Sodium Bisulfate for Pools: How to Use It?

Sodium Bisulfate for Pools

As a pool owner, you have to keep buying chemicals to keep the water clean and sanitized. Also, you need to add some to ensure what is already in there is balance. One chemical you are likely to have to buy at some point is sodium bisulfate.

Sodium bisulfate is an essential pool chemical as it plays a crucial role in keeping water alkalinity and pH at the recommended levels. Hence, pool owners need to know why they need to use this chemical.

Why Do You Need It? 

Sodium bisulfate goes by many names, such as dry acid, sodium hydrogen sulfate, and acid salt. Its primary role in a pool is to keep the pH and alkalinity levels in check. However, the truth is that you need it for more than this.

Adding sodium bisulfate to your pool water helps provide a conducive environment for chlorine to clean and sanitize to keep the pool water safe for the swimmers.

Also, if your pool pH and alkalinity are off-balance, you are likely to end up with many other problems like corrosion of pool fixtures and the water getting cloudy. Sodium bisulfate will ensure all this does not happen.

How to use Sodium Bisulfate to Lower pH 

Step 1: Test the Pool Chemistry

You should always start by testing your pool’s chemistry before adding anything, and the same applies to sodium bisulfate. Testing pool chemistry should not take a lot of effort or time as you only need some reliable test strips like the Varify Premium Pool and Spa Test Strips.

A suitable pool pH will be between 7.4 and 7.6, but it should still be good enough, provided it does not go below 7.2. If you find that the pH is higher than 7.6, you need to add some sodium bisulfate to bring it down.

Step 2: Calculate How Much Sodium Bisulfate You Need to Use

The next step is determining how much sodium bisulfate you need to add to bring the pH down to the recommended levels. Here your actual pH level should guide you.

Most sodium bisulfate manufacturers provide clear guidelines on how much you need to add. However, it is always better to add around three-quarters of what they recommend since you can still add more later if it is not enough.

Step 3: Dissolve in Water

While you can pour some sodium bisulfate products straight into the pool, most will require you first to dissolve them in water.

Hence, it is crucial to read the manufacturer’s directions keenly for guidelines on what to do and the recommended product-to-water ratio.

Step 4: Pour the Mixture into the Pool

Once you mix the sodium bisulfate thoroughly, you can then pour it into the pool. There is also a proper way to do this, which largely depends on the pool type you have.

If you have above-ground pools, it is best to pour the acid mix around the pool wall. But for the in-ground types, make sure you add it as close to the return jets as possible to ensure proper circulation.

Step 5: Give It Time to Work

Remember to give the sodium bisulfate enough time to work. The actual time required depends on your pool size, but around 6 hours should be good enough in most instances. But, if you can spare even more time than this, the better.

Step 6: Test the pH Level Again

The last step is to test the pH levels once again to check whether the product effectively lowered the pH. If not, repeat the steps above to add more acid.

How to use Sodium Bisulfate to Lower Alkalinity 

Step 1: Test the Alkalinity Level

Alkalinity levs should be between 80 and 120 ppm for a pool that is in good balance. Hence, you need to first measure the actual level in your pool before adding sodium bisulfate.

Step 2: Determine the Amount to Use

The usage directions on the sodium bisulfate pack should give you precise measurements on how much to add. However, in most instances, you typically need around three-quarters of the recommended amount.

Step 3: Turn the Jets Off

If you have an inground pool, you must remember to turn off the jets first before adding the sodium bisulfate mixture.

Step 4: Dissolve Sodium Bisulfate and Pour Into the Pool

The next step is to dissolve the product in water and then pour it into the pool. However, when adding sodium bisulfate, make sure you do it slowly and in small quantities. Doing this ensures you do not alter the pH levels in the process.

Step 5: Give it Time to Work Before Retesting Alkalinity Level

Just like when lowering pH levels, you also need to wait for at least 6 hours as the product does the job. After the 6 hours, you should retest the alkalinity level to ascertain it is okay now.

Read more: How to Lower pH in Pools and How to Lower Alkalinity in Pools


Sodium bisulfate plays a crucial role in maintaining proper pool water chemistry. It helps keep the pH and alkalinity levels right and allows chlorine to clean the water effectively.

By helping keep your pool well-maintained, sodium bisulfate can save you money and time as you do not need to keep adding more chemicals. However, it is also essential to make sure you use it correctly for the best outcomes.

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