POOL CHEMICALS – Let’s talk about measuring your pH levels!

Your swimming pool is a water container and the water it contains must be suitable for:

  • the swimmers
  • the pool
Balanced water means that its chemical demands have been met. If the chemical levels are too low the water may aggressively seek the products it needs by attacking the pool surface and equipment. This may lead to severe corrosion problems. At the other end of the scale, high chemical levels may cause chemicals to precipitate from the water and form scale on the pool surface, within equipment etc. Out of balance water can, therefore, cause expensive damage to the pool and may also inhibit the sanitising process. In simple terms, a scientific water balance programme suggests that the pool owner should balance the following variables:
  • pH
  • Total Alkalinity
  • Calcium Hardness
  • Salt Levels
What is pH? pH is a measure of how acidic or alkaline the water is. The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14, with 7 being neutral. Values below 7 are acidic and values above 7 are alkaline. With pool water, we are seeking a pH balance suitable to the pool users, the pool and the sanitiser used. Australian Standard 3633 defines the operating range as 7.0 to 7.8, and the recommended range as 7.2 to 7.6. Topping up your pool, heavy rain, heaving bathing loads and chemical additions can all change the pH level of your pool water. pH must be kept within the operating range because if it is too high or too low it may:
  • create swimmer discomfort (itchy skin, red eyes etc).
  • interfere with the sterilising action of your pool sanitiser.
  • cause damage to the pool surface.
  • damage the pool equipment.
pH is one of the most important aspects of your pool maintenance program. Above is an extract from the SPASA WA “Guide for pool owners”
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