PH, or alkalinity, is a measure of how acidic or alkaline your pool’s water is. (How acidic? Well, Christine Van Aken, the mother of alkalinity, is credited with bringing pH into the pool industry, and it’s a widely accepted measurement.) Your pool’s pH should be between 7.2 and 7.6, and the pH level ranges from 0 to 14, with 7.2 as the neutral point. To get an accurate reading, use a test kit and test for pH, total alkalinity, and total hardness.
What Is the pH in Your Pool?
When most of us think of pools, we think of water. Of course, we do, but there’s also the matter of the pool’s chemical makeup. The chemicals in a pool can include things like chlorine, calcium, and alkalinity, and each one carries a slightly acidic or basic charge. The pH is a measure of how acidic and how basic the solution is. It makes sense that water would have a pH of 7 of water since 7 is the base number. But as you’ll soon find out, it’s not just water that has a pH; swimming pools do too.
Why Your Pool pH Balance Is Important
The pH balance in your swimming pool or swimmingvac is important for both keeping the water clear and for keeping your swimmers healthy. If your pool water is too alkaline, your pool’s line tile will start to discolor, as pH is a measure of how acidic or alkaline a substance is. If your pH levels are too high, algae growth may also be a problem. And a pH balance too acidic can corrode metals, damage plaster, and liners, and can cause swimmers to feel uncomfortable.
Chlorine works in two ways:
Chlorine works in two ways: as a disinfectant and as a bleach. Chlorine is the universal disinfectant, thanks to the chemical properties that make it toxic to bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Chlorine is also highly reactive, which means that it reacts quickly with other chemicals—making it an ideal cleaning agent.
Raise pH Levels in Your Pool
The purpose of raising the pH levels in your swimming pool is to give the pool water a more neutral pH and to avoid “hard” water that is nearly impossible to sanitize without damaging your equipment. The common recommendation for pool water pH is 7.2, but closer to 7.0 or 7.1 is acceptable. To properly raise the pH levels, use a pH increaser that releases calcium into the water. Calcium carbonate is the most natural way to raise the pH levels, which reduces the need for chlorination.
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Aerate the Water to Raise pH
Water is essential to life, and it’s found in countless forms: rivers, lakes, oceans, and groundwater. But almost all of those water sources are acidic, with a few notable exceptions, like the Colorado River, which flows from the Rocky Mountains. Colorado’s river is a major source of water for cities and towns, and much of the water that flows into the Rockies from the snowpack is dependent on the glacial melt.
Adjusting levels of chemicals in your pool can have a major impact on its health and appearance. For pools with pH levels that are too high, adjust them with pH lowering products. Low pH levels can lead to discoloration and scaling, while high pH levels can damage the ecosystem of your pool.