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BALANCERS: BUYER’S GUIDE & FAQ


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Why is a balanced pool important? [open]
An unbalanced pool can lead to a lot of headaches and wasted money. The effects can vary from a slight inconvenience to creating serious damage to your equipment or plumbing. Having the wrong balance of chemicals can be unsafe for any swimmers that enter the water since it can irritate eyes and skin while creating stains or bleaching your swimsuits. A sign that your pool is unbalanced can be seen just by taking a look into your pool; if your pool’s water is cloudy or if you have seen any green algae growing then your chemicals are not in a good range. To avoid these issues, keep your pool balanced, and monitor the chemical levels regularly. [Shop All Balancers]
What levels should I be trying to maintain? [open]
You want most readings to fit within a range. To make it easy, we’ve included a chart for you to use:
How much of my balancer should I add? [open]
Always follow the dosing instructions of whatever chemical balancer you have. It will tell you how much to add based on your pool’s size.

To find how many gallons are in your pool, you’ll need to find the volume of your pool. Here’s a quick formula you can use:

Length x Width x Average Depth x Multiplier = Volume in Gallons
  • Multiplier for rectangular and square pools is 7.5
  • Multiplier for oval pools is 6.7
  • Multiplier for round pools is 5.9
Note: All measurements should be in feet, including the depth. For above ground pools, assume that the water depth is 6” less than the wall height, so if your pool height is 48”, assume the depth is 3.5’, and for a 52” deep pool, use 4’.

If math isn’t for you, take a look of the chart below featuring common pool sizes and how many gallons of water each size holds.



For more help with calculating your pool size, visit our blog, How to Calculate the Number of Gallons in Your Pool.
What should I do if I find levels of metal in my pool? [open]
Metal in your pool that has come out of solution means that you will have to take immediate action to remove it as soon as possible. Metal has the ability to stain your pool as well as discolor the water. Luckily there are specific chemicals to take out the metals in your pool, we recommend Rx Clear® Metal Out to remove metals in your pool. It won’t affect the chlorine, algaecides or stabilizers already in your pool and will help get rid of any cloudiness. [Shop All Balancers]

BALANCERS

Keeping your pool balanced is one of the most important parts of pool maintenance, with many ways to balance your pool water. To pick the right balancer, you need to know what you need to change about your pool’s water chemistry. Is the pH too high or too low? The alkalinity? The calcium, the stabilizer?
pH [open]
pH measures how acidic or basic your pool water is. A properly balanced pH is between 7.2 and 7.6, with the ideal at 7.4. If it goes above that range, chlorine becomes significantly less effective, and if it goes out of the range on either side, it’s not good for the pool or swimmers.

If your pH is too high, you’ll want to use a pH reducer. This introduces an acid into your pool and will also lower your total alkalinity.

If your pH is too low, you’ll want to try a pH increaser. This is a base that will increase your pH to the proper levels. [Shop All pH Chemicals]
Total Alkalinity [open]
Total alkalinity helps stabilize your pH levels. It measures hydroxides, carbonates and alkaline substances in the pool water. The ideal total alkalinity should be between 80 and 120 ppm. If it goes below that range, your pH will be very volatile, and if it goes above, your pH will be overly stable and difficult to change. If your alkalinity and pH are both too high or too low, you’ll likely face cloudy waters, scale build up or corrosion.

If your alkalinity is too high, you’ll want to use a pH decreaser. Our pH decreaser is a safer alternative to muriatic acid. After decreasing your pH you may have to adjust the later laters on. Often times both of the alkalinity and pH are both high at the same time.

If your alkalinity is low, use an alkalinity increaser. You’ll also want to test your pH when you retest your alkalinity. [Shop All Balancers]
Calcium Hardness [open]
Calcium hardness measures how hard or soft the water is and as well as the amount of dissolved calcium and magnesium. The ideal balance is 180 to 220 ppm, being careful to always stay below 400 ppm. Hard water can create particles that deposit along your pool surfaces, lights and ladders. When it’s too low and soft, the water will begin to corrode surfaces. If you are balancing your calcium hardness first you must check your total alkalinity levels and pH.

If your calcium hardness is too high, the pool will become cloudy and the excess dissolved particles such as calcium will cause the water to scale in and around your pool equipment. It can also clog and block the flow of water which can also damage your pool equipment. It’s best to drain some of the water and replace it with softer water. If that’s not possible, you can try some pool floc.

If your water is too soft, the water becomes corrosive. If you do not add the needed calcium or magnesium back into the pool then parts of your pool and equipment can begin to erode. Pitting of concrete floors and walls along with etching of concrete surfaces surrounding your pool can occur. [Buy Rx Clear® Swimming Pool Calcium Booster]
Stabilizer (or Conditioner) [open]
Stabilizer is what protects the chlorine from the sun, extending its effectiveness. The ideal range is 20 to 50 ppm. The level of stabilizer tends to be consistent, so it doesn’t need to be checked as frequently as other chemicals. If stabilizer is too high, your pool’s sanitizer will be less effective, and if it’s too low, your pool will be going through chlorine faster than it should.

If your stabilizer is too high, the only way to deal with it would be to drain some of your pool’s water. You’ll then want to add more water to balance out the stabilizer.

If your stabilizer is too low, you’ll want to add more stabilizer or conditioner to your pool. This should contain high amounts of cyanuric acid. [Shop All Balancers]
More Questions?
If you're unsure about balancers, call our in-house pool experts at 1-800-356-3025.