27 Feb The importance of keeping your pool balance in check
A well-maintained chemical balance in your pool is about much more than just making your pool look appealing to swim in. Keeping pH levels at an optimum level achieves two very important things. Firstly, you will avoid large bills from professionals, as a result of neglecting your pool. And secondly, you will prolong the life of your pool equipment. If you’re confused as to what pH is then just keep reading this article, as we explain what pH levels are and why they’re important.
What is the pH balance?
In layman’s terms, pH refers to your pool’s (or any liquid’s) chemical balance. With regard to your swimming pool, it’s a measure of the water’s acidity or baseness. Your pools pH balance is measured from 1 to 14. A score of 1 indicates that your pool water is very acidic, whereas a score of 14 indicates that there are a lot of bases in your pool water (the opposite of acids). If your pH levels are high, your water is referred to as soft.
The former extreme can irritate your eyes and skin, damage your swimming gear and goggles, and makes chlorine less effective – you will need about 80% more chlorine to achieve the same effect with acidic water. Other the side of the scale, a low pH level corrodes metal fixtures, ladders and hand rails, also irritates human eyes and skin, and also has the potential to damage your pool equipment as well.
A perfect pH level is 7.4. Why? Because this is the pH level of human eyes and mucous membranes. Have you ever swum in a pool and noticed that sometimes your eyes become sore quicker than usual? That’s likely because of a chemical imbalance in your pool. It’s important to constantly monitor you’ll pool’s pH levels. You’ll avoid all sorts of headaches.
How do you measure your pool’s pH balance?
There are a few ways to test your pool’s chemical balance. The easiest way is to use test strips and dip them in your water. This will return limited results, which may also sometimes be inaccurate. You can find a wide variety of tests at your local pool store as well. The best way to test your pool chemical levels, however, is to let a professional do it for you.
Many pool shops offer free water testing. Simply take a water sample to your local pool shop and the rest will be taken care of for you. If you require an absolutely accurate pool chemical test however. Call in the experts. Pool Magic Pool Care services include swimming pool water testing, as well as other treatment and pool maintenance services.
What cause pH levels to go up/down?
Some causes of increases in pH levels include prolonged exposure to sunlight, sudden rises in the temperature of your pool water, as well as saltwater chlorine generators being set too high. The most common culprit, however, is chlorine stabilizer. It always causes your pH levels to rise and sometimes pool owners simply add in too much.
One of the most common culprits of low pH levels is rainwater; something that’s very easy to overlook! Due to pollution in the air, rainwater itself often has low pH levels (acidic). Therefore, after some significant rainfall, it’s completely normal for your pool’s pH levels to drop. If it hasn’t been raining, another common cause of low pH levels is low total alkalinity.
What’s the best way to control pH levels?
The cheapest option is to go-it-alone and measure your own pH levels using test strips. Then, it’s up to you to select the right type and quantity of chemicals you need to add to achieve a perfectly balance pool. Ideally, you want to check your pH levels daily, though weekly is more realistic. If you are not 100% sure of what kind of chemicals you need or of potential pitfalls when adjusting your pool’s pH levels then your best bet is to hire a professional.
Pool Magic Pool Care offers a complete range of services from testing your pool water to maintaining your pool year-round. The PMPC team can test your pool water and keep it in check on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. It’s up to you. Contact us for a free consultation on quote today.