The pH level is a major factor when it comes to pool chemistry and needs to be properly balanced at all times. It is one of the most important levels and should be tested at least every day in your pool water.
What is pH? It is the measurement of acidity in the pool water on a scale from 0 to 14. pH level needs to be neutral which is between 7.2 and 7.6. But what makes pH so important? When the pH levels are off either low or high they can do major damage to your pool surface, equipment and the effects of your chlorine.
If the pH level is too low the water becomes too acidic. Pool water that is too acidic begins to dissolve the surface of the pool, corrode metal and effect chlorine levels. The dissolving pool surface not only cause headaches it creates rough patches on the pool surface. It cost a lot of money to fix pool surfaces and it allows algae to grow easily in the damaged areas.
Low pH levels affect the metals in your pool. This includes pool equipment, ladders, pipe fitting, pumps, heater, salt generators and more. And these metals will form sulphates in the pool causing ugly brown/black stains to the pool surface. Also if the pH is too low and the water is too acidic, the chlorine is dissipated quickly leaving the water unsanitized and unsafe to swim.
High levels of pH in the water becomes too alkaline. Now when the pool water is too alkaline the water becomes too cloudy while causing a high demand of chlorine. The disinfecting portion of the chlorine is lost meaning you will need so much more chlorine to provide the right amount of disinfectant to make your pool water safe to swim in and keep it safe from contamination.
Also high level of pH will cause the calcium in the water to combine with carbonates and will form scales at the waterline. The scales will trap dust and dirt causing stains over time. If you have a sand filter, high pH levels will affect them. With sand filters the buildup of calcium carbonate will plate out the sand in the filter turning the sand into cement. The sand filter will lose its ability to trap and filter dirt and debris from the pool water.
It does not take long for low and high pH levels to take affect of the water and begin its damage on your pool, equipment, surfacing and disinfectant. That is why it is recommended to test pH levels at least daily.