How Dry Acid Can Help You to Maintain Your Swimming Pool

If you're reading this article, you probably did some research on how to lower the total alkalinity and pH balance of your pool using dry acid (sodium bisulfate). In this article, we'll talk about why this chemical is beneficial for swimming pools.

Dry acid, also referred to as sodium hydrogen sulfate, is a type of acid that can be used in various ways, such as cleaning and food additives. In swimming pools, it can be used to lower the pH balance and total alkalinity levels. This white, grainy substance can be stored in a container, and it can be used as needed.

Dry Acid vs Muriatic Acid

Aside from bisulfate, other chemicals can also be used to lower the pH balance in swimming pools. Muriatic acid is a type of acid that can also be used to do so.

Although both types of acid can be used to lower the pH balance in swimming pools, the former is more dangerous. It can cause burns and damage to the pool surfaces if not handled properly.

Some people, however, prefer to use muriatic acid instead of sodium bisulfate when it's needed to lower the pH balance in their pools. It's entirely their choice, but we firmly recommend using dry acid whenever possible.

Alkalinity & pH Balance in Your Pool

One of the most important factors that you should consider when it comes to keeping your swimming pool's pH and total alkalinity levels in check is to ensure that the chlorine can work properly.

Unbalanced pH balance and total alkalinity levels can cause various issues, such as corrosion build-up of pool equipment and cloudy water. It can also lead to a faster breakdown of the chlorine in the pool.

How to Lower pH with Dry Acid

1. Test Your Pool

You'll need to test the chemistry levels of your pool using either a liquid or a strip kit. If the pH level gets too high, you'll have to use a solution containing sodium bisulfate.

Ideally, your pool should maintain a pH level of around 7.2 to 7.6. Most products that contain sodium bisulfate have a concentration of over 93.2%. Before you use them, it's important to read their instructions.

2. Determine the Amount of Dry Acid

After you've determined that your pool pH needs to be lowered, you'll need to determine the amount of sodium bisulfate that you need to add.

Most experts recommend adding around 3/4 of what the instructions recommends to begin with. You can always add more later.

3. Determine Whether to Dilute

Before you start adding the chemicals, make sure that you read the instructions carefully. If the product needs to be diluted, a five-gallon bucket is the best choice.

4. Add Dry Acid

For an inground pool, the solution should be close to the return jets. For an above-ground pool, the solution should be near the pool wall.

The solution should be distributed to all throughout the pool within 15 minutes, and you'll be able to see the dissolve the product as it disappears from sight.

After you've added the dry acid, allow it to work for around 6 hours. Don't return to the pool until the water has been balanced.

5. Test Your Pool Again

After 6 hours, add more dry acid if needed. You should also test the levels of both alkalinity and dry acid in the water to ensure that the solution is working properly.

How to Alkalinity Level with Dry Acid

A general rule of thumb is that the alkalinity level should not exceed 80 to 120 ppm. Alkalinity is a component of the solution that helps maintain the pH level.

If the alkalinity are too low, it will cause various skin conditions such as burning and staining. It can also affect the effectiveness of the product.

Dry Acid lowers both pH levels and alkalinity.

This process can take a couple of days to get the necessary changes, so it's important to be patient and continue adding the product as needed. Follow the instructions carefully.

1. Before you start, it's important to determine the amount of product that will be used for your pool. You should also mix the dry acid with water if needed.

2. Turn off the jets and wait around an hour before adding the required amount of product to the deep end.

3. Slowly pour the product into a small stream, keeping it from disrupting the pH balance.

4. Wait around 6 hours.

5. Repeat until your pool is in balance.

Pro Tips

Although it's safer to use than muriatic acid, sodium bisulfate should always be used with caution.

  • After adding sodium bisulfate to a pool, don't swim in it for at least four hours. It can cause burns if it gets in direct contact.
  • Never exceed the amount of dry acid that's recommended for use in a pool. It can cause damage to the pool's surface and plumbing.
  • Add solution to the water slowly. Do not add water to sodium bisulfate.


If you're maintaining your pool regularly, you should not have too many issues with its pH and alkalinity levels. However, doing so can be a bit challenging. The reason why maintaining a proper balance between the two components is more challenging than the others is due to their unstable nature.

One of the most important steps to maintaining a well-functioning pool is to regularly test its various levels. Doing so will allow you to identify any issues and make improvements.

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