A Step-by-step Guide To Keeping In-ground Pools Safe & Protected
Did you know that the average in-ground pool can add around 28% value to your home when it’s safe and protected? And the best way to keep your pool safe is to balance the pool water.
One of the greatest challenges of owning a pool is balancing pool chemicals. Pool water balance contributes directly to the look and feel of your pool. It also boosts your pool’s overall safety and prevents corrosion. All you need to achieve this is the right equipment and the correct amounts of pool chemicals. Here’s how to balance pool water while keeping an eye on pH, alkalinity, hardness, chlorination, and filtration.
How Often Should You Balance Pool Water?
Since pools are used less often during the cooler months, they may demand less chlorine. This can result in excess chlorine levels, which are detrimental to pool equipment and blankets.
You should test the water’s pH and chlorine levels every three to four weeks. You also need to ramp up the tests as the summer season approaches. Do the tests frequently if you have kids using the pool regularly.
What Happens If Your Pool Is Not Balanced?
Unbalanced pool chemicals often lead to eye problems or skin irritations. They make it easier for bacteria to thrive and cause discomfort.
Your pool equipment can suffer damage if the pool chemicals are highly concentrated. Also, the ground pool water will be less appealing to swimmers. This is because a pool with unbalanced chemicals is usually cloudy and uninviting rather than sparkling clear.
In What Order Should You Add Pool Chemicals?
You must add pool chemicals in a certain order for the perfect balance. As you adjust the pool chemicals, focus on the alkalinity and pH levels. Next, focus on the calcium hardness and stabilizer, and end with chlorination.
If you fail to follow this order, you’ll harm the pool water or even waste the chemicals. Since pools are meant for recreation, you’d want swimmers to get the best experience. Imbalances in the pool may make the water appear uninviting and even be a health hazard. Not much of an experience, eh?
7 Steps to Balance Pool Water After Refilling
Testing and learning how to balance water chemicals can be quite challenging, especially if it’s your first time doing it. Stick to the following steps to balance your pool water.
1. Test and Adjust Total Alkalinity
Use test kits to test the total alkalinity in your pool water. A normal alkalinity reading needs to be between 80 and 120 parts per million.
A stabilizer will help raise the alkalinity if the cyanuric acid levels are low. Soda ash will do the same if the pH levels are low.
High alkalinity levels in the water may dilute the chlorine, reducing its effectiveness. You can lower them by adding muriatic acid to the water or aerating the pool. Muriatic acid neutralizes alkaline materials in a pool, while aeration helps break up alkaline materials.
2. Test and Adjust pH
pH is a figure used to express alkalinity or acidity or a solution. Based on the 1.0 to 14.0 pH scale, the ideal range is 7.4 to 7.6. This means your pool water will be alkaline if it has a pH level above 7.0 and acidic if it is below 7.0.
Dip a pH strip tester in your pool to test its pH. If the pH level is low, you can increase it using sodium carbonate. If high, use sodium bisulfate to decrease it. You won’t have chemical imbalances in your pool with the right water pH.
3. Measure and Adjust Calcium Hardness
Always monitor and balance the water hardness to prevent damage to your pool equipment. A water hardness tester and balancer will help you do this. The normal range for your pool’s calcium hardness should be 200 to 400 ppm.
If the water is high in calcium, you can replace it or use a pool flocculant to clump the excess calcium deposits. You may also add muriatic acid to the water to reduce its hardness if the flocculant and draining fail to work.
4. Add Sanitiser to Your Water
A sanitizer will help prevent the growth of organic contaminants and kill bacteria. You may use an unstabilized or stabilized chlorine-based sanitizer for the job.
5. Check and Adjust Cyanuric Acid
Use test strips to check the cyanuric acid levels in your pool, which should be between 30 and 50 ppm. Adding a pool stabilizer can help raise these levels if they are high. And to lower them, you should replace the pool water with fresh water.
6. Measure Your Water’s Total Dissolved Solids
Total dissolved solids (TDS) are organic and inorganic materials dissolved in a pool. Examples include calcium, chloride, magnesium, aluminum, potassium, and sodium.
Use a TDS meter to measure the amount of total dissolved solids in your pool water. You can also take a sample of the pool water to the lab for analysis. Since no chemical can lower TDS levels in pool water, the only solution is to dilute or replace part of the water with fresh, unsaturated water.
7. Shock Your Swimming Pool
Chlorine in your pool may become ineffective if it combines with contaminants. You have to shock the water to remove the contaminants. Shocking also elevates the chlorine levels to 5 to 10 ppm. Add shock in the water after cleaning the pool.
What About Pool Temperature?
Depending on your area’s climate, you’ll have to heat your pool often. This will make it comfortable enough for your household. Maintain temperatures in the range of 78 to 82 degrees when heating your pool. As you do this, note that every degree of temperature will raise the pool maintenance costs.
How to Balance Pool Water: The Takeaway
Balancing new pool water is one of the important duties you have to honour as a pool owner. If you neglect this task, the water may turn green or cloudy and irritate your eyes or skin.
Another sure-fire way to manage your pool chemistry is to take your water in for testing. A pool testing service takes all the guesswork to balance your pool. Bring in a sample of your pool water for testing and your local pool store will not only test the water but tell you exactly what chemicals you need in the right amounts to help you keep your pool completely balanced.
And if you’re looking for a custom pool builder, Edgewater Pools has your back. We strive to deliver stunning results through our professional services. Book your consultation today to learn more about how to balance pool water.