Fibreglass swimming pools need the lowest maintenance when compared to other pools like a vinyl liner or concrete pool. However, with time, several things like dirt, oils and cosmetics can pollute the swimming pool and affect its delicate balance. This usually happens if the pool water is not changed frequently for many years. The swimming pool water can be kept clean by disinfecting it fairly frequently to remove pollutants, but this won’t help maintain its balance.
When the ability to hold the minerals in pool water is no longer there, the pool is said to be over saturated. A perfectly balanced fiberglass pool water, is the one which is not under saturated or over saturated.
The relationship of different measurements of chemicals in the water can be defined as water balance. Water’s state is constantly changed due to dirt, pollen, pollution, dust and precipitation. What happens is that it changes the water chemistry of the swimming pool.
For a swimming pool, there are many levels to measure it. But the three important levels that ensure the balance of your pool are pH, calcium hardness and total alkalinity. Thus, one can say that a balanced fiberglass pool has proper levels of hardness, pH as well as alkalinity.
Maintaining Proper Water Balance Of The Pool
The pH is a logarithmic scale with ranges from 0-14 that helps in measuring how basic or acidic your swimming pool water is. In this measure, the number 7 is considered neutral, anything above this is considered alkaline while anything below 7 is defined acidic in nature.
If the water is too acidic, there is a big risk of damage to the pool. Acidic water usually happens when pH levels are low. Pool stains are also quite common with acidic water. Not only that, it can cause irritation in the eyes and skin.
On the other hand, algae tend to grow if the pH levels are too high as it weakens the chlorine. This also becomes an ideal environment for carbonates and calcium that makes the water cloudy. Due to this, one can find crystalline deposits on the pool or pipes.
When testing the pool water, if the pH levels come out as something below 7, then it is highly acidic in nature. To prevent corrosion, it is advised to bring the pH level to a more basic condition by adding baking soda. This is because it is a base.
Similarly, the condition is considered scaling or basic, when the pH level is anything above 7. In this case, an acid needs to be added to bring down the pH levels of the pool water. This will effectively prevent water from being alkaline, which can make sanitation difficult.
Staining of the pool and corrosion tends to happen when the alkaline levels of the pool water are too low. Alkalinity and pH go hand in hand, so low alkalinity can disrupt the pH levels too, making it inconsistent.
On the other hand, adjusting pH levels becomes difficult if the alkalinity is too high. This is because high alkalinity makes the pH resistant to change. As a result, one can see damages to grids as well as filter cartridges. Additionally, the water can turn green or cloudy, causing eye and skin irritation.
This makes it important to maintain an ideal alkaline range of 80 to 120 ppm in the pool. If the alkaline level is too low, one can add acid to counter it. The pH levels need to be increased to prevent it from dropping below 7, in order to lower the alkaline levels.
According to many experts, a greater effect on alkalinity can be achieved by pooling the acid in a small area of low current. For lowering alkalinity and pH levels, adding an acid can help. Distributing the acid in the swimming pool evenly can have a good effect in lowering the alkaline levels of the water. The levels also need to be tested at least weekly.
Calcium levels in swimming pool water are also extremely important. When the calcium hardness levels of water are too low, the water is soft, and there is corrosion of plaster and grout. Soft water also tends to foam easily. When testing the hardness of water, it refers to the deposits of calcium carbonate on the pool surface. This is a combination of carbonate ions which is a part of calcium and total alkalinity.
Thus, testing the pool water for calcium hardness is to determine whether the water is soft or hard.
Pool water becomes hard water when there are high levels of calcium in it. This can again stain pool surfaces in the form of crystal deposits. High levels of calcium can even lead to deposits on the plumbing or even the heater.
Avoiding hard water can be done by adjusting the ideal range to that between 200-400ppm. If the intention is to increase calcium hardness, then adding calcium chloride can help. Sometimes it is not easy to lower the calcium levels, especially if the hard water levels are around 700 ppm in the pool.
Dilution can help in countering high calcium hardness levels which is adding water to the pool that has a low calcium hardness content. For almost all swimming pools, the recommended level for hardness is between 200-400 ppm. At least every 4-5 months, the calcium hardness levels of the water need to be tested.
Total Dissolved Solids:
A total of everything that has been dissolved in the pool water can be referred to as the TDS. This usually builds up in the swimming pool water during evaporation. For most pools, total dissolved solids may not be that much of a concern, when it comes to water balance. However, for indoor pools where there is no rain and for pools having old water, TDS can be a concern. It can disrupt the balance, especially if freshwater is not added regularly.
Corrosion of metals like filters and pipework may begin to occur if there isn’t enough dilution. Additionally, pool water can become cloudy and can cause sanitation problems. Adding freshwater is the best solution to control TDS.
Why It Is Important To Maintain Water Balance
Pool surfaces and equipment can be protected from corrosion by keeping the water balanced. Not only that, it allows sanitation of the pool much easier. The appearance and the life of the swimming pool can be greatly enhanced by balancing the water chemistry effectively.
Therefore, it becomes essential to maintain the delicate balance of the pool’s water. This is because any disruption to the alkaline, pH or even hardness levels can negatively impact the pool. Swimming becomes extremely uncomfortable, and there is a risk of lasting damage to the walls and surfaces of the pool, pool deck or equipment.
It can seem like a hassle to balance and sanitize the swimming pool water from time to time. However, doing so can have a lot of positive impact as it greatly helps in preserving the swimming pool for a longer time. Not only that, but it can also reduce the expenses required for fixing damaged equipment or pool surfaces in the long run.