Everyone enjoys having a clean and clear pool, but maintaining perfectly balanced pool chemistry can be a challenge. It is necessary to learn what each pool test means and why it is important in keeping your pool in perfect shape. We will cover four components of pool chemistry: free chlorine, pH, total alkalinity and cyanuric acid.
Free chlorine is the amount of chlorine available to sanitize contaminants. Combined Chlorine is chlorine that has combined with contaminants. Total chlorine is the sum of the two.
Cyanuric acid stabilizes free chlorine by preventing it from evaporating from UV sunlight, which increases the lifespan of free chlorine but decreases its ability to sanitize swimming pool water.
The two most important factors to consider in terms of balancing your cyanuric acid levels are whether your pool uses a salt water generator and how much direct sunlight your pool receives. Most salt water manufacturers recommend higher cyanuric acid levels than traditional chlorine pools.
Test strips are the easiest way to test cyanuric acid. Cyanuric acid is raised by adding chlorine stabilizer containing cyanuric acid. The only way to lower cyanuric acid is by replacing water.
The ideal pH level in both swimming pools and hot tubs is 7.4 to 7.6. This is the level where water is most comfortable for swimmers while also maximizing chlorine’s sanitizing ability.
Maintaining both pH and total alkalinity in your swimming pool is important for keeping your pool properly sanitized and non-corrosive. Total alkalinity is to pH what cyanuric acid is to free chlorine. Total alkalinity stabilizes pH levels. The ideal pool pH level is 7.4 to 7.6. The ideal total alkalinity level is 80 to 120 ppm.
Regardless of where you live or what kind of pool you own, you’re going to have to test your pool water chemistry. Testing your pool helps keep the water safe from viruses, bacteria, and algae and ensures chemical levels are safe and comfortable for swimmers.