You may have never been informed of the damages that pool water can create when the water is NOT in balance however their are damage that you can see and damage that you may not see. Water chemistry is the one of the main factors in pool care and for maintaining a pools appearance. Proper water chemistry includes balancing the levels of chlorine, pH, calcium hardness and total alkalinity. When total alkalinity is not in balance, it can affect pH levels. When total alkalinity is too low and is not treated, it can cause permanent damage to the pool liner on the floor.
What is the total alkalinity?
Total alkalinity for your pool serves as a buffer for the pH levels in your pool. Alkalinity levels ideal for your pool should be between 80 and 120 ppm (parts per million). Alkalinity serves as a stabilizer for pH levels. If the total alkalinity is low pH levels fluctuate greatly, which can further damage the water chemistry. Alkalinity and pH go together, but are separated from the water chemistry issues. If alkalinity is stabilized, the pH will most likely remain in balance too.
Causes of low alkalinity
The first time you fill your pool, the alkalinity is very likely have to be raised. This is the precise reason for balancing alkalinity levels before adding any other chemical. The causes of a low alkalinity in a pool are lack of sanitizer such as chlorine, excessive amounts of rainwater ( i.e. dilution) Also frequent swimming can also affect alkalinity when body oils such as sweat, urine or saliva are present in the pool water. Not only will low alkalinity potentially damage the liner it can also cause damage that you don’t see. On the flip side is alkalinity is high it can create a scale. Not only is this unsightly but it can be totally avoided.
Low alkalinity and damage to the liner in the pool
As the total alkalinity levels fall, the pH will drop and very probably cause a wide range of problems in your pool. One problem is damage to the vinyl siding of your pool. Low alkalinity can be corrosive water that can cause wrinkles, age spots, and even extending cracks in the pool liner. If the coating cracks as a result of low alkalinity, you have to drain the pool and replace the liner. Liner replacements can be quite expensive and although at some point you will need to replace the liner, keep your alkalinity in check will not be the cause.
Your coating does not have to reach the point of wrinkle, crack or stain with proper maintenance of water. Using a test kit or test strips weekly to check water levels chemicals is a must. Bring a water sample to you pool professional and buy chemicals to increase alkalinity levels in your pool if necessary. Preventative maintenance goes a long way. Think about if you never changed the oil in your car….how long would it last?