Should You Use Sulfuric Acid to Treat Your Pool?

When it comes to your swimming pool, making sure it is safe for use by your friends and family has got to be at the top of your list of concerns. However, it is necessary to use chemicals in your pool in order to keep the water clean. You need to treat that nasty bacteria in your pool! But how much is too much? Today on Pool Calculator we are going to be “diving in” to the chemical of sulfuric acid. More specifically, we’ll be discussing what sulfuric acid is, the pros and cons of using it in your pool, and our final verdict on whether or not it should be a part of your personal chemical mixture.

What is Sulfuric Acid?

Sulfuric acid is an oxidized solution of sulfur dioxide and is commonly used as an industrial and laboratory reagent. This acid is a mineral acid made up of sulfur, oxygen, and hydrogen. The structure formula of sulfuric acid is H2SO4(for all of you chemistry nerds out there). This mixture in finished form is a colorless, odorless liquid that is soluble in water. This can explain the potential for its use in swimming pools. Sulfuric acid is used to raise the overall acidity of your pool water. This is often done to balance the pH level of your pool (lowering the number). It is also done to control the total Alkalinity of the water. Muriatic acid is a commonly used acid when it comes to swimming pools. This acid performs the same functions as sulfuric acid. Therefore, sulfuric acid is considered as a substitute for muriatic acid.

Pros of using Sulfuric Acid

  • Cheaper to buy than muriatic acid
  • Performs most of the same tasks as muriatic acid (lowering pH, Alkalinity)
  • Does not fume in large amounts (no strong smell)
  • Just as efficient in the desired task of pH, Alkalinity

Cons of using Sulfuric Acid

  • Rapidly increases level of Total Dissolved Solids (TSDs). These TSDs can be hazardous if at too high of a level
  • Adds unwanted sulfates to the water
  • Will burn human skin if exposed
  • Can be corrosive to stainless steel material, causing property damage
  • Overall, much more dangerous to handle

Our Recommendation

We recommend using muriatic acid if you’re looking to control the pH in your pool. Muriatic acid is just useful as sulfuric acid without most of the health risks. However, if you are strapped on cash and aware of the potential health risks associated with sulfuric acid, sulfuric acid performs most of the same tasks as the former at a slightly lower price.

Try out our Pool Calculator as you clean and maintain your pool! For more information on how to care for your swimming pool, see our blogs on Pool Maintenance

Another article you may enjoy…..
“Five Things Chlorine Will Kill in Your Pool”.

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