Swimming Pool Water Chemistry Levels – Fact Sheet



pool water chemistryPool Water chemistry is important to proper pool maintenance. Here are the different elements of water chemistry (unless noted otherwise, check two to three times a week):

  • pH Level
    • Keep between 7.4 and 7.6
    • Below 7 –
      • water is too acidic
      • corrodes walls and irritates skin
      • use pH increaser
    • Above 7.6 –
      • water is too basic
      • causes cloudy water, deposits on walls and dries the skin
      • use pH decreaser
    • Alkalinity Level
      • Keep between 100 to 150 ppm (parts per million)
      • Stabilizes pH levels
      • Use alkalinity increaser when too low
    • pH and Alkalinity Levels
      • If both are low, use alkalinity increaser first to increase both levels; then add pH increaser, if needed
      • If both are high, use pH decreaser to lower both levels
    • Calcium Level
      • Keep between 180 and 220 ppm
      • Used with plaster pools
      • Too much causes white hard water stains; too little causes corrosion
      • Used at beginning of swimming season and checked monthly thereafter
      • Too low, use calcium hardness; too high, drain water level some and refill with fresh water
    • Chlorine and Alternatives
      • Kills bacteria and algae
      • Chlorine –
        • keep between 1 and 3 ppm (3 is recommended)
        • use stabilized chlorine with active ingredient of either Trichloro or Dichloro to slow down sun burn off
      • Bromine –
        • keep between 3 to 5 ppm
        • used for indoor pools and hot tubs; not for outdoor use in sun
        • not as effective in dealing with algae
      • Biguanide
        • keep between 30 and 50 ppm
        • must purchase special brands of other water chemicals
      • Minerals
        • keep at 0.5 ppm
        • still requires the use of some chlorine
      • Pool Shock
        • done weekly – more during hot weather
        • burns off unwanted chlorine residue
        • more effective to do after sun is down
        • no swimming for 24 hours
        • always read chlorine or alternative label for instructions
      • Water Stablizer
        • Follow directions on container
        • Protects chlorine or alternatives from sun burn off
        • Used when you first fill the pool with fresh water
      • Algaecide
        • Chlorine kills algae best; use algaecide as a backup
        • If major algae problem, call a professional for pool maintenance service
      • Water Clarifier or Floc
        • Water clarifier brings together the tiny particles that make the water cloudy and removed by the pool filter
        • Floc (Flocculant) also brings them together but then pool must be vacuumed to remove

 

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