Pool Water Maintenance
Balancing your pool water is crucial for keeping your water clear and inviting. When pool water is “balanced” it means that the total water chemistry is right where it should be. Balanced pool water makes swimming more comfortable by preventing eye and skin irritation. It also helps the chemicals work better to keep water clear. Lastly, balanced water prevents corrosion to metal parts as well as scaling on pool surfaces. Let’s take a look at three factors and how to adjust them to stay balanced.
pH is a measure of how acidic (low pH) or how basic (high pH) your water is. Based on a scale of 0 to 14, the ideal pH range is between 7.2 and 7.6 pH is the most important factor in balancing your water. If you see your pH is too low after testing, add pH increaser. If your pH is too high, add pH Decreaser.
Total Alkalinity (or TA)
Total alkalinity refers to the total concentration of several chemicals in your pool water. It is not the same as pH, but proper total alkalinity helps to stabilize pH. If your total alkalinity is too low, it will drag the pH lower. High pH will cause your pH to be pulled higher. Your total alkalinity should be between 80 and 120 parts per million.
If it’s too low, add Alkalinity Increaser. If it is high, you will need to add pH Decreaser, but in a different manner. If you add a lot of pH Decreaser, your pH will drop a lot and your TA will drop a little. So, to adjust your TA, you will need to add 1 cup of pH Decreaser at a time and allow the chemical to mix into the water for 30-45 minutes. Test the water after each addition until the Ta level is between 80 and 120 ppm. If, during this process, your pH drops below 6.5, stop adding pH Decreaser and wait until the next day to continue.
Calcium Hardness (or CH)
How “hard” water is has to do with the amounts of dissolved calcium in it. Pool water needs a proper calcium hardness level to prevent damage or scaling to surfaces and equipment. The desired range for water hardness is between 200 and 250 ppm. If your water is above 500 ppm, just drain some water from the pool and replace it with new water lower in calcium hardness. If your calcium hardness is low, add Calcium Hardness Increaser.
We call this the “cocktail” for your pool. Take a bucket of pool water out of your pool. Add 8 ounces of Algaecide 60 and pour around the perimeter of the pool. Do the same with 8 ounces of Clear magic, and 6 capfuls of Pool Perfect, waiting 15-30 minutes between additions. Then add 3 cups of granular dichlor to the skimmer. Test your pool water and adjust if necessary, and empty the skimmer baskets.
Put the automatic cleaner into the pool.
Shock the pool again with 3 cups of granular dichlor. Make sure your chlorinator is filled with tablets. In August, it is recommended to keep the setting on the chlorinator higher than during the rest of the season.
Add 1 cup of granular dichlor to the skimmer. Also empty the skimmer baskets.
Several days in a row above 90F
Sunlight destroys chlorine, so test the chlorine level in the water and add granular dichlor if necessary.