+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 19

Thread: Using Muriatic Acid to Safely Lower Your Pool's pH

  1. #1
    PoolDoc's Avatar
    PoolDoc is offline Administrator Quark Inspector PoolDoc 5 stars PoolDoc 5 stars PoolDoc 5 stars PoolDoc 5 stars PoolDoc 5 stars PoolDoc 5 stars PoolDoc 5 stars
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Chattanooga, TN
    Posts
    14,223

    Default Using Muriatic Acid to Safely Lower Your Pool's pH

    ================================================== ====
    Step by step:

    Video demonstration: http://youtu.be/ajC-OROORko
    This is the preliminary unedited video, without voice-over and graphcs, but it completely demonstrates the correct method.

    Product Description
    20 degree Baume' 31.45% Muriatic Acid muriatic acid AKA hydrochloric acid

    MSDS - Material Safety Data Sheets for muriatic acid
    Hasa Pool
    http://www.whatsinproducts.com//file...tic%20Acid.pdf
    Sunnyside Corp

    Sources:
    Crown Muriatic Acid at Lowe's
    TransChem Muriatic Acid at some Ace Hardware stores
    Sunnyside Muriatic Acid at Mendards
    Other sources: Any hardware, building supply, or home care store is a possible source. Brands may vary, even within a single chain.

    #1 - Make sure your pool pump is on, and leave it on for at least 1 hour after you add acid.
    #2 - Get a sharp stainless kitchen paring knife, plastic gloves and some sort of glasses BEFORE opening the bottle. Put on the gloves and glasses.
    #3 - Splash some water on the pool deck, place the bottle in the puddle on the deck, and remove the lid.
    #4 - Either gently pull the seal from the bottle OR use the knife to cut it away. If you use the knife, immediately rinse the blade in the pool.
    #5 - Once the lid is off, and the seal removed, take the bottle and submerge it partially in the pool.
    #6 - Pour the acid into the pool by tilting the bottle. Keep the mouth of the bottle only a couple of inches above the pool's surface.
    #7 - Your basic dose is 1/4 of a 1 gallon bottle per 10,000 gallons of pool water. Do NOT try to measure this! Under-guesstimate the dose, and add more later if needed. (Pouring acid from one container to another will release a LOT of noxious fumes!)
    #8 - Cap the bottle tightly.
    #9 - Store the bottle outside in an opaque plastic container. If you do store the acid indoors, be sure to put inside a sealed heavy duty garbage bag. Read the explanation, below.
    #10 - Rinse any spills off you or the deck promptly with pool water. If you should splatter the acid in your eyes, let go of the bottle and IMMEDIATELY roll over into the pool. Open your eyes underwater, and swim away from the area where you have added acid. This will flush your eyes completely and safely. (If you can't swim, move a few feet away from your work area, lay on the deck and submerge your head in the pool. Force your eyes open in the water.)
    #11 - Never, NEVER use a hose with a nozzle to rinse your eyes -- a high pressure stream of water can also do immediate, serious damage to your eye. If for some reason, you cannot put your face in the water, move a hose with NO NOZZLE next to you BEFORE you begin adding acid. Turn on the water so that it flows gently out of the hose, and LEAVE IT RUNNING till you have re-sealed and rinsed the bottle of acid. If you should have a problem, use the hose to flush your eyes.

    ================================================== ====

    Explanations

    Any acid can be used to lower your pool's pH or alkalinity, but some are better than others. Organic acids, like ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) or citric acid (lemon juice) are used to remove stains -- but they are destroyed by chlorine and are expensive. The most common 'pool acids' ("pH Minus", "pH Down", etc.) are based on sodium bisulfate, a partially neutralized form of sulfuric acid. However, sulfates increase concrete corrosion, and sodium bisulfate is expensive, compared to muriatic acid.

    We usually recommend hydrochloric acid, called "muriatic acid" when sold for commercial purposes, for use instead except on very small pools. There are several reasons:
    + it is cheaper than sodium bisulfate.
    + it does not add sulfates, which are damaging to inground concrete pools.
    + it does add chlorides, which are desirable in pools with SWCG.

    But muriatic acid is not perfect.

    It is perfectly safe for you and your pool, once it's diluted. But until then, because it is so strong, it can be VERY damaging. Like several pool chemicals (including bleach, powdered forms of chlorine, and sodium bisulfate) it can cause permanent eye damage almost instantly. It will discolor or damage almost anything you get it on, and will burn your skin quickly. So, you have to be very careful how you handle it. Fortunately, it's not hard to handle it correctly -- just follow the directions above!

    It has one unique hazard, however.

    Unlike most other common acids, hydrochloric acid is actually a gas in its pure form (HCl). For use, it's dissolved in water. But, at the concentration sold and labeled muriatic acid (~31%) the gas -- HCl -- will try to leave the water. This gas is painful to breath, and can be dangerous. It is EXTREMELY damaging to copper wiring or bare metal. If you follow the handling instructions above, you'll avoid breathing the fumes. But you MUST also be very careful how you store the acid, once you've unsealed the bottle. You must NOT store the acid in your garage or pump room, simply with the cap on. Enough fumes will often leak out to damage nearby metal or wiring. If at all possible, store it outside in a small covered plastic garbage can.

    If you must store it inside do this:
    #1 - After use, cap the bottle tightly.
    #2 - Rinse the entire bottle off in the pool.
    #3 - Place the bottle inside a heavy duty garbage bag, and then seal the bag with a twist tie.
    #4 - You may then store the bottle inside.
    #5 - When you next use the bottle, carry the bag and bottle outside BEFORE opening the bag. That way, any fumes that have accumulated can dissipate harmlessly.

    ================================================== ====
    .
    Last edited by PoolDoc; 06-15-2014 at 08:50 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Largo, Florida
    Posts
    502

    Default Re: Using Muriatic Acid to Safely Lower Your Pool's pH

    Nice! Until recently, I was not following step 7.

    What do the chlorides do in a swcg pool?
    rectangle 11.5K gal IG concrete pool;; 125sf cartridge filter; 2hp 1 speed pump; K-2006, k-1766; PF:10

  3. #3
    PoolDoc's Avatar
    PoolDoc is offline Administrator Quark Inspector PoolDoc 5 stars PoolDoc 5 stars PoolDoc 5 stars PoolDoc 5 stars PoolDoc 5 stars PoolDoc 5 stars PoolDoc 5 stars
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Chattanooga, TN
    Posts
    14,223

    Default Re: Using Muriatic Acid to Safely Lower Your Pool's pH

    -Cl - (2e) => +Cl or 'pool chlorine'.

    In other words, your SWCG uses chlorides to make chlorine (-Cl -> +Cl)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    garden city, ks
    Posts
    25

    Default Re: Using Muriatic Acid to Safely Lower Your Pool's pH

    Thanks for the info.!

    After the read, ( a couple of times) it makes perfect sense to Me.

    Gary
    POOL SPECS: In-ground vinyl; 18 x 36' 24,000 Gallon,

  5. #5
    chem geek is offline PF Support Team Whibble Konker chem geek 4 stars chem geek 4 stars chem geek 4 stars chem geek 4 stars
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    California
    Age
    55
    Posts
    2,187

    Default Re: Using Muriatic Acid to Safely Lower Your Pool's pH

    You can often buy 15% Muriatic Acid and if you can get it for roughly half the price of 31.45% Muriatic Acid then it's about as economical. I find that this half-strength fumes a LOT less. Nevertheless, my pool store sells the full-strength at the best price so I still use that and am just careful to be up-wind when pouring. I do measure it in a cup, but I do that pouring away from my face and over the pool.

    The good news is that though the fumes are irritating, this is actually a good thing since it warns you well in advance of being too harmful. Nevertheless, it's the nastiest stuff most pool owners will experience with regard to chemicals.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    259

    Default Re: Using Muriatic Acid to Safely Lower Your Pool's pH

    Quote Originally Posted by chem geek View Post
    You can often buy 15% Muriatic Acid and if you can get it for roughly half the price of 31.45% Muriatic Acid then it's about as economical. I find that this half-strength fumes a LOT less. Nevertheless, my pool store sells the full-strength at the best price so I still use that and am just careful to be up-wind when pouring. I do measure it in a cup, but I do that pouring away from my face and over the pool.

    The good news is that though the fumes are irritating, this is actually a good thing since it warns you well in advance of being too harmful. Nevertheless, it's the nastiest stuff most pool owners will experience with regard to chemicals.
    It has been my experience here in Arizona that the full strength (31.45%) Muriatic acid is sold almost exclusively by pool stores, while the Grocery stores and Hardware stores sell the 15% strengths. It is also my experience that both strengths are not that far apart in price.
    If you can afford a swimming pool and computer, you can probably afford to help keep the PoolForum alive. Please be a responsible member and subscribe today. You'll probably save more than the membership fee on your first trip to the pool store. BTG

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    SW Missouri
    Posts
    5

    Smile Re: Using Muriatic Acid to Safely Lower Your Pool's pH

    Wonderful explanation! I have a question, you said 1/4 gal. per 10,000 gal. for treatment. How much will that lower your PH? Is there a good "rule of thumb"? Mine is at 8.2 right now. How much should I add to get to 7.5? The following numbers are from the pool store's testing: CYA- 120, TC-10, FC-10, PH-8.2, Total Alk-178, Adj Total Alk-142, Total Hardness-261,TDS-400. I have a 26,500 gal IG with TA-60 sand filter, Hayward 3/4 Hp pump. Also should receive my K-2006 and K-1000 any day so I can do the tests myself. I went through several pages of posts to see if anyone has already answered this, but stopped after 6-7 pages. I am new to the site, and my search method needs help. Also, my water is dirty and slightly green. We vacuumed it, but I think I made a mistake and vacuumed to filter instead of to waste, and it just returned to the pool. While there for testing, the guy at the pool store talked me into buying some snake oil called flocculant. It is BioGuard Powerfloc. He did a cool demo, and it worked like a champ. I wanted to know what you guys thought before using it, or should I not? It seems everything has some sort of undesired ingredient in it. Thank you for your help!
    18'x36' oval 26.5K gal IG pool; Skimmer tabs and hand fed granular; Tagelus TA-60 sand filter; Hayward Superpump? ( Data plate damaged ) 3/4 HP pump; Left on all day & nighthrs; Pool store for now. Ordering a K-2006 this evening.; well; summer: ; winter: ; ; PF:4.5

  8. #8
    aylad is offline SuperMod Emeritus Vortex Adjuster aylad 4 stars aylad 4 stars aylad 4 stars aylad 4 stars aylad 4 stars aylad 4 stars
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Northwest Lousiana
    Posts
    6,600

    Default Re: Using Muriatic Acid to Safely Lower Your Pool's pH

    Quote Originally Posted by MrTodd View Post
    It seems that everything has some sort of undesired ingredient in it. !
    And THAT is why we're here--to help educate people about what they're actually putting into the pool--and that's why we encourage folks not to just blindly follow pool store adivce!!

    We don't generally recommend flocculant--it has its place in pool care (some of them do, anyway), but if you don't have the right kind, and use it correctly, then it can create worse problems than you had to begin with. We would usually recommend it only as a last resort, and there are only particular kinds (I'm sure Pooldoc will have more to say on this).

    How much acid it will take to lower pH is different in all pools--it's partially dependent on your TA, so that's a hard one to answer....

  9. #9
    PoolDoc's Avatar
    PoolDoc is offline Administrator Quark Inspector PoolDoc 5 stars PoolDoc 5 stars PoolDoc 5 stars PoolDoc 5 stars PoolDoc 5 stars PoolDoc 5 stars PoolDoc 5 stars
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Chattanooga, TN
    Posts
    14,223

    Default Re: Using Muriatic Acid to Safely Lower Your Pool's pH

    Quote Originally Posted by MrTodd View Post
    Wonderful explanation! I have a question, you said 1/4 gal. per 10,000 gal. for treatment. How much will that lower your PH? Is there a good "rule of thumb"?
    Short answer:
    NO, it can't be predicted, but it can be measured!
    Long answer:
    How much effect a given dose of acid has on pool water CAN be calculated in theory. But in actual pool practice it cannot, for multiple reasons:
    1. Incorrect pool volumes -- Most pool owner's estimates of their pool's gallons is INCORRECT by more than 15%. In many cases, the error exceeds 40%!
    2. Testing errors -- in order to calculate the effect of a given dose of acid, you need ACCURATE measurements of the current pH, the carbonate alkalinity, the borate level, the cyanuric acid level, and possibly, other values. But, even with the best available test kit (the K2006) errors often exceed 10%, and exceed 20% with stabilizer values. If the pool owner is using other kits or 'guess strips', individual test value errors may exceed 80%!
    3. Non-linearity -- because of complexities of buffer chemistry, pH change calculation in the presence of weak acids (boric acid / borates; carbonic acid / carbonates; cyanuric acid / cyanurates; etc) the change produced by a given dose does NOT follow a line, or even a smooth curve.
    PoolCalculator.com attempts to provide the sort of calculation you ask for, but is notorious among the support team here for producing bizarre and misleading results, even assuming that valid data was provided. Of course, no calculator can out-perform the data it is supplied, and as noted above, pool owners CAN NOT provide the sort of data needed for accurate prediction.

    HOWEVER, while pH change cannot be reliably or accurately predicted, it can be easily measured with the acid and base demand tests in the K2006.

    Whether that has value or not is debated. My own opinion is that it has NO value for well operated pools, but does have value for a service guy encountering badly operated pools needed urgent correction.

    What isn't really debatable is that the most practical approach, that will produce the most consistent results in pool care is using the test-small dose-retest-redose approach, instead of the all-at-once approach espoused by pool stores.

  10. #10
    chem geek is offline PF Support Team Whibble Konker chem geek 4 stars chem geek 4 stars chem geek 4 stars chem geek 4 stars
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    California
    Age
    55
    Posts
    2,187

    Default Re: Using Muriatic Acid to Safely Lower Your Pool's pH

    The Pool Calculator uses a table-based approximation for a limited range of pH and TA though it does account for Borates (CYA turns out doesn't matter that much if one looks at TA, at least for typical pool pH ranges). The accurate calculation is complicated and is done in my Pool Equations spreadsheet. I didn't provide a simple enough formula to be used online in a timely manner. This post gives a formula where one can calculate the amount of acid or base needed for a given pH change without too much difficulty (but I found that after The Pool Calculator was already done), but the inverse calculation of predicting the pH change from a quantity of acid or base addition requires iterative searching (i.e. no closed-form formula).

+ Reply to Thread

Similar Threads

  1. Muriatic Acid w/ Vinyl pool
    By gdubs in forum Using Chlorine and Chlorinating Chemicals
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 08-25-2009, 07:06 PM
  2. adding muriatic acid to covered swg pool
    By lauralou in forum Salt Generators (SWCG) & other Chlorine Feeders
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 04-25-2009, 10:36 PM
  3. Lowering TA with Dry Acid Or Muriatic Acid
    By CelticDaddio in forum Dealing with Alkalinity and Calcium
    Replies: 30
    Last Post: 07-05-2007, 01:54 AM
  4. How much much muriatic acid do I add to lower the PH?
    By CelticDaddio in forum Testing and Adjusting Pool Water Chemistry
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 05-13-2007, 08:19 PM
  5. Pool store advice to lower alkalinity - three day muriatic acid dose method
    By aquarium in forum Dealing with Alkalinity and Calcium
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 07-03-2006, 11:04 PM

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts