Pool Chemistry Basics

March 30, 2020

Are you tired of playing ping-pong with your pool chemistry, fixing one problem only to throw another value out of balance?

Do you want to check the work of your pool chemistry management company to be sure that they are maintaining proper chemistry balance?

Or do you have a green mosquito breeding ground/swamp you want to look like a pool?

If yes is the answer to any of these questions, you have come to the right place. I am going to explain to you the relationships behind each piece of the water chemistry puzzle to make the process less confusing.

I will also explain the parameters necessary to maintain our product giving you a baseline. If you happen to have a product other than ours, the relationships and chemistry advice will still apply, but you will have to check your manufacturer’s use and care guide. 

Our use and care guide call for these parameters. 

I like to compare water chemistry to a royal court. If chlorine is king, then calcium is the queen. From there, all the other parameters play supporting roles behind these two agents. PH, total alkalinity, and Sequest fall into the queen’s realm and stabilizer cyanuric into the kings.

Chlorine is king.

Responsible for keeping water looking pristine. It acts as a disinfecting agent killing algae, bugs, and any other unwanted pests. It essentially keeps your pool from turning into a swamp.

Stabilizer Cyanuric acts as the king’s accountant, minimizing spending where unwanted. It keeps the chlorine stable in a pool environment.

To keep it short, if your chlorine levels are swinging all over the place or the 1-3ppm recommended chlorine isn’t quite cutting it, look at your stabilizer cyanuric levels. Too little, and chlorine will break down. Too much, and your chlorine will be ineffective at doing its job.

Calcium is Queen.

If your grout is disappearing, or your pool surface is etching and falling off into the depths of the deep end, you may want to pay the queen a visit.

When it comes to keeping the hard structures in your pool in pristine working order, calcium is at play. When not maintaining calcium and the rest of the queen’s court: pH, alkalinity, and Sequest, your surface and grout can take a major hit.

They work together to create conditions where your water wont readily leech calcium from your calcified structures. Soft (low calcium) acidic (low PH) water will eat away at these structures in your pool, which is why it is recommended that you keep your water slightly basic and hard.

In this court, alkalinity and PH are twins.

Alkalinity acts as a buffering agent in your pool helping to keep your pH slightly basic and stable. If you have trouble with pH swings, test your pool to ensure the alkalinity is up to your user recommendations. Maintaining alkalinity will make maintaining PH far easier.

Finally, there is Sequest. Sequest helps within the court to ensure that the minerals in the hard water do not fall out of solution and stain your surface.

When the conditions are right, these minerals will drop out of solution and give your pool a yellowish stain. Maintaining your Sequest will prevent that. 

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