An important factor in getting crystal clear water for your pool is keeping in balance all the chemicals you treat the water with. While it may sound daunting at first, once you get to know the process and how the chemicals interact with one another, the job will be cut out for you. A key element is to keep every aspect within its optimum level because if one of them gets out of hand, a domino effect will take place affecting the others as well, and resulting in complete chaos. But fear not, we’re here to help you! In this article, we’ll help you understand why it is important to preserve the water’s balance, how you can do it, and how to keep it that way.
Equilibrium is Important
There are three main reasons why you would want to keep the balance:
- Health and safety – Once the stability is broken, the water will quickly become unsafe for you to swim in. Bacteria and microorganisms will quickly transform it into a health hazard, with several internal problems to follow if you still stubbornly consider you can swim in it.
- Costs and budget – A pool is not easily ‘adopted’ into your household, but once it’s there, it’s going to stay. Surely you wouldn’t wish your investment to deteriorate right after you’ve worked so hard to create. Unbalanced chemistry will lead, sooner or later, to a deteriorate basin shell, faulty plumbing systems, and corroded pipes. This, in turn, will require even heftier sums of money to make it as new, nullifying your previous actions. Keeping the water equilibrium is easier and more accessible.
- Aesthetics – No one wishes to have a clean house, a beautiful yard, and a dirty, green-grim pool. Not only does it contradict the overall image of your household, but it is also unpleasant to look at. Surely you wish to have a place where you can relax and leisurely swim away from your stress, not deal with algae and bacteria.
How to Balance it
Five factors are linked together and are strongly connected with one another. These are the sanitization level, pH, alkalinity, water hardness, and the total amount of deposits that result from the interaction between the four other chemicals. To know how to balance them, you have to understand what they do in particular:
- Sanitization – as its name implies, it is the main ingredient that keeps microorganisms and pathogens away. Its levels should be 3ppm, and it can be achieved in three different ways depending on your preferences: by using chlorine (available as powder, liquid, or tablets), bromine (powder or tablets), or hydrogen peroxide.
- pH – it’s a means of verifying and keeping track of how basic or acidic the water is. The best value is around 7.2 – 7.6, due to its neutrality. If it goes lower or higher than 7, it will become a direct obstacle for the sanitizers. In order to keep it stable, you can utilize two different substances: sodium bisulfate, if you wish to lower its scale, or sodium carbonate if you intend to raise its number.
- Alkalinity – it functions as a shield for pH levels, as it takes the brunt for new elements introduced in water. Once an object or a person enters the water, the pH level should rise or fall accordingly, but, instead, alkalinity is the one that varies, while the pH remains the same. If it happens to go beyond 120 ppm, sodium bisulfate or muriatic acid are two ways of lowering it. If, in turn, it drops too much, under 80 ppm, you can lift it back up with sodium bicarbonate.
- Water hardness – is linked directly to alkalinity, as it dictates if calcium deposits are going to be a problem or not. It shouldn’t go beyond 400 ppm, nor go under 200 ppm, but in case it does go out of control flocculants and clarifiers will help its level lower back to normal. On the other hand, if it gets too low, it can be increased with a calcium-increaser solution.
- Total deposits of solution – also known as TDS for short, it the result of all the chemicals interacting with one another. These residues, once they’ve accumulated over a certain limit, over 2000, will become a burden for the pool’s shell, plumbing system, and water chemistry. The only way of limiting them is by lowering the present water level and add new, fresh water to the pool.
Keep it Balanced
Once you know what you need to pay attention to, there are several ways in which you can ensure the balance is maintained.
- Tip 1. Test it. Nothing tells you more exactly how the water fares than a test. You can either choose to use the strips or the water kit, but regardless of your option, both will help you get real-time results of how the water fares. If you wish a more detailed analysis, you can take a water sample to your local pool dealer and ask them to take a look at it.
- Tip 2. Weekly cleaning. Don’t let the upkeep pile up, do it regularly, every week, if possible. Preventing the leaves and debris from entering your pool might be an impossible task, but you can choose not to let them stay too long in the water. If you don’t want to spend too much time on it, take a robotic cleaner and let it help you achieve it.
- Tip 3. Cover it up. When the pool is not in use, consider sheltering it from intrusive elements by investing in a cover. Regardless if it’s an indoor or an outdoor basin, a cover will prevent even the smallest particles to bother the water. It will also help preserve its warmth so it will be just perfect for a next-day swim.
- Tip 4. Regular maintenance. Not only the shell needs to be carefully analyzed, but so do the filter, the pump as well as the pipes. Check on how they fare, if they require modifications, piece replacements, or cleaning. A steady pump ensures good water circulation, whereas a clean filter does a better job at keeping away pathogens.
- Tip 5. Know your pool. Before you decide to let the chemicals loose into the pool, make sure you’ve made all the required calculations. Know how many gallons the pool can support, and adjust the chemicals accordingly. Too much or too less will negatively impact the overall balance.
Once you’ve learned which elements you should pay close attention to and which require your immediate action, it is easy to keep track of them. Learning the correct amounts might be a bit of a challenge, especially if you’re a new pool owner. But with patience and dedication, you will achieve clean water, free from health-risks, in no time.