5 Simple Guidelines for Great Water Chemistry

In Blog, Chemistry by Kate Cunha

    Water chemistry isn’t simple. In fact, it’s rather complicated. Hard water, soft water, phosphates, chloramines, iron, copper, high pH, low pH, nitrates, sun exposure, ventilation, patronage, filtration…all of this, and more, plays a role in the water balance of your pool. But, there are 5 simple water chemistry guidelines that generally apply to all commercial aquatic facilities and are the basis for great water chemistry.

  1. Know your base line – test your fill water. Knowing what is in the water coming into your pool is crucial, as it prepares you for the adjustments that will be coming. Low TA in your fill? You’ll expect to have to raise it and will be ready by having Sodium Bicarbonate on hand. High metals? You know you’ll need to add a regular dose of metal remover to your pool.
  2. Adjust Calcium Hardness to 200-400 PPM. For most pools, this is an ideal range for Calcium Hardness. For spas and other hot bodies of water, shoot for 150-250.
  3. Adjust Total Alkalinity to 80-120. High enough to keep your pH in check, low enough to avoid pH lock or cloudy water.
  4. Maintain your Free Chlorine within legal requirements for your state. For many states, that is 1-3 ppm for a pool and 3-5 ppm for a spa.
  5. Maintain pH within 7.2-7.8 (or within legal requirements, if different).  Most people shoot for 7.4 or 7.5, as that level affords both a comfortable swimming experience and effective free chlorine.

Unbalanced water can wreak havoc on your pool, your pipes, your equipment, and even your bathers. Of course, every pool is different and you’ll have to make small adjustments based on your fill water, but by following these 5 basic guidelines, you will be well on your way to healthy, balanced water.