The Water Balance Triad starts with the pH of your pool. Your pool pH should fall between 7.2 - 7.8. The ideal reading would be 7.4, the pH average pH of the human body, including the eye. This pH is chosen because it lowers eye and skin irritation.
Think back a few years, and remember that pH typically runs through values of 1-14. 1 being extremely acidic and 14 being very basic/alkaline. Pure water is neutral with a pH of 7, but that doesn’t mean water from your tap will be neutral. Water quality regulations from the Drinking Water Inspectorate, specify that tap water must have a pH between 6.5 and 9.5 in the UK. When water leaves, the treatment plants its pH is typically between 7 and 8, but that can change as it travels through the networks and reservoirs to your tap.
When you first fill, your pool check the pH of your water at its source, the tap, as it allows you to see what you’re working with. This is also important if you have to partially drain and refill your pool. If you have any questions about your water quality, contact your utility provider.
Useful tip: When you check your sanitiser levels daily, check your pool water pH at the same time. The pH of your pool has a direct correlation to how well your biocide is working in your pool water. The higher the pH the less effective your biocide typically is. With chlorine, having a pH over 7.5 greatly reduces its ability to sanitise. See SpaChem’s available test equipment here.
Having a low pH reading means your pool water is more acidic and it will act as a corrosive to the pool walls and internal plumbing. This can cause unsightly pits, cracks and staining to your pool. On the flip side, a high pH reading puts your pool into a basic/alkaline reading that can lead to increased scaling that forms on your pool walls and in the filter. If this happens you'll want to use a product to remove the scale. High pH can also cause cloudy water.
Next week we'll discuss Total Alkalinity. Yes, this does affect your pool pH.
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