Learn about swimming pool chemical balance

Chemical Balance 

The chemical balance of pool water determines the corrosive and potential scale it can deposit.


pH is the measure of how acidic or basic the water is . The pH level determines how comfortable bathers are in the water. The scale ranges from 0-14 , 0 being the most acidic and 14 being the most basic. Pure water has a pH of 7, which is neutral. The proper range of pH in a pool is between 7.2 and 7.8. Chlorine is more effective when the pH is closer to 7.2.

pH should be tested at least twice per week. Adjusting the level up or down is easy. Your pool company can supply you with two chemicals – sodium carbonate and sodium bisulfate – to alter the pH of your pool. You just sprinkle, or broadcast, the proper amount over the pool surface. pH adjusters work equally well for chlorine and biguanide systems.

Total Alkalinity

You can test the alkalinity to determine how stable the pH is. It also helps measure how corrosive the water might be, or how much scale it might deposit. An increaser, which is sodium carbonate works to increase the total alkalinity. A decreaser, which is sodium bisulfate works to decrease the total alkalinity level. Most pool water may lower in pH naturally over time and when exposed to the rain and sun.

These two chemicals are ok for both chlorine and biguanide pools. Your pool caompany can supply you with these chemicals for use in your pool. Muriatic acid can lower extremely high alkalinity. This chemical must be handled carefully, and can damage metal and plaster if they are exposed to for to long.

Calcium Hardness

Your pool may need calcium to remain strong. It is particularly important to have the right calcium levels in plaster finished, painted concrete pools, and vinyl pools with heaters.

By having calcium in water your pool is protected from plaster etching, metal corrosion in heaters, and other exposed metal surfaces. Water is tested for calcium hardness. Hard water inhibits foaming. You need enough calcium to protect your plaster or concrete pool from breaking down. The lower the level of calcium in the water, the more likely the water is to leach calcium from plaster and corrode metal surfaces.

Testing for calcium can be done at your local pool company if they have a testing facility. You should maintain the level of calcium should be between 175 and 400ppm. We can tell you a more specific number depending on your pool and equipment.

You can raise the calcium hardness of your pool by adding calcium chloride. To lower hardness, just add water. If your tap water is already high in calcium hardness, you will need our help to lower your hardness.

Other Pool Chemicals

Algaecide is used to prevent or kill existing algae. It is often used with a shock to completely cleanse your pool water.

Sequestering/Chelating Agents are used to prevent metal stains in pools and water discoloration.

Clarifiers clear cloudy water by closely coagulating clusters of contaminants so they can be easily collected. It is commonly called a flocculent or flocking agent.

Enzymes break down slime into carbon dioxide and water.

Tile and Vinyl Cleaners remove built up scale and scum lines. If used in small concentrations, they are safe with any pool sanitizer.

Tetraborate Compounds kill pink slime, water mold, and algae.

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