You probably didn’t realize it when you first decided to get a swimming pool, but you’ll soon find that you’re an expert in water quality, pH levels, total alkalinity and a bunch of other measurements that are too esoteric for the average swimmer to care about. But if you want your pool components to last and your water to be safe, clean and fresh, you’ll need to keep an eye on all these measurements and more. Not only will you need to determine what chemicals need to be added to the water, but you’ll also find that there are ideal locations for where to put chemicals in the pool. This article will give an overview of what you’ll be keeping track of and how to adjust these levels.
pH And Total Alkalinity
These two levels are highly related and will be the first port of call when it comes to adjusting the various levels found in your swimming pool water. If your total alkalinity is out of whack, you’ll find it very hard to control your pH levels. And without the proper pH levels, other additives, such as chlorine, won’t work properly.
Unbalanced Total Alkalinity
If your total alkalinity is too high, you’ll have a very tough time adjusting your pH level at all. You may also notice algae growth, calcium deposits, and cloudy coloured water. If both your total alkalinity and pH levels are high, you’ll need to add diluted pH decreaser into the deep end of the pool with the water pump turned off. After letting it sit for about 20 minutes you can turn on the pump and allow it to circulate thoroughly.
If your total alkalinity is too low, your pH levels will become erratic and hard to keep balanced. You may notice the metal parts of your pool starting to rust, etching in any grout or plaster and the water taking on a greenish tinge. If combined with a low pH, you’ll need to add a pH increaser and possibly a total alkalinity increaser to reestablish balance. If your total alkalinity is low but your pH is high, you’ll need to add pH decreaser with the total alkalinity increaser.
Before adding any chemicals to the pool, you should ensure your pool is completely full of water. Low water levels can give improper chemical readings while causing damage to the liner and other components.
Mix any chemicals in a bucket before adding to the pool. This will ensure you get the proper concentrations and allow you to distribute them evenly around the pool without damaging the liner or other surfaces. You should typically start and finish pouring the chemicals near the water return. Don’t add chemicals to the pool skimmer unless the instructions specifically call for it.
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