Balancing Your Pool Water

Understanding pH

Keeping your pool water properly balanced is one of your most important assignments as a pool owner. Many things can throw the water out of balance. Bather load, rain, sun, wind, algae, dust, debris, circulation, even which sanitizers you use. The source of fresh water (well, municipal, etc.) will also affect water balance in a number of ways. Six factors need to be monitored for their effect on water balance: pH, total alkalinity, calcium hardness, total dissolved solids, temperature and cyanuric acid. When all these factors are within acceptable ranges, it is unlikely that your water will cause corrosion or scale deposits. Correctly balanced water also provides maximum bather comfort.

Understanding pH is one of the most important aspects of pool care. Low pH can lead to skin irritation and corrosion of equipment. High pH can result in cloudy water and contribute to scale formation. More importantly, the incorrect pH will reduce the effectiveness of the chlorine in your swimming pool. The ideal range is between 7.2 and 7.6

pH of Sanitizers

  • Trichlor (tablets/sticks)
2 – 3
  • Bromine
4 – 4.5
  • Dichlor (granular)
6 – 7
  • PHMB (biguanide)
6 – 7
  • Calcium Hypochlorite
11 – 12
  • Liquid Chlorine (bleach)
13 – 14
  • Salt Chlorine Generators


Water Balance
  • Both pH and alkalinity are high
Add acid to bring them both down
  • Both pH and alkalinity are low
Raise alkalinity with sodium bicarb, then address pH
  • Alkalinity is low and pH is high
Raise alkalinity with sodium bicarb, then address pH
  • Alkalinity is high and pH is low
Wait – pH should “drift” back up
  • Can’t wait?
Try soda ash to raise pH, followed 8-12 hours later with acid to get alkalinity back down

Pulsar® Acid Plus

The Pulsar® Acid Plus feeder system can help maintain a complete dry chemical package for sanitization and pH control (down).

The Pulsar® Acid Plus Feeder provides:

  • Reliable pH balancing
  • Features a compact rugged roto molded body
  • Integrates inlet flow solenoid control for reliable operation
  • Shares booster and venturi loop
  • Custom color to distinguish between other feeders
  • Acid introduced to venturi removes scale and minimizes maintenance
  • Back flow prevention

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