Balance Your Pool Water
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.
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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
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.
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.
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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
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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Tip: Add 1.5 pounds of baking soda to a 10,000 US gal to raise the alkalinity 10 ppm.
Total Chlorine Shocking Pool / Breakpoint Superchlorination
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:
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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:
The 3 Main Reasons To Balance The Pool Are:
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
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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
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.
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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
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