Alkalinity and hardness are two fundamental parameters involved in the balance of your water and therefore, the quality of your swimming. They guarantee stable water for the pool and the swimmers.
In general, we are mainly talking about pH and chlorine levels. However, other parameters also come into play in the proper management of your pool or spa.
Alkalinity, or Total Alkalinity Titer (TAC), is the concentration of carbonate and bicarbonate ions in water. The alkalinity of the water acts as a buffer to the pH of the water. If the alkalinity of the water is too low, then the pH will be unstable. Therefore, it is very important to control it.
Hardness or Total Hardness (TH), is determined by the concentration of calcium and magnesium in the water. A very high TH corresponds to calcareous water which can damage the filtration system, particularly, the filter and the piping. Conversely, water that is too soft can be aggressive for the installations, surfaces, joints, and pipes of your pool.
How to Measure and Balance These Parameters
Both of these parameters can be measured using the colorimetric tabs. Alkalinity and hardness values are expressed in ppm (parts per million).
The recommended alkalinity for swimming pool water is between 80 and 120 ppm. In order to increase the alkalinity of your water, it will be necessary to add Alkalinity Booster which is available here.
The ideal hardness is between 250 and 450 ppm. In order to increase the hardness of your water, it will be necessary to add Calcium Increaser also known as hardness enhancer available here.
Once alkalinity and hardness are balanced, the pH must be adjusted in order to allow effective disinfection. To do this, go to our article dedicated to the pH of your water.