A swimming pool is a great amenity to have on your property, says NC Property Group, but we sometimes forget what a swimming pool really is. Even if we like to think of the pool as a water-filled pit where our family members and friends can take a dip, but in reality, it is actually a potential ecosystem.
Water is a universal solvent; that means a host of things can be dissolved in it. Water is also a habitat for a myriad of organisms. The implication is that your swimming pool if left without proper care will turn into a dangerous cocktail of harmful organisms and chemicals.
The only way to keep this from happening is to keep the pool water chemically balanced. This must be done year-round to protect the pool walls and equipment as well as swimmers. What is a balanced pool and what do you need to keep swimming pool water clean and safe?
A balanced swimming pool
A balanced swimming pool is one where all the five basic chemical components of pool water are at their proper levels. These chemical components are total alkalinity, pH, calcium hardness, stabilizer, and total dissolved solids. Keeping these in balance will:
Help the pool sanitizer work better and keep the pool water free of bacteria.
Reduce the chances of algae growing in the pool.
Protect pool equipment from corrosion and scaling.
Protect pool walls against decomposition, bacteria, and algae.
To achieve chemical balance in your swimming pool you need to apply a list of chemicals.
Chemicals for keeping your swimming pool clean and safe
Chlorine is the most popular chemical used for pool sanitation to ensure healthy conditions in the pool. Chlorine is an effective algaecide and a powerful oxidizer. It is the main chemical you need for pool safety. All other chemicals you put in the pool are there to help the pool sanitizer do its work. The proper chlorine level for a swimming pool is between 1ppm-3ppm (parts per million).
Bromine is the second most popular pool sanitizer. For indoor pools, it is more stable than chlorine and therefore the better option. It is also better for swimming pools with warm to high temperatures. Bromine is more expensive than chlorine and does not perform well when exposed to direct sunlight. It also has less oxidation power than chlorine, but it will not leave your swimming pool with a strong scent.
Oxidizers destroy organic contaminants in the pool and also help chlorine work well. They remove harmful substances that can irritate swimmers’ eyes, nose, and skin. Using an oxidizer is an alternative to super-chlorinating your pool and is done by adding potassium monopersulfate to the water. Unlike when you super chlorinate the water, swimming can resume almost immediately in a pool that has been shocked with potassium monopersulfate.
4. Cyanuric Acid
Although chlorine is an effective sanitizer for the pool, it evaporates when exposed to sunlight. If chlorine is allowed to escape from a swimming pool, bacteria, algae, and other organisms will bloom. Cyanuric acid or CYA is added to the water to prevent chlorine evaporation. When you add chlorine to pool water it turns into sodium hypochlorite ions. CYA binds to sodium hypochlorite ions to keep them from escaping.
5. pH increaser and decreaser
The level of pH measures the acidity of swimming pool water. The right water pH is necessary for the comfort of swimmers and the proper functioning of chlorine. Pool water pH is measured on a scale of 0 to 14; less than 7 is acidic, more than 7 is basic. The normal pH for a swimming pool is 7.4. A pH increaser or decreaser is added to the water to raise or lower pH as needed.
6. Alkalinity adjusters
Pool alkalinity measures the concentration of alkaline substances dissolved in the water. These alkaline substances may interfere with your pool’s pH. If pool alkalinity is not at the proper level, one of the outcomes is pool water that is murky. Alkalinity adjusters are added to remedy this problem. To boost alkalinity when it falls below 100ppm, sodium bicarbonate is added. Muriatic acid is used to lower total alkalinity.
7. Calcium hardness increaser
Calcium hardness measures the amount of calcium and magnesium that is dissolved in the pool water. The ideal range for this is 150ppm-400ppm. If calcium hardness falls below 150ppm, the water becomes corrosive. If it is too high, it will lead to scaling and cloudy water. To raise calcium hardness, a calcium hardness increaser is added to the pool. A pool with high calcium hardness must be drained.
Finally, in order to keep the water in your swimming pool chemically balanced, you need to test it regularly. You should not only test the water’s chlorine level and pH balance, other factors, such as testing for phosphates, copper, iron, and calcium are also important.
It is only by testing the water that you can tell what is happening to it and what actions will correct the problems. The comfort and safety of swimmers, as well as, the overall cost of maintaining the pool, is influenced by how well you test the water.
This link was supported by North County Property Group