Balancing is a myth, right?

samshpamalta47

Active member
Nov 13, 2021
38
Ontario, Canada
It's funny to me that people on the internet act like their water is in balance and they get it dialed in easy-peasy no problem. I call bull. I bet these same people giving advice walk out to their hot tubs and their water is never balanced. If this is you admit it - your water is never balanced. Stop acting like it's elementary.
 

ajw22

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Welcome to TFP.

First question they should answer is why they think their water should be balanced?

What things happen if the spa water is not balanced?

ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
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Jul 7, 2014
23,091
Bedford, TX
Sam,

Balancing a pool is pretty easy and straight forward..

Balancing a hot tub does not mean that it will be balanced when you get out, it means you know what to do, or add, that will return the hot tub to what we like to call "balanced"

I have a saltwater hot tub, so for me, all I need to do is close the lid and the SWCG will bring the hot tub back to where I want for use the next day. Without a SWCG, you need to know about how much chlorine you need to add to compensate for the amount of FC used last night..

None of this happens automatically, you still need to run routine tests to make sure the chemicals in the water match what you want them to be.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

samshpamalta47

Active member
Nov 13, 2021
38
Ontario, Canada
Sam,

Balancing a pool is pretty easy and straight forward..

Balancing a hot tub does not mean that it will be balanced when you get out, it means you know what to do, or add, that will return the hot tub to what we like to call "balanced"

I have a saltwater hot tub, so for me, all I need to do is close the lid and the SWCG will bring the hot tub back to where I want for use the next day. Without a SWCG, you need to know about how much chlorine you need to add to compensate for the amount of FC used last night..

None of this happens automatically, you still need to run routine tests to make sure the chemicals in the water match what you want them to be.

Thanks,

Jim R.

What does chlorine have to do with balanced water? You're talking about sanititzed water.
 

an1vrsy

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Jul 10, 2018
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I have a pool/spa combo. Although, my spa is attached and I have a schedule to refresh the water, once in the morning and once in the afternoon, for 20 minutes each time. I still test my spa as a separate body of water. I take pool water chemistry readings on both. So, OP may be skeptical but I walk out to my spa and it is balanced.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
23,091
Bedford, TX
Sam,

Well, maybe you should tell us what balanced means to you, because it maybe something very different to us..

To be clear, I assume you have a standalone spa or hot tub...

Balanced to me is knowing the following chemical levels...

FC
CC
pH
TA
CH
CYA
Salt (if saltwater)

What does it mean to you???

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

samshpamalta47

Active member
Nov 13, 2021
38
Ontario, Canada
Sam,

Well, maybe you should tell us what balanced means to you, because it maybe something very different to us..

To be clear, I assume you have a standalone spa or hot tub...

Balanced to me is knowing the following chemical levels...

FC
CC
pH
TA
CH
CYA
Salt (if saltwater)

What does it mean to you???

Thanks,

Jim R.

Thanks Jim,

I mean TA and pH and just those two. I've read lots of numbers for both, but for sake of argument, let's say TA 80 and pH 7.4. I see a lot of commenters on the internet giving people advice about balancing just these two factors and making it seem like it's elementary. I suspect that anyone who claims they can test their water, treat it, and dial it in to some standard, like my example above, is not being completely honest.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
23,091
Bedford, TX
Sam,

For sure you cannot get to a point where TA and pH are fixed numbers and never change..

You can get to the point where the Ph increases more slowly depending on what your TA level is.

In my pool this means running my TA between 40 and 50, which keeps my pH in the 7.4 to 7.7 range.. pH still drifts up, but slowly.. In truth, I tend to automatically add acid twice a week, which tends to keep my pH in the 7.4 to 7.7 range.. I'm really trying to just keep my CSI in the negative range, as when I don't do that, I get calcium scale that my robot picks up.

If you are saying that "balanced" means that things don't change, then I agree, that is total Bull Feather..

To me "balanced" means that you are able to control the amount of change, with routine testing and adjusting..

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

revitup

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Nov 30, 2019
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I guess my pool is a unicorn then. My PH is rock steady. I never add acid. I can’t remember the last time I adjusted TA.
 
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samshpamalta47

Active member
Nov 13, 2021
38
Ontario, Canada
Sam,

For sure you cannot get to a point where TA and pH are fixed numbers and never change..

You can get to the point where the Ph increases more slowly depending on what your TA level is.

In my pool this means running my TA between 40 and 50, which keeps my pH in the 7.4 to 7.7 range.. pH still drifts up, but slowly.. In truth, I tend to automatically add acid twice a week, which tends to keep my pH in the 7.4 to 7.7 range.. I'm really trying to just keep my CSI in the negative range, as when I don't do that, I get calcium scale that my robot picks up.

If you are saying that "balanced" means that things don't change, then I agree, that is total Bull Feather..

To me "balanced" means that you are able to control the amount of change, with routine testing and adjusting..

Thanks,

Jim R.
Ok that makes sense. That's in your pool, but in a hot tub things are more complicated then. A lot less water, a lot more aeration, and a narrower gap to adjust. Is that a fair statement?
 

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dan1333

Gold Supporter
Nov 1, 2020
47
Orange, CA
I feel like my water is balanced in my hot tub. I get my TA down to 50-60, add borates, and then my PH stays steady. I might add a tiny bit of acid once every 2 weeks or so. I generally always just keep my air controls closed tho (just my preference) so that probably helps keep the PH steady. In the meantime my drop in SWCG keeps my FC steady when I'm not using it and when I do use it I put in a couple OZs of chlorine afterwards.

I test about once a week just because but I don't even think that's needed. I could probably get away with testing maybe every couple weeks and then minimally adjusting the PH.

So, for the very small amount of time I use to maintain my water, I call that balanced and sanitized.

But, I wouldn't call it elementary. Obviously it took a lot of learning and reading on here and consulting the very knowledgeable folks here to get to the point where I knew how to get everything dialed in. Once that work was put in, however, I feel like now it is easy.
 

samshpamalta47

Active member
Nov 13, 2021
38
Ontario, Canada
I guess my pool is a unicorn then. My PH is rock steady. I never add acid. I can’t remember the last time I adjusted TA.

This is exactly what I'm talking about. Your perpetuating a myth that balancing your water is easyany idiot can do it. And I'm not talking about pools, I'm talking about spas and hot tubs.
 

Donldson

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 12, 2009
5,150
NW Ohio
Your perpetuating a myth that balancing your water is easyany idiot can do it.
It is extremely simple. All you are doing is attempting to justify your own difficulties by trying to convince us that it's actually too hard for the average person, rather than taking responsibility for your own shortcomings.

If I have any advice for you it would be to stop coming up with excuses and definitely stop burning bridges with the very people who could help you learn this subject. Stop trying to be right and accept that you don't know what you don't know. If you seriously think something is a myth just because you haven't figured it out yet then there's a lot more that needs fixed here than your water chemistry.
 

proavia

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Any idiot probably CAN'T do it.
But pretty much anyone with the proper tools can.

With the proper knowledge, a good test kit and a little practice it is easily doable. While you may not always be able to stay within TFP recommended ranges, after testing you know exactly what to do to get back in range and keep your water properly balanced and sanitary. A spa or hot tub being a smaller body of water may initially take a bit more practice to maintain initially - at the end of the day, it's still just a body of water that pretty much anyone can easily maintain. It just takes a little practice and attention to detail. It's not exactly rocket science.
 
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Shirker

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Jul 2, 2014
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This is exactly what I'm talking about. Your perpetuating a myth that balancing your water is easyany idiot can do it
It may be easier for some. And more difficult for others. Different pools, different usage rates, different starting conditions. I realize you are talking about spas and not pools but my water is just about always in range of what I consider balanced. I only adjust TA once a year and hardly ever have to touch the pH. SWCG does the rest. But I also almost never have to add water to my pool and I don't have plaster. So the only thing that is changing the profile of the water is usage and rain. Easy peasy. But if lived in another part of the world under different circumstances, I might be pulling my hair out.
 
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ajw22

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That's really not helpful, but thanks anyway.
What would be helpful is YOU defining the balancing that you are looking to achieve. Then we can help you get there.

You have asked about a concept without describing what it means to you. Others seem to have their own understandings of “balance” that differ.
 
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JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
28,200
Balancing is not a one time thing.

It’s like balancing a stick on your finger.

You have to constantly move your finger to keep it balanced.

The key to chlorine is to find an equilibrium (balance) where the amount of chlorine added equals the amount lost while providing a constant amount of chlorine sufficient to keep the water and surfaces sanitary and germ free.

The key to pH is to find a pH that remains relatively stable in the correct range.

There are various forces that move the pH and balancing means to adjust as needed.

For TA, the key is to find the level that keeps the pH stable.

For CYA, the key is to find the amount that provides the best protection for the chlorine while also allowing for enough chlorine to provide sanitation.

For calcium, the key is to find the level that provides a good CSI, which also depends on other factors such as pH, TA, CYA, water temperature, salinity etc.

The CSI is “balanced” when the index is close to 0.0.

So, the term “Balance” is not just a simple term that can be understood without explaining what it means.

Overall, the water is considered “balanced” when you can maintain the correct chemistry with good stability and with the least amount of time, effort and money.
 

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