Water Chemistry: Why It's Important In Pools  

by Pool Builders on 10-30-2009 in Articles

In addition to using the right kind of filter and conducting routine cleaning maintenance on your pool, you'll also need to have a basic understanding of water balance to keep it as clean and pleasant as possible. Many Australians fail to learn the basics of water chemistry, then watch their pools turn green, cloudy and unpleasant.

pH -

Even if you've never owned a pool before, you've probably heard other pool owners mention pH. pH refers to the measure of how alkaline or acidic the water in your pool is; its scale ranges from zero to 14. A measure below 7 means the water is acidic, a measure above 7 is alkaline, and a measure of 7 is neutral. Optimally, you want to keep the water within the neutral range; a measure between 7.0 and 7.8 is considered best. If you have a fibreglass pool, you'll want to aim for a pH between 7.0 and 7.2.

A Note About pH And Chlorine -

pH has a major effect on the sanitising effects of chlorine therefore it is important to keep your pH levels in balance. If your pool's pH levels get out of whack, no amount of chlorine is going to keep it sanitary.

Total Alkalinity -

Total alkalinity - often referred to as T.A. - is another important measure of the water balance of your pool. Basically, total alkalinity is a measure of the carbonates, bicarbonates and hydroxides in your pool water. Optimally, you'll want to maintain a T.A. of approximately 60 to 200 ppm, or parts per million. When you have your pool installed, the Brisbane pool builders who have installed it can tell you the exact level you'll want to maintain for your specific pool.

Low levels of total alkalinity can cause concrete and painted surfaces in the pool to erode. pH levels also become very unstable when the T.A. gets too low, and it is difficult to maintain the proper pH. There are various products you can use to change the T.A. of your pool; they include bicarbonate of soda, which raises total alkalinity, and acid, which lowers T.A.

Calcium Hardness -

Calcium hardness is a measure of the level of dissolved calcium in your pool water. Optimally, it should be between 80 to 500 ppm. As with total alkalinity, low levels of calcium hardness can lead to erosion in your pool. Unlike pH and T.A., calcium hardness cannot be measured with a regular testing kit but can usually be tested by your local pool supply shop.

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