As with life, your swimming pool also needs balance. Keeping your swimming pool balanced is extremely important in ensuring that your pool is healthy and safe for swimming. It also protects the pool equipment and finishes against damage and prevents serious and costly water issues.
Balancing the water involves the pH and alkalinity. The pH level is a numeric value on the pH scale depicting acidity and alkalinity. Neutral substances read 7 on the pH scale and below 7 is acidic and above 7 is alkaline. A swimming pool’s pH level should read between 7.4 and 7.6 to be properly balanced. Since your eyes have a relatively neutral pH of between 7.0 and 7.3, this range is the most comfortable for swimming and does not burn your eyes when swimming.
The alkalinity acts as a pH stabiliser and helps to keep the pH from rapidly moving up and down the pH scales. Alkalinity is extremely sensitive and can be affected by any number of factors such as humans, animals, plants and even the weather. You need to closely monitor the alkalinity, especially after some rain, and maintain it at 100-150ppm (part per million).
- Water balance aids chemical efficiency
The correct water balance can help you to get the most out of your chemicals. A low pH means the pool water is on the acidic side of the pH scale and as a result causes the sanitiser or chlorine to be used up much faster, as it is trying to correct the balance. The chlorine then doesn’t have enough time to do its job killing unwanted bacteria.
- Water balance prevents a cloudy pool and algae growth
As it is the sanitiser’s job to continually kill off any bacteria and the debris causing this bacteria, when the pH becomes acidic, the sanitiser levels drop. This makes the swimming pool water vulnerable to various water issues- particularly cloudy water and algae growth. Algae flourish in warm water and can multiple rapidly when the sanitiser levels drop too low. Thus, incorrect pH balance can cause a dirty and unhealthy swimming pool.
- Water balance protects pool equipment
Maintaining a healthy water balance can also protect the swimming pool equipment and finishes. If the pH is low and the pool water becomes acidic, the water will try and balance itself out by corroding and deteriorating the pool equipment. It begins to take elements from PVC, vinyl, concrete and other pool finishes to try and balance the acid.
On the other hand, if the water becomes too alkaline scaling occurs. Scaling is when the water tries to get rid of the elements causing it to be alkaline. This leaves a film around the PVC pipes, the heating elements, the concrete and the swimming pool liners. This process is similar to a person clogging their arteries by eating too much unhealthy food.
Proper water balance is not only necessary for a healthy swimming pool, but is also necessary to protect the investment that is your swimming pool. A few simple and regular maintenance tips can help you keep your swimming pool’s water balance under control.
Step 1: Test first.
You should test the water regularly to pick up any imbalances and act on them before they become a bigger problem. Test the water at least once a week and always after the rain- rain water is acidic and can throw the pH balance off very easily.
Step 2: If the water is too acidic?
If the pH goes lower than the 6.8 mark on the pH scale, treat the water with a dose soda ash to increase the pH.
Step 3: If the water is too alkaline?
If the water becomes too alkaline and the pH reading is higher the 7.6, you will need to add an acid treatment to the water.
Take caution when working with chemicals. Always add chemicals to a running pool and ensure the pump runs long enough to distribute the chemicals evenly. When mixing chemicals, never add water directly to the chemicals, but rather add the chemicals to the water.
Step 4: Enjoy your swimming pool
Enjoy a clean, healthy and comfortable swimming pool all year round. All it takes is a few minutes each week to test and treat the water.