Swimming pools
The Eight Components of Balanced Water on Swimming pool

The Eight Components of Balanced Water on Swimming pool

The Eight Components of Balanced Water on Swimming pool

Eight major elements determine whether your water’s chemical balance can be described as “balanced.” Knowing the specifics of each component and how they play into achieving balanced water is an important skill that all pool owners should have. These components will determine whether you should add chemicals to make your water more balanced and what those chemicals ought to be. Below I will explain each of these components in the order you must take care of them.

The elements of water that is well-balanced are:

  • Calcium Hardness
  • Alkalinity
  • pH
  • Cyanuric Acid
  • TDS = Total Dissolved Solids (TDS)
  • Phosphates
  • Chlorine
  • Temperature

The easiest method to grasp the chemical in question and how it affects the water balance is by using the dosing calculator. Orenda offers a wonderful tool for this on its website. Orenda has also produced excellent chemicals that are professional strength and are sold on this site.

I recommend that you keep an excel spreadsheet that has columns for your readings in chemistry and rows for any chemicals you have added to keep as a reference in the future.

There are a few items to be considered…

Your water that you fill with and what’s inside it. Understanding what you fill your pool with is as important to understand and be aware of as the other eight essential elements that make up balanced water. Knowing if the water is hard or soft will allow you to comprehend why your chemistry might or may not alter rapidly when you fill it with a large amount of water during summer. Be aware when you experience rainfall often, which could affect pH, alkalinity, and pH and the phosphates and iron in the water.

What are you using to treat shock and sanitizer? Knowing what type you choose is crucial as some are acidic and have cyanuric acid (stabilizer) and calcium. Salt-water salt-water pools have distinct balance issues that require a piece of completely different knowledge.

Calcium Harness

Calcium hardness determines whether water is hard and abrasive or hard and scaly. The ideal calcium hardness is 150 to 250 ppm, with the highest at 800 ppm. A hardness of less than 150 ppm is considered soft water. Anything over 400 ppm is thought to be hard water. Consider the hardness of a hungry beast. If it is starving, has an empty stomach, and weak hardness, it will consume something to nourish. It is looking for something digestible, like pool plaster, liners, and soft metals such as copper heat exchangers. If the animal has been fed too much, it gets heavy and is looking to shed some weight. It is called increasing. The hardness of calcium is quite steady and doesn’t alter drastically. It is affected most by water splash-out and using calcium hypochlorite chloride as a powder or granular form. If you have high calcium levels in your water supply, it is necessary to “compensate” with pH and alkalinity to ensure that your water is balanced.

Enhance the calcium hardness (if the water you drink is soft) by using the form of powder or granular that contains calcium chloride.

Reduce calcium hardness (if the water you use is difficult) by draining water out of the pool.

pH and alkalinity

Alkalinity refers to water’s ability to buffer acid. pH is the estimate of how acidic the water is. Together, pH and alkalinity are the only balance you’ll test and adjust frequently. Imagine the alkalinity beam as a balance beam and pH as the adjustments you adjust to each other to maintain it at a level. pH is measured using a scale ranging from zero to 14. From 0 to 7, it is the acidic side, and 7-14 is the fundamental side. The body’s natural chemical balance is around 7.2, 7.8 to 7.8. Your aim is to where the best chemicals function and ensure a balance is on the fundamental side. The ideal water alkalinity ranges from 100-120 ppm. It is important to keep the alkalinity of your water between 100 and 120 ppm. Once you’ve reached this range, staying in the range is easy if you test your chemistry frequently. The torrential rain can quickly change the alkalinity by replacing the water sprayed out.

The water shifts the balance towards more acidic sides when the pH falls below seven. You’re in danger if your alkalinity falls below 80 ppm and the pH is less than 7. When alkalinity declines, the ability of water to absorb acid diminishes. It would be best to boost the alkalinity to get the pH level back to normal. The more stable acidity will become when the alkalinity is back to the 100-120 ppm range. Don’t fall for the high pH accompanied by low alkalinity. It is essential to balance alkalinity before anything else.

A zone of danger!

Low calcium hardness and low alkalinity and pH make for a hungry beast. It will cause the plaster to become etched and liners, bleach the color of lines, and disintegrate the heat exchangers inside the heaters. Swimmers may complain of eye irritation and itchy skin. Stop the pool and let it cool down until you can get the water to a balanced state.

To learn more about ways to increase and decrease your pH and alkalinity levels, look at the article What to do To balance the pH of Your Pool’s Ph Level.

Cyanuric Acid/ Stabilizer

The recommended reading of Cyanuric Acid (CYA) is 30-50 ppm. Stabilizer shields chlorine from the sun. If stabilizer levels reach 100ppm, it may influence the alkalinity. If you have a stabilizer reading of 100 ppm and alkalinity of 100ppm, the actual Alkalinity level is 70ppm. Your test for alkalinity would show 100 ppm; however, it’s, in fact, 70ppm. It creates dangerous water. CYA, a stabilizer, is a hidden chemical found within stabilized chloride products, such as dichlor powder, trichlor tablets, and granular shocks. The notion that more stabilizers protect chlorine better is not true.

You need to remove the pool to decrease the amount of CYA or stabilizer. Hard water with high cyanuric acid levels signifies taking the pool out and starting fresh.

Total Dissolved Solids (TDS)

TDS, can also be known as Total Dissolved Solids, is all the “stuff” that dissolves in the solution. Although calcium is the major component, organics, inorganics, sanitizer, cyanuric acid, and phosphates are also contributors. A lower TDS lets your sanitizer function more efficiently. A high TDS could cause scaling that could block heaters. Imagine a room with ping-pong balls of different colors floating around, each one a different color chemical. Each moment you add something unique to the water, you will add more ping pong balls. In the end, balls collide in an attempt to move. If chlorine is one, but bacteria is a different color, the chlorine will have a harder time getting into the bacteria. There isn’t a perfect level for TDS; the most common is 1,500 ppm in the water. A high TDS combined with high calcium hardness and alkalinity makes the water extremely basic and hard. It can cause scaling forms on walls and tiles and may cause damage to heaters. The only way to improve the concern is to drain the swimming pool. There are no questions to be asked. Take it off.


There is a hypothesis that phosphate levels above 200ppm encourage algae growth. Since many fertilizers contain phosphates, they are believed to be the food source for algae. Eliminating phosphates can eliminate the food supply, so algae will cease to exist. Phosphates could be present in your water source, especially if you reside in a rural area and use water from a well to fill your swimming pool. Another cause is runoff from lawns and planters because of the heavy rainfall. Phosphates can be easily managed with a phosphate remover. Orenda CV-700 is a phosphate removal agent and an enzyme that can help break down organics and eliminate phosphates. One dose can clear the phosphates from your swimming pool during the duration. Maintaining dosages throughout the year is a sensible option, particularly if you are experiencing phosphates coming back into the swimming pool.

For more information about this topic, please read the article below: Phosphates & Nitrates Stopping Growth of Algae Before it begins.


Although they are not on the list of balances, metals like copper, iron, and manganese are within your drinking water in the form of metal ions. Metal ions are metals that dissolve in a solution. When these ions mix, they create a solid released from the solution and stain surfaces. Metals can be held in solution using the treatment of metals, cheats, and sequestering agents. The overdose of sodium carbonate can trigger the accumulation of ions. It could lead to no metals in the solution because they merged and fell to the floor.


The ideal free chlorine level is between 3 and 5 ppm, with two being the minimum and ten being the highest. The effectiveness of chlorine can be enhanced or diminished by the numerous factors mentioned above. By ensuring that stabilizing factors like TDS and the calcium content are lower, chlorine can flow through the air of Ping-Pong balls effortlessly, eliminating bacteria and oxygenating organics and organics.

Chloramines or combined chlorine are a sign of ammonia in water. Chloramines can cause skin and eye irritation, particularly in the case of low pH. The product you choose to use as the sanitiser could affect the pH and alkalinity. The salt-water pool’s chemistry can increase the level of pH as well as alkalinity.

The pH can also have an impact on the killing power of chlorine. An acidity of 7.0 allows for around 80% of your sanitisers to be active and 20% to reserve. A pH of 8.0 means that your sanitiser is around 20% active, with an 80percent remaining reserve. Maintaining your pH higher, as well as adding milligrams of sanitiser, could provide a sufficient quantity of active soap as well as create the buffer to work. It won’t cause any negative reactions in your swimmers because the pH and alkalinity align with your body’s pH balance.

To lower chlorine levels, utilize the chlorine-reducing chemical sodium thiosulfate. It is not recommended unless having a concentration of more than 20ppm since it eliminates all chlorine.


Although bromine isn’t part of our eight essential elements of balanced water, it is worthy of mention because it is a great cleanser. Bromine is a great benefit not just in hot water applications, such as hot tubs and spas, but also in indoor pools. The ideal reading for bromine is 2.0 to 4.0 and 6.0 being the maximum. 6.0 is the most extreme.


Temperature isn’t a major element, but it’s important to consider when designing your pool, particularly for a spa. With an average high calcium content of around 200ppm, alkalinity of 100 ppm, and pH within the 8.0 to 7.1 interval, temperature ranging from 40 ° to 140 degrees, keep the balance within the parameters.

When the water temperature rises, the requirement for the disinfectant to eliminate bacteria and oxidize pollutants is increased. The more water is heated, the more people excrete sweat, body oils, dead skin, and lotions. It increases the requirement for the sanitiser you use when the water is warmer. In hot tubs and spas, this is especially true. After only 15 minutes of just two people in the pool, the average residential spa can experience an entire reduction in sanitiser if there is no way of continuously distributing sanitiser. When you think about how chlorine begins to release gas in the water at around 106 degrees, it is easy to understand why people complain about sour water, eyes that water, and itching skin.

Salt Water Pools

A unique balance problem characterizes salt-water salt-water systems. If the cells are activated, salt water flows between the plates in the form of sodium chloride (salt) is split into chlorine and chloride, as well as sodium hydroxide. The sodium hydroxide has an acidity of 13, which makes the water balance have a high pH and alkalinity. The owners of salt water pools will face keeping their pH and alkalinity at a low. Strategies to lower the alkalinity to 100ppm and keep it at a low level helps the system function efficiently. If the balance is allowed to be at high pH and alkalinity, sodium hydroxide is formed and is released on the floor of the pool as a powder or white flake. It causes cells to grow into scales and plugs.

Saltwater contributes to TDS; however, it’s an acceptable TDS since it’s sodium chloride, not garbage. The owners of salt-water pools need to subtract the salinity of the overall TDS measurement to figure out what the actual TDS truly is. The other targets for chemistry are in place for draining the pool.

Maintaining the salt content at the level recommended is crucial to the operation of salt filters. Salt reduction is only an outcome of splashing in or backwashing the filter.

Each of the elements listed above is important to the overall health of your drinking water. There is no need to be aware of what they are; you only need to take precise readings from your water and then plug these into an index calculation tool such as the one below by Orenda.

The most important things to be aware of are water hardness, TDS alkalinity pH, and stabilizer. The water harness doesn’t change fast, so taking a test once every few weeks could be ideal. Similar to TDS. It is fairly constant if you do not start dropping lots of things into your pool. The only variables left are pH, stabilizer, and alkalinity. I’ve provided the parameters for the stabilizer. It will rise with the type of cleanser you’re using. So, taking a test every two weeks will tell you your state. It is only changed when there’s a splash-out and backwashing or taking any water in the. It leaves pH and alkalinity. Two things to manage. Adjust pH first, and alkalinity will settle. Adjust pH using a little bicarbonate or acid, and you’ll drink great water! These dosages can be identified using a good test kit, such as the K-2005 Taylor and LaMotte Seven-Meter Testing Kit. A pool owner who is responsible for their pool must have. Owners of salt-water pools must be equipped with test strips to check their water each week.

Now you’re keen to get out and balance the pool’s water! However, you’re welcome to contact us if you have any concerns. We’re open to answering any questions you may have +971 4 340 7787.

Swimming Pool Equipment Suppliers in Abu Dhabi, Components of Balanced Water on Swimming pool



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