You might have found that your pool gets dirty regardless of whether or not you put in the right amount of sanitizer. This is because sanitizers don’t work well if the water’s chemistry isn’t balanced. For example, a high pH level makes chlorine less effective.
To keep your pool clean and prevent damage to it, you need to understand its chemistry and at what level each of its chemical properties needs to be.
Sanitizers keep the water clean. They kill bacteria and viruses and inhibit the growth of algae and other organic contaminants. The amount of sanitizer your pool needs depends on the type you use:
- Chlorine: 3 ppm
- Bromine: 5 ppm
- Biguanide: 30 – 50 ppm
Stabilized and Unstabilized Chlorine
Stabilized chlorine is resistant to UV rays and is used in outdoor pools. Unstabilized chlorine is better at disinfecting water, but it’s vulnerable to UV rays, so it’s only used in indoor pools.
If you don’t want to handle chlorine, you might want to convert your pool into a saltwater pool and use a saltwater chlorinator. Saltwater chlorinators convert salt in your pool into chlorine. Your pool is still chlorinated, but you never have to actually handle the chemical besides when you’re shocking your pool.
Bromine is a popular alternative to chlorine. It lasts longer, meaning you don’t have to worry about testing and balancing your pool’s sanitizer levels as much. It also doesn’t smell as bad as chlorine.
Compared to the other two options, biguanide is less odorous, gentler on your body, doesn’t degrade in sunlight, and doesn’t react to hair dye. However, it’s less popular because it’s more expensive and is less effective at cleaning pool water.
Your pool’s pH level is a measurement of whether it’s acidic (low pH), basic (high pH), or neutral. You want your pool to be neutral with a pH level between 7.2 and 7.8.
Rain, dirt, body oil, and anything else that enters your pool can change its pH level. To keep it balanced, you need a pH increaser and a pH decreaser.
Among pH increaser choices, you have baking soda and soda ash. Baking soda will also increase another chemical property, alkalinity. If you only need to raise your pool’s pH, use soda ash.
Muriatic acid is a popular choice among pH decreasers. However, it is dangerous to handle and can cause health problems. You might want to invest in a pH control system that uses CO2 instead and reduce the number of chemicals you’re handling.
Alkalinity is the ability of water to resist a change in its pH. While it doesn’t directly affect your pool’s cleanliness, it does keep the pH level steady, which is crucial to your pool’s cleanliness. Alkalinity should be between 100 ppm and 150 ppm.
You will need an alkalinity increaser. As said before, baking soda also works if you need to increase the pH simultaneously. You need to use a pH decreaser first to decrease alkalinity, then bring the pH level back up with a pH increaser.
The amount of calcium present in your pool water is measured by calcium hardness. This can vary depending on where you live and the number of minerals, including calcium, in the water you use to fill your pool.
Ideally, calcium hardness should be between 175 ppm and 225 ppm. If you have concrete or plaster pool walls, calcium hardness should be between 200 ppm and 275 ppm.
Low Calcium Hardness
Low calcium hardness can cause the water to draw calcium from your pool walls and equipment, corroding them. To fix this, you just need a calcium hardness increaser.
High Calcium Hardness
High calcium hardness will cloud your pool water, and scale will build up around your pool and its equipment, inhibiting water flow. It is usually caused by high pH, so ensure your pool’s pH is balanced before lowering its calcium hardness.
To lower calcium hardness, you need to shock your pool.
Reduce the Amount of Chemicals You Handle
Managing your pool’s chemistry balance can be confusing. Reduce the chemicals you need to handle and make balancing your pool’s pH level easier with Poolsmith Technologies’ Organic pH Control System. It’s a safe, effective system that uses CO2 to lower your pool’s pH instead of acid.