The Back Yard Chemist: Balancing Your Pool’s pH and Chlorine
When swimmers complain of burning eyes from a pool, high or low pH levels are to blame. Most people assume it’s the chlorine, but it is not. For many of you, the very thought of handling your own pool chemistry is intimidating. People remember their pool treatments by remembering these letters in alphabetical order – A, B, C, P. Adjust the alkalinity first, then the bromine or chlorine, and finally, the pH.
Here are the magic numbers you’ll need to remember in your weekly pool maintenance duties:
1 – The number of times per week you need to shock your pool with “Swimming Pool Shock.” Chlorine will bind to other chemicals like ammonia and nitrogen and then become inactive–and even an irritant–causing uncomfortable skin conditions, a shock once weekly can eliminate this problem.
1 – 3 – The ppm (parts per million) you want for your FAC, or Free Available Chlorine.
2 – The number of times per week you need to check your pool chemistry. Also, the number of hours’ separation you need to wait between adding different chemicals to the pool to prevent any negative chemical reactions. This also maximizes the effectiveness of your chemicals.
5-6 – The number of times per season a professional tester should check your pool. They can perform tests not readily available to consumers, such as testing for total chlorine v. free chlorine, cyanuric acid levels, acid demand, alkali demand adjusted total alkalinity, calcium hardness, water temperature, total dissolved solids, iron, copper, quaternary ammonium compounds and algicide levels.
7.2 to 7.6 – 7.2 is the pH level that is the same as human tears, and the ideal level for your pool. The range of 7.2 to 7.6 is ideal. Beyond that, once you reach a high pH level of 8.2, chlorine is no longer effective at sanitizing your water. In that range, chlorine is 10 times more effective at sanitizing your water.
40 – That’s the PPM (parts per million) range for your CYA, or Cyanuric Acid
90 – The % (percent) of concentration of Trichloro-S-Triazinetrione you will need in your chlorine tablets or sticks.
For questions, or information on outsourcing your pool maintenance, please call Pools of Fun today at 800-536-3387.