The Truth Behind Pool Water pH and Alkalinity

The Truth Behind Pool Water pH and Alkalinity

So I have been bombarded by my colleagues with numerous YouTube videos on pH experiments on bottled water from all of our favorite places. I love seeing so many people interested in the truth behind water chemistry. I decided to write this post about it since my employees and myself have such a huge appreciation for water chemistry. 

I love water dog

All of us here at Pool Toy Express and Valley Pool & Spa take water chemistry VERY serious. We get asked more times than we can count during the summer what the pH and alkalinity have to do with pool water... 
 
For those that don't know here is a simple chemistry lesson- pH is measurement of how acidic (or basic) the water is and alkalinity is the pH buffer that keeps the pH from bouncing back and forth. So from there we have your swimming pools and spas.
 
We recommend that our local pools keep a pH balance of about 7.4 ppm (parts per million) which is a neutral water balance (not too acidic not too basic). Different levels of pH can do different things to not only your pool but your body. When a swimming pool is acidic (lower than 7.2 ppm) it is damaging to vinyl liners, pool walls, equipment, AND your skin! This is when you get rashes, itchy and burning eyes, and the water just doesn't feel comfortable. The tough thing about acidic water is that it is hard to detect with your eye, your pool water will look absolutely beautiful and crystal clear!
Clear water
 
You're probably asking yourself well then the higher the pH the better, right? Wrong. When the pH starts getting into the 7.9 ppm and up range the water becomes basic which means it becomes "lazy". Corrosion can start on pool walls, etching and scaling can happen in liners and your skin will not feel comfortable. This however is very easy to notice by looking at the pool. High pH in pool water looks very cloudy, in most cases this is when you take action quickly to bring your pool back to the beautiful oasis you originally built and you come in to see us to help you fix it.
Cloudy pool from high ph
(It has been known that the more basic the pH in drinking water is the better, due to our bodies being so acidic.)
 
If you do not live by a local (reputable) swimming pool store there are plenty of gadgets and gizzmos (on Pool Stuff Express...) to help you do water testing at home. Home tests are not always 100% accurate but they will help you determine if you need to put chemicals in the pool or spa to get the best water chemistry for swimming.
 
Water Test Kit
For all of you water snobs like me out there here is a list of YouTube videos that prove not all water is the same! 
 
 
For more information on testing pool or spa water check out our Facebook page weekly @pooltoyexpress.
 
Just Keep Swimming! 
~Kristin
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