Five Main Elements of Pool Water Testing
No matter the size or age of your swimming pool, the process of water testing is a big deal. The water balance can change quickly based on precipitation, windblown debris, and active pool use. A pool with “balanced water” has the proper levels of sanitizer, pH, alkalinity, calcium hardness, and stabilizer.
Each of these factors protect the swimmers in your pool as well as the pool equipment. The only way to know the water levels in your pool are correct is by testing them frequently. When you test your pool water, you are able to make the right adjustments to balance these parameters. Continue reading to learn more about the different components of a balanced pool.
Pool Water Testing for Sanitizer
Whether it’s splashes, bromine, or chlorine, the sanitizer is the fastest changing factor in keeping your pool water sparkling. It’s important to test your levels daily to determine how much or how little sanitizer should be added. If you add too little, algae and bacteria will grow. If you add too much, you can deteriorate the surface of your pool and risk chloramine formation.
pH Pool Water Tests
The second fastest changing measure in your pool is the pH. The pH of your pool ranges on a scale of 0 (highly basic) to 14 (highly acidic). Your swimming pool pH level should be closer to the neutral range, which is between 7.2 and 7.4.
Chlorine levels are most effective at lower pH ranges. In addition, your pools surface will be much safer from scaling at lower pH levels. If you allow the pH to fall below 7.0, the water becomes corrosive to equipment and pool surfaces.
Pool Water Testing for Alkalinity
The measure of the bicarbonates and carbonates in your pool is its alkalinity. This measurement is also known as the pool’s “buffering capacity.” It’s important to test your alkalinity at least two times a week to keep it from going too high or too low.
The alkalinity should be in the range of 80 to 120 ppm. Keeping your alkalinity in check will help keep your pH levels balanced, which ensures sanitizer levels are proper.
Testing the Hardness of Your Pool Water
The hardness or softness of your pool water is based on the calcium concentration. If your water has too much calcium, it will be classified as hard water. “Hard” water may cause cloudy conditions and cause deposits to form on the pool lining and equipment.
On the other hand, too little calcium will cause the water to become aggressive and pull calcium from other pool surfaces. It’s important your calcium levels stay between 180 and 220 ppm for your pool to be considered balanced.
Testing Your Pool’s Water Stabilizer Levels
In order to protect the chlorine molecule from the sun, it must have proper conditioner or stabilizer levels. The most common stabilizer is the chemical cyanuric acid, which is commonly found in most chlorine tablets. However, you may need to add extra stabilizers to your pool to increase the residual. A level stabilizer is between 40 and 80 ppm.
Testing and Balancing Your Pool Water
Testing and balancing the water in your pool can be a trying task, especially for new pool owners. It’s important to test the water in your pool anywhere from two to three times every week to ensure your pool is safe to inhabit. At the same time, testing your pool water will enhance the overall life of your equipment.
Our Certified Service Professionals and Technicians bring years of experience and will help ensure your water levels are optimized.
Contact us today to schedule your appointment.