Our customers ask, "why do I have to worry about testing & balancing my swimming pool water? If it looks clear, everything must be good. Right?"
The answer is, "Usually not." The short answer is if the water isn't properly balanced, you're not safe, the pool & its components (filter, pump, heater, pool surfaces, fittings, etc) just won't last long, and finally, you'll be wasting your money!
Here's what we mean:
Pool Water balancing for you & your body: When the pH & Total alkalinity are out of balance, your chlorine, bromine or other sanitizer don't work as efficiently as they should. When the sanitizer doesn't work efficiently, bacteria & other stuff you don't want in your spa start gaining control. You could easily end up with
skin rashes and eye irritations at least.
For further information & a true but extreme story on pH
and your body, please
Pool Water balancing for your pool: Without proper chemical maintenance, you can get water line scum build-up, much shortened heater life (the heater either corrodes away due to low pH & Total Alkalinity; we've seen people buy 2 heaters in one season because they don't think they need to balance their water!) or scale build-ups (high pH, high Total Alkalinity, high Total Hardness) prevent efficient heating (scaling of the thickness of just 1 sheet of paper can easily cause you to use at least 10% MORE electricity or gas), clogged filters and shortened filter life. Left completely alone, we've even seen the pool liners become faded & brittle & other damage because of it's constant contact with out-of-balance water. You didn't buy your
pool for that mess!
Calcium Hardness Adjustments
Remember that the source water for filling your pool can have certain properties that can cause chemical changes as you top off your pool; especially pH, total alkalinity, calcium hardness & metals & minerals. If your tap water is "soft" or "hard", those chemical make ups, make a difference. The use of water softeners makes a difference. PLEASE tell us this information when you contact us so that we can better help you.
US Water Hardness Map
Rain water can dramatically effect your water balance, depending on its pH & obviously the quantity of rain. The pH of rain varies across the country generally becoming more acidic as you go from west to east. As rain falls, it carries down particulate matter that is suspended in the air. This suspended particulate is dust, dirt, soot, chemicals, even bird droppings. Here's a map showing these pH values.
Also keep in mind that rain water (especially when heavy or copious) can add to
Wasting money: I think you're beginning to understand the reason why from the above information. You'll be purchasing more chemicals when you don't need them. More frequent filter changes (proper cleaning of the filter cartridge should give a life of 2 to 3 years minimum). Par Pool & Spa wants you to have fun. Proper water balancing, testing & care shouldn't take more than 15 to 20 minutes per week on average.
If there is a question you need answered, please call or fax us, and we'll talk to you right away.
For your convenience, you may also email us your question and we will reply usually within the same business day. Please note that as the season becomes busier, we may not be able to answer it as quickly as you might need.
Most of the questions you need answered are found on the following pages. Please choose the category that best fits your question. Thank you for asking!
Download & Print a FREE brochure on Pool Water Balance
Don't Forget the FREE Computerized Testing & Analysis!
All information contained in this article is courtesy of the BioGuard Chem PLUS 2003, 2004 & 2007 BioGuard Chem College Reference Guides.
If you still need help, here's how to reach us:
Telephone (during store hours): Shelton 203-377-0100