Owning a swimming pool results in a list of daily, weekly and monthly tasks that need to be tended to keep the water safe, clean and fresh. Ignoring these basic duties can result in dangerous, dirty water and damage your swimming pool components. You’ll need to take regular measurements of a variety of levels in the water and add the proper chemicals to get these levels back in balance. But when it comes to the additives, can you add pool chemicals at the same time? The fact is that there’s a favoured order when it comes to adding pool chemicals. In this article, we’ll detail this order as well as some other factors to keep in mind while maintaining your swimming pool water quality.
pH levels and total alkalinity are the two most important levels to keep an eye on when testing the water of your swimming pool. The ideal pH level for your swimming pool water is between 7.2 and 7.6. Readings below 7 are considered acidic and readings above 8 are considered alkaline. Maintaining levels between 7.2 and 7.6 allows chlorine to be effective. If the pH is too low it could cause corrosion of metal pool components, damage to the plaster, grout or pool liner, irritation of the skin and eyes and a breakdown of total alkalinity. If the pH is too high you could see algae growth, scaling and calcium deposits, cloudy water and irritation of the skin and eyes.
Total alkalinity measures the amount of alkaline substances in the pool water which is a factor in how easily the pH levels are changed. When total alkalinity peaks, it can be virtually impossible to adjust the pH level. If the total alkalinity is too high algae has a tendency to grow, pH levels become hard to adjust, the skin and eyes can become irritated and the water will become cloudy. If total alkalinity is low, your pH levels will be erratic and hard to control. Low total alkalinity can also result in corrosion of metal components, etching of plaster and grout, irritation of the skin and eyes and greenish coloured water.
The Orderly Addition of Chemicals
Chemicals that affect the levels of pH and alkalinity need to be added to the swimming pool first. Getting the pH and total alkalinity sorted out will allow for the addition of further chemicals that affect the hardness and cleanliness of the water. If you find your pH and total alkalinity levels are too low, you’ll need to add pH increaser to bump up the pH. If both the pH and total alkalinity levels are too high, you’ll need to add pH reducer. Once you get your pH levels between 7.2 and 7.5 and your total alkalinity between 60 and 120 ppm you can move on to working on the calcium hardness and chlorine levels.
Now that you know how to maintain your pool with water chemicals, download a backyard escapes guide to learn more about custom pool options.