1. What are the 5 main aspects of water chemistry to check for regularly and keep balanced?
These 5 aspects are the following:
- Free and Available Chlorine (FAC)- maintained at 3 to 5 PPM (parts per million)
- pH Balance - maintained at 7.4 to 7.6
- Total Alkalinity (TA)- maintained at 80to 120 PPM
- Conditioner (Cyanuric Acid) also called stabilizer, maintained at 30 to 60 PPM
- Calcium Hardness maintained at 180 to 500 PPM
To measure these components you will need water testing strips. Check out our balancers after you have tested the water.
2. What does pH stand for and what is it?
pH stands for the Power of Hydrogen. pH Balance is a scale to measure if a liquid is acidic or alkaline. It is a number from 0, representing the strongest acid to 14, representing the strongest basic. 7 on the pH Balance is perfect neutral. You want your pool water's pH balance to be between 7.4 to 7.6. To increase pH balance you will need Soda Ash. To decrease pH balance you will need muriatic acid.
3. Why is it important to maintain my pool water pH balance between 7.4 to 7.6?
Maintaining pH balance in this range is important for the following reasons:
- Chlorine, which sanitizes your pool, will be at its highest killing power. If your chlorine is not at its max killing power then organic matter, bacteria and germs will remain in your pool water and promote algae growth.
- Human blood has a pH balance of 7.34 to 7.45 so this makes it more comfortable for swimmers.
- Low pH balance will cause the water to become acidic and corrosive causing pitting on the surface, metals to dissolve and fall out of concentration, staining of the walls and swimmer irritation and discomfort.
- High pH balance will cause scaling water, plugged filters, reduced circulation, cloudy water, chlorine inefficiency and swimmer irritation and discomfort.
4. How often should I shock my pool?
It is important to shock your pool every 1-2 weeks when in regular use. Shocking the pool on a regular basis is an important element in keeping your pool clear and clean. Swimmers and the environment add waste to the pool that must be eliminated on a regular basis to prevent problems such as algae and cloudy water. Check out our pool shock.
5. Why is pool water circulation important?
Pool water circulation is important to keep the chemicals in the water evenly mixed and distributed so they can do their job, to regulate the water temperature and to make it difficult for algae to settle and take root. Circulation also helps move sanitized and oxidized material to the filter where it is removed from the water keeping your pool water clear. Make sure your pool water is kept at the appropriate level and that your circulation jets are well positioned. Running your pool cleaner regularly can also help the circulation.
6. What is Stabilizer?
Stabilizer, also called conditioner, is cyanuric acid which protects the chlorine in your pool from UV rays. Without stabilizer in your pool water, chlorine will only last 24 - 48 hours in direct sunlight as apposed to 1 to 3 weeks if stabilizer is kept in your pool water at the appropriate level. Keeping the chlorine in your pool water as long as possible will not only reduce the amount you spend on chlorine but also protects your pool water from contaminants. Stabilizer should be kept at 30 to 60 parts per million. Check out our stabilizers.
7. How do I add conditioner/stabilizer to my pool?
Conditioner is added to the pool through the skimmer while the pump is running. Here are some keys to adding conditioner:
- allow the pump to run for about 4 hours after the conditioner is added to allow it to break down in the filter and be distributed in the water
- add the conditioner slowly to the skimmer, only a cup or two at a time over a few minutes to prevent the pump basket from getting clogged up
- increase the conditioner level slowly to prevent over conditioning, take a few weeks if needed
- never add conditioner directly to the pool as it is an acid and if allowed to sit on the surface of the pool water can cause damage to your pool walls