Keeping Your Water Balanced

We don't mean on a scale either.

The pool care pages in the menu above are loaded with lots of technical jargon about water balance, chemicals, testing, and getting and keeping the water in your pool clean.

If all of the technical mumbo jumbo to much for you Prinmetime offers onsite water testing and full maintenance at a reasonable price to help you keep your pool running clean and clear all summer. Using our state of the art water testing equipment we can analyze your pool's water onsite and produce detailed reports with the correct chemicals and applications to help keep your pool running clear and clean.

Keeping Pool Water Clean

Here is the technical stuff on keeping your pool clean.

There's more to taking care of a pool than just keeping the water clean. You also have to make sure the water is properly balanced.

Water that is not balanced, that is too acidic or too basic, can cause bather discomfort, cloudy water and damage to the pool surfaces and equipment.

To help you get a handle on what water balance means and how you can maintain it let's look, one at the time, at the factors that shape your water quality.

pH

Keep your family and friends protected.

The most fragile and arguably the most important component of water balance is pH, a reading that indicates how acidic or basic your pool and spa water is.

Without going into the entire story of what pH is and how it works, suffice it to say here that it's important to monitor it because it has an impact on your sanitizer effectiveness, not to mention your pool's surfaces, equipment and you.

Here are the most common problems associated with both high or low pH levels:

High pH readings
Poor sanitizer efficiency
Cloudy water
Shorter filter runs
Scale formation
Skin and eye irritation

Low pH readings
Poor sanitizer efficiency
Etched or stained plaster
Corroded metals/equipment
Skin and eye irritation
Destruction of total alkalinity

The ideal pH range for pools is between 7.4 to 7.6. Any reading below 7.4 for swimming pools means your water is acidic.

To correct the situation, you would add soda ash or sodium bicarbonate, two substances available at your local pool/spa supply store. Note: You should not add soda ash to a spa as you would to a pool it is too strong for the small spa environment.

If the pH reading is above 7.6 for pools, it means the water is basic or alkaline. To bring the pH level down in pools, you'll need to add some liquid muriatic acid to the water. Muriatic acid is also available in pool supply stores.

A final note: Before adding any chemicals to adjust your pH levels, you must first consider total alkalinity.

Total Alkalinity

Set this before balancing your pH

Now that you know where your pH level should be, it's time to consider the total alkalinity.

The most important thing to remember about total alkalinity is that it affects your pH levels and therefore must be tested before you do any pH testing and adjustments.

Total alkalinity and pH go hand in hand, but total alkalinity has the upper hand.

Basically, total alkalinity is a measure of the water's ability to neutralize acid (called the water's buffering capacity), and keep your pH level within the proper range. This is why you test and adjust your total alkalinity before even touching your pH test kit.

Your goal? To keep total alkalinity readings inside the acceptable range of 80 to 140 ppm for pools.

What happens if you don't? Let's take a quick look at the problems that can result.

High total alkalinity
Hard to change pH
Scale formation
Cloudy water
Skin and eye irritation
Poor sanitizer efficiency

Low total alkalinity
Rapid changes in pH or "pH bounce"
Stained, etched or dissolved plaster
Corroded metals/equipment
Skin and eye irritation


Keeping Your Pool Water Balanced

It is all a numbers game

Wait, there's more! One of the last two things you need to know about your water is its hardness.

Water hardness is a concentration of the calcium and magnesium in your pool and spa water but is often referred to simply as calcium hardness.

The amount of calcium hardness your water will have varies depending on your water source. Well water, for example, has a higher mineral content or is harder than a fresh-water source that has gone through a treatment plant.

Note: You do want your water to have some level of hardness. If it's too soft, the water will slowly but surely dissolve the plaster and any metal in your pool equipment. If there's too much hardness, you'll see scale formation on the walls and the water will take on a cloudy appearance.

Dissolved solids

Does your water feel heavy.

Here's the last piece of the water-balance puzzle: total dissolved solids or TDS.

By definition, TDS is absolutely everything dissolved in your pool water, from metals to chlorine to alkalinity to sulfates and salts. The acceptable range of TDS in a swimming pool is between 1,000 and 2,000 ppm.

If you have a problem with TDS, your pool or spa water may taste salty or it may have a tint to it, although there isn't any clouding. You might also see algae growth and get false test readings, among other things.

If you suspect your water's TDS is too high or low, call a professional service technician or take a water sample to your pool supply store's water lab for further tests and some advice.

The numbers game

How should your pool numbers look when it is all in balance.

By now, you should have read the basic definitions of the different chemicals and substances found in your pool water. And while keeping the upper hand on them doesn't require a Ph.D. in chemistry, it does call for regular attention.

Your ultimate goal is to reach and maintain a certain level of sanitizer and a certain water balance. That is, you want to keep all your chemical readings within their proper ranges.

Here's a quick rundown of the numbers:

Chlorine: 1.0 - 3.0 ppm in pools
Bromine: 2.0 - 4.0 ppm in pools
pH: 7.4 - 7.6 in pools
Total Alkalinity: 80 - 140 ppm in pools
Calcium Hardness: 200 - 400 ppm in pools
Total Dissolved Solids: 1,000 - 2,000 ppm in pools

Contact Us To Schedule Your Pool Service

Your swimming pool is your vacation oasis, enjoy your vacation time with friends and family while we maintain your swimming pool for you.

Contact us today and our staff will come to your home to test your pool water and make recommendations on what you need to keep friends and family safe or we can do all the work needed to clean and maintain your pool all at a reasonable cost.
Send us an email today, it costs nothing to contact us and get more information on how we can help you with your swimming pool today.

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