Water balancers control the pH, calcium hardness, and alkalinity of your pool. Pool water is affected by everything it comes into contact with, and the chemicals you add to clean it can unbalance it even further. Because of this, it is recommended that the water’s balance be tested regularly.
The pH level of your pool measures how acidic or basic the water is. It is graded on a scale from 1-14, with one being the most acidic and 14 being the most basic. The ideal pH for your pool exists between 7.2 and 7.8, a little on the basic side. A low pH can corrode the elements of your pool, while a high pH will cause scaling and mineral deposits. Add an acid to decrease pH levels and a base to increase them.
When dealing with calcium hardness, hard and soft water are very important terms. If the calcium hardness levels in the pool are too low, the water is unsaturated and is said to be soft. When this occurs, the water will seek to saturate itself and can begin to corrode hard surfaces in the pool, which actually contain the calcium it’s looking for.
If the calcium hardness levels are too high, the water is considered hard. This water is oversaturated with calcium and will begin to form calcium deposits on the hard surfaces of the pool. The “scale” produced by hard water is actually calcium carbonate, which will form granule-like deposits. The recommended range for calcium hardness is between 200 and 400ppm.
The pH levels of your pool are largely alkaline-dependent. Alkalinity refers to the water’s ability to resist changes in pH. Alkalines (bases) help keep your pH levels from bouncing up and down. When you measure the carbonates, bicarbonates, and hydroxides in the water, you are measuring the alkalinity of your pool’s water.
Low alkalinity is raised by adding a base and high alkalinity is lowered by adding an acid, very similar to pH. Alkalinity should be kept around 80-120ppm for concrete pools and 125-170ppm for painted, vinyl, and fiberglass pools.
Types of Water Balancers
Acids and bases can do much of the work when it comes to balancing your water. Your pool should be tested weekly to ensure that the pH, alkalinity, and calcium harness remain within their optimal ranges.
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