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Proper Maintenance for a Sparkling Pool Year Round Part 2: Pool Chemistry

In this second installment of our three-part blog post on responsible year-round pool maintenance, we’re going to dive into pool chemistry.  You can check out our recent post here on leaves and other Fall debris removal, and stay tuned for our third, and final, post in this series, which will cover pool equipment maintenance.  Your pool may be your summertime retreat and oasis, but, with proper care, it can remain a beautiful view for you and your guests throughout each season. 

It’s a Balancing Act

Proper pool chemical balance safeguards against a costly and time-consuming pool re-fill. Most important, balanced pool chemicals keep the water safe for humans. With decreased usage in the off-season, you may find your pool needs less sanitizing, but there is still a need to keep things balanced.  

Pool Chemistry 101

Three factors comprise core pool chemistry. pH levels are a measure of how acidic or basic the water is. Alkalinity is a pH regulator. And sanitizers (commonly chlorine and sometimes bromine for indoor pools) are chemicals that kill harmful bacteria and prevent algae from forming.

The ideal pH range for a swimming pool is 7.4 to 7.6.  The addition of sodium carbonate or sodium bicarbonate can raise pH.  Using muriatic acid or sodium bisulfate, pool pH can be lowered. 

The recommended total alkalinity (TA) range is 100 to 150 parts per million (ppm).   Because TA involves pH, adjustments to TA should include considerations for pool pH.  Adding sodium bicarbonate or soda ash to raise TA will also raise the pH level.  It is generally advised to start with Soda Ash, get pH where it needs to be, then further tweak alkalinity using baking soda, which has less of an effect on pH.  Muriatic Acid, poured directly in small shots, typically in the deepest areas of the pool, will lower TA. Any adjustments to alkalinity should be made incrementally.  

The proper sanitizer range is going to vary based on the type of pool you have.  Chlorine and bromine are the most commonly used sanitizers today.  The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends keeping a free chlorine (FC) level of at least 1 ppm for swimming pools and at least 3 ppm for hot tubs/spas.  According to the CDC, free bromine concentration should be at least 3 ppm in pools and at least 4 ppm in hot tubs/spas. 

Once you know the recommended levels, checking the pool water regularly, with “regularly” depending on your usage, but typically weekly in the summer and bi-monthly in the winter, you can keep your levels where they need to be.  Water chemistry measures can be taken using a simple water testing kit found at most home and pool stores. The kits generally come with recommended solutions for chemistry adjustments; similar guidance can be found online.

Partner For Expertise and Ease

Engaging with a professional pool maintenance service provider is one way to ensure you’re providing the necessary upkeep for your pool.  Pool maintenance certification through the Pool and Hot Tub Alliance provides a professional standard for the industry.  Certified pool maintenance specialists are trained and receive the necessary knowledge to work with a wide variety of pool systems and equipment.  Most pool maintenance service is provided weekly through contract. Many find the cost of pool maintenance is nothing compared to the peace of mind, dependable performance and quality of work provided by the professional.  

Proper Pool Chemistry is Worth It

Whether you outsource pool maintenance or decide to monitor and balance your pool chemicals yourself, maintaining proper pH, TA and sanitizer ranges is going to contribute to the health and safety of your family and pool guests.  What’s more, proper chemistry will pay off in aesthetics via a sparkling, clear pool. With a solid knowledge base in place, and the regular use of a water testing kit, you have what you need to maintain the chemistry of your swimming pool confidently and effectively in order to keep a beautiful pool in your sights.

Gold Medal Pools has been serving the DFW area for over 20 years.  We’ve earned the trust of thousands of homeowners and some of the largest commercial pool owners in the area by using the most advanced technologies available in the industry, applying proven craftsmanship and hands-on techniques. All of our techs, each designated Advanced Service Technicians, are CPO certified through the nationally recognized Pool and Hot Tub Alliance and are AFO certified through the National Recreation and Park Association. Our pool maintenance service is thorough and dependable.  We make sure all of your pumps, motors, filters, lights, etc. are running properly. Our professionals will test the water quality and clean your pool, so it always has that sparkling look it had when you first purchased it. Ready for gold-star service?  Contact Gold Medal Pools today.


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