Sodium Bisulfate Vs. Muriatic Acid: Which Works Best

  • Aside from being a maintenance caretaker, a pool owner also has to be a chemist, as what most pool owners say.  Maintaining a swimming pool requires a lot more than just cleaning and filling water. What is more crucial is keeping the water balanced with all the cleaning solutions and other chemicals that are needed to keep it clean and safe to use. One of the most concerns pool owners have to decide on is what works best between sodium bisulfate vs. muriatic acid. Here's something that will help you decide.
  • Having a high pH level is a common problem for pool owners. It can cause cloudy water and skin allergies, as well as calcium growth from scaling. Adjusting the pH level by adding acid helps to neutralize the water. Two of the main ingredients of pH reducers are muriatic acid and sodium bisulfate, also known as dry acid. Do not be confused with sodium bisulfate as it goes with different names like sodium hydrogen sulfate, dry salt, acid salt, and bisulfate of soda.
  • Many pool owners prefer sodium bisulfate because it is less corrosive. It is safer to use and won't cause skin burns, plus it is more convenient to store. Dry acid is also biodegradable and more harmless for the environment.
  • Sodium bisulfate is granular in its form and can cause erosion on cement grout and pool liners, which is why experts do not recommend it for tiled or cemented pools. Besides, adding dry acid to the water will tend to have sulfates build-up as time passes by. Although, as compared to muriatic acid, using sodium bisulfate promotes ease and convenience in preparation and application.
  • Muriatic acid, on the other hand, is way cheaper and is believed to be more effective than sodium bisulfate. Some pool owners think the muriatic acid is the same as hydrochloric acid. The latter is mostly used in laboratories as it has a higher Baume rating and is purer in form.
  • Aside from being an effective pH reducer, muriatic acid also works as a cleansing solution to pool surfaces. However, protective gear is necessary during application like hand gloves, face mask, and boots. Remember to consider the direction of the wind before adding the chemicals as a safety measure.
  • Both muriatic acid and sodium bisulfate are effective in lowering the pH, particularly when used correctly. Diluting the acid in the water, be it sodium bisulfate or muriatic acid, is highly recommended. To dilute, carefully add the acid to the water and never otherwise as it may boil and splutter. Always read the instructions or ask the experts if you are not sure about the process.
  • Once applied, wait for 4-6 hours before retesting the water's pH level to ensure that the acid has finished its job. Retesting after 24 hours could provide the most accurate result of the process. Perfect water chemistry means a balanced pH, and retesting the water from time to time will enable you to monitor the level and would require less work. 
  • The discussion on which one works effectively, sodium bisulfate vs. muriatic acid, continues. The truth is, both are capable of lowering the alkalinity of the water. Although the effectiveness solely relies on the right process of application.