Pool Chemistry 101: Understanding pH

Pool Chemistry 101: Understanding pH


From Hayward Pools Blog

We’ve all probably heard of pH, whether it is in a shampoo commercial talking about the pH balance of the shampoo, or the local swimming pool service company telling you  that your pH is out of whack.   Do you really understand what pH is?  pH is short for Potenz Hydrogen (or the power of Hydrogen), or the measure of acidity or basicity in the water.  This blog from Hayward explains the pH scale, what it means, and how a fluctuating pH level can have serious consequences to your health, as well as the life of your swimming pool and its equipment.  

Here is an excerpt from the post:

pH is the most important factor in balancing water – we’re not kidding. It’s measured on a scale from 0 to 14, with 0 being the most acidic, 7 is neutral and 14 being alkaline. pH must be maintained in a narrow window (between 7.2 and 7.8) for it to be considered balanced.

High pH decreases the effectiveness of chlorine. When the pH is HIGH, water becomes alkaline creating a great environment where mineral deposits (scale) can form and chlorine becomes ineffective at killing bacteria and algae. When pH is LOW, the water becomes acidic or corrosive and can negatively impact your pool equipment. The secret to controlling pH lies in controlling the alkalinity. We’ll touch on alkalinity and other key chemistry factors in later PoolSide blog articles.

pH Recap

pH must be maintained between 7.2 and 7.8 for it to be considered balanced

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