Proper pool or spa maintenance is vital to ensure the safety of everyone who uses it. However, it requires more than chlorine, the commonly used chemical in pools and spas. If one chemical is slightly off the recommended range, it can throw the others off creating a favorable environment for bacterial growth. Fortunately, balancing your pool or spa chemical levels is easy. Here’s a rundown of what you should keep your eyes on.
Common Types of Pool or Spa Chemicals
1. Water Balance Chemicals
Water balancers maintain the pH, alkalinity, and calcium hardness levels in the water. They ensure the water does not irritate the skin or eyes and doesn’t damage the pool/spa equipment.
2. Water Sanitizers
Sanitizers kill harmful bacteria and other contaminants in the water. Common sanitizers include chlorine, bromine, and other mineral systems.
Tips for Balancing Chemical Levels
1. Test Total Alkalinity
Testing and adjusting the total alkalinity is the first step you should take when balancing chemicals in your pool or spa water. Total Alkalinity (TA) is the number of alkaline substances in the water, which acts as a pH stabilizer. To test the TA, you can use a pool water test kit, fill it with a water sample and add a reagent. The test will give you the reading in parts per million (ppm) of the total alkalinity level in your pool or spa water.
The recommended range of pool water alkalinity is 80 to 120 ppm. If your test reading is below this range, you can increase your pool’s alkalinity levels by adding sodium bicarbonate. The amount of sodium bicarbonate will depend on the size of your pool or spa. As a general rule, you can add up to 25 pounds of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) per 10,000 gallons of pool water, to increase the alkalinity levels by 10ppm.
For a test reading above the recommended range, you can add muriatic or sodium bisulfate to decrease the alkalinity levels. Again, the amount you can add will depend on your pool’s size. You can add the acid in small amounts and retest before adding more.
2. Test pH Levels
High pH levels can lead to problems such as skin and eye irritation, equipment damage, and low effectiveness of pool chemicals. You can use a water test kit to test the pH levels of your pool or spa water. The ideal pH level should be between 7.4 to 7.6. You can add a pH increaser (soda ash) or decreaser (sodium bisulfate or muriatic acid) to balance the levels.
3. Check for Calcium Hardness
The ideal calcium hardness level is important for safeguarding pool equipment and surfaces, reducing corrosion, and increasing water quality. Calcium hardness should be between 200 and 400 ppm. If the level is too high, you can use a calcium reducer or flocculant to remove the excess calcium. On the other hand, you can use calcium chloride to increase it. It is advisable to partly drain and replenish the pool with fresh water if the level is constantly high or low.
4. Maintain Proper Sanitizer Levels
Maintaining proper sanitizer levels in a pool or spa is important for keeping the water free of dangerous bacteria and other impurities. Chlorine and bromine are the two most often used sanitizers. Chlorine sanitizer levels should be between 1 to 3 ppm, whereas bromine levels should be between 3 to 5 ppm. It is critical to choose a sanitizer that is suitable for the kind and size of the pool or spa. Regular water testing is vital to maintain adequate sanitizer levels.
5. Check and Adjust Cyanuric Acid Levels
Cyanuric acid is used to stabilize chlorine in swimming pools and protect it from being degraded by UV rays. To ensure that chlorine is properly protected, you should regularly check and adjust the CYA level to the recommended level of between 30-50 ppm.
6. Check Your Pool’s Total Dissolved Solids
Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) is the amount of substances that have dissolved in the water. It is measured in parts per million. High TDS levels can make it difficult to balance the pool’s chemicals. To ensure the proper TDS levels, you should often test e water using a TDS meter.
For levels above 2,000ppm, drain small amounts of the pool water and refill using fresh water until the TDS levels are within the ideal range. You may need to repeat this process severally until the TDS levels are balanced.
Proper chemical levels in a pool or spa are important for safe and enjoyable swimming experiences. for the best results, monitor pH levels and shock the pool on a regular basis using high-quality HyClor Pool Chemicals to help you keep your pool clean and safe.