Hot Tubs, Swim Spas, Service, and Maintenance

Summertime Is Here - Check Your Water Chemistry

By , June 10, 2021

Water Chemistry: pH and Chlorine
Vital To Your Pool Water's Overall Health

Whenever you are testing your pool water, the first thing that you need to adjust, before you add chlorine or anything else is your pH. Maybe you don't know why this is, or have wondered if it is really that important; because most people think that sanitizer (chlorine) is only thing you need to worry about.

Chlorine -
Most pools are sanitized by chlorine; it has been around a long time, it sanitizes quickly, and it is usually relatively easy to find. This year there has been a chlorine shortage. Fortunately we have still been able to get chlorine even with the shortage. Salt Chlorine Generators turn the salt water into chlorine.

Here are the popular methods of adding chlorine. These include hypochlorite solutions, which gradually release chlorine into the water, and compounds like sodium dichloro-s-triazinetrione (dihydrate or anhydrous), sometimes referred to as "dichlor" (shock), and trichloro-s-triazinetrione, sometimes referred to as "trichlor" (tablets). These compounds are stable while solid and may be used in powdered, granular, or tablet form.

Preferential to the dichlor (bags of shock) is Sodium Hypochlorite - Liquid Chlorine. All liquid chlorine is not created equal: check the percentage.

For a Salt Generator Pool, pool salt is "added to the pool water to a level of 2900 to 3400 ppm depending on the manufacture and system. Low voltage DC electricity is applied to the inline cell and the unit produces chlorine gas, hydrogen gas, sodium ions, and hydroxide ions.

Conclusion -
In order to make sure your pool is properly sanitized, it is important to make sure the pH is in range. The pH of the human eye is 7.2, so pH levels lower or much higher can cause eye irritation. High pH also leads to scale build-up. Low pH is very corrosive and will damage equipment rather quickly.

Rainwater is acidic, meaning lower pH, so if your pool isn't covered during rain, the pH will probably be affected. After rain or a wind storm it is always a good idea to check your pool water's pH, alkalinity and free chlorine levels.
Low alkalinity leads to low ph. High alkalinity leads to high pH. Balancing alkalinity will help the pH to stay balanced more.

ATTENTION - Whether you are using your heater or not it's good to know that low pH can ruin heat exchangers on your heater and lead to a costly repair. Also, high chlorine can also damage the pool and equipment. Remedy out of balanced water ASAP.
FYI - The water pumps through the heater even when the heater is not in use.

Click here to learn more about Water Chemistry Basics.