Pure Balance Pool
In our last article, we explored the fundamentals of pool water chemistry and how maintaining the right balance can keep your swimming pool in mint condition. Now, let's dive deeper into the subject of pool water testing and learn how to check your pool's chemical levels to maintain crystal-clear water.
But before we jump in, let's talk about the importance of regular pool water testing. Testing your pool water at least once a week is recommended to keep tabs on its chemical balance. If the pool sees heavy usage or has recently experienced heavy rain, it's best to test it twice a week during the peak season. Additionally, testing the pool every time you add chemicals is crucial to ensure they are not throwing off balance.
While you may be an expert in testing pool water, it's always a good idea to seek professional advice once a month by taking a sample to your local pool shop for a thorough checkup, particularly during seasonal pool openings and closings.
The location from where you take the water sample and how you collect it is crucial. It's recommended to take the sample from the farthest point from any skimmer opening or return jets, ensuring that you get a more accurate reading of the overall water quality of your pool.
When it comes to testing your pool water, there are three main options: pool test strips, liquid test kits, or taking a water sample to your local pool shop.
Using pool test strips is the quickest and easiest option for on-site spot testing. Simply dip the strip into the pool water and check as it changes colour to indicate the levels of chlorine, pH, alkalinity, and more. This is a great option for those who want to check their pool status without too much fuss quickly.
The liquid test kit comes with dropper bottle reagents that provide a more accurate analysis of your pool water chemistry. While it may take a little longer to perform the test, the results are more precise and can help you make more informed decisions about balancing your pool water.
You know what they say - when in doubt, give it to the professionals. This approach is the most thorough and accurate way to test your pool water, as most pool shops provide free water testing in-store. Bring in your sample - they can analyse it within a few minutes, giving you a detailed report on what chemicals you need to add to the pool.
The pH levels in your pool are crucial to maintaining the right balance in your pool water and keeping the swimmers happy and healthy. To achieve crystal clear and balanced water, one of the key factors is keeping the pool's pH level between 7.2 to 7.6.
With a low pH level, you can quickly raise it by adding an appropriate amount of Alkalinity Up or pH Up to your pool. On the other hand, if your pH level is too high, you can bring it down with the help of pH Down or liquid acid. These products work wonders in balancing your pH level and getting it back in no time.
The alkalinity increaser regulates the alkalinity levels in your pool and is typically made up of Sodium Bicarbonate or Buffer. Keeping the alkalinity levels in check helps prevent pH fluctuates and keeps your pool water looking great.
The ideal range for total alkalinity is 100-200 ppm, with 120 ppm being the sweet spot. However, if the total alkalinity is too low, simply add Alkalinity Up to your pool, which will help to bring it back up to the desired range. If it's too high, add pH Down or Liquid Acid to the deepest end of the pool with the pump off for two hours before turning it back on.
Calcium hardness increaser is another important chemical to have on hand. This chemical, made up of Calcium Chloride, is used to raise the calcium levels in your pool. Proper calcium levels are essential to keeping your pool walls and equipment in good condition. The ideal range for concrete/tiled pools is 200 to 400 ppm, while vinyl and fibreglass pools require a lower range of 100 to 250 ppm.
But why does calcium hardness level matter? Well, too little calcium can lead to the corrosion of the pool equipment and surfaces and cause skin and eye irritation in swimmers. Too much of it can cause scale buildup, cloudy water and even damage your plumbing system.
Pool sanitiser is another critical component of your crystal-clear pool water. Chlorine, bromine and non-chlorine sanitisers are all great options to keep your pool water free from bacteria and other harmful organisms.
The ideal range for free chlorine level in your pool is 2 to 3 ppm. If your test results show that your free chlorine levels are too low, simply add a chlorine sanitiser to your pool. For those of you has a salt chlorinator, you can use the boost option or increase the operational time to give your pool the extra boost it needs. However, if your test results show that your free chlorine levels are too high, add a chlorine remover to your pool, or wait a few days for the sun to dissipate the excess chlorine naturally. In the meantime, avoid adding any chlorine products and switch off your salt chlorinator until the chlorine levels come back down to a safe range.
For those with chlorine pools (including salt/minerals), pool stabilisers such as Cyanuric Acid are vital to stabilise the chlorine levels and prevent it from being broken down by the sun's rays, which act as your pool's sunblock.
Cyanuric Acid(CYA) level should ideally be between 30 to 50 ppm. But what happens when the CYA level is too low or too high? If your CYA level is too low, adding a dose of UV Blockout can do the trick. Make sure to add the dosage in lots of 500g and retest, as you can always add more if needed. If your CYA level is too high, you may be faced with a chlorine lock, making it difficult for chlorine to work effectively. In this case, dilution is the solution. Consider dumping a third to half of the pool water and refilling it to return the CYA level to the recommended range. It's important to note that completely emptying a pool should only be done after seeking a pool professional's advice.
Another thing that you should consider adding to your pool maintenance routine would be algaecide. Now, we all know that algae growth is one of the biggest headaches for pool owners. It can quickly turn a crystal clear pool into a murky, green nightmare. That's where algaecide comes in handy - it's a powerful chemical that can help keep algae growth under control. But, do I really need to use algaecide for my pool? The short answer is no, and it's not an absolute must-have. However, having a monthly dose of algaecide on-hand is always good.
As a pool owner, it's crucial to understand the basics of pool water testing and pool maintenance. Regular testing and balancing of your pool's chemicals can prevent costly repairs, ensuring swimmer safety and keeping your pool looking pristine.
So, remember to test your pool water at least once a week and adjust chemical levels as needed. If you're unsure how to fix an imbalanced pool or have questions about pool water testing, don't hesitate to contact a pool professional.