Understanding Your Pool Water Chemistry
Most pool owners know that balancing your pool water comes down to knowledge and comfort. The more you know about the chemical levels in your pool water and the more comfortable you are addressing them, the healthier the swimming conditions. While testing and balancing your chemicals is the first step to clean, clear, and comfortable water, the real balancing act starts by educating yourself about the science behind the water.
Focus on the Essentials
To avoid potential problems (algae, bacteria, contaminants), it is best practice to regularly test and balance your pool water. When analyzing your pool water, consider the three most important factors — water comfort, water clarity, and protection. These three elements focus on
- Creating healthy and safe water
- Promoting clean and transparent water
- Striving for water that lacks particulate matter
- Establishing disease prevention routines
- Prolonging the life of your pool equipment
Chemicals 101: Understanding Pool Chemistry
Most pool chemicals fall into one of the following categories: sanitizers, water balancers, oxidizers, and specialty chemicals.
- Sanitizers disinfect the pool water
- Water balancers adjust elements such as pH, alkalinity, calcium hardness, and chlorine
- Oxidizers are used to supplement sanitizers
- Specialty chemicals address other concerns, such as floating particulate matter
Proper Steps to Balance Your Pool Water
Balancing your pool water is a great way to prevent pool corrosion, protect your pool equipment, and make sure your water is safe for swimming. Take a look at the proper steps to balancing your pool water.
When balancing your pool water, the first step is to analyze the alkalinity of the pool water by either raising or lowering the levels to fit into the appropriate range. Total Alkalinity is the measurement of the hydroxides, carbonates, and alkaline substances in the water.
Next, adjust the pH. The pH level in your pool is linked to the acidity or basicity of the water. The pH of a pool can create a corrosive environment and scaling issues that can build up on surfaces and pool equipment.
Balance the calcium hardness (soft or hard water). Hard water will cause particles to deposit, while soft water can cause surfaces to corrode.
No matter what sanitizing element you use in your pool, this step is about removing contaminants and making sure the water is safe. To do this, test the free chlorine in the water. Free chlorine is the amount of chlorine that is available to work and combat bacteria and algae growth.
Cyanuric Acid is a stabilizer that retains chlorine and prevents the sun’s UV rays from burning off the free chlorine. Essentially, it is sunscreen for your pool. For more information on Cyanuric Acid, take a look at the following blog: Pool Stabilizer: What is it and Why does it matter?
Next, measure the total dissolved solids (TDS) in the water. The TDS is a measure of how many solids (grime, salt, algaecide, mineral deposits) are left behind and dissolved in your pool water.
Shock your pool to increase the amount of free chlorine available to combat bacteria, algae, and other chloramines.
Testing Your Pool Water
It is best practice to check your pool water every week. If you have heavy pool use or are new to pool maintenance, it may make sense to check your water 2-3 times a week until you get comfortable and understand your pool’s levels.
Need Help Balancing Your Pool Water?
At Parnell Pool & Spa, our trusted specialists use only the best equipment and procedures to get a complete and accurate reading of your pool water. Our computerized Water Analysis System, BioGuard’s® ALEX®, provides results in an instant with step-by-step instructions. Bring us your water sample today and leave knowing every step needed to get your pool water safe and sanitary.
Contact Us Today
If you have a question about the proper running of your pool or spa, contact us or stop by our Fayetteville or Lumberton location anytime. While in the store, check out our products, purchase chemicals for your pool/hot tub, or get a specific question answered by one of our experts. Feel free to follow us on Facebook and Instagram as well.
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