Pool Chemical Tips

Balancing pH in your poolLiquid chlorine bleach should be handled according to the manufacturer’s recommendations and directions contained on the product label.

Liquid chlorine bleach will raise the pH of swimming pool water.  Since the effectiveness of chlorine is related to the pH of the swimming pool water, it is important to maintain the swimming pool water between a pH of 7.2 to 7.8. (2)  To lower the pH of the swimming pool, acid is occasionally added to the water, on an as-needed basis, based on periodically testing the water with a simple-to-use, hand-held, at-home testing kit.  Alternatively, many swimming pool supply stores offer free water sample testing at their stores. 

The amount of liquid chlorine bleach that is needed for proper sanitization of the pool depends on the liquid chlorine bleach demand or chlorine demand of the swimming pool water.  The amount of acid to be used for pH adjustment is dependent on the pH of the pool water.

Examples of acids used in swimming pools are muriatic acid or non-fuming acid. Typically, these swimming pool acids are sold at swimming pool supply stores in one gallon plastic jugs.

For outdoor swimming pools, cyanuric acid (usually called 'stabilizer') is sometimes used to help prevent sunlight from decreasing the effectiveness of chlorine as a sanitizer.  The ultraviolet portion of sunlight reduces the effectiveness of chlorine and cyanuric acid reduces ultraviolet light’s reaction with chlorine.

The pH and chlorine levels in a swimming pool must be regularly checked in order to maintain a clear, sanitized swimming pool.  Many simple to use, hand-held, at-home testing kits are available to measure pH and chlorine levels.  Alternatively, many swimming pool supply stores offer free water sample testing at their stores.

In the event the swimming pool water has a pH that is too low, it will be necessary to raise the pH to the acceptable range.  Low pH in a swimming pool is usually due to low alkalinity in the pool water or the addition of too much acid.  'Alkalinity increaser', which is a base material commonly referred to as baking soda, is used for raising the pool water pH. (7) Alkalinity increaser is sold at swimming pool supply stores.

In general, when using liquid chlorine bleach to regularly chlorinate your swimming pool water, the only other chemicals required are an acid to lower the pH or alkalinity increaser to raise the pH – usually, on an as-needed “occasional” basis, at low cost.

Liquid Chlorine Bleach:   Maintenance Requirements       Long Term Costs

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