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Alkalinity: What is it and why is it important for you pool?

If you have ever had your pool water tested by a professional retailer, you will have noticed that there were a few key components that when balanced properly can help maintain your pool and keep it sparkling clear. Although each aspect is important in their own way, there is one that we have found to produce some of the most negative effects when neglected: your total alkalinity (TA) levels.

Now obviously your sanitizer (either chlorine or possible bromine) is very important. It keeps the pool clear, and stops the growth of unwanted algae. But you may be shocked to hear that your alkalinity level can have just as much effect on both of these aspects as your chlorine does!

Alkalinity is basically the term used to explain how acidic or basic your pool water is. When your alkalinity levels read low, your pool is acidic. When water becomes too acidic, it can become corrosive, which in turn puts your pool liner and pool equipment at risk. Consistently low levels of alkalinity have been known to cause corrosion in pool heaters in as little as a few months. Not to scare you, this is a rare case of very low alkalinity levels that are never adjusted. But in general, keeping the alkalinity levels in proper range can also lead to a more comfortable swim (think no more itchy eyes after you get out of the pool). An alkalinity increaser product, such as Mursatt Chemical’s ‘Buffer’, will help bring your water levels from acidic up into the proper range.

On the other side of things, when alkalinity levels are extremely high, the water is more basic. High alkalinity levels will hinder the effects of the sanitizer in your pool making it more difficult to keep your water algae free. Muriatic acid, or a dry acid powder will help bring down your alkalinity levels to a range that has been found to be most helpful in making your sanitizer as effective as it can be.

So, the moral of the alkalinity story is, if you get yourself on a regular maintenance schedule and spend a little bit on the appropriate chemicals from the start you can help save yourself the headache and the money later on down the road!

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