One of the most essential steps of swimming pool maintenance is to check the water balance and sanitizer levels to ensure your pool water stays safe, clean, and damage free. Keeping a properly balanced swimming pool also helps to protect your pool heater, pump, and other components so they can continue working correctly.
Reasons to Maintain a Balanced Swimming Pool
An element of a balanced swimming pool you always want to keep up with is the pH level. The pH level of pool water is measured by how much acidity is present. To keep your pool water balanced, your pH level should be between 7.4 and 7.6, which is right above neutral on the pH scale. A pH level below 7.0 means the water is acidic and a pH level of 8.0 indicates the water is basic or alkaline.
Why Proper pH is Critical
Keeping your pool water in the 7.4-7.6 pH range is vital due to the following reasons:
Safety – to avoid skin and eye irritation, the pH must be balanced correctly. Low pH causes acidic water, which stings the eyes and nasal passages, and strips the body of its natural oils, leaving hair brittle and skin dry and itchy.
Cleanliness – If the pH is too high, it will go into the basic or alkaline range, causing the chlorine in your pool to become less effective. So no matter how much chlorine you put into the pool, the germs and bacteria will not be killed, and you will still have water that isn’t clean. Also, high pH makes the water cloudy because of the minerals that come out of the solution as pH rises.
Damage – Vinyl pool liners become damaged when pH is too high or too low. With high pH, a vinyl liner begins to deteriorate, requiring it to be replaced more frequently. If the pH is too low, unpleasant wrinkles form when the liner absorbs water. In addition, the combination of low pH levels and high sanitizer can permanently damage your pool liner and ruin the internals of your pool heater.
An unbalanced pool with a low pH is more susceptible to corrosion. The acidic water will destroy everything from the liner, ladders, handrails, and slide and diving board supports to the pump and mechanical systems.
How to Maintain a Proper pH
To keep your pool balanced, it’s crucial that you test it daily by using a home test kit or test strips. To check your water, follow these steps:
- In an area away from the skimmer, hold a test strip under the water for about 10 seconds
- Remove the strip and do not shake off excess water
- Wait for the colors to fill in on the strip
- Compare the strip to the color range guide that’s on the product container
Once you have tested your pool water, you will have a better understanding of whether you will need to balance it by adjusting the pH using an increaser (base) or decreaser (acid). The amounts you will use will depend on how much water is in the pool and how unbalanced the pH is according to your test. Follow the instructions from whichever product you use to correct the issue.
In addition to keeping your pool water’s pH properly balanced, you also want to practice good pool circulation, filtering, vacuuming, and skimming. Doing all of these things will help ensure your new pool from Unique Pools Spas and Billiards will stay looking beautiful for years to come. We offer a wide selection of above ground pools to suit the needs of you and your family. For more information, contact us today by calling 407-296-6776 or stop by one of our showrooms, and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have.