water-chemistry

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Five indications your pool water could use some love.

To keep your pool water crystal clear and sparkling clean this season, here are five things every pool owner should recognize as signs their water needs attention.

The term "pool chemistry" may give you high school flashbacks, but don't worry, you don't have to be a science wiz to understand the basics. As a new pool owner, or someone who just wants to be more informed, Pentair is your trusted water expert with advice to help you enjoy all the moments and memories pool ownership can provide.

1. Pee-yew smelly pool.

We are all familiar with the classic "pool smell" you sometimes experience at a pool, but it's not the chlorine you smell, it's the result of chloramines, a chemical compound that occurs when chlorine is rendered inactive.

Chlorine isn’t always a one size fits all solution.
Chlorine is the most common and well-known pool chemical and is an excellent sanitizer if the conditions are right. However, an imbalance in chlorine could make this chemical less effective, which can cause murky water, algae bloom or an unappealing "pool smell "…all things you want to avoid.

Let your Chlorine do the talking.
If your pool is strongly smelling of chlorine, take a sample of your pool water to your local pool store. They have a machine that can detect what is causing your pool chemistry to be out of whack. If you are looking for a local store, use the Find a Dealer tool.

2. White scales on my pool walls and equipment.

The white, chalky buildup you sometimes see around your pool, especially on tiles and equipment, is calcium. That pesky calcium buildup is also known as "scaling," which can give you clues to your pool water’s pH levels.

pH isn’t always a basic science.

  • When water is too acidic (below 7 pH), it can cause skin rashes, cloudy pool water and scaling. When scaling builds up in your pool, water flow can also be restricted.
  • However, if the water is too alkaline (above 7.8 pH), otherwise known as "basic," it can reduce chlorine's effectiveness at keeping your water sanitized and clean.

Finding a neutral pH balance between 7.3 and 7.6 is key to a safe and enjoyable pool.

Pentair is here to help you to monitor your pH
Ask your pool professional if there's a product like the Pentair IntelliChem® Water Chemistry Pool Controller to help monitor your pool's pH levels.

3. My pool dealer just said the alkalinity of my pool is off.

  • If your alkalinity level is too low, your pool's pH can fluctuate, causing potential damage to pool walls, metal and even swimmers.
  • However, if your alkalinity is too high, you may experience unsightly cloudy water and scaling, and your chlorine may not be sanitizing appropriately, either.

Alkaline and feelin’ fine.
Alkalinity refers to the total concentration of dissolved substances in your water and is measured in parts per million (ppm) rather than on the pH scale. Having the appropriate level of alkalinity in your water helps keep pool chemistry stable as it serves as a buffer for your pH, absorbing fluctuations.

Chemistry Check!
Pentair has a product called ChemCheck™ Water Quality Monitoring System to build your confidence in your clean pool water. This product helps you stay in step with your pool chemistry and gives real-time alerts when issues arise.

4. Too soft or too hard pool water.

Soft water will seek out minerals from other sources, which can sometimes be your pool walls or the soil found behind it. This quest for minerals can weaken vinyl liners and even corrode metal!

It’s all a balancing act.
Just like in the shower in your home, pool water can be hard or soft.

  • When water is too soft, it can become corrosive, potentially causing damage to tiles, plaster and metal in your pool.
  • On the flip side, water that is too hard will become cloudy, which not only looks unappealing but can also cause water to scale. If not taken care of, scaling can even block water flow.

The ideal range of calcium hardness to achieve "just right" pool water is between 150-400 ppm.

We have the app for that.
The Pentair Home app is here to help take away the overwhelming feeling of managing your pool equipment and managing your pool water from different platforms. Several products regarding pool water chemistry are connected to this app and alert you when anything is out of whack.

5. Unstabilized pool water.

When chlorine is exposed to the sun, it can become destabilized. Cyanuric acid, otherwise known as chlorine stabilizer, prevents the sun from neutralizing chlorine immediately. Many pool owners lean on chlorine tablets, which include cyanuric acid, to keep their pools clean.

Chlorine tablets aren’t always the end all be all.

  • Over time, when these tablets are frequently incorporated into your pool water, the overall cyanuric acid levels in your pool may become too high, which could render chlorine ineffective, leading to the development of algae or an uninviting "pool smell."
  • Chlorine without any additives is called unstabilized chlorine. This type of chlorine is most commonly used in indoor pools where sunlight isn't a problem.

You're Not in This Alone

As your partner in innovative, sustainable water solutions, we're here to help you understand more about your pool. Call our customer service line 1-800-831-7133 to help you navigate the solution to keeping your pool clean and clear.

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