Maintaining Proper Salt Water Pool pH

by Pool Builders on 03-06-2008 in Articles

Owning your own pool is not only a lot of fun but it can also increase your property values. Many people enjoy the freedom they have to swim at their leisure, but also the way a properly lit pool can create just the right atmosphere. Many are looking though for that magic pool system - a system that requires minimal maintenance but provides maximum results. For most a salt water pool system is the solution they are looking for. No more handling large amounts of liquid chlorine or other chemicals is needed. But it is water balance is still important. Salt water pool pH levels are just as important as with a chlorinated pool. So contrary to popular belief, salt water pools are not completely maintenance free.

What does pH do?

Most people are familiar with why chlorine is important. Chlorine kills the germs that lurk in your pool. But chlorine takes time to work. It also doesn't accomplish this task alone. Salt water pool pH levels also play an important part in the disinfection process. pH levels determine the germ killing power that chlorine will have in a salt water pool system. The two must be properly balanced to achieve maximum results. High pH levels mean that the chlorine generated in a salt water pool will be less effective. High pH levels will also cause swimmers discomfort and irritation. People have a natural pH level. The average is between 7.2 and 7.8. If a pool pH level is outside of this range, most swimmers will feel irritation in their skin and eyes after a short time. So the key is to keep pH levels at a constant. This will allow maximum germ killing power and minimum irritation.

Checking Levels

One common complaint from new salt water pool owners is that their pool is either getting cloudy or it is causing irritation when swimming. The simple solution is frequent testing. Checking your salt water pool pH levels is an important duty that cannot be ignored. Many people are sold units on the basis that they automatically maintain correct levels of pH and chlorine. This may be true in a controlled environment, but there are many factors that will reduce chlorine or raise pH levels. Sunlight, debris, dirt and even swimming suits will have an affect on the chlorine and pH balance of a salt water pool. Frequently checking these levels will allow you to make the necessary adjustments to your chlorine generation system.

It's easy to see that while salt water pools may offer easier maintenance, they still require proper water balance. Proper testing and checking salt water pool pH levels can ease the common complaints and frustrations that many people have. Never settle for a 'set it and forget it system'. Just like a standard chlorine pool, many outside factors can and will affect your salt water pool's pH level. Salt water pools are still very similar to standard chlorine pools in a lot of ways because they still utilize chlorine.

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