Balancing Pool Chemicals: 3 Basic Tips and Tricks
Pools are popular home additions for Delaware families. They can be relaxing retreats for adults and fun play areas for kids. However, the picture-perfect summer day is only possible when chemicals are properly balanced and maintained.
Family Pool Maintenance has talked to many pool owners who feel overwhelmed by balancing pool chemicals. Thankfully, you don’t need a degree in Chemistry to keep your water clean and skin-friendly.
What are the ideal chemical levels for my pool?
The first step in balancing your pool chemicals is to know your ideal chemical levels. Have a goal in mind before testing. Compare test results to your goal to know how much chemical to add or remove.
Most pools, regardless of climate, will have similar target chemical levels. You can use these numbers to calibrate your pool chemistry.
|Chlorine||1.0 – 4.0 ppm|
|Ph||7.3 – 7.8|
|Total Alkalinity||80 – 120 ppm|
|Calcium Hardness||250-500 ppm|
|Stabilizer (Cyanuric Acid)||General pool standard 20 to 50 ppm
*Best chlorine efficiency with stabilization 10-15 ppm
Keep this table on hand the next time you go to test your pool. We recommend adding a bookmark to your internet browser so you can easily return to this page.
What main chemicals do I need to have on hand to balance my pool?
If you haven’t treated your pool for a few weeks, you might notice one or more chemicals are imbalanced after testing. While adding more chemicals is relatively straightforward, you can’t simply remove extra chemicals. You’ll need additional additives that react with the extra element and neutralize it.
It’s a good idea to have these chemicals on hand: muriatic acid, soda ash, pool shock, baking soda, and pool stabilizer.
Of course, each chemical will affect your pool differently. Here is a quick guide to increasing or lowering specific chemicals.
Lower > Muriatic acid, also known as hydrochloric acid.
Raise > Add soda ash (sodium carbonate) or Baking Soda (Sodium bicarbonate)
Raise > Shock the pool with pool shock
Lower > Turn chlorinator down/chlorine neutralizer
Raise > Add baking soda (Sodium Bicarbonate)
Lower > Add muriatic acid
Raise > Add a Pool Hardness Increaser (Calcium Chloride)
Lower > Drain pool and refill
For more information on adjusting your Calcium hardness, check out our article: “Pool Maintenance Service for a Calcium Imbalance.”
Raise > Cyanuric Acid
Lower > Drain and refill
For extra precision, you can use the Orenda Pool Calculator app. This app tells you how much chemical to add in order to align your test results with ideal chemical chemistry. It also allows you to input different variables like pool volume and temperature get precise measurements.
Please note, the pool calculator only provides suggested chemical treatments. Family Pool Maintenance cannot vouch for particular readings or effects on your pool.
What is the best testing/chemical balancing routine if I am to enjoy my pool?
We recommend testing your pool at least once a week. If you notice chemicals are outside their ideal ranges, you should address the issue by raising or lowering the off balance chemical and then test the water daily until the pool is balanced once again.
The “ideal” pool chemistry is an elusive figure. Don’t worry about maintaining a constant number. Too many variables affect how chemicals react with one another. In general, you should be asking two questions.
Does my pool stay free of algae and bacteria?
Is it comfortable to swim in?
If the answer is yes for both, then you’re doing a good job maintaining your pool. Of course, you’ll want to pay attention to seasonal maintenance like spring openings and winter closings. Your pool might require a little extra effort balancing after long periods of use or unuse.
Have questions about maintaining your pool chemicals? Talk with a Family Pool Maintenance professional today!