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Maintaining Proper Water Balance in Your Pool

Proper water balance is required to ensure the products used in your pool will work as designed, and to protect the pool surfaces and recirculation equipment from water that is corrosive or scale-forming.

Water balance includes these three parameters:

  • pH—a measure of the amount of acid or base in the water
  • total alkalinity—a measure of the amount of buffer available to hold pH in the desired range
  • calcium hardness—the amount of calcium ions present

 

 What to Test   What is Normally Required 
pHAcceptable range is 7.2–7.8; Ideal range 7.4–7.6.
Record pH value weekly.
Normally only a monthly adjustment is needed. Use a pH-adjusting product to raise or lower pH according to label directions.
Total AlkalinityAcceptable range is 80–150 ppm.
Record alkalinity value weekly.
Normally only a monthly adjustment is needed. Use a total alkalinity-adjusting product to raise or lower total alkalinity according to label directions.
Calcium HardnessAcceptable range is 200–400 ppm.
Establish calcium hardness at start-up and monitor monthly throughout the season.
Monthly adjustments are not normally required. Use calcium hardness increaser to raise the calcium hardness level according to label instructions.
 
In addition to the water balance parameters listed above, you will also want to monitor the levels of cyanuric acid (chlorine stabilizer) and test for the presence of metals.

 What to Test What is Normally Required
Cyanuric AcidA minimum concentration of 20 ppm should be established at start-up.
Monitor monthly.
Cyanuric acid chlorine stabilizer concentration normally increases during the season.
CopperIdeal range: None present.
If copper or iron is detected, use a metal remover product, often called stain and scale control products, according to label directions.
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