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A safe swimming pool is a chemically balanced pool. Proper water chemistry kills disease-causing bacteria and germs, making your pool safe and comfortable to swim in. If the water is unbalanced, it could also corrode the elements in your pool, such as the ladder, handrail, filter system, and even the pool liner.

The problem is that pool water chemistry tends to get thrown out of balance because of environmental factors and the dirt from swimmers. With that, one of the most important things you need to learn as a pool owner is how to balance your pool water.

City Wide Pool Service, a local swimming pool cleaning service in Las Vegas, shares this guide to pool water balancing to help you learn the basics.

pH Level

pH refers to the acidity or baseness of your pool water. Keeping the water’s pH level within the proper range — 7.2 to 7.8 — is important for swimming comfort. If your pool is too acidic or basic, it could cloud the water and cause skin, eye, and nose irritations.

You can buy a pool test kit to measure the water’s pH level. This test kit also measures your pool’s total alkalinity and calcium hardness, which we will discuss later.

After testing your pool’s pH level, you’ll have to add the right chemicals depending on the reading you’ll get. Reducers like muriatic acid or dry acid are used if your pH is too high. But if the reading is too low, then you need to raise the pH using either baking soda or soda ash.

Total Alkalinity

Total alkalinity (TA) refers to how much alkaline is in the water, which is dependent on your pool’s pH level. Too high pH levels mean that the water is too alkaline and can cause health problems for the swimmer.

The ideal TA level for pools ranges from 80 to 100 ppm. If you need to lower or raise your pool’s TA level, you can use the same methods for adjusting the pH.

person testing pool water

Total Dissolved Solids

Total dissolved solids (TDS) measures the amount of things that have dissolved in your pool. This includes everything that goes into your pool, from minerals and chemicals to dirt, pollen, and even bodily wastes.

Your pool’s TDS level should stay somewhere between 500 and 2500 ppm. You can drain a portion of the water then refill it with fresh water if it’s above that.

Calcium Hardness

Calcium can build up in your pool when the water is too alkaline. The high pH level causes calcium carbonate to separate from the water and stick to the tiles. To prevent this, you need to measure your calcium hardness level at least once a month.

The recommended calcium hardness level ranges from 200 to 400 ppm. You can increase your calcium hardness by adding calcium chloride. Simply follow the instructions on the label. If the reading is too high, you can reduce it by replacing a portion of your pool water with fresh water.


Stabilizers are added to pools to keep the chlorine from breaking down due to overexposure to the sun’s UV rays. However, you can’t add too much because it might dilute the chlorine.

The normal stabilizer range is between 40 to 100 ppm. If it’s too low, you can simply add more stabilizer. But if there’s too much stabilizer in your pool, you’ll need to drain the water then refill it with unsaturated water.

Keeping Your Pool Chemically Balanced

Balancing your pool’s chemistry can be a bit challenging at first, but it’s a task you can quickly get used to. Once you become familiar with your pool and the conditions that affect its water chemistry, it’ll be easier to balance its chemicals.

If you don’t have the time to keep an eye on your pool yourself, you can hire pool maintenance services instead. City Wide Pool Service provides swimming pool repair and maintenance services in Las Vegas, making upkeep easier for commercial and residential pool owners.

We follow a 7-step cleaning process that ensures a safe, comfortable swimming experience for you and your guests.

For inquiries, contact us at 702-873-2989. Fill out our online form to get an estimate on our maintenance services.

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