Pool Chemistry - It's a Balancing Act!

by Pool Builders on 12-16-2013 in Articles

Maintaining your pool is not rocket science, but it does require regular maintenance (at least once per week when pool is operational) and an understanding of how to balance your pool water will go a long way in keeping the water clean, clear and most importantly safe! In addition, understanding your water chemistry will potentially help you avoid thousands of dollars in unnecessary repairs.

The foundation of your pool chemistry falls under 3 categories with a few sub categories that I will go over in a minute. The three that need to be checked weekly are your chlorine, pH and alkalinity levels.

Checking your chlorine is important because you want to ensure that proper levels of chlorine are being met to keep your pool water sanitized and prevent algae colonization in your pool. For residential pools, we recommend that you keep your chlorine in a range of 1-5 ppm (parts per million).

It's important to keep your pH balanced for a few reasons. Keeping your pH balanced will prevent scaling or crusty deposits, clogged filters and a cloudy pool (when pH is too high). When your pH is too low, it could cause corrosive conditions that will wear away your pool marcite, and wear on your equipment. In addition, keeping your pH balanced properly will make your pool water nicer to swim in. The pH of our tears is between 7.4-7.6. Keeping the water in this range will cause the least affect to our bodies. It will also help prevent red eye after swimming when maintained properly.

Your alkalinity is the buffer that keeps your pH from swinging wildly. This is best maintained between 80-120 ppm.

Cyanuric acid is another chemical that should be monitored in your pool chemistry. Cyanuric acid, a.k.a. "stabilizer" binds to the chlorine to prevent it from turning into gas and leaving your pool quickly. Essentially, it keeps the chlorine where it needs to be- in your pool! Too much stabilizer can be a problem though. It can cause chlorine lock and although you may have proper amounts of chlorine in your pool, the stabilizer will prevent it from doing it's job. The ideal range for stabilizer is between 40-100 ppm. When you have too much stabilizer, the only way to rid it from your pool is to drain your pool down about halfway and then refill with water. If you find that there is still too much stabilizer, drain it again and this should resolve the issue.

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