The level of your pH is a important component of creating a balance within your water. When this is out of whack, goofy things can take place. Not to mention that dirty tile line that can build up over time and if your water is too acidic, dreadful things can happen to your pool equipment causing unwanted repairs and hundreds of dollars spent needlessly.

The water’s pH is a gauge of its total acid-alkalinity balance, the relative proportion of acids and alkalis in the water. Basically put, water that is either too acidic or too alkaline will cause undesirable chemical reactions. If the water is too acidic, it will eat away metal equipment, cause etching on the surface materials and cause skin pain. If the water is too alkaline, it can cause scaling on the pool surface and plumbing equipment and can cloud the water.

Additionally, both high acidity and high alkalinity alters the effectiveness of the chlorine. The chlorine won’t destroy pathogens as well if the water is too alkaline, and it will dissipate much more quickly if the water is too acidic.

On the pH scale, zero indicates extreme acidity, 14 indicate extreme alkalinity and 7 indicates a neutral state. I recommend a pool pH between 7.2 and 7.8. To raise or lower pH, a pool custodian simply adds acids or alkali into the water. For example, adding sodium carbonate (soda ash) or sodium bicarbonate will generally raise the pH, and adding muriatic acid or sodium bi-sulfate will lower the pH.

Maintaining the proper balance of chemicals in the swimming pool is a continual process, because any new oils from a swimmer’s body, a shot of chlorine, stuff that falls in the water shifts the water’s total chemical makeup. In addition to pH, pool owners should also monitor total alkalinity, calcium hardness and total dissolved solids.

A chemically well balanced pool, utilizes fewer chemicals, has a nice sparkly blue appearance to the water and creates a much more enjoyable experience to those swimming in the pool.