pH is a measure of the acid or base condition of water. Technically it is the measurement of the concentration of hydrogen atoms in the water. The more hydrogen atoms there are, the lower the pH will be.
The pH scale runs from 0 to 14. 0 is acidic and 14 is basic. 7.0 is neutral and you want your pool and spa water to rest between 7.2 and 7.8 on that scale. A healthy human body is at 7.4 so it makes sense that you want your water to be in that range. The human eye sits a little lower between 7.0 and 7.3. The culprit for stinging eyes can be pinned on unbalanced pH.
When your pH drops below 7.2, the water can get corrosive. When the water is corrosive, bad things can happen. Your vinyl, plaster, pipes and other pool or spa equipment can be damaged. Plus the water will not be as comfortable to be in and there will be eye irritation.
When your pH rises above 7.8 bad things can also happen. Chlorine sanitizers are less effective and can’t kill the bacteria, algae and other micro-organisms as well. Your water can become cloudy and scale can form on any wet surfaces including the walls and your pool or spa equipment. You will also experience less comfortable water and eye irritation as you would with low pH.
You can use at home test strips to test your pH or you can bring in a sample of your water (elbow deep) to Nelson’s HomeTowne Recreation and we can test it for you. We have all the products you will need to have a perfectly balanced pool or spa.