The Importance of PH in Pool and Spa Water

The following are the correct parameters for a properly balanced pool or spa. These are key to healthy swimming and problem-free surfaces and equipment.

  • Ph:  7.2 – 7.8 is the recommended range and 7.4-7.6 is the ideal range.
  • Totally Alkalinity:  (TA) 80-120 ppm
  • Calcium Hardness:  200-300ppm

Of the above, pH is the most critical. It affects all aspects of a pool or spa, swimmer comfort, equipment lifespan, pool finishes , vinyl liners, even the performance of chlorine are all negatively or positively affected by the waters pH level. A pool with a consistently high pH results in cloudy water, staining, scaling and algae because the sanitizer is ineffective at high pH levels.

This is especially true of pools equipped with a salt chlorinator. Salt chlorinators produce liquid chlorine which has a naturally high pH. The correct sequence for balancing is as follows.

  1. Balance the total alkalinity
  2. Balance the pH
  3. Balance the calcium hardness

Another important reason for a proper pH level of 7.2 your sanitizer (chlorine) is at it’s most effective. With a pH level of 8 or higher the sanitizers effectiveness is dramatically reduced even if the chlorine Is at the proper level of 1-3 ppm. At a level of 7 or below your water is acidic. This can result in liners wrinkling and heaters failing within as little as 3 months.

The solution is to get a good test system and to test your water at least weekly. Better yet, bring in a water sample for professional testing and advice.