Alkalinity is important in pool water to keep pH levels stable. A low or high pH level can result in skin irritation and corrosion of pool filters and plumbing lines. Pool test strips show you the alkalinity, chlorine and pH levels in pool water and help you know when adding the proper chemicals is necessary. You can raise alkalinity in pool water with baking soda or sodium bicarbonate, according to the Division of Environmental Health of North Carolina.
Look in your pool manual or ask the pool manufacturer how many gallons of water your pool contains. This helps you to determine the amount of baking soda needed to raise alkalinity in your pool to an appropriate level.
Test your pool water with a pool test strip. Place the test strip into the pool water and compare it to the test strip bottle. The colors on the test strip and on the bottle tell you how much the alkalinity in the pool needs to be raised.
Use the test strip indication to determine how much baking soda or sodium bicarbonate to add to the pool water. Total alkalinity levels should remain between 80 and 120 ppm (parts per million).
Add 1.4 pounds of baking soda to 10,000 gallons of water to raise total alkalinity by 10 ppm.
Retest the pool water with another test strip to check the total alkalinity. If the alkalinity is still lower than 80 ppm, keep adding baking soda and retesting until the alkalinity is at a proper level.