The symptoms of an upset water balance   

by Pool Builders on 03-25-2012 in Articles

Water balance problems can be difficult to diagnose. Many upset levels result in cloudy water, pool chlorine performance, and irritation to swimmers' skin and eyes. Knowing the symptoms of offset levels can help fix the problem.

pH

The balance of pH is important for your water chemistry because chlorine's effectiveness depends on the pool's acidity being within a certain range. When you test for pH, you're simply testing the acid levels of your pool. If you pH is too low, then the water is too acidic and you risk causing damage to your pool surface and any appliances inside of the pool like the cleaner and your circulation system, like your filter. If water is too acidic, it will start to corrode metals and eat at the pool's surface. You will also start to see stains. The acidic water will also irritate skin and eyes. Low pH causes chlorine to evaporate more quickly. However, if levels are too high, meaning that it is more basic, you will start to see calcification at the water line and again and reduced chlorine effectiveness. If you have a sand filter, it will get damaged by water that is too basic. The water will also get cloudy. The ideal pH range is between 7.2 and 7.6.

Chlorine

Chlorine is an essential sanitizer, but it's also a powerful chemical that's safe within a certain range. If your levels are too high, then you risk getting swimmers sick. Swimmers can suffer from skin and eye irritation and even some internal sickness if too much water is swallowed. If levels are too low, than the pool will become contaminated. The water will get cloudy and in a few days, algae will start to grow. The ideal range for chlorine is between 1.3 and 3.0 ppm, depending on your pool.

Alkalinity

Alkalinity helps stabilize pH. If alkalinity is too low, you will see corrosion, staining, and inconsistent pH levels that will prove difficult to adjust. The water might also turn green and swimmers will experience eye irritation. With high levels, you will start to see low chlorine efficiency and cloudy water. High alkalinity can also cause damage to filters. Alkalinity should range from 90-120 ppm.

Calcium Hardness

Calcium hardness measures the amount of dissolved calcium in your water. When calcium hardness is too low, what some refer to as soft water, you will again start to see corrosion and also plaster damage. If these levels are too high, you will see damage to your filtration system and also some clogging. The access calcium will result in scale formation. Calcium hardness should stay between 250-350 ppm.

These suggested levels could range differently depending on your water balance situation. Make sure you are always fully stocked on chemicals and get a quality chemical tester from a pool supply store so that you never have to worry about your water levels getting out of control.

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