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