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How To Balance Pool Water

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Balance Your Pool Water

Testing Pool Water – How To Balance Pool

When adjusting the chemistry in your swimming pool, its important to add your chemicals in a certain order. Some aspects of water chemistry impact the balance or efficiency of others. Also, some chemicals need time to circulate before you can add other chemicals to the water. Otherwise, you may end up with an inadvertent chemical reaction thats dangerous for you and/or damaging to your pool. By sticking to a routine water balancing format, youll keep your water clean, clear, sanitary, and safe.

With the pool pump running on high and test results in hand, its time to start balancing the pool. Always follow product label instructions to ensure safe handling and to avoid overdosing the pool. With some chemicals, its recommended to wear personal protective equipment, such as safety goggles and gloves. The label often lists the amount of chemical required to achieve a desired effect. This measurement is usually based on 10,000 gallons of pool water. However, it can vary widely based on the type of product youre using.

BONUS TIP: When balancing a pool, always add chemicals to water. NEVER pour water over chemicals in an attempt to dilute them. Doing so increases the risk of bodily harm from a chemical reaction. If dissolving or diluting chemicals, start with a large five-gallon bucket that has water in it . Add the chemicals to the water, and stir with a plastic utensil or stirring stick.

Simplify Pool Care With Waterguru Sense

When you want to test your pools pH levels and other important metrics in a way thats more convenient and accurate than manual tests, WaterGuru has the ideal solution in our SENSE Smart Kit. This system includes a lab-grade test and the SENSE device to help you monitor your pools pH and chlorine levels daily and on demand.

SENSE fits right into your pool skimmer opening, so you can get a true measure of your pool water rather than testing the surface water. It installs in seconds, and the mobile app makes it especially convenient to check your pools balance any time and anywhere. Purchase WaterGuru SENSE today to enhance your testing abilities so you can keep your pool water well balanced.

What Is Breakpoint Oxidation

To reach breakpoint oxidation, the chlorine reading must be 10 ppm over your combined chlorine reading.

Your chlorine has two readings: free chlorine and combined chlorine . Free chlorine refers to the chlorine that is free and available to kill.

NOTE: Pool shock products are made with unstabilized chlorine or no chlorine at all. They will go in, do their job, and get eaten up by the suns UV rays very fast. Thats why its important to shock your pool at night or dusk, and let it work for 8 hours throughout the night.

Also Check: How To Unclog Skimmer Line

Measure Your Waters Total Dissolved Solids

Do you ever wonder happens to all the chemicals and substances that you add to the water? The pool shock, salts, algaecides, dirt, and pretty much everything else.

How come all of that stuff never piles up in your pool? Where does it go?

Well, it turns out, it does pile up. And theres a special number to measure it:

Total dissolved solids.

This number represents how many of those substances have dissolved in your water.

Its regular for your pool to have a TDS level of a few hundred or so, even 1,000.

But there does come a point when a pools TDS level is too high, and the only effective solution is draining and replacing water.

If your pools TDS level is below 2,000 ppm, then no adjustments are needed.

However, if TDS levels rise above 2,000 ppm, then begin draining the pool in small increments. With each drain, replace with fresh water. Keep testing until TDS levels are under 2,000 ppm.

How the Langelier Saturation Index affects your pool water balance

While every pool owner benefits from maintaining proper chemical levels, theres one major factor to consider when balancing your water:


Temperature affects how well pool chemicals work. Or rather, their effectiveness.

Which is why the Langelier Saturation Index exists. The LSI is a calculation produced by a special formula that indicates how corrosive or scale prone water is.

More importantly, it also helps you determine how much to scale your pool chemical balancing by with respect to temperature.


Shock The Pool Not The Monkey

Water Balance Guide

No matter how well you keep your pool chemistry balanced, its a good ideano, its necessaryto shock your pool on a regular basis. Shocking is also sometimes referred to as superchlorinating the pool because all it means is youre adding a high dose of chlorine to the pool all at once.

This is a good method for keeping the water clean, but its also a remedy for things like pool algae, and certain bodily mishaps that may occur in the pool, especially when small children swim.

To get the best results, we recommend using calcium hypochlorite shock at least once a week. If youre maintaining a chlorine-free pool, youll also find chlorine-free shock available.

ProTip: Pool shock is made with unstabilized chlorine or no chlorine at all. Itll get eaten up by the suns UV rays very quickly. So always shock your pool at night or dusk, and run the pump overnight to fully distribute it and allow it to dissipate.

Important: Products that contain calcium can raise your pools calcium hardness level over time. If you use those products, keep a closer eye on calcium hardness levels so you can correct them before they become a problem.

Read Also: Mansard Pool Cage

Testing Your Pool Water

You can not properly adjust your water chemistry unless you know where your at. So you need to test your water. There is a quick, simple, easy, and cheap way to test your water. I recommend Aquacheks #7 Dipping Strips. You can buy them on Amazon for short money, you get 100 strips for like 15 bucks: .

You could always go to your local pool store with a water sample, but they are in the business of selling chemicals, name brand chemicals. With my calculator and Aquachek strips, you can balance your water, and know exactly what you need, and dont need.

What Is Calcium Hardness

Calcium hardness is the amount of dissolved calcium that is present in the water.

The pH level is the most important parameter for balance, though, pool water requires certain amount of calcium to prevent corrosive water conditions. Ideal calcium hardness depends on multiple factors. E.g. the higher the temperature of the water, the more calcium deposit there will be, but if the pH value is low, it will regulate the scaling. The ideal calcium hardness range depends on the pH value and the temperature.

In lower temperatures , too low level of calcium content in your swimming pool will cause the water to be corrosive and it will dissolve calcium and other minerals from pool surfaces and pool metal components. Therefore, it is advised to increase the pH level of the water to protect the equipment. Contrary, too high level of calcium in the pool water will cause the water to be muddled and it will deposit calcium carbonate scale on pools surfaces and pools equipment, especially warmer surfaces, but not if the temperature is low and pH value is low.

It is important to measure the calcium hardness regularly to protect your swimming pool and its equipment from corrosion.

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What Is The Best Way To Test Pool Water

No single method is right or the best its simply a matter of finding what works for you. Many pool owners prefer the speed and simplicity of test strips, while others prefer using test kits, which do not need to be replaced as frequently.

Experts often recommend test strips for beginners, because they provide reliable results with minimal effort and cost. As you gain experience and become more comfortable with the water testing process, youll likely develop a preference of your own. In the meantime, the pool service experts at Latham are here to help answer all of your questions!

Need Help Balancing Your Pool Water

POOL CHEMISTRY 101: How to Keep Your Water Balanced | Swim University

At Parnell Pool & Spa, our trusted specialists use only the best equipment and procedures to get a complete and accurate reading of your pool water. Our computerized Water Analysis System, BioGuards® ALEX®, provides results in an instant with step-by-step instructions. Bring us your water sample today and leave knowing every step needed to get your pool water safe and sanitary.

Also Check: Chlorine For Intex Pools

How Long Does It Take To Balance Pool Chemicals

It may take up to 24 hours to balance pool chemicals properly. The time required can increase or decrease depending on factors like the size and volume of the pool, the quality and condition of the water, whether youre shocking the pool and how many adjustments need to be made using chemicals like sodium bisulfate or calcium chloride. For instance, if you raise the pools alkalinity by adding baking soda, you should wait a minimum of six hours before retesting alkalinity levels.

No Special Chemicals Required For Winterizing Your Pool

The good news is that you already have everything you need to winterize your swimming pool. This process should be started about one week prior to closing your pool.

  • Raise the pH
  • During the summer, swimming pools traditionally have a pH balance between 7.2 and 7.6. During the winter, its recommended that the pH be raised to 7.8.

    This is because your pool water will be stagnant over the winter months. Over the days and weeks that your pool is closed, your pools pH will naturally lower itself. By raising the pH levels before pool closure, youre offsetting the natural pH decrease that occurs over winter.

  • Raise the Alkalinity
  • During the summer your ideal pool alkalinity is between 120 and 140ppm. Because you wont be frequently monitoring your pools water chemistry, the alkalinity should be increased to between 150 and 175ppm. This is done for the same reason why the pH levels are increased alkalinity levels tend to decrease in stagnant water over long periods of time.

  • Raise the Calcium Levels
  • Unlike your pH and alkalinity, your calcium levels wont decrease as the fall and winter months pass. But its still a good idea to ensure that its levels are adequate to prevent any unwelcome surprises once spring rolls around. Generally raising your calcium hardness levels to above 200ppm is all thats necessary to prevent calcium from eroding your pool.

  • Shock Your Pool Water
  • After a few days, your chlorine levels should return to anywhere between 1 to 3 ppm.

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    Adjusting The Alkalinity And Ph

  • 1Ensure the alkalinity is between 80 and 120 ppm. Alkalinity buffers the pH and can prevent large increases or decreases in the acidity and basicity of the water. Test and adjust the alkalinity before adjusting the pH. If the alkalinity is too low, mix baking soda with water and pour the mixture into the pool to increase it. If the alkalinity is too high, adjust it along with the pH using muriatic acid.XResearch source

    Tip: Add 1.5 pounds of baking soda to a 10,000 US gal to raise the alkalinity 10 ppm.

  • 2Maintain a pH level between 7.2 and 7.8. The term pH refers to how acidic or basic your pool water is. Typically, the tap water you use to fill your pool has a neutral pH of 7, but additives or contaminants can change the pH. A pH of 7.2-7.8 is the ideal range for pool water, so if your reading is above or below these levels, it’s important to adjust it. Having the right pH ensures the water won’t irritate your skin or eyes and will also keep the water clear.XTrustworthy SourceCenters for Disease Control and PreventionMain public health institute for the US, run by the Dept. of Health and Human ServicesGo to source
  • If swimmers are having a problem with burning eyes, the pH is probably to blame, not the chlorine.
  • Pool owners with zero CYA will notice that the chlorine is more effective at a low pH while owners who have CYA in their water will see similar kill times even at a high pH.
  • Total Chlorine Shocking Pool / Breakpoint Superchlorination

    Balance Your Pool Water in 7 Easy Steps

    As Chlorine works killing unwanted germs, sweat, suntan lotions, and what have you. It creates dangerous levels of something called Chloramines / Combined Chlorine. We shock our pools to kill Chloramines.

    Few understand the importance of properly shocking a pool. Most people think shock is a special chemical called shock. They think you just dump in an arbitrary amount each week and your all set. NOTE: You use Chlorine to shock a pool.

    To figure out if you need to shock your pool, or in order to properly shock a pool / reach Breakpoint Superchlorination. You have to first figure out the level of Chloramines. This is done for you by using our calculator.

    Using Our Calculator: You just input your free Chlorine and Total Chlorine levels, along with gallons of water in your pool, and the calculator will tell you if your pool needs shocking. If it needs shocking, the calculator will specify the amount of Chlorine necessary to do the job properly. Or you could learn this formula:

    Read Also: Increase Pool Stabilizer

    Test Pool Water Chemistry Using Pool Test Kits

    Pool testing kits require users to collect small samples of pool water, which change color depending on their alkalinity, pH and chlorine levels when mixed with a reagent. To use one, follow these instructions:

  • Collect a water sample from at least 18 beneath the surface of your swimming pool
  • Measuring as precisely as possible, fill the test vials according to the kits instructions. Be sure to rinse out each test cell with pool water before using
  • Add the correct amount of reagent to each tube, following the kits directions carefully. You may need to gently shake the sample once it has been sealed shut
  • Compare the sample colors against the label on the testing kit, looking for the closest match
  • The 3 Main Reasons To Balance The Pool Are:

  • It helps sanitizing chemicals to work effectively, keeping swimmers safe
  • It decreases the chance for water problems, including cloudiness and algae growth.
  • It prolongs the life of your pool equipment, saving you money.
  • Protecting your Swimmers

    Maintaining a proper pH level is crucial to keep your sanitizers functioning. A low pH means highly acidic water. Acidic water eats up sanitizing chemicals much faster and doesnt give them the time they need to do their job. This means unsanitary and therefore unsafe water for swimmers. Low pH levels can also cause skin and eye irritation for swimmers.

    Preventing Water Problems

    As stated above, highly acidic water means your sanitizing chemicals arent doing their job. Un-sanitized pools can easily become filled with cloudy particles and/or algae. This problem is avoided by maintaining a proper pH level.


    Stabilizing chemicals help to protect your sanitizers from solar degradation. Just like acidic water, the sun can cause deterioration of your sanitizing chemicals. Stabilizing chemicals are to your pool as sunblock is to your skin. Stabilizers are important to ensure your sanitizers can do their job and keep your pool water sanitary, safe, and free from water problems .

    Protecting your investment

    How to Balance Your Pool Water

    Recommended Reading: Easy Ways To Heat Above Ground Pool

    What About Pool Temperature

    It might seem weird to think that water temperature will affect your pool chemicals, but remember that bacteria and plant life usually thrive in warm environments.

    So algae and other nasty stuff likes to get in your pool and multiply where temperatures are too high.

    And when this happens, chlorine tends to be used up more quickly trying to kill it off. It will also start to affect the other chemicals and throw everything out of balance.

    Of course, no one wants to have to break a sheet of ice to jump in the pool either, so its best to keep the temp at a comfortable, safe level by regulating and monitoring your pool heater: ideal pool temps are between 77° and 82°F.

    Leave Your Pool Closing To Neave

    How to Balance Your Pool Water?

    Balancing your pool water and closing your pool safely and securely will prevent unpleasant surprises when you re-open it next year. But its time-consuming and sort of a hassle.

    Why not let the experts at Neave Pools take care of the chore for you?

    Proper pool closing can reduce maintenance and repair costs for your pool, which is why Neave Pools offers it as part of a complete seasonal service that can include pool opening and closing, power washing, the introduction of chemicals, weekly visits for cleaning and chemical testing, winter check-ups, and more.

    Pool opening and closing services are also available as a stand-alone service.

    Let Neave handle your pool closing, and youll know your pool is safely tucked away, ready for a simple and easy reopening when the weather allows.

    If youre in Hudson Valley, call . Westchester, call . Cold Spring, call , and in Connecticut, call . Or fill out the handy web form on this page, and well get in touch with you to schedule a complimentary swimming pool consultation.

    Read Also: Average Cost Of A Saltwater Pool

    Measure And Adjust Calcium Hardness

    If you ever notice a while line or scaling around your pools water line, its probably calcium buildup. And how often you see it is directly related to your pools calcium hardness level.

    Ideal Calcium Hardness level: 200 400 ppm

    How to increase calcium hardness:

    To increase your pool waters calcium hardness use calcium chloride. Follow the usage instructions printed on the packaging.

    How to decrease calcium hardness

    • Partially drain your pool and refill it with fresh water.
    • Use a flocculant to collect and vacuum excess calcium.

    Sanitizer is what keeps your pool free of germs and bacteria. Without it, every pool would quickly become a breeding ground for germs.

    But luckily, we use sanitizers like chlorine to keep the water safe and healthy.

    When it comes to measuring chlorine, there are a few numbers to keep track of:

    • Free Chlorine
    • Measures the amount of unused, or available chlorine in the water
  • Total Chlorine
  • Measures the total amount of chlorine present in the water
  • To find your pools combined chlorine : subtract Total Chlorine from Free Chlorine

    Ideal levels for chlorine: 3 ppm

    Chlorine comes in a few forms:

    • Chlorine tablets
    • Salt chlorine generator

    For this step, you can save time and shock your pool now. This gives you a jump start on refreshing the water and takes care of sanitizing your pool.

    A few other pool sanitizers:


    Healthy pool bromine levels range from 3 ppm to 5 ppm


    Proper levels for biguanide: 30 to 50 ppm

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    What Does Pool Shock Do

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