Swimming pool maintenance is no easy task but it’s one that should be done all year long. This way you can spend less time worrying about what’s in the water and more time enjoying the pool. An even better benefit is by maintain your pool all year long, you save money on big expenses you would face if your pool was only maintained in the summer.
Total alkalinity is a significant factor in pool maintenance. It refers to how much alkaline is in the water. TA and pH go hand-in-hand. High alkaline water leads to high pH. Low alkaline water leads to low pH. The average swimming pool should have an alkalinity reading of 100 ppm. Keeping your pH levels within the proper range is important for keeping your equipment and pool finish intact. pH refers to the acidity or baseness of your pool water. A proper pH level is around 7.4 to 7.6 on a pH test kit's numeric scale. 0 to 7 reflects a low or acidic pH. 8 to 14 means the pool has a base pH level. Your chlorine will dissolve quicker with a low pH level. High pH levels make chlorine inactive.
Calcium Hardness is another important factor in pool maintenance. The right amount of calcium in your pool is essential. If there is too little, your plaster can erode. Too much calcium can make your water could become cloudy, scale could form and stains might start. 200 to 400 ppm is the general range for calcium hardness, while 300 ppm is ideal for the average pool.
Stabilizer helps retain your chlorine longer just as insulation helps retain heat or air conditioning. Stabilizer can be added to some chlorine compounds to protect them from the breakdown effects of sunlight. When your stabilizer level is low, you'll use a lot more chlorine. When it's high, you may need to dilute your pool water to bring it back into the 40 to 100 ppm ideal range.
All water contains dissolved minerals. As pool water evaporates, minerals remain behind and become concentrated. The more concentrated these minerals become, the harder it is for chemical additives to work and stains can form. If you have 3000 ppm or more of total dissolved solids or TDS, you may need to drain some water and add fresh water. Ultimately, taking care of your pool doesn’t end when you put the cover on. It’s important to continue caring for your pool during the off-season (fall, winter, and early spring) to ensure a successful and clean opening.