You swimming pool is designed to hold the same amount of
water for many years to come and time can play a great hand
in putting your water out of balance which can cause
corrosion, scaling or even stains to appear in your swimming
pool. A good test kit will let you measure the key
components of water balance which are pH, Total
Alkalinity, and Acid or Alkali demand. You
should remember to supplement your testing with the use of a
pool professional from time to time who can verify your
readings and spot trends that could lead to potential future
pH measures the acidity or alkalinity of your swimming
pool water. Usually it is measured on a scale that ranges
from 0 to 15 where 0 is extremely acid and 15 is extremely
alkaline. You should try and maintain a proper pH range of
7.2 - 7.8. Any pH readings greater than 7.8 will
usually lead to cloudy water and scaling on all the pool
surfaces as well as inefficient sanitizing and swimmer
discomfort. Any pH readings lower than 7.2 will usually lead
to corrosion of metal pars such as those present in your
heaters and swimming pool ladders as well as wrinkling of
your vinyl liners, etched plaster and swimming discomfort.
This measures the level of certain minerals that help
control the pH of your swimming pool water. The proper range
of Total Alkalinity is between 80 - 150 ppm (parts
per million). Low Total Alkalinity allows the pH to become
unstable and can cause the pH to fluctuate in either
direction. This is the main reason why Total Alkalinity is
also known as the "pH Stabilizer" (different from Chlorine
Stabilizers). High Total Alkalinity usually locks in the pH
but usually at levels greater than 7.8 pH levels. Use a
"pH Decreaser" to bring the pH level down to the correct
range. Note: Vinyl, painted and fiberglass pools usually
require somewhat higher Total Alkalinity levels than plaster
This measures the level of calcium and magnesium
minerals present in your swimming pool water. These minerals
exist naturally in all water but vary greatly in amounts in
different parts of the country (USA). "Soft Water" typically
contains 50 ppm (parts per million) Hardness while "Hard
Water" may contain 300 ppm Hardness. The appropriate
range is 175 - 300 ppm Hardness for Plaster
pools and the correct range is 125 - 250 ppm Hardness
for Vinyl, painted or fiberglass pools.
Pool water that is too low in Hardness will cause etching of
plaster and corrosion of pool surfaces. Pool water that is
too high in Hardness causes cloudiness and scaling to occur.
This refers to "Chlorine Stabilizers" and is a chemical
that prevents the ultra-violet rays (UV) of sunlight from
prematurely breaking down your sanitizer levels so that it
can properly sanitize your swimming pool water. Chlorine
stabilizers will reduce your sanitizer consumption by as
much as 50%. Note: After applying stabilizers do not
backwash your filter for at least 24 hours.
Note: Never add water to a chemical.
Always add chemicals to water.
WARNING: Pool chemicals are dangerous and should be kept
out of reach of children. Please be sure to read and refer
to the product labels and use appropriately as per
instructions to avoid adverse reactions.