Maintaining a pristine swimming pool is more than just a summer luxury; it’s a commitment to ensuring a safe and enjoyable environment for everyone. However, even the most diligent pool owners can encounter chemical imbalances that disrupt this aquatic haven. Here’s your comprehensive guide to troubleshooting common pool chemical issues and restoring your pool water to its ideal state.

Understanding pH Levels

One of the first steps in pool maintenance is regularly checking and adjusting your pH levels. The pH scale measures how acidic or basic your pool water is. Ideally, your pool’s pH should be between 7.2 and 7.8. If the pH level is too high, it can cause skin irritation and reduce the effectiveness of chlorine. Conversely, if it’s too low, it can corrode pool surfaces and equipment. To balance pH levels, add either a pH increaser or decreaser as needed.

Tackling Total Alkalinity

Total alkalinity acts as a buffer for pH levels, preventing drastic fluctuations. The recommended range for total alkalinity in a swimming pool is between 80 and 120 ppm. If total alkalinity is too low, pH levels can become unstable. If it’s too high, you might experience cloudy water. To correct low alkalinity, add an alkalinity increaser. To reduce high alkalinity, use muriatic acid or a pH reducer.

Managing Chlorine Levels

Chlorine is essential for keeping your pool water clean and free of harmful bacteria. However, maintaining the right chlorine levels can be tricky. Free chlorine should be kept between 1.0 and 3.0 parts per million (ppm). Low chlorine levels can lead to algae growth and cloudy water, while high levels can cause skin irritation. Regular testing and adjustments using chlorine tablets or liquid chlorine can help maintain optimal levels.

Addressing Calcium Level Concerns

Calcium levels, or calcium hardness, are crucial for preventing corrosion and scaling. The ideal range is between 200 and 400 ppm. Low calcium levels can erode pool surfaces, while high levels can lead to scaling on the pool surface and clogged filters. To increase your pool’s calcium level, add calcium chloride. To decrease it, you may need to partially drain the pool and add fresh water.

Combating Algae Growth

Algae growth can turn your sparkling pool water into a green or black mess — which is no good for that end-of-summer pool party! There are several types of algae, with black algae being particularly stubborn. To prevent this irritating water problem, maintain proper chlorine levels, run your filter regularly, and clean your pool multiple times per week. If you notice algae, shock your pool with a high dose of chlorine, then skim the pool surface or use a pool cleaning vacuum to remove it. Using algaecides can also keep algae at bay, although the chemicals in algaecides can irritate some swimmers.

Clearing Cloudy Water

Cloudy water, one of the most common pool problems, can be caused by various issues, including improper pH, high total alkalinity, or clogged filters. First, test and adjust your pH and alkalinity levels. Next, ensure your pool filter is clean and functioning properly. Running the filter continuously until the water clears can help. If the problem persists, consider using a pool clarifier or flocculant to help clear the water.

Your Neighborhood Pool Pros!

At Island Pools & Patios, we’re always here for all your swimming pool needs. Whether you have questions about pool cleaning and maintenance, chemical balancing, or adding a spa to an existing pool, we’ve got the know-how to answer ‘em all. Give us a call today or schedule a service appointment online, and we’ll get the job done!