Pool chemical imbalances: what every pool owner should look out for

One of the trickiest aspects of pool maintenance is reaching the perfect water chemical balance. The pool is like a human body in the way that when it’s unhealthy, it will let you know. Every pool owner should be on the look for these symptoms of an upset water balance.

1. Cloudy water. This is the number one thing to watch out for. Although cloudy water is a symptom for a number of water imbalance problems, it’s like having a fever—you can be positive that something is going on. Cloudy water can be caused by pH or alkalinity levels being outside the suggested ranges, not enough chlorine, not adequate filtration, or a number of other problems. Take another look at your routine to try and find where the weak spot is.

2. You’re adding the suggestive amounts of chlorine, but it’s not being effective, even when you add more chlorine. If you’re out of your suggested alkalinity or pH levels, then it reduces chlorine’s effectiveness. Only a certain percent of your chlorine actually gets used, and having perfect pH and alkalinity can help it reach its highest percentage of effectiveness.

3. There’s algae in the water or on the pool’s walls. This is closely related to the previous symptom in the way that algae usually forms when there’s a low chlorine level, which could be because of pH or alkalinity. There are other causes of algae, such as elements brought into the pool because of environmental factors like wind or even sunlight. In this case, you’ve got to adjust your routine to prevent or treat an algae bloom, which can be done through filtration, shocking, and algaecide.

4. There’s rust, scale, or staining on your pool wall. Staining or corrosion usually occurs because of an alkalinity or pH imbalance, while the appearance of scale usually means you need to adjust your calcium hardness.

5. Your swimmers are suffering from skin, eye, or lung irritation. If you have experienced this sign of a chemical imbalance, you will want to close your pool for a while until you can adjust it to a more comfortable level. If your swimmers are experiencing painful breathing, itchy or red skin, red or watery eyes, or any other sign of irritation, then you most likely don’t have enough chlorine, but it could be a pH or an alkalinity problem as well.

As you can see, many specific problems cause the same symptoms, but you can be sure of their warning signs. Spotting chemical imbalances early and treating with the necessary swimming pool supplies will make your pool much healthier in the long run.

Dennis Kucherka is a Service Manager at ASD Pool Supply, a leading pool cleaner and swimming pool supplies provider. For more information about ASD pool supply store or to purchase pool and spa supplies, please visit www.asdpoolsupply.com.

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