It seems like you could take a whole class on the water chemistry balance in a pool and still not fully understand it. Unfortunately, a clean pool does not mean a balanced pool. No matter how often you clean it, the chemical levels are something you need to check. Fortunately, checking the chemical levels takes mere moments, and keeping your pool in Orlando chemically balanced is the most important factor in maximizing the life of your pool. Proper chemical balance equals a long satisfying life for your pool.
Here is a simple guide to understand the chemicals that go into a pool:
- pH – This is the acidity of the water. It is measured on a scale of 0 to 14 with 7 being neutral. To maintain the proper pH balance you must adjust with additions of pH increasers, called bases, or pH decreasers, called acids to have a range of 7.2 – 7.8. Chlorine is much less effective at higher pH levels. For example, at a pH of 8.0, chlorine is only 22% effective.
- Total Alkalinity – This is the measure of alkaline materials dissolved in the pool. Keeping the alkalinity in the range of 100 to 150 PPM will hep pH to resist fluctuations. Alkalinity is similar to pH in that it is raised by adding a base, using sodium bicarbonate, and lowered by adding an acid.
- Calcium Hardness – This is the amount of dissolved minerals in the water. If the calcium hardness levels are too high there are products to use that can reduce it. If it is too low, add calcium chloride. The recommended range is 200-400 ppm.
- Free Chlorine – This is the unused, effective chlorine that you want in your pool. This should be checked daily and maintain a range of 1.0-2.0.
Potential damages from chemical imbalances in your Orlando pool:
- pH- Low and high levels of pH can cause damage to liners. Over prolonged exposure to the improperly balanced pH, the liner can actually develop wrinkles.
- Total Alkalinity – Pools that have a pH problem as well as an alkalinity problem will see issues with the heater core. The imbalance will corrode the inside of the heater core and somes cases require the entire heater to be replaced.
- Calcium Hardness – A low hardness can cause corrosion of the pool surface, filter, heater, ladder, etc. A high hardness can cause cloudy water.
Some other problems from out of balance water are eye and skin irritation, staining, interference with efficiency of sanitizers, corrosion of metals, cloudy water, scale build up, pitting and corrosion of gunite/concrete pools.
Make sure you check your Orlando pool weekly, or even daily to make sure the chemicals are at the correct balance. It is worth it to make your pool look better and last longer. If you have any questions, just call All Seasons Pools today!
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