The Basics of Pool and Spa Water Chemistry


Test routinely (test kits available in store)-Test results will determine when, what & how much chemical treatment is necessary to restore the water to a sparkling clean state.

  • Measure the three main components of water balance:

Total Alkalinity
Calcium Hardness

  • Calculate Average Depth

(depth shallow end + depth deep end)/2 = Avg. Depth in Feet

  • Calculate Pool/Spa Volume

Rectangular/Square Formula:

L x W x Avg Depth x 7.5 = Vol. Gallons

Oval/Round Formula:

L x W x Avg Depth x 5.9 = Vol. Gallons

**If your pool has an irregular shape your dealer can help you determine capacity.

  • Pump & Filter Circulation System-Keep the circulation system (filter & pump) in good clean working order to help distribute treatment chemicals & sanitize the pool or spa. Follow manufacturer's maintenance recommendations. If problems arise we can provide professional advice promptly.
  • Sanitation-keep water free from infections, disease causing microbes & free from algae. Regular addition of sanitizer will kill these microorganisms. Oxidizers destroy impurities the filter doesn't catch. We stock a large variety of pool & spa chemicals. Come in and let our trained staff help you decide what will work best for you.
  • Chlorine-Use economically & effectively for disinfection & proper pH balance. Use of chlorine is largely influenced by pH levels (acidic, basic, or neutral). Maintain pH between 7.2 & 7.8. Test daily with test kits. Always add chlorine to water-never add water to chlorine. Smell chlorine? That's a sign you need to remove the combined chlorine that's build up in your water. Come in or give us a call to guide your dechlorination needs.
  • Bromine-a powerful disinfectant but a less effective oxidizer. Used in combo with a second oxidizer (chlorine, ozone, potassium monopersulfate) to keep the water clean & germ free.
  • Other Sanitizers-there are alternates to traditional applications of chlorine & bromine including: Salt Water Generators, Ozone Generators, Copper/Silver Ionization Systems, Biguanide (PHMB). Come in or call to find our more on the alternate sanitation systems we have available.
  • Balanced Water-Balanced water will neither corrode nor scale surfaces & equipment. Corrosion is an eating away of material. Scaling results in unsightly, rough-to-the-touch deposits on surfaces & blockages in your circulation systems. Heaters are especially susceptible.These conditions can lead to costly repair bills. Balanced water is managed by three factors. A change in one can affect the others:


Total Alkalinity

Calcium Hardness

  • pH-Measures water acidity on a scale from 0 to 14. Neutral is 7.0. A pH below 7.0 is acidic & above 7.0 is basic. Your target pH range is 7.2 – 7.8. Low pH will cause corrosion. High pH will cause scaling. Always bring the water's total alkalinity into the recommended range before adjusting pH. Contact us for guidance & all your pool & spa chemical needs.
  • Total Alkalinity-The amount of alkaline materials (carbonates, bicarbonates, & hydroxides) in the water has a great effect on pH. Low total alkalinity can make it difficult to control pH. High total alkalinity cause pH to drift upward & makes lowering it very difficult. To protect your pool or spa's surface & equipment & to save money on treatment chemicals, always maintain the correct total alkalinity for your sanitizer type. Test alkalinity weekly. Adjust as needed. Contact us for guidance & all your pool & spa chemical needs.
  • Calcium Hardness-Hard contains high levels of calcium & magnesium salts (total hardness). Ideal levels are:

200 – 400 ppm in pools

150 250 ppm in spas

Test monthly. Adjust as needed.

  • Special Considerations for Spa Owners-Routinely testing, sanitizing, & balancing your spa water should allow you to avoid problems. An additional preventive step is to periodically drain & refill your spa with fresh water. Use the following formula to calculate how many days you should wait between completely emptying & refilling your spa:

1/3 Vol. Gals. Vol. Liters

# days= ——————— or —————————

Max. # of Bathers 10 x Max# Bathers

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Thursday, 13 August 2020