Medicine Hat Residential Swimming Expert – Russel Koch

What does it mean  when they talk about water balance in my pool?

Water balance deals with the tendency of water to corrode or scale. Scale formations can form abrasive deposits on pool surfaces, plug filter sand, reduce circulation by depositing scale inside piping, and cause cloudy pools. Allowing a scaling water condition to continue does irreparable damage to pool surfaces and equipment.

In the pool environment, corrosion may cause the pitting of concrete surfaces, dissolve copper elements inside the pool heater or, pin holes in metal filters and piping.

Balanced water is neither scaling nor corrosive.

 How do I balance my pool water?

To balance your water, you should check your Total Alkalinity, PH, and Calcium Hardness”

Total Alkalinity is the measure of the amount of alkaline salt in the pool water. It is important to the pool water chemistry as it is a buffer to the PH in the pool.  Water that is low in Alkalinity has a hard time holding the PH at a certain level. What this means is that the PH will bounce around quite easily, and you will be constantly trying to correct it by adding the appropriate chemicals. Also, low alkalinity in the water tends to corrode .To  raise the alkalinity, add “Alkalinity UP” to your pool. Low alkalinity can lead to the following:

  • PH bounce
  • Corrosion of pipes and
    staining of pool walls

If, on the other hand, the Alkalinity is too high the PH will tend to drift up therefore leading to scaling water. Also, higher PH levels affect the effectiveness of the chlorine. To lower the alkalinity in your pool water requires the use of Muriatic Acid. Talk to a pool professional before using Muriatic Acid. Alkalinity that is too high can lead to:

  • High acid demands
  • Scaling
  • Cloudy water
  • PH will drift up

PH is a term that measures how acidic or alkaline your water is. It is measured on a scale of 0 to 14. 0. The higher the number the more acidic the water. If the PH is too low, your equipment may corrode. If the PH is too high, then you may get scaling.

The effects of improper PH are:

Too low:

  • Skin and eye irritation
  • Equipment corrodes
  • Vinyl liners can wrinkle

Too High:

  • Chlorine loses effectiveness
  • Water Clouds or scales
  • Skin and eye irritation

To adjust the PH, simply add PH UP or PH Down.

Calcium Hardness is a measurement of the calcium ion content of the water. Low calcium in the water may do serious damage to concrete pools. On the other hand, high calcium will increase the probability of scaling. To increase the Calcium Hardness, add “Calcium Hardness Increaser. To lower the Calcium Hardness, add a product like “Pool Secure by Tabex” or a similar product.

Once you get the hang of it, maintaining a balanced swimming pool is not that dificult. When you open the pool in the spring start by adjusting the Hardness, then the Alkalinity, then the PH and finally the Chlorine. After you have your pool up and running adjust your Alkalinity first, then your PH, followed by your Chlorine level and finally the Calcium Hardness.