The key to having a safe and healthy pool, as well as protecting pool equipment, is pool water balance.
Every pool owner aims to have a sparkling clean pool. Not only are good looks important, but sparkling clean pool water is equally as important for the safety, health and mechanical integrity of the pool and its equipment.
Getting that beautiful pool water involves dealing with the two major areas, which must work together:
- Filtration: This is the process of removing particles from the water. Most of these particles are individually smaller than the human eye can see, but in volume will cloud the water. Depending on the filtration system and media used, the particles will usually be filtered down to 20 micron or less. The smaller the micron rating, the better the pool water will look.
- Chemistry: This is vital to manage scaling, discolouration, comfort, pathogen levels and effectiveness of the chemicals in the water. This is often referred to as chemical balance.
For most pools, the highest priority factors to maintain for chemical balance are:
Chlorine: This is the primary method of addressing potential pathogens in the pool water. Traditional chlorinated pools, salt-water pools and magnesium pools all use chlorine as the sanitiser. Too low will allow pathogens to breed and too high will do damage to swimmers and pool equipment. Chlorine 1.5-3ppm.
pH: The pH levels are vital in ensuring the chemicals in the water can do their job, plus swimmers and pool equipment is protected. Luckily, the best pH level is around the same level as the human body (pH 7.4). Due to the actions of the sanitiser, pool water pH will rise normally over time. pH 7.2-7.6.
Total alkalinity: This is a measure of the ability of the pool water to maintain a desirable pH when acid is added to the pool water. Too low can cause damage to pool equipment, too high can create issues with a drop in pH and be visible as cloudy water. Total alkalinity 80-150ppm.
Calcium hardness: Maintaining calcium hardness is important to protect pool equipment as well as ensuring bather comfort. Too low and pool surfaces can suffer. Too high will result in excessive scale build-up on pool surfaces and equipment. High levels of calcium hardness will mean the pool water feels hard for swimmers. Calcium hardness — concrete pools: 200-275ppm and other pool surfaces 100-125ppm.
Cyanuric Acid (stabiliser): When chlorinated water is exposed to UV light, the chlorine content in the water is reduced very quickly. Adding an effective range of cyanuric acid or stabiliser will help retain the chlorine in pool water. Too low and chlorine levels will drop too quickly. Too high and algae growth in the pool may be more likely. Cyanuric Acid (stabiliser) 25-50ppm, but if you are using an ORP controller 15-25ppm.
Each one of these plays a crucial role in maintaining the health of your pool, so if one of them slips out of range, the others will also be affected. The key to having a safe and healthy pool as well as protecting the pool equipment is pool water balance.
The new Davey Chloromatic Lifeguard can make balancing your pool chemistry levels easier than ever before. Automated pH and ORP testing and dosing, along with state-of-the-art remote control, monitoring and notifications, means no more surprises when you’re ready to swim.
This article was written with Davey, a global leader in pool and spa equipment including pumps, salt-water chlorinators, filters, accessories and controllers. To find out more or to locate your nearest stockist, visit daveywater.com/au/product/chloromatic-lifeguard