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Most pool owners decide either directly for a salt water pool, because this method of disinfection in addition to a protection of the human body brings numerous other advantages with it, or retrofit for those reasons still a salt water system.

However, it is often not considered at the beginning that a pool filled with salt water requires much less chemical means for water care, but especially the regulation of the pH value is a factor that should not be underestimated.

How to determine the ideal pH value for a salt water pool, how to balance the pool chemistry, and numerous other aspects in this regard is the subject of the following sections.

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Optimal salt water pool pH value

The pH value is an essential factor in setting the optimal pool chemistry of any pool and provides indications of whether the water in the pool is acidic, neutral or alkaline.

The abbreviation pH in Latin describes “potentia Hydrogenii” or “pondus Hydrogenii”, where Hydrogenium means hydrogen, potentia can be translated as power and pondus commonly means weight.

Due to the fact that the scale with which the PH value is measured ranges from the number 1 to 14, the value 7 is considered neutral.

Although in theory a pH value of 5.5 is best for the human skin, it not only causes irritation of the mucous membranes and eyes, but also has a damaging effect, for example, on components of the swimming pool that are made of metal.

Therefore, a pH value of 7.2 is generally favored, although in principle numbers between 7.0 and 7.4 are still considered to be within the norm. In this case, on the one hand, adequate functioning of all chemical pool care products is guaranteed, and on the other hand, no negative effects are noticeable.

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Saltwater pool pH value measurement – 4 methods in comparison

Before you can correctly set the pH value, if necessary, it is necessary to determine it beforehand with the help of a measurement. Due to the fact that there are different ways to do this, and only one of them is digital, they will be presented in more detail in the following text sections.

However, it is always highly recommended to measure the pH value of the saltwater pool at regular intervals so that it can be corrected if necessary.

Method 1: Test strips

As an inexpensive, easy to learn and in comparison uncomplicated option, the use of simple test strips is recommended, whereby one should choose from the multitude of available test strips those which are intended for a determination of the pH value.

However, since this method is rather inaccurate, it is mainly suitable for inflatable or seasonal pools.

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Method 2: Test kit with tablets

Another option, which in most cases already covers the measurement of several parameters of the chemical composition of the water of a pool, is the use of a specially assembled test kit.

A test kit in which the pH value is determined with the help of tablets is not only comparatively accurate in the measurement, but also not particularly expensive.

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Method 3: Test kit with liquid

The third option, which is also the last analogous alternative, is a test kit with liquid, which can be used to measure the pH value. This is similar to the second method, but instead of tablets, specific liquids are used.

However, this does not affect the accuracy of the test and just like a test kit with tablets, a test kit with liquid is usually not associated with a higher financial outlay for a purchase.

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Method 4: Digital pool water meter

If you want to measure pH with the greatest possible accuracy, analog methods are usually not enough, so a digital option in the form of an electric pool water meter is a good choice.

Although this method of measuring pH and other chemical values is rather expensive, it is highly recommended, especially for larger pools and pools embedded in the ground.

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Saltwater pool pH value increase in 4 steps

Due to the fact that a too low pH value over a longer period of time causes damage to the pool on the one hand and negative health consequences on the other hand, it is advisable to increase the pH value again in the long run.

To do this, first determine the existing pH value and then calculate the volume of the pool to then determine the appropriate dosage of the remedy pH Plus Granules, so that it can be added to the water of the pool.

If you want to use a home remedy such as washing soda, the process is very similar to pH Plus Granules, but you should use about five grams of washing soda per ten cubic meters of pool water to increase the pH value by a factor of 0.2.

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Saltwater pool pH value lowering in 4 steps

A too high pH value can also have negative effects, including algae infestation, the formation of limescale or irritation of the mucous membranes due to the incorrect action of the disinfectant used.

Ideally, the first step is to determine the pH value, then calculate the volume of the pool and dose pH minus granules, which are the most suitable for this method, and then add them to the water of the pool.

In some places, the use of vinegar as an alternative home remedy is discussed, but this is not recommended for several reasons, since it can lead not only to an increased load of bacteria, but also, for example, to increased strain on the filter.

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FAQ: Frequently asked questions about saltwater pool pH answered

Especially when dealing with the topic of the optimal pH value in connection with a saltwater pool for the first time, some questions may come to light that should be answered for many pool owners.

For this reason, the following sections contain the most frequently asked questions regarding pH levels for saltwater pools.

How often should you measure the saltwater pool pH?

In general, it is advisable to measure the pH value at least once a week, after the pool water has been completely or partially changed, or in the summer months in general, approximately every other day.
During the summer, the pool is exposed to increased use, which is why, for example, there is an increased risk of algae formation, and the increased measurement after refilling is due to the occurrence of fluctuations caused by outgassing carbonic acid.

Is it possible to regulate the pH value in the saltwater pool automatically?

Of course, it is possible to automatically regulate the pH value of a saltwater pool by means of dosing systems, provided that the configuration is correct. These systems can measure not only the existing pH value, but also, for example, the chlorine content.
Subsequently, if the measurement deviates from the ideal value, the appropriate chemical agent is added to the pool water for water care, so that a balance is found again.

Conclusion

Although many pool owners choose a saltwater pool because they no longer want to use chemicals to maintain the water, it is important to maintain an ideal pH level between 7.0 and 7.4, with the number 7.2 being the golden mean.

Due to the fact that an incorrect set pH value, even in a salt water pool, can cause damage to the materials of the pool or even health consequences caused by a lack of hygiene, it is essential to determine it at regular intervals with the help of an appropriate device and to adjust it if necessary.

As soon as you take these basic measures to heart, however, nothing stands in the way of relaxing hours in your own saltwater pool.

Larry has been a true water rat since childhood. Pure pleasure turned into a passion. That's why he is the first point of contact for friends and acquaintances when it comes to pool-related problems. He is an integral part of the PoolHandbook editorial team.