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Basic Swimming Pool Water Chemistry at Home

Basic swimming pool water chemistry involves balancing your pool water so that it is clean, clear and healthy to swim in. There really isn’t much to it, but it does involve a basic understanding of what needs to be done.

A first time pool owner may be forgiven for thinking that a degree in chemistry is required to be able to tackle swimming pool cleaning, because it can be overwhelming at first. The terminology that relates to basic swimming pool water chemistry might sound foreign at first, the procedures you need to follow are straight forward. You just need to keep up the procedures on a regular basis in order to achieve a crisp, clean, blue pool.

Even if you are going to employ a swimming pool cleaning service to do regular pool maintenance for you, it’s a good idea for every pool owner to understand the terminology that relates to basic swimming pool water chemistry.

Terminology used to describe basic swimming pool water chemistry

In theory, the most important basic swimming pool water chemistry terms to understand are:

  • pH
  • TA
  • Calcium hardness
  • Water balance

The pH is a measurement of the relative acidity or alkalinity of swimming pool water. If the pH is too low (and therefore too acid), the water may damage the pool shell and even the fittings. If the pH is too high (and therefore too alkaline), scale and mineral deposits from the water are likely to settle on the inside of the shell causing discoloration and staining.

TA stands for total alkalinity and it refers to the amount of alkaline material in the pool water. If the TA is too low then fittings and marble plaster may start to corrode and a condition known as pH bounce can occur. If the TA is too high the water will tend to become cloudy and scaling can occur. A high TA also makes it difficult to reduce the pH to the ideal levels.

Calcium hardness is essentially the amount of calcium carbonate (a white solid found in limestone, chalk and marble) in the water. Low calcium hardness (which is when the water is ‘soft’) can cause etching and corrosion of pool plaster. High calcium hardness can cause scale to form on the inside of the pool shell and it can make the water cloudy. It can also cause filter media to calcify. Water balance is really what basic swimming pool water chemistry is all about. We use the term to describe the interaction of pH, TA and calcium hardness and their overall effect on the surface of the pool shell, the pool equipment and the quality of the water. Swimming pool water must be properly balanced to avoid both corrosion and scaling.

If you don’t want to take care of your own swimming pool water chemistry, we can do it for you. Contact by telephone or email today for weekly swimming pool maintenance packages.

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