Why is Pool Water Alkalinity Important in Outdoor Spa Sydney?

recreational poolHere are a handful of factors that can affect the alkalinity of the water in your outdoor spa. If you own this kind of recreational pool, you must be aware of this. While recreational pool water chemistry can appear frightening at times, understanding a few fundamental principles can help build your confidence in managing it yourself and ensure everyone in your household is safe and is going to have an enjoyable pool season.

Total Alkalinity, or TA, is a word that pool owners should be familiar with as part of their monthly 4 person spa maintenance. TA is a measure of the pool or spa water’s resistance to pH fluctuations. Total alkalinity is proportional to pH and determines the ability of the pool equipment (in this case, a swim spa) to neutralize acids. In the right range, between 80 ppm all the way up to 150 ppm, TA can significantly help in maintaining a constant pH level.

The TA works as control or buffer. It helps to ensure that your pool water pH remains within the appropriate range. If the TA is way below accepted levels (low alkalinity), it runs the risk of causing pH levels to fluctuate or “bounce”. If such a scenario takes place, it will be detrimental to the water chemistry balance, eventually setting the stage for pool water issues to occur. 

This helps us see the importance of water testing in recreational pool equipment like four-person spas and outdoor-type pool spas. It is an integral part of a pool equipment’s monthly maintenance regimen. 

The ideal levels for TA are anywhere between 80 and 120 parts per million (parts per million). If it comes to your attention that your pool water’s chemistry is out of balance following its water testing, it is imperative that you address the issue before everything else. Subsequently, you can address the pH if necessary.

When the alkalinity level is so low,

If your swim spa pool water total alkalinity is lower than the standard range, the pH runs the risk of changing dramatically with the introduction of a small amount of acid or base. 

The pool water pH measurement decreases at random. If such a scenario takes place, it can cause your pool’s metal fixtures to undergo premature corrosion, staining, or etching of the pool walls. Household members who take a dip in your outdoor spa will also complain about itchy skin and stinging eyes. 

When the alkalinity level is so high,

One of the drawbacks of having an extremely high TA level is that it makes the adjustment of pH extremely difficult. 

High pH causes your pool equipment water to have a cloudy appearance. It also induces scale build-up on pool walls, making your chlorine become ineffective as a sterilizing agent. 

pool maintenance

In addition, your testing will also reveal if the pool needs acid regularly. The use of acid in the pool is a technique to help pull down total alkalinity, but the procedure might take weeks to show positive results and is best managed by an experienced pool caretaker.

It is extremely important to balance alkalinity, or else this can lead to serious repercussions, including damage to your outdoor spa sydney equipment.

Symptoms or complications associated with low TA include the following:

  • Fluctuation of pH levels
  • Pool/spa surface etching or discoloration
  • Premature corrosion of the pool’s components and mechanical system.
  • Wrinkles in the pool liner.

Symptoms or complications associated with elevated TA include the following:

  • Scale development 
  • Cloudy water
  • Difficulty changing pH level/drifts upward

How to Tell When Your Swim Spa Is Just Too Old to Repair, According to a Pool and Spa Warehouse Manager?

swim spaSwim spas are designed to last a very long time. But we are not asserting you can have them in perpetuity, though. Like everything else, from the words of pool and spa warehouse managers themselves, swim spas and similar pool equipment are susceptible to the usual wear and tear, too. 

This brings us to this important question here now, how do we know that our swim spa is in dire need of a fix or repair? When is the best time to have a pool technician in and have a look at it? 

 The rule of thumb here is, your swim spa is just way too old to be repaired if it necessitates a handful of fixes and repairs. Does your pool equipment have any major leak? Did your attention fail to notice that shell crack on your swim spa but now has escalated to a major structural concern? 

 If your pool equipment or swim spa is suffering simultaneously from 2 or more of the said issues, the course of action to take is to have it replaced instead right away. 

 Slight or minor leakages triggered by a damaged seal or gasket can still get fixed, but if the leak in question is draining your swim spa way faster than it could fill to the brim, it is another story altogether. Bear in mind that trying to figure out where could be the possible source of the leak is enough of a problem already. 

If your pool equipment has a broken shell or now comes with a shattered frame, situations are bound to become a little more complex and difficult.

A busted shell generally requires a total revamp, and even then, there is no surefire assurance that you can get your swim spa back to its former glory and working condition anytime soon. 

In a similar vein, if your swim spa frame is damaged or cracked, there is no other way to go but to replace it.

Replacement parts are no longer available because they’ve all been phased out. 

If finding replacement parts for your pool equipment becomes a bit of a challenge, take that as a clue that your swim spa may just be too old to keep. Generally, pool equipment like a swim spa can be expected to last anywhere between 10 to 15 years max.

Now, due to advances in technology and engineering, there are a handful of swim spa models that are unveiled every couple of years. This is the reason why some pool spa models become obsolete after a few years’ time. 

swimming pool

The cost of getting your swim spa fixed is more expensive than getting yourself a new one. 

 Seeing that swim spa are a major financial investment, it is normal to feel that it is a tough call decision of whether you are going for some repairs or if you are going to buy a new unit instead. This is the best time to let the numbers do the talking for you.  

Sit down and determine how much it might cost you to get your old pool equipment or swim spa fixed versus buying/acquiring a brand new one.

Determine if a newer and more updated model can save you money in the long run by virtue of minimal maintenance costs, with power-saving features, and, lastly, but more importantly, a better warranty offer.

 Garner your data based on the criterion indicated above and from there come up with a decision based on your findings.  

Your pool equipment is a decade old, then you need to be ready for an upgrade. 

 As mentioned earlier, newly unveiled swim spa equipment on the market is far better designed and comes packed with sanitary and energy-saving capabilities. Such features can save you money in the long run.

 According to the majority of pool and spa warehouse managers we talked to before, if your swim spa is decade-old pool equipment with persisting problems, take that as a telltale sign that it is indeed nearing the expiration of its useful life. Soon enough, you need to retire your pool spa and look for a better and upgraded version instead.