Using Swimming Pool Balancers to Keep Your Pool Safe

by | Feb 16, 2024 | Pool Care

Pool balancers are an important part of swimming pool care. However, if you’re new to owning a swimming pool you may not understand what they are. Thankfully, the experts here at Lone Star Pool Services are here to help you learn.

Most people don’t understand the delicate nature of a swimming pool. They installed a pool or purchased a home with a pool to enjoy swimming with their friends and family. Learning how to properly care for a swimming pool is suddenly thrust upon them, often with little guidance. That’s where we come in. We’ve been helping pool owners understand and care for their swimming pools for years. Our experts know how to balance any pool and can help you master this skillset.

Before we can begin discussing how to balance your swimming pool, we must first help you learn how to properly test the water. You’ll quickly learn that, with the right information, tools, and a handful of patience, you can master pool care.

Preparing to Use Your Pool Balancers

Every pool owner needs an arsenal to protect their pool. Your armory should include test kits, alkalinity balancers, pH balancers, water hardness balancers, as well as a stabilizer or conditioner. These pool balancers can be picked up at your local pool and spa shop. Be sure to tell the staff everything you can about your pool type so they can ensure you get the right materials.

To test your pool’s water you’ll begin by calculating the volume of your swimming pool. For a rectangular or square swimming pool simply multiply the length by width, by average depth, and then the multiplier.

Length x Width x Average Depth x Multiplier = Volume (in gallons)

This formula will provide you with your swimming pool’s volume in gallons. For square, rectangular, or free-form swimming pools the multiplier is 7.5. If your swimming pool is round or oval then the multiplier is 5.9. Jot this number down to save yourself the trouble of redoing the math later on.

Once you understand your pool’s volume, you can start testing. There are a variety of test kits on the market and at the very least you want a test kit that is able to test the following things:

  • Free Available Chlorine
  • Total Alkalinity
  • Cyanuric Acid
  • pH
  • Calcium Hardness

These are the main things that require balancing in most swimming pools.

It’s also important that you turn your pump on before adding any chemicals. This ensures the chemicals are promptly circulated throughout the pool. It’s also extremely important to read and follow all labels. There are limits to the quantities of chemicals you can add for every 10,000 gallons of water at once. If your swimming pool holds more than 10,000 gallons you’ll need to add the chemicals in increments spaced out at least six hours.

Understanding Pool Balancers

As illustrated above, there are a number of things to balance before you can safely enjoy your swimming pool. The first of these is the alkalinity. Total alkalinity is the amount of alkaline material within your pool water. It’s important to balance this first as it is a pH buffer. Ideally, total alkalinity should fall between 80 and 120 parts per million, or ppm. Depending on your water tests you’ll likely need to add an Alkalinity increaser or a chemical to decrease alkalinity such as sodium bisulfate.

Next is pH. The pH balance refers to the level of acidity in the water. The ideal range for pool water is between 7.4 and 7.6, whereas the low end of the scale means your pool is acidic and the high end means your pool is alkaline. You can add sodium carbonate to increase the pH or decrease the pH using sodium bisulfate. Your swimming pools pH balance is extremely important. An imbalance can damage equipment or the structure of the pool itself. It can also lead to problems for swimmers.

The next step in balancing your pool is to balance the water hardness. This is also known as calcium hardness. This refers to the level of calcium in your water. Ideally, your test will show that your calcium hardness is between 200 and 400 ppm. If you need to raise the calcium hardness in your pool use calcium chloride. To lower it requires that you at least partially drain your pool. In severe cases you may need to completely drain the pool.

Cyanuric acid is another chemical used in swimming pools. This chemical helps protect your chlorine from destruction by the ultra violet rays of the sun. It’s essential. The ideal range for Cyanuric acid is between 30 and 50 ppm.

Pool Balancers for Balancing Chlorine

Chlorine is a chemical that even the most novice of pool owners is familiar with. This important component sanitizes and disinfects your pool water. It kills bacteria, ammonia, living organisms, and other pool contaminates. Chlorine comes as a liquid or a gas. It also can be purchased in granules or tablets. In order to ensure your pool is properly sanitized, the free available chlorine should be between 2.0 and 4.0 on your water test.

Once you’ve added the necessary chemicals per the instructional labels, allow your pump to circulate the water and chemicals throughout the pool. You should also test the water again after the chemicals have had a chance to circulate to ensure all levels are within a safe range. It’s important to test your pool water regularly to have a safe and enjoyable pool experience.

Many pool owners opt to outsource their weekly pool care and maintenance needs. Lone Star Pool Services offers weekly pool care and advice for swimming pool and spa owners. If you have any questions or need assistance caring for your swimming pool, give our expert staff a call.