Is Your Pool’s Water ‘Balanced’?
One of the most critical steps of keeping your pool safe and clean is maintaining proper water balance. This generally involves using chemicals and other compounds to keep the water in your pool from becoming too alkaline or too acidic.
Chlorine is a chemical that is commonly used to protect against the growth of algae and bacteria in a pool. But if your pool’s pH levels are not balanced, then the chlorine sanitizer can’t work at full strength.
Maintaining the proper water balance also helps protect the skin and eyes of people using your pool. If the water is too acidic, it can cause a burning sensation or other discomfort.
An imbalanced pool also can accelerate corrosion of your pool’s liner, ladders, hand rails, pump and other equipment.
Balancing Water Levels
Total alkalinity is just as important as balanced pH level. Pools that are high in alkalinity lead to high pH and low alkalinity leads to low pH. Most pools should have an alkalinity reading of about 100 part per million (ppm).
Keeping the pH levels of the water in your pool within the acceptable range is critical for protecting your pool and equipment. Generally, proper pH should be between 7.4 and 7.6 as measured with litmus paper. A pool with a pH of 0 to 7 is considered acidic. A pH between 8 and 14 is considered to be base. What you want is a neutral pH level in your pool water.
Chlorine dissolves more quickly with a low pH. A higher pH makes chlorine inactive.
Another thing that needs to be monitored is the calcium levels in your pool. Too little calcium can cause plaster to erode. Too much calcium — known as calcium hardness — can make water cloudy and could cause scales and stains to form. The ideal calcium level is about 300 ppm.
If you aren’t sure whether your pool’s water is balanced, you should leave it up to a professional pool service to maintain the appropriate levels. That way you can always enjoy your pool and be assured of its safety without worry.