Total alkalinity is
the measure of the amount of alkaline buffers (primarily
carbonates and bicarbonates) in your water. These alkaline
substances buffer the water against sudden changes in pH. Total
alkalinity is considered the key to water balance. It is the
first parameter you should balance when making routine
adjustments to your water.
If you neglect to check the total alkalinity in your pool or spa, you may have trouble balancing the pH. You may also notice that pH fluctuates suddenly despite your best efforts to keep it in the ideal range. If the alkalinity is too low, anything introduced to the water will have an immediate impact on pH. Abrupt shifts in pH can cause scaling or corrosion of metal equipment and fixtures as well as other problems. When the total alkalinity is high, the pH has a tendency to drift upward, causing scale to form.
Maintaining an ideal level of alkalinity will protect your pool or spa and its equipment from the harmful effects of sudden pH fluctuations. Think of the alkalinity as training wheels: it keeps the pH in balance without allowing it to tip too far to either side. Of course the pH can still drift upward or downward, but that change will happen gradually as long as the alkalinity falls within the ideal range. The ideal range of total alkalinity for pools and spas is between 80 and 120 ppm (mg/L).
When the total alkalinity is too low, add sodium bicarbonate. If the total alkalinity is too high, you can lower it by using muriatic acid or sodium bisulfate.
Adjusting Alkaline Levels
You want the Alkaline between 80 and 120 ppm.
Raise: ozs of sodium bicarbonate = gals x ppm x .000224
Lower: ozs of sodium
bisulfate = gals x ppm x .00034
Lower: ozs of Muriatic 31% = gals x ppm x .000256
To lower alkaline levels in 9,500 gallons of water.
10 ppm with 24 oz's of
20 ppm with 48 oz's of Muratic
30 ppm with 72 oz's of Muratic
40 ppm with 96 oz's of Muratic