The pH balance of your swimming pool is delicate, but vital to a safe and enjoyable swimming experience. Owning a swimming pool can bring a lot of joy to your life. The pool is frequently a center for gatherings with friends and family. Swimming pools also provide an excellent option for exercise or even relaxation. There are many benefits to pool ownership, but many people don’t realize the care and upkeep required for owning a pool. It’s important to know how to test and balance the water in your pool in order to keep it clean, sanitized, and ready for fun.
Flower Mound Pool Care & Maintenance helps pool owners enjoy their swimming pools without the hassle of daily and weekly upkeep. Let’s face it; you own a pool because you want to be able to enjoy it. No one wants to own a pool so they can practice chemistry on a regular basis. However, maintaining pH balance is extremely important. We’re here to share our expertise on the importance of a balanced pH in your swimming pool.
What Does pH Balance Mean?
The pH balance of your swimming pool is the balance of its total acid and alkalinity. If your water is too alkaline or too acidic then your pool will undergo undesired chemical reactions. These reactions pose a danger to swimmers and the pool itself. Water that’s too alkaline then scaling can appear on the surface of the pool and plumbing equipment. High alkalinity also results in cloudy water and reduces chlorine’s effectiveness. Chlorine is used to destroy pathogens and alkaline water prohibits its ability to do its job. If the water is too acidic then you’ll see corrosion and etching on the surface of metal equipment and surface materials. Your swimmers will also experience skin and eye irritation.
Every pool owner should understand how to test the pH balance of their water and what the results mean. On the standard pH scale, the number zero indicates the water is extremely acidic while the opposite end of the scale, 14, indicates the water is extremely alkaline. A reading of 7, in the middle of the scale, means the water is neutral. Experts agree that the best pH balance for a swimming pool is between 7.2 and 7.8.
The pH balance of your pool can be lowered or raised as needed. This is done by adding either alkalis or acids to the water. Maintaining the pH balance of your water is an ongoing process of testing then adding the appropriate balancing agents. This is because there are many things that change the pH levels of the water throughout the season.
Controlling Your Water’s Chemical Composition pH Balance
Chlorine, oils from a swimmer’s skin, sweat, rain, debris, all of these things can easily change the pH balance of your swimming pool. The changes your pool experiences one day may also differ the next. It’s next to impossible to predict exactly how your pool will react to various stimuli. This is why it’s so extremely important that you test your pool regularly to make the necessary adjustments.
You can find daily test strips at your local pool supply store. To test effectively, choose an area of the pool away from the skimmer and returns. The strips should include instructions, but most strips advise holding it about eighteen inches below the water’s surface for about ten seconds. Lift the strip out of the water, careful not to remove the excess water. The colors will fill in and you’ll then compare them with the color range on the test container.
Depending on the results, you’ll then need to balance the pH by adding either decerasers, or acids, or pH increasers, or bases. The amount will vary depending on how unbalanced your water is and how much water your pool holds. It’s very important to follow the instructions on the packaging for the decreasers and increasers.
The pH levels aren’t the only thing that needs monitoring. It’s also important to measure calcium hardness, total alkalinity, and total dissolved solids. The constant measurement and balance of these factors will help make your swimming pool enjoyable. Regular maintenance will keep your water sparkling clean while protecting the pool, equipment, and machinery.
The Importance of pH Balance
It’s easy to assume your pool is “close enough” to where it needs to be. However, there are some very important reasons for you to ensure your pool is properly balanced. Water with a low pH results in skin and eye irritation. Acidic water actually strips your body of the natural oils that protect it. This causes dry, itchy skin as well as brittle hair. These symptoms can also be a result of water that is too alkaline. The human body is very close to the neutral point on the pH scale. In order to not experience discomfort, the water’s pH must be balanced.
A high pH level deactivates chlorine. This means your chlorine won’t be able to kill the pathogens in the water. Without chlorine, your pool will quickly become an environment for thriving bacteria, algae, and other organisms. An unbalanced pH will also require much more chlorine, making it costly to keep your swimming pool safe. A high pH will also cause cloudy water. All water contains minerals. As the pH levels rise, these minerals come out of solution resulting in a murky appearance as well as mineral deposits around the pool.
Unbalanced pH levels can also damage the swimming pool itself. This is especially true for pools with vinyl liners. High pH causes the liner to age much more rapidly than it otherwise would. This results in the need of a new liner, which can be quite expensive. A low pH level results in corrosion to the pool. Ladders, pumps, mechanical systems, slides, diving board supports are all at risk of corrosion from a low pH. In fact, even the plaster in your pool is susceptible to corrosion.
Maintaining Your Swimming Pool
Swimming pool maintenance shouldn’t be taken lightly. The chemistry of keeping the pH balanced in your water is extremely important for a variety of reasons. You must pay close attention to your pool and test regularly to ensure our water is the ideal balance for swimmers and the pool itself.
Many people choose to hire someone to take care of the regular pool maintenance because it can be so time consuming. Flower Mound Pool Care & Maintenance offers weekly pool care to help swimming pool owners.