How to Balance Your Swimming Pool

by Pool Builders on 12-06-2012 in Articles

Ideal Ranges.

PH is the most important factor controlling your pool water balance. It refers to the measure of the relative acid or base of the pool water and should be tested daily.

If PH is too high - PH values above 7.8 will lead to cloudy water, staining, scale deposits, filtration problems and reduces chlorine efficiency.

If PH is too low - PH values below 7.2 may lead to metal corrosion, etched plaster, rapid loss of chlorine residual and possible irritation to swimmers.

Ideal PH - To maintain an ideal PH level in your pool water, use liquid chlorine when the PH drops below 7.2. When the PH level rises above 7.8, use muriatic acid to lower the PH.

Total Alkalinity

Total alkalinity is the measure of your pool water's ability to resist change in PH. Alkalinity does not have to be tested on a daily basis. This is a measure of the buffering capacity or the ability of pool water to resist a change in PH.

High Total Alkalinity - When the total alkalinity is above 140 ppm (parts per million), the PH will tend to slowly creep up and resist efforts to change.

Low Total Alkalinity - When the total alkalinity is below 75 ppm, the pH is likely to "bounce" from one extreme to the other and it will be difficult to keep the PH in the proper range.

Ideal Alkalinity - When the total alkalinity of your pool drops below 100 ppm use baking soda/ bi carb. If the total alkalinity rises above 140 ppm use soda ash to reduce it.

Calcium Hardness

High Calcium Hardness - Calcium hardness above 300 ppm can cause calcium to precipitate from the water causing cloudy conditions and scale deposits.

Low Calcium Hardness - Calcium hardness below 100 ppm may lead to corrosion.

Ideal Calcium Hardness - If the calcium hardness level in your pool rises above 300 ppm, the use of a good reducer will prevent cloudy water and hard water scale. A low calcium hardness level can be corrected by adding an increaser.

Stain Producing Metals

Iron, copper, silver and manganese are metals which commonly cause colored water, or stains in pools. If you are fortunate enough to have "ideal" fill water, and a properly constructed and maintained pool, these would not be a problem. Since ideal conditions rarely exist, we recommend the regular use of a good metal removal agent like metal out to continually protect the pool against stain producing metals.

Sanitizing Your Pool Water

Disinfection is an essential element of any pool water treatment program. chlorinated products are designed to disinfect your pool water by releasing "free chlorine" into the pool water to control germs and microorganisms, algae and organic matter.

The best method for maintaining a proper chlorine level in pools is by using one of the stabilized chlorine products. They also contain a much higher percentage of available chlorine than liquid chlorine products and do not alter the hardness level.

Because water conditions change rapidly, it is very important to test the water every day for chlorine residual. The free available chlorine reading should be 1-3 ppm. You should also test pH at the same time.

Protect your chlorine from sunlight. At the start of each season, test your pool for stabilizer content, and if necessary add Stabilizer following label directions. Sunlight will rapidly lower chlorine level in outdoor pools unless the pool water is "stabilized." Stabilizer, technically known as Cyanuric Acid, will shield your chlorine from rapid destruction by sunlight's UV rays.

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