Although it can feel a little intimidating when maintaining the proper balance in your pool, you don’t need a science degree to get that crystal clear water. Here are the basic steps to balance the water chemistry of your pool.
First, let’s get clear on why balancing your pool’s water chemistry is so important. When we talk about maintaining proper water balance, we’re referring to the pH and total alkalinity levels, along with calcium hardness. Keeping each of these in check will prevent damage to your pool and allow you to maintain safe, clean, and comfortable water to swim in. Balancing each of these prevents several issues from happening with your pool, including corrosion of the equipment and surfaces, formation of algae, scale, stains, and cloudy or discoloured water.
How Often Should I Test the Water?
If the chemicals aren’t balanced, it’s important to check the pool water every day until you achieve the proper levels. If the water is balanced, the pool water should be monitored using a test kit every week during the summer months.
Steps to Follow For Proper Water Balance:
Switch on the Pump
Always make sure the pool pump is turned on before you begin the balancing process. This will help the chemicals disperse throughout the pool water.
Test and Adjust Total Alkalinity
Once the pool pump is on, it’s time to test the Total Alkalinity or alkaline material that’s in the water. This affects the pH balance of the pool. The goal is to achieve a range of 80-120 ppm. If it’s higher than that, you’ll need to lower it by adding muriatic acid or sodium bisulphate. If the level is too low, you’ll need to add sodium bicarbonate.
Test pH Level
The pH level is important for preventing the pool water from damaging any of the surrounding surfaces. It shows you how acidic or basic the water chemistry is. The goal is to maintain a pH level of 7.4 – 7.6.
You can use a pH increaser (sodium carbonate) or a decreaser (sodium bisulfate or muriatic acid) to adjust the levels. If your tests keep showing that the pH level isn’t remaining steady, this can indicate an imbalance with the Total Alkalinity level.
Measure Calcium Hardness
If a white line starts to form along the waterline, there is likely too much calcium in the water. If this isn’t corrected, it will continue to stain the pool and eventually impact the equipment. The correct calcium hardness level you want to achieve is between 200 – 400 ppm.
You’ll need calcium chloride to increase the level. To decrease, drain a portion of the pool water and replace it with fresh water. If the calcium build-up is significant, you may need a pool vacuum to remove any lingering residue.
Sanitize the Pool
Keeping your pool water clean and safe to swim in requires regular sanitation. There are several types of sanitizers to use for this, including bromine, biguanide, minerals, chlorine and shocking the pool. The most common method is chlorine. The ideal level of chlorine is 3 ppm. Shocking the pool is also recommended to help refresh the water. Follow the instructions carefully when doing this.
Check Cyanuric Acid
Cyanuric acid is usually included in the shocking process. But you’ll need to check it to make sure your pool is adequately protected. If the level is off, it could impact the chlorine level in the water. The proper level you want to achieve is 30 – 50 ppm.
Measure Total Dissolved Solids
Finally, it’s time to measure the Total Dissolved Solids in your pool (dirt, algae, salt, chemicals etc.). The acceptable level is typically near the 1,000 mark and below 2,000. If your level is higher than 2,000, drain and add in freshwater.
Not interested in adding this task to your weekly to-do list? Contact our team at Benson Pools, and we’ll take care of it for you.