pH is a measurement of hydrogen ions. As we know, the chemical formula for pure water is H20. What you may not know is that this formula can also be written as HOH. This is where a positive Hydrogen ion (H) binds with a negative Hydrogen ion (OH) and the two essentially cancel each other out, as pure water has both the properties of acids and bases in equal distribution. On a pH scale, this reads 7.0.
Drinking water, whether its from a tank or water mains, can have a varying pH reading, as the water binds with other chemicals and minerals, causing the water to be more basic or more acidic.
This is even more magnified in a small, chemically controlled body of water such as a pool, spa or swim spa. In this small, controlled environment, everything that enters the water can alter the pH. Adding incorrect doses of Crystal Waters pH and Total Alkalinity and other controlling products is the most common cause of extreme pH fluctuation. Also very commonly, different bathers’ natural oils and body fats can change the pH; as can any skin and hair care products they use. Environmental factors such as leaves, debris and rain water can contribute to some minor pH alterations as well. To a lesser extent, Crystal Waters Pool and Spa Solutions can alter pH levels, such as Sanitiser, Clarifier, Boost, Shine, and Miraclear. Our Crystal Waters products are relatively neutral compared to chlorine and salt based chemical systems, so this won’t cause as drastic changes in your pH level as other chemical systems can.
Having your pH level in the correct range is extremely important in pools, spas and swim spas.
pH is measured on a scale, with 7.0 being the neutral point for pure water. In a pool, spa or swim spa however, your water needs to read between 7.2 and 7.8 on the pH scale to ensure sanitiser efficiency, and prevent corrosion and skin and eye irritation.
Once your pH drops below 6.8 on the pH scale it becomes acidic. Acidic water is corrosive, so it can damage any pipes, jets or metal equipment it comes into contact with. It’s also usually soft and therefore lacking calcium.
Once your pH raises about 7.9, it begins to become more basic. This means it contains too many alkaline bases and can cause the water to develop scaly formations. Alkaline or basic water usually contains more metal ions which can be toxic and cause an odour, skin and eye irritation, and in rare cases, coughing and chest irritation, depending on just how high the pH is. A high pH can also be hard, which means it has too much calcium. Once pH gets above around 8.6, standard water tests won’t be able to tell you exactly how high the pH is, and will just read as 8.6. This could mean your water can reach a dangerous level, and you wouldn’t even know, if you don’t balance your water regularly. Generally, just having people in the pool or spa will raise the pH. This is much more prevalent in spas as the body of water is so small.
Always maintain a water balance of 7.2 – 7.8.
We recommend keeping a thorough record of all the readings and dosages required, so that you form a safe balancing routine, unique to your pool, spa or swim spa.
Please note that pH and Total Alkalinity work together, so adding the following products will alter both. Always balance Total Alkalinity first and pH second. If your Total Alkalinity is low, and your pH is high, and you’re using a Crystal Waters system, we recommend following our Spa Balancing Cheat Sheet and raising the Alkalinity up to around 200ppm before bringing both the Alkalinity and pH down together.
To keep your pH in balance, you’ll require the following products.
Crystal Waters Pool and Spa Solutions – pH and Alkalinity Enhancer for spas and swim spas, and Crystal Waters Pool and Spa Solutions – pH Buffer for pools, will raise your pH level.
Crystal Waters Pool and Spa Solutions – pH Reducer for spas, and Crystal Waters Pool and Spa Solutions – pH Down for pools and swim spas will lower your pH level.