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What you need to know about Water Balance

Good water balance is essential to make your chemicals work properly and for the water to be pleasant to swim in.

The most important part of water balance is it's acid content. Acid content is measured on a scale called the pH scale. 7 on the scale is neutral, 2 is most acid, 14 is least acid (alkaline). The water in your eyes comes in at 7.4 on the pH scale and so, for 'bather comfort', as it is called, that is the ideal pH for your pool water. But to get best use out of your chlorine the pH should be 7.0 or lower. So the best compromise is anything between 7.2 and 7.6.

Even though your test is telling you there is plenty of chlorine in your water if the pH is over 7.7 then it is holding back the chlorine and, if heavily used, your water could soon become infected. There is more on this on the Chlorine page.

Getting water to the right pH is a slow procedure though simple. You add acid (or alkali) to your pool in the dosages recommended on the pack and wait 24hrs to see if it was enough and if it wasn't do it all again until it is. In hard water areas you may be adding acid all summer long.

There is more to water balance than just pH levels. Another factor is the water's 'Total Alkalinity' (TA). If the TA level is too low the water will not maintain a consistent pH and if it is too high it becomes difficult to shift the pH value. The ideal level is 100ppm to 150ppm but many pool owners are forced to put up with high TA because the water out of the tap has such a high TA.