH Increaser to Your Pool

Slowly pour the dissolved pH increaser solution into the pool, spreading it evenly around the perimeter. Avoid pouring the solution directly onto pool surfaces or fittings, as this may cause damage.

Step 5: Circulate the Pool Water

Turn on your pool pump and allow it to circulate the water for at least 2-4 hours. This will help to distribute the pH increaser evenly throughout the pool, ensuring the pH level is raised consistently.

Step 6: Retest and Adjust as Needed

After the pool water has circulated for a sufficient time, retest the pH level using your pool test kit or test strips. If the pH level is still below the ideal range, repeat Steps 2-5, adding more pH increaser as necessary. Keep in mind that it’s better to make gradual adjustments to avoid overshooting the target pH level.


Maintaining the optimal pH level in your swimming pool is essential for a healthy and enjoyable swimming environment. By following this comprehensive guide on how to raise the pH in your swimming pool, you can ensure the comfort of swimmers, protect your pool equipment, and maximize the effectiveness of your sanitizing chemicals. Regular testing and adjustments are key to maintaining a well-balanced and inviting pool for you and your family to enjoy.