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How to Balance Pool Water

How to balance pool water? Nothing ruins the enjoyment of a swimming pool like dirty or unbalanced pool water. It can be tricky to get the water just right, so follow these tips for perfect swimming pool water.

Start with pH.  Inexperienced pool owners often think that all you have to do is shock your swimming pool with chlorine, but the truth is that pH is the key. If your pH is not balanced, any other chemicals that you add will be ineffective. The ideal pH is between 7.4 and 7.6.  If your pH level rises even to 8, the chlorine in your pool will only be 20% effective. The higher the pH gets, the less effective the chlorine becomes.  Balancing the pH first will save you a lot of money on chlorine because you won’t be dumping ineffective chemicals into your swimming pool over and over.

A pH level of 7.8 or above is considered alkali. In addition to not being able to hold chlorine in the water, the water will develop precipitation, meaning that it turns the chemicals into solids.  You will see buildup on the sides of the pool, and the water will turn cloudy. The filter will accumulate buildup quickly.  To adjust a high pH level, use a pH Reducer such as Muriatic Acid or pH down.  Be sure to test again the day after using apH Reducer to make sure you have reached the desired level.

If your pool water’s pH is below 7.0, it is considered acidic. Acidic water can cause rusting of metal parts and damage to the pool liner. Use pH up until you reach a level between 7.4 and 7.6. (Also note that a low pH with cause itchy eyes and skin irritation.)

Improper pH can also make your pool unpleasant to swim in. Even if you are not seeing an obvious problem with the water, an unbalanced pH can make swimmers’ eyes red and painful.  7.5 is the pH of blood, and your swimming pool water should be as close as possible to match the pH of blood for maximum swimmer comfort. (Also make note that 7.5 is the pH of your eyeball, so you would like to get the water pH as close to 7.5 as possible, to avoid any irritation.)

In addition to pH, it’s important to monitor the total alkalinity (TA) of your water.  The total alkalinity means the total amount of dissolved alkaline material in your pool. The total alkalinity when balanced should be between 80 and 120 PPM (parts per million). The total alkalinity measures the ability of the water to respond to changes in pH.

If the TA is too low and you add pH down, the pH will drop significantly.  However, if the TA is balanced, the addition of chemicals will not impact the pH as drastically. This means that you won’t have to bounce back and forth between adding pH up and pH down to try to achieve the correct level.  The TA can be adjusted using a buffer.

The final aspect to consider is calcium hardness, which measures the calcium in the water. This will vary depending on whether the water in your region is hard or soft. Too much calcium causes precipitation, while too little can result in the water eating into surrounding surfaces. Take your water sample into Emerald Pool Supply, and they can test it for you so that your water can be perfectly balanced.

 

How to Balance Pool Water Easily

Call the experts at Emerald Pools and Spas for help balancing your pool water. We have a complete line of pool and spa products and services and a knowledgeable team of staff members to back you up.

We also offer weekly pool service so that you don’t have to worry about whether your pool will be ready for swim time. Don’t waste time caring for your own pool. Let the pros at Emerald Pool Service & Repair take care of it for you.

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