Pool Total Alkalinity Chart
Use this pool Alkalinity dosage chart to determine the correct amount of pool alkalinity adjustment chemical to add for a desired change in total alkalinity levels. Alkalinity buffers pH, too little Alkalinity makes pH erratic, and too much makes pH resistant to change. Use pH Reducer to lower Alkalinity and Alkalinity Increaser to raise the level.
How To Balance Pool Chemicals For The First Time Opening Your Pool
Whether youre using your swimming pool for the very first time, or opening up for the season, youll need to take some extra precautions to ensure that youre balancing pool chemicals correctly. For example, if your pool has been closed since winter, you might encounter thick algae on reopening day, which could require treatment with double or even triple the normal amount of pool shock.
If youre opening a new or seasonal pool, we recommend consulting a pool dealer for assistance testing and balancing your water, which can be a tricky process even for experienced pool owners.
Operating Public Swimming Pools
Preventing recreational water illnesses is a multifaceted issue that requires participation from pool staff, swimmers, and health departments. Poor maintenance can result in low disinfectant levels that can allow the spread of a variety of germs that cause diarrhea as well as skin and respiratory RWIs. Although pool staff alone cannot completely stop these complex problems, they play a key role in assuring the health of pool visitors. By following a few simple steps, aquatic managers and staff can lead the way.
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The Importance Of Balanced Pool Water
Balanced pool water is clean, safe, healthy, and comfortable to swim in. And it will prevent damage to your pools structure and equipment.
Too much chlorine will cause skin and eye irritation, and potential illness, while too little will not be effective at killing bacteria, algae, and other contaminants.
If pH levels are too high, the water will become cloudy and create scale deposits on your pool walls and equipment. And if the pH levels are too low, the pool surfaces and equipment will become etched and corroded.
Simply put, unbalanced water can lead to plenty of unwanted issues with your pool. So do yourself and your pool a favour and keep your water balanced.
How Much Salt Do I Add To My Pool
I typically add 2/3 of my salt for the season in the spring at pool opening and the remaining 1/3 of the salt in the mid summer. In total, I use about 27 35 lbs of salt each season . I always use white salt pellets. Salt crystals are not recommended as they dont dissolve as well. If you dump salt directly into the deep end of the pool with the pump running, itll dissolve within a day or so.
Heres a great chart that tells you how many pounds of salt to add to your pool according to the current salt level and pool size in gallons.
The chart also affirms that a salt level of 3,200 ppm is ideal and that 3,400 ppm is ok at the high end which matches what my chlorinator manufacturer Hayward recommends too.
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It Can Make Your Water Cloudy
pH doesnt directly make your pool water cloudy. Instead, its often a side-effect of the issues weve already covered.
The scaling caused by high pH water leads to circulation issues, which leads to cloudy water. The corrosion caused by low pH water creates debris, which also leads to cloudy water.
And it doesnt stop there.
Since your pH level dictates the effectiveness of your sanitizer, improper pH can lead to poor sanitation. This turns your pool into breeding ground for various types of algae, bacteria, and viruses, and can also result in cloudy or green water.
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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What Are Their Ideal Ranges
When maintaining a pool, you can look at several indicators. Each of them tells you something else about the water. In the list below, weve included recommended ranges for some of the most common indicators. Follow along with them to ensure youve got quality water.
General Pool Water Indicator Guidelines
- Free Chlorine: 1.0-3.0 ppm
- Bromine: 1.0-3.0 ppm
Use Ph Adjusters For Your Swimming Pool
Adjusting your pH is relatively straightforward.
While following normal pool maintenance routines, it should be taken care of. If not, then use one of the following.
Alkaline Tablets:Suppose the pH level has risen to high. If that is the case, then at an alkaline tablet. Afterward, it should lower quite a bit.
Pool Shock:On the other hand, if things have become too basic, then you should talk about the water. That way, its pH will rise.
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Where Should You Store Pool Chemicals
Many pool cleaning products contain chemicals that can be hazardous or even deadly if stored improperly. As the Environmental Protection Agency points out, various pool chemicals can potentially be highly reactive and capable of generating high temperatures, as well as releasing toxic vapors if improperly handled or stored.
Avoid fumes, fires, chemical reactions, and other hazards by following the storage instructions on each cleaner carefully. The ideal storage space should be well ventilated, clearly organized, free of leaks or spills, and protected from excessive heat or sunlight.
Halogens Bind To Free
When the halogens are free, they bind things quite easily. Since they are so reactive, they tear through the pool water. Nevertheless, once they encounter something, they become inert.
Consequently, Youll Notice the Water Is Cloudy:Once enough of it is deactivated, you can see it in the water. To the naked eye, it will appear as if there are clouds in it.
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Algae In Swimming Pools
Algae are single-celled organisms that grow quickly in the right conditions and can turn the water in your swimming pool green within a few hours. Chlorine will help prevent growth of algae. Talk to a pool specialist to get advice on how to treat algae.
You can use a brush and garden hose to remove algae from pool surfaces. The next day, vacuum the settled algae from the floor of your pool – don’t try to remove it by running the filter. Make sure you check the TA, pH and calcium hardness before you allow anyone to swim.
How To Raise Pool Alkalinity
If the problem is low alkalinity, youll have to add something to the water in order to raise it.
This is actually a pretty simple fix. Regular ol baking soda will usually do the trick. Sure, there are some products out there just for this purpose, but seriously, baking soda is all you need.
You cant beat the price and you can actually order it in larger bags so you dont have to empty a ton of those little boxes.
There is also another option thats even cheaper soda ash . Its a little less effective but itll do in a pinch. Keep in mind this can also make your water cloudy, though, so be sure to run your filter for a while after you use it.
To use baking soda for this purpose, youll have to figure out how much you need.
About one and a half pounds per 10,000 gallons of water should raise the alkalinity about 10 ppm. But to keep from lowering it too much, its a good idea to start out with about half the amount you think youll need to see if that works.
Once youve measured out the amount to use, spread it all over the surface of the water with the pump turned on to circulate it. Wait about six hours and then test your pH and alkalinity levels again.
Repeat this process as needed until these levels are within normal range.
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Algaecidal Application Is Crucial
If you would prefer water without algal blooms, then you should think about using algicide. These chemicals kill them on the spot.
Without That, Blooms Are Only a Matter of Time
Unfortunately, pool water without these chemicals is a great growth medium for algae. Therefore, without preventing their growth, youll see them before too long.
Luckily, With the Right Algicide, Preventing Blooms Is a Cinch
As long as you follow the directions, any common algicidal chemical should suffice. Depending on the one used, youll have to apply it every so often. Ensure that the directions are followed strictly.
Otherwise, You Run the Risk of Skin Irritation:
Since the chemicals can be harsh, you dont want to use them excessively. If you do, things might not be as fun inside of your pool for guests. Harshly treated water tends to irritate the skin.
Technical: Free Chlorine Is A Measure Of Both Hypochlorous Acid And Hypochlorite Ions The Hypochlorous Acid Is The Active Part Of The Free Chlorine Which Does The Oxidising And Destruction Of Contaminants The Hypochlorite Ion Is Inactive And Can Be Considered The Reserve That Converts To Hypochlorous Acid As Required
When your pool has a pH of 7, the free chlorine has 75% Hypochlorous Acid ions. If your pool has a pH of 7.8, the free chlorine has just 28% Hypochlorous acid ions, making your sanitiser much less effective.
Therefore a swimming pool with a pH of 7 and a free chlorine level of just 0.5ppm has the same sanitising effect as a pool with a pH of 7.8 and a free chlorine level of 1.35ppm.
This is why the pH of your pool is really important.
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It Can Be Harmful To Humans
Its hardly a coincidence that the recommended pH level for your swimming pool water is about the same as a human tear.
This is where pool water will have the least wear on a swimmers body, and ensure the best possible water quality.
A pH level thats too high causes dry, itchy, or sticky feeling skin, and even skin rashes. It also irritates the nose and eyes, similar to the feeling of getting shampoo in your eyes .
A pH level thats too low has a similar effect in terms of skin irritation, stripping the natural oils from your body leaving you with dry, itchy skin. It also causes more severe eye irritation, such as redness, puffiness and burning of the eyes.
Note: These symptoms can also be caused by a buildup of chloramine or a high level of total dissolved solids .
Technical: The Higher The Level Of Cyanuric Acid The More It Reduce The Effectiveness Of Free Chlorine To Offset The Loss Of Sanitisation Power Of Free Chlorine In Stabilised Outdoor Pools The Minimum Concentration Of Free Chlorine Must Be Kept Between 2ppm And 3ppm
Interestingly, Cyanuric Acid is not consumed or lost from swimming pool water unless due to splashing, backwashing or introduction of freshwater, these are the only times that youll need to add more Cyanuric acid.
For more information about your pool water balance, speak to one of our knowledgeable staff at your nearest store, call on 1300 007 665 or ask us a question on our .
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Chlorine Ideal Range = 10 20 Ppm But Up To 30ppm Is Acceptable
Chlorine is the chemical most often used to keep swimming pools and spas free of bacteria that can be hazardous to humans.
- Chlorine kills bacteria though a fairly simple chemical reaction
- When chlorine is added to pool water it reacts with the water to form Hydrochloric Acid and Hypochlorous Acid
- The HOCl is the active part of the free chlorine that is measured on a test kit and is what sanitises the pool water
- If the pH is too high, not enough HOCl is present and sanitisation can take much longer than normal
Chlorine comes in many forms:
- Granular chlorine
- Liquid chlorine
- Salt Water Chlorinators produce chlorine through electrolysis in a weak salt water solution
An automated controller will regularly add either liquid chlorine, or produce chlorine via a Salt Water Chlorinator.
Information for automated control systems using pH and ORP probes
- ORP levels to achieve 1.0 to 2.0 p.p.m chlorine vary for each pool
- ORP is not a measure of the chlorine in pool water
- ORP is a measure of how well the water will act to oxidise contaminants including pathogenic organisms
- When dealing with pH/ORP controllers the water balance as a whole must always be taken into account
- If the pH varies so will the ORP, and the free chlorine residual as well
- Stabiliser will also affect the ORP for a given chlorine residual
- We recommend that you do not add chemicals directly to your skimmer box
Supplementary systems can be used to reduce chlorine demand and usage, and provide enhanced sanitation
Inspect The Site Before Testing
Before you can test your chemical balance, you need to perform a site inspection. This will help youdetermine if there has been any damage to the pool that may prevent proper circulation or requireadditional treatment. Remember to clean debris from the pool deck, patio and surrounding areas. Makesure that you skim and vacuum any debris from the swimming pool or water surface.
Have a digital camera for documentation of any cracks or discoloration in the pool finish. Sanding padsare necessary to check the smoothness of the pool finish. If the surface is rough, it needs to bedetermined if this is from etching or precipitation. The pool finish should be smooth to the touch.
Next, check the interior surface. Squirt just a little bit of dish soap into the pool. This will preventripples and calm the waters surface so that you can see into the bottom of the pool. This is a goodtime to check for algae or metal stains.
If you see a major flaw or crack in your pool finish, contact a pool professional. They will be able todetermine the severity of the situation and provide you with a suitable solution.
After doing a superlative site inspection, test the water for proper chemistry levels.
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Cyanuric Acid Or Stabilizer
Most chlorine products you add to the water will be stabilized chlorine. However, if you start with fresh water, you might want to add some cyanuric acid as a stabilizer base so that the chlorine doesnt get burned off by the suns UV rays so quickly. This chemical will protect your chlorine from the sun.
Glossary Of Terms To Help You Maintain Clean Healthy And Sparkling Pool Water
Disinfection/Sanitation Disinfection/sanitation is the process used to kill all the disease-causing organisms in the pool water. The active forms of chlorine and bromine gases, dissolved in the water, are the two most common types of disinfectants.
A measurable active chlorine residual must be present in the water to perform satisfactory sanitisation and disinfection.
Oxidisation Oxidisation is used to destroy organic contaminants such as algae, body oils, minerals and other materials which cause irritation, colour, odour and turbidity. Oxidisation will rid ammonia and nitrogen compounds from pool water. The strength of Oxidisation is measured in millivolts and called ORP .
Filtration Filtration is the physical operation of removing undissolved and suspended particles from your pool water. Impurities are trapped as water passes through your filter and clean water is returned to your pool.
Correct and sufficient pump running times are required for satisfactory filtration and sanitisation. Insufficient sanitisation, and cloudy water will result from insufficient running times.
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Salt Ideal Level = 3000 4000 Ppm
Salt water chlorination is a process that uses dissolved salt as a store for the chlorination system. The chlorine generator uses electrolysis in the presence of dissolved salt to produce chlorine for your pool. As such, a saltwater pool is not actually chlorine-free, it simply utilizes a chlorine generator instead of direct addition of chlorine.
Ideal Swimming Pool Water Chemistry Levels
|-0.2 to +0.2||-0.2 to +0.2|
One misconception when switching yourpool to a Salt Chlorine Generator is that water chemistry is no longer important,and that you never have to do anything again. Salt systems work so well and have gained such a reputation for slashing the maintenance required on a pool, that from what people hear they may think that thesystem is meant to do it all! You’ll hear it when you talk to people with a salt pool that they will tell you how little they have to do anymore. When they tell youthat they havenât had to touch their pool, that is certainly in the realm ofpossibility but that isnât a given, and its important to be clear that aSaltwater Chlorinator isnât doing anything to manage those other supplementarywater chemistry levels â pH, Alkalinity, Stabilizer, etcâ¦ Those levels may notchange frequently, buy they DO still need to be kept in range.
The best way to check your water chemistry is to take asample of pool water to a local pool store and do a full around diagnostictest. TIP: ask the pool store to confirm that they test each of these importantchemical levels, and also provide the pool store with a copy of your saltsystemâs manual so that they know what salinity range your system works with.
Once tested, compare your water chemistry results to thelevels in your salt system manual, and follow your pool professionalâsinstructions to adjust these ranges into ideal levels as needed.
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