Maintaining proper water chemistry in a swimming pool can be a daunting task without understanding the basics that are required to keep a swimming pool safe and clean, yet swimming pool maintenance is not a very complicated job. Any pool owner can maintain their own swimming pool chemical balance with the same kind of results as those who offer pool maintenance in Buckhead and leave the most challenging aspects of pool cleaning and maintenance to the pros. As for pool water balancing, it’s simply the task of keeping the proper relationship between different chemicals in your pool water. A pool that is balanced will have the correct levels of pH, alkalinity, and calcium, so it’s important to understand each.
Measuring pool pH analyzes your water’s acidity, or lack of it, based on a scale that runs from 0 to 14. A measurement under 7.0 indicates acidity, above 7 indicates alkalinity or base, and a reading right around 7 is neutral. Your pool water pH changes due to everything that comes in contact with your pool water, such as rain, dirt, and even suntan lotions. The pH value of the human eye is 7.35, which is within the range of correct pH levels and why pool water not in balance can irritate your eyes. In order maintain the right pH level, the water chemistry is adjusted by adding increasers or decreasers in order to obtain a range of 7.2 to 7.8. Low pH is corrosive to anything in your pool and high pH will cause scale or calcium deposits to accumulate in your pool
Similar to pH readings and related to them, your pool’s alkalinity level is a measure of all the alkaline elements found in pool water, such as carbonates, bicarbonates, and hydroxides. A pool’s alkalinity, or buffering capacity, determines how well the water resists any changes in its pH and prevents the pH from experiencing extreme up-and-down changes. Alkalinity should be tested weekly and kept in the 80 to 120 parts per million (ppm) range for concrete pools and 125 to 170 ppm for vinyl, painted, and fiberglass pools. The addition of a base such as sodium bicarbonate can raise alkalinity, and adding acid can reduce high levels of alkalinity.
Pool water hardness is related to the level of calcium carbonate—when it comes out of the pool water solution, it forms scale deposits on surfaces. Tests for hardness measure calcium and magnesium in the water. Hard water is characterized by high levels of magnesium and calcium. If these grow too high, these elements saturate the water and cause it to release excess particles that form deposits on pool surfaces. Low hardness levels cause the water to become under-saturated, and it will then corrode any calcium-rich surfaces within the pool to restore calcium levels. Calcium hardness should measure between 200 to 400 ppm. Levels that are too low will require adding calcium chloride, while levels that are too high can be reduced by various over-the-counter products.