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Thread: ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry

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    ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry

    [center:3ec4ln43]ABC’s of Pool Water Chemistry[/center:3ec4ln43]

    We all have heard of balancing your pool water. What does that mean? For our purposes on this forum, it means testing and measuring five basic parameters of your pool water and keeping them within a certain range. Each is listed below with a brief description.

    Chlorine – Chlorine is the sanitizer that kills organics in your pool. Algae, bacteria, etc. are all organics and you must have chlorine to keep these under control. Chlorine is constantly consumed by two things:

    1. Killing the organics

    2. Exposure to UV rays from the sun (even on cloudy days)

    As a result, chlorine must be constantly replenished and never allowed to drop too low in your pool. Normal levels for chlorine can vary widely but generally 2-10ppm is a recommended range. Exactly how much chlorine you should have is determined by how much CYA is in your pool

    CYA (stabilizer) – This ingredient protects your chlorine from being completely consumed by the Sun. Typical ranges are 30-60ppm for a standard pool and 60-80ppm for a pool with an SWG.

    pH - is a measurement of acidity or alkalinity in your pool. Should be ideally between 7.2 and 7.6 and may require adjustments several times over the summer.

    Alkalinity – closely associated with pH, it will move up or down along with pH and generally is best in a 70-110 range

    Calcium Hardness (CH) – measures the amount of calcium in your water. Masonry pools suggest 200-400ppm. Vinyl lined pools may not need any but 150ppm is helpful to prevent foaming and suggested by some vinyl manufacturers.

    If you will keep your pool water within the guidelines suggested for these five parameters you will have clear water all summer.

    As always, there are exceptions to these guidelines. That said, before you proceed into the advanced water chemistry area or attempt to adjust your pool, you should reread these basics above and be very familiar with the ranges within which they should be kept .
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Butterfly's Avatar
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    Great job, Dave. So simple, yet profound

    Even a caveman I can understand it!
    TFP Moderator TF100 Test Kit TF100 TestKit YouTube Channel PoolMath
    You're done SLAMing when:
    1)You lose 1ppm or less FC overnight, & 2)You have .5ppm CC's or less, & 3)your water is clear.

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    Guest
    You forgot to mention fiberglass pools and calcium.

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    What about phosphate levels?

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    The phosphate levels almost never matter. If you maintain the proper chlorine levels you won't get algae regardless of the phosphate level.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Thanks, Jason.

    barco,

    from my first post:
    As always, there are exceptions to these guidelines.
    I could name a bunch of exceptions to the above post.....WHO would read it?....I wouldn't.

    This is supposed to be a primer for folks just beginning to take care of and understand their pools. It probably covers 95% of all pools. There'll be more stickies that will address those exceptions in the future although probably most from someone more knowledgable than me. Stay tuned!
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re:

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    The phosphate levels almost never matter. If you maintain the proper chlorine levels you won't get algae regardless of the phosphate level.
    I wish I found this site sooner. I got burned at the pool store yesterday. Sold me a 30 dollar bottle of phosphate killer. Said that "its the stuff that algae feeds on and yours is up near 2000!" Grrrrrrr

    BBB here I come!
    18ft Round x 4ft deep AGP. Approx 7800 gallon.

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