Importance of PH Level in a Salt Water Pool

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The PH in a swimming pool is a critical factor that not everyone takes into account. I remember a customer purchasing a liner for his inground pool a few years ago and during our conversation he mentioned that he uses chlorine tablets only and never checks his PH or does anything but put chlorine in the pool and the water is always clear. I dug into the facts a little deeper and found out he was replacing his liner after 8 years of ownership, while our average inground customer typically gets about 15 years out of a liner. Well, what this particular customer didn’t take into account is that chlorine tablets are acidic and our typical customer that has their water tested regularly will need to put in about 60 pounds of alkalinity increaser every year to keep their pool’s PH in the proper range. When the PH isn’t maintained and runs low the liner puckers, shrinks and gets brittle. Therefore it is the main reason why this particular customer was replacing the liner in 1/2 the amount of time that our average customer would. The disturbing reason why his water always stayed clear is that nothing would live in the water. The water’s PH was so low that algae and most bacteria couldn’t live in the water. I personally would not want to swim in this water, nor would I want anyone else to either.

The advantage of a salt system is that creates chlorine from salt and it does it at a higher PH than tablet chlorine. Generally if the pool’s PH is allowed to drift on a salt system, it should go higher rather than lower. This is good news for the liner, your eyes and the over all feel of the water. One shouldn’t allow the PH to drift high and keep it high. There can be adverse reactions to this as well. The most common thing we see is calcium scaling on the salt cell which can reduce the efficiency of the unit.

While salt systems are much easier to take care of and the adverse effect of neglecting the PH in a salt system is less than a chlorine pool, one should always monitor the PH. Your pool and your family will thank you for it!