Basic Swimming Pool Chemistry 101: Balance Your Pool Water

Simple Swimming Pool Chemistry & Your Pool Chemistry Cheat Sheet. All About Swimming Pool Water Chemistry & Pool Water Maintenance Tips. 

How To Save Money On Pool Chemicals

You have everything ready for a great Summer, right?  Pool is filled up?  Filter running?  Leaf rake and vacuum?  Maybe some chlorine tabs?  But one thing that might be a bit confusing is what chemicals to put in and when.  Don't worry.  We have you covered.  Proper swimming pool chemistry is the most important part of your pool care.  It shouldn't take hundreds of hours and tons of money to take care of and balance a normal 25,000 gallon home pool.  Far from it.  The water quality indicators and swimming safety depends on having your pool balanced correctly. This is not complex chemistry, but a basic understanding of what you need to know for swimming pool care. 

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Easy Swimming Pool Chemistry

Because most indoor and outdoor swimming pools are chlorine pools, there are only six chemistry basics you need to know:

Pool chlorine and cyanuric acid levels (CYA/pool stabilizer)

  •  The CYA is mainly for outdoor pools. Your chlorine level should be 2 - 4 ppm and the CYA level is 30 - 50 ppm.  Chlorine kills the organic matter in your pool.  Testing and knowledge of combined chlorine (CC/chloramines). This is mostly for indoor pools but the CC should not exceed 0.6 for 3 consecutive days. If it does it's time to shock the pool.

Raise and lower your swimming pool pH level

  • pH is the acidity or alkalinity of a solution/water.  A low pH, 6.9 and under, indicates acidic conditions.  A high pH, 7.1 and above, indicates basic conditions.  pH measures the amount of hydrogen ions in water.  A measurement of 7.0 is considered neutral. Keep your pool water between 7.2 - 7.8.  You can use 20 Mule Team Borax or Arm & Hammer Washing Soda to increase the pH level.  To decrease your pool pH, use either muriatic acid or dry acid. 

How to adjust your swimming pool's total alkalinity (TA)

  • Alkalinity is capacity of water to neutralize an acid.  Keep your alkalinity between 80 - 120 ppm.  to increase your poll water alkalinity, regular grocery store baking soda works perfectly.  To decrease your pool TA, use either muriatic acid or dry acid.   

Your calcium hardness

Calcium hardness is easily raised by using calcium chloride and should be kept at 150 - 250 ppm.  There's no chemical to effectively reduce the hardness.  Only a partial water change with a lower hardness level will work.  Places that have hard fill water should only use liquid chlorine, not calcium hypochlorite.

Word Of Caution

If you're having problems with your swimming pool chemistry, you're not alone.  Thousands of pool owners just like you are having the same issues.  But there's nothing wrong with you.  You're NOT wrong. What you're TOLD is wrong. The information you're getting about your pool simply goes against the Universal Laws of Pool Chemistry & Physics that apply equally to every salt and chlorine pool in the world.  Any advice given to you about your pool will either CONFIRM or CONTRADICT these applicable Universal Laws of Pool Chemistry

Folks, this is absolutely 1st Grade stuff.  Easy beyond belief!!  If you can add chlorine, sweep, and empty the skimmer basket, you can have a perfect pool!! 

Pool Chemistry Safety

Always take the proper precautions in dealing with swimming pool chemicals and read the manufacture’s labels.

  • Wear heavy duty rubber gloves, goggles, and clothes (long sleeves and pants) that you don't mind getting ruined
  • Keep all pool chemicals out of reach of children and pets
  • Never store liquid chemicals over dry.  Keep them separate.
  • Never mix calcium chloride in a bucket with water. It may steam up and burn you. Add directly to the pool water.
  • Always wait 2 hours before adding a different chemical; chlorine and acid. And never mix the two.
  • If you're first diluting the chlorine in a bucket, ALWAYS add the chemical to the water, never water to the chemical
  • Always allow for one full turn-over of the water before making another adjustment. The is about 8 - 10 hours of filtering.

Whether for salt water pool maintenance, above ground or inground pool maintenance, this swimming pool chemistry and swimming pool maintenance tips page will come in handy. Review it from time to time and you'll have the perfect pool.

Recommended Reading For You

Swimming Pool Chlorine - Swimming Pool Chlorine & Pool Chlorine Tablets Are Good Water Quality Indicators For Pool Water Maintenance.

Swimming Pool Chlorine - Swimming Pool Chlorine Xtra. Pool Chlorine Tablets Are Good Water Quality Indicators For Pool Water Maintenance.

Pool Shock - Easy Pool Shock Treatment and Chlorine Safety.

Muriatic Acid - Muriatic acid and swimming pool chemistry.

Pool Testing Kit  - Water testing kit and information on Taylor test kits, pool test strips and spa test strips.

Pool Water Testing - Pool water testing and the best information on swimming pool test kit.

Pool pH  - Understanding swimming pool pH and easy pH chart for perfect pool water balance.

Pool Alkalinity - Understand Pool Alkalinity & Swimming Pool pH.

Total Alkalinity - Total alkalinity and weekly pool water maintenance. 

Calcium Hardness - Understand Calcium Hardness & Pool Water Maintenance.

Easy Swimming Pool Chemistry

Swimming Pool pH - Understanding Pool pH, Pool Alkalinity, & pH Definition In Chlorine & Saltwater Pools.

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