You can (soda ash is used to adjust PH) but your pool supply store may have a cheaper alternative.
I used "Alkalinity Increaser" for a year or two until I noticed that the sole ingredient is baking soda. I have heard since that the only difference is that the kind you buy in the grocery store is finer than the pool version (which is good because it's easier to dissolve). I also buy my baking soda at a wholesale club, where it costs a fraction of "Alkalinity Increaser" at a pool store.
I agree. I needed to add 25 pounds of pH plus to my pool. At the pool supply it was $12.50 for 4 pounds. At my local Dollar General, it was 50 cents a pound. True, I had to buy 25 boxes but my son had fun ripping them open and throwing the baking soda all over the pool! It usually dissolved before it hit the bottom!
I am told by my local pool, expert that using baking soda in place of 1 or 2 pounds of Alkalinity Up is OK but for larger amounts, it may make the water cloudy because baking soda has larger granules than Alkalinity Up.
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