Balancing Pool Water
Properly balanced water not only provides a safe and healthy swimming environment, it also preserves the integrity of the pool and equipment.
At the beginning of the swim season, an opening "shock treatment" is the first order of business. This extra dose of sanitizer kills bacteria and other organic contaminants and is the first line of defense for keeping algae from getting started.
Total alkalinity (TA) should be maintained in the range of 60 to 100 parts per million (ppm). Low TA causes fluctuating pH and excessive corrosion and staining of equipment. And speaking of pH, it should be adjusted to the ideal range of 7.2 to 7.6. The calcium hardness should be maintained at a minimum of 200 ppm. Once the water is conditioned, maintain free available chlorine in the range of 1.0 to 3.0 ppm.
Pool water must be tested regularly, especially when the pool is being used heavily, to ensure that the water is properly balanced. Green water is a frequent problem. This is a sign that the pH needs to be adjusted and the pool water needs to be "shocked."
Algae, which looks like green or brown stains on the interior of the pool, is probably the most common threat to pool owners. It can also cause the water to turn color and pool surfaces to feel slippery. Reducing the pH to 7.2 to 7.6 and the total alkalinity to 80 to 100 parts per million (ppm) combats the condition. Also, the pool water may need to be diluted with tap water. This is done simply by draining approximately one quarter of the water in the pool and replacing it with water from the tap.
Bleached hair and bathing suits are a sure sign of excess available chlorine. Adding sodium sulfite or sodium bisulfite or sodium thiosulfate can typically treat this. Once the water is conditioned, maintain free available chlorine in the range of 1.0 to 3.0 ppm.