[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 .