How To Keep Your Pool Water Balanced

A home swimming pool is without a doubt a wonderful way to relax and enjoy and relax when summer comes, with your friend and your family as well. In order to keep your swimming pool safe and clean for you and the other swimmers, you must maintain a proper water chemistry. If you follow the right steps, you can obtain the desired result without any problem whatsoever. Here is how to keep your pool water balanced.

The Importance of a Balanced Pool

As you probably know one of the most crucial steps of swimming pool maintenance is water balance. Due to its complexity, water balance can be also one of the most confusing processes of pool maintenance. If everything is balanced you will avoid several potential issues with your pool, including algae and cloudiness. As mentioned before, it is a bit complicated to understand water balance. Therefore, some pool owners may not know what they have to do in order to keep their pool water safe, comfortable and corrosion free. However, water balance is important for a number of reasons.

  • Safety
  • Whether it is a salt based pool which produces chlorine or a chlorine-based table pool, it is important to know that the pH needs to be correct. Is simple terms it has to be perfectly balanced. However, if the water is not balanced correctly, then, you need to understand the fact that the chlorine sanitizer won’t be working at its maximum level to kill bacteria and germs.

  • Comfort
  • There is nothing more important than feeling good and comfortable in your own pool. If the pool water is not balanced correctly, it can affect your skin or eyes. Therefore, make sure the pH is neither too basic nor acidic in order to feel safe and comfortable.

  • Corrosion
  • Keep in mind that an imbalanced pool can be corrosive to the ladders, liner and hand rail. Plus, it can also affect other equipment, including the pool’s pump. PH level within the correct range will keep your equipment and swimming pool in a good condition.

  • Calcium
  • The right amount of calcium is very important for your swimming pool water. The general range for calcium hardness is from 200 to 400 ppm, while 300 ppm is perfect for the average pool. Keep in mind that too much calcium can affect the water, making it cloudy, while if it is too little your plaster can erode.

Pool Water Balance Guidelines

The elements that determine the balance of the pool water are the pH, the temperature, the total alkalinity, and the calcium hardness. Calculating the water balance is not hard to do as long as you know the formula, and it is essential to be aware of it because this is the only way to discover whether the water is aggressive or if it might cause limescale deposits. The formula that you must use to figure out the pool water balance is index value = pH+TF+CF+AF-12.1. In this formula, TF represents the temperature, CF represents the calcium hardness, AF represents the total alkalinity, and 12.1 is a constant that is always used. Of course, there are tests kits that you can use to determine the balance, test kits that you can easily find in specialty stores. After you have learned what the index value is, you can guide yourself after the value to figure out the problem of the water. In case the value is over 0.5, then you have lime-precipitating water, cloudy water, or limescale deposits in the pool. If this value is below -0.5, then the water is aggressive, it attacks the mechanical equipment of the pool, and it can irritate your eyes. Now that you know what type of problem you’re dealing with, you can take action and fix it by following the advice that we have given in the first part of the article. Just remember that water balance must be checked regularly to ensure safety while being in the pool, and never rely on simple guesses because you can actually endanger yourself.

Repercussions of Unbalanced Pool Water

What you must always remember is that the water in your pool is only as safe as the chemicals used to maintain it. Therefore, if you overdo it when adding chlorine and pH increases, you might end up doing more harm than good. Besides existing repercussions when it comes to the quality, texture, and smell of the pool’s water, there are unpleasant side-effects when it comes to your health as well if you don’t follow the guidelines of keeping the pool water balanced. The worst health effects of unbalanced pool water are asthma-like symptoms caused by the toxic conditions in the pool, the erosion of dental enamel caused by the unbalanced pH, and skin rashes that appear because of excess chlorine levels.

Increase the pH of your pool with a pH increaser

It is highly recommended to use a pH increaser when the pH of your water drops below 7.2. Therefore, you must make sure you taste your pool water regularly, in order to know what is the pH level, and if you actually need to use an increaser or not. A test like this should be done once a week. You can use some test strips which are specially manufactured for poll testing use. They are very efficient, and they will provide you the desired result, in order to know what to do.

Go for an alkalinity increaser

Alkalinity plays a very important role as well when it comes to swimming pools. This is why it is very important to make sure it has the right level at all times. The pH and chlorine levels of your pool must be maintained properly, in order to not affect the health of swimmers. Therefore, you must use an alkalinity increaser. You must use a product like this from time to time, and not too often. The ideal level of alkalinity in a pool is between 80 and 120ppm, and in case the alkalinity level drops below 80ppm, you will need to go for an increaser. For knowing when you need to do this, you must again, test your pool water very often.

If you need to lower the pH in your pool, then you must use a pH reducer

Again, you must test your water before you actually use a pH reducer. Sodium Bisulfate is highly recommended, in order to obtain this result. In order to know how much acid you need to add, you must see first, the results of your test. You must be very careful and not add too much. Sodium Bisulfate comes in powder form, and this is the reason why you should not add it to your pool on a windy day. Before you actually retest, you must allow the chemical to mix with the water. Wait for about a day, and then retest your water and see if the pH level of your water has been lowered.

What type of chlorine should I use?

Chlorine is available in bottles, tablets and it also has a granular form. The difference between these types of chlorine is the concentration of the active ingredients. The tablets come in different sizes, such as 3-inch tablets and 1-inch tables. The active ingredient in these tablets is Trichlor, while the active ingredient found in granular form is Dichlor. The most popular type of chlorine, often used by most pool owners is 3-inch tablets. As compared to the 1-inch tablets, the 3-inch tablets require less maintenance and are slow-dissolving. The 1-inch tables are suitable for small in-ground and above-ground pools, as well as for spas. Chlorine in granular form works just as well as the tablets. When using chlorine in granular form, make sure you dissolve it separately before adding to a pool.

Frequently Asked Questions

1Does pool water with an increased pH present a danger for my health?
If the pH of the pool’s water exceeds 7.8, scale or calcium deposits will most surely form on the tiles and filters of the pool, and the water will start to look cloudy as well. Another dangerous effect of high pH is the fact that chlorine won’t be as active in this water, so it won’t be able to combat contaminants and pathogens, thus putting your health in danger if you swim in it.

2When should be used an alkalinity increaser?
The alkalinity increaser makes the pH and chlorine levels easier to control and it should be used when total alkalinity drops below 80 ppm.

3 What is the difference between chlorine and shock?
Chlorine is a sanitizer while shock is chlorine, in a high dose, meant to shock your pool and raise the chlorine level quickly. According to specialists, both chlorine and shock should be used to fully sanitize the water.


  1. Yolanda says:

    Thanks for the reply! I will do my best to keep the pH balanced from now on for sure.

  2. Diane says:

    I want to lower the pH in my swimming pool. Can you please tell me what should I do?

    • Becky Eddinson says:

      I highly suggest you use a pH reducer. In order to achieve the desired results, you need to try the sodium bisulfate. This pH reducer comes in powder form and can be added in your pool even on a windy day.

  3. Telissa says:

    Can you please tell me what means ppm?

  4. Anka says:

    What happens to my pool if it is drained and left empty for 5 to 6 months?

Leave a Reply