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Total dissolved solids is the whole amount of material dissolved in your pools water. Solids that are dissolved and cannot be filtered out of your pool. The level gradually goes up over time due to the chemicals being added and water being evaporated. Total dissolved solids has little effect on the balance of the water it can effect the water making it cloudy and a funny taste over a certain level.
Free Chlorine and Total Chlorine
Here at Sterling Pool we believe that maintaining properly balanced water chemistry is very important for the health of your family and the health of your pool. Properly balanced chemistry keeps your water clear and neutral and ensures that your liner, filtration and heating equipment will last as long as possible.
In this article we will cover properly balancing the water in your chlorine pool.
Chlorine is the main ingredient used to keep your pool clean. It comes in many different shapes, sizes and forms. We usually recommend using a trichlor based chlorine tablet (often found in the 3 inch "hockey puck" size). Chlorine works best in certain conditions. This is part of the reason maintaining proper water balance is so important.
Free chlorine is the amount of active sanitizer in the water.
Total chlorine is the amount of free and combined chlorine in the water of your pool.
The PH level in your pool is one of the most important chemical that needs to be checked twice a week. Low pH can result in a skin irritation and corrosion of pool equipment. High pH on the other hand can result in cloudy water. The incorrect pH level will reduce the effectiveness of the chlorine in your pool. The range of the pH level should be somewhere from 7.2 and 7.6.
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Total alkalinity is the quantity of alkaline materials dissolved in your water. Alkalinity acts as a buffer to control the pH level. The range for total alkalinity in pools using poolife calcium hypoclorite based sanitizers is 60-100 ppm. For pools using trichlor based primary sanitizers the recommended range is 100-120.
Calcium Hardness refers to the calcium and magnesium content of the pool water. It is best to test the calcium hardness regularly to prevent problems on the pool shell or in the circulation system. Pool water with calcium levels above 1,000 ppm may become cloudy and if it is left alone long enough it could cause scale on pool surfaces and fittings. Calcium Hardness levels below 200 ppm can corrode pool equipment. In plaster pools it can result in pitting or etching problems.
The problem with a high metal level is the staining it causes on pool surfaces.
Unwanted metals can be the result of unbalanced water.
Source water can be a primary cause of unwanted metals.
Corrosive water can attract metals from exposed metallic surfaces such as ladders.
copper based algaecides or make-up water can also attract unwanted metals.
Ideally no detectable metals should be found in your water.
Algae are microscopic plants that grow in the water. Algae is usually green but can also be a mustard, black, blue green color. Algae can both both float in the pool water and appear on the pools surfaces. It can also turn your pool water green overnight.
To prevent algae make sure your chlorine levels are in the correct range at all times. Keep up with the weekly shock treatment and preventative dose of algaecide.
Shock treatment is the addition of chlorine to pool water in normal amounts. Shocking your pool is extremely important because it keeps you and your family safe from bacteria. Shock treatment adds 5-10 ppm free chlorine. This concentrated blast help to prevent and correct common water pool problems. You should shock your pool water while the pump and the filter are running. After shocking your water check the level and make sure it is between 1-4 ppm before going in.
For best results make sure that your pH level is adjusted to 7.2 before shocking the water.
Sunlight causes the amount of chlorine in your pool to dissipate. To attack this you may want to add stabilizer and conditioner which contains cyanuric acid. Stabilizer protects the free chlorine from the sun. For routine maintenance only add when you regularly sanitize your pool with non stabilized chlorinators.
The stabilized level should be 20-50 ppm.
- Total alkalinity 60-120 ppm
- Calcium Hardness 200-500 ppm
- Total Dissolved Solids up to 2000 ppm
Summary of ranges for water balance