A Word About Water Chemistry

by Pool Builders on 04-23-2008 in Articles

Balance.

That's the word we'd use if we had to pick one word about the importance of water chemistry. Balancing the pH levels and chemical levels in your in ground or above ground swimming pool is not a time consuming process-but an important part of routine maintenance for your pool's most vital component-its water.

There are water standards set by your pool manufacturer, along with detailed instructions both with the pool and with the water additives you use to balance your water chemistry. These instructions are there for the safety of your swimmers, and need to be followed both rigidly and regularly to achieve best quality water balance.

Testing kits are an economical way to check the balance of your chemicals in your swimming pool, allowing you to use a small amount of the pool water to test the whole volume of the pool. A pH level (acidity/alakalinity) that's too high might reduce the effectiveness of a sanitizing agent like chlorine, while a low pH level can cause discomfort to bathers.

Sanitizing agents deter the growth of bacteria and algae in the water-but sometimes a chemical additive like chlorine can be irritating. Be sure to investigate the option of an automatic chlorine generator as an addition to your water balancing system.

Traditionally, chlorine generators (such as the AutoPilot system from Kayak Pools Midwest) are integrated into your existing pump system, and operate whenever the pump is on. Ordinary salt (sodium chloride) is added to the swimming pool. The salt circulates through the generator and is broken down through a process called electrolysis-instantly creating chorine that is pumped back into the swimming pool water. The chlorine in water eventually turns back into salt, and is reprocessed again and again.

This process maintains a constant, low level of chlorine and salt water in the swimming pool at all times-preventing the growth of algae. Typically, the level of salt water in parts per million is so low that it's virtually unnoticeable, and gives swimmers the added benefit of swimming pool water that irritates the eyes less, won't fade swimwear or interact with hair coloring, and generally feels better on the skin-with no residual flaky residue or itchiness often associated with a chemically chlorinated pool.

There are simple considerations to make when approaching your above ground swimming pool water chemistry-none more important than following manufacturer's instructions, and remembering that single, all-important word, balance.

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