Keeping your pool water balanced isn’t just a matter of pouring in some chlorine to kill all the germs. There are three main areas we look at.
Chlorine is the most common chemical used for sanitation. The ideal chlorine level is 1.0 to 3.0 ppm. Not enough chlorine, and all kinds of bad things can start growing in your water. Too much chlorine can be toxic, though, and even a little too much chlorine can make your eyes sting and take away the enjoyment of swimming.
Free chlorine is the amount of “active” chlorine that can actually disinfect your pool. We measure free chlorine levels, and calculate how much is required to bring the pool up to a safe level.
When the chlorine is at the correct level, we stabilize it. To do that we use cyanuric acid, also called CYA or pool stabilizer. Without it, the chlorine will immediately dissipate with the sunlight, but too much will keep your chlorine from working.
pH is the measure of how acid your water is. Higher pH levels mean your water is more alkaline, and lower pH levels mean your water is more acid. The correct level is between 7.2 and 7.8. We use pH increasers to balance water that is too acid, or pH decreasers to balance water that is too alkaline.
There are many reasons why it is important to keep your pool’s pH balanced:
- Chlorine only works properly at the correct pH.
- Water at an incorrect pH can irritate your eyes and skin
- A balanced pH helps prevent mineral buildup and algae growth
- It prevents corrosion. Acidic water will corrode metal components like ladders, hand rails, and pool pump elements.
Hardness refers to the amount of minerals like calcium in the water. Too little calcium, and your pool water leaches calcium from your pool walls or equipment, anywhere it can find calcium to get the balance it seeks. Too soft water may also leave your skin feeling slimy.
Too hard water is also a problem, though. If there is too mach calcium it can make the water cloudy and leave scale on the pool walls, liner and equipment.