The Importance Of Water Balance In Your Pool And What You Need To Know
To ensure your pool is healthy and safe to swim in, the water levels must be balanced correctly. It must be checked often as it can easily be thrown off by external factors such as people using the pool, debris, and the weather. Here’s everything you need to know about your pool’s water balance.
Why Is Water Balance So Important?
It is vital for a few reasons, including:
• It reduces the likelihood of water issues such as algae infestations or murky water.
• It helps your sanitising agents to work to their full potential.
• It can extend the longevity of your pool and equipment.
What Components Keep Your Water Balanced?
Your pool’s alkalinity is called total alkalinity (T.A) and it is how much alkaline is in your water. It measures the levels of carbonates, hydroxides and bicarbonates which all play a role in keeping your pool clean. It’s a good idea to monitor your total alkalinity in conjunction with your pools pH levels as they greatly influence each other. Your alkalinity is essentially a buffer that stops the pH from dropping or spiking. It absorbs imbalances in the water before they have a chance to affect the pH level. If your T.A is too low, your pH will be as well and if your T.A is high, your pH will be too. Ideally, your total alkalinity range should sit between 80 to 120 parts per million (ppm).
Your pool’s pH can become unbalanced quite easily. Inadequate pH levels can lead to issues for both the people using it and the pool equipment. High pH results in the water becoming too alkaline which inhibits the chlorines ability to sanitise the water. If on the other hand, the pH is too low the water becomes acidic which can cause skin irritation and the water to go cloudy. It a good idea to keep some pH increase on hand so you can add it if your levels get too low. Optimal pH levels for a pool is in the range of 7.2 to 7.8.
Along with the total alkalinity and pH levels, the calcium hardness in your pool must be monitored regularly. Low levels can have a corrosive effect on your pool and its equipment if it’s too high scaling and stains may appear on the surface. It’s recommended to keep your calcium hardness levels between 100 to 300 ppm.
Stabiliser is essential to keeping your pool water healthy as it retains the chlorine in the water for longer. UV rays breakdown and dissipate the chlorine and without the stabiliser, the effectiveness of the chlorine could be lost in a matter of 2 hours on a day with full sun. When your stabiliser levels get too low you will need to add more chlorine to compensate. If there’s too much stabiliser in the water this can cause what’s known as chlorine lock, which also makes your chlorine ineffective. You can lower your stabiliser levels by purchasing a reducer or by draining the water slightly and topping up with fresh water. Normal stabiliser levels range between 40 and 100 ppm.
Total Dissolved Solids (TDS)
The total dissolved solids are the number of substances dissolved in the pool water. Many things can add to the overall TDS level including contaminants such as sweat, foliage, and pool chemicals. Evaporation has a big impact on the number of concentrated minerals your water has. Put simply, the more your water evaporates the more your water becomes concentrated. The minerals inhibit the pool chemicals from working properly and this can result in stains and scaling. If your levels are too high you can drain some pool water and add some fresh to rectify. Your TDS levels should be maintained at around 1200ppm.
Your sanitiser is an essential component of maintaining your pools water balance. It’s important to keep the correct level of chlorine in your pool to not only eradicate algae and bacteria but to protect your swimmers from skin and eye irritation. You will need to test the chlorine levels regularly to ensure they are balanced correctly. There are 3 main types of sanitisations available they include:
• Traditional chlorine
For both chlorine and salt pools, the chlorine level should sit around 1-3 ppm. For minerals, it is 0.05ppm.
How Do I Balance My Pool Water?
The easiest and most effective way to achieve a balanced pool is by testing the water. You can do this yourself by purchasing a water testing kit or by taking a sample of your pool water to your local pool shop for them to analyse. You should aim to test your water every week if you can to ensure that none of your levels are off-balanced. When your water isn’t balanced correctly, it isn’t good for your pool or equipment, your water quality will be compromised, and it can cause skin rashes and bleach clothing. Water testing kits are inexpensive and easy to use. Each brand comes with different instructions but for most types, it’s a matter of simply taking a sample of pool water with a collector usually provided and dipping one of the testing strips in the sample. You then compare the colours on your strip to the ones on the colour guide to get a reading of your pool levels.
Follow User Manual Guidelines
When you purchase your pool, you should be given a comprehensive guide on pool care and maintenance. It’s important to follow the guidelines stated in your user manual for best water results and to protect your pool and equipment. If managing your pool’s water balance is something you are not confident doing or you don’t have the spare time to do, it’s best to call in a professional pool cleaner. They can take care of your pool cleaning and maintenance for you. If you do go down this route, make sure the pool cleaner is given a copy of your pools manual as well as user guides for your equipment.
If you have any questions concerning water balance for your pool or if you would like additional information, feel free to contact our friendly and knowledgeable team here at Barrier Reef National. We will happily help if we can.