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The Importance of Balanced Water

Check Your Water Chemistry

Improperly balanced pool water can cause many problems including:

  • Cloudy water
  • Surface staining
  • Metal corrosion inside pool equipment
  • Skin and eye irritation
  • Wrinkles in vinyl liner pools
  • Pitting and corrosion of concrete and gunite pools
  • Scale buildup on pool surface and inside equipment

For your reference, we at Improved Pool Service provide the following lists, which show the ideal ranges that should be kept for your swimming pool to remain at its best. Contact us today to book our pool maintenance and repair services, which we offer to customers in and around Hunterdon County, New Jersey. 


  • Ideal range: 1.0 - 3.0
  • Free chlorine measures the unused, still effective chlorine in the water
  • Chlorine sanitizes the water and helps prevent the growth of algae and bacteria
  • Chlorine is available in many forms such as tablets, sticks and powder
  • Salt water pools use electrolysis to convert salt into chlorine


  • Ideal range: 80 - 120 ppm
  • Measures dissolved alkaline materials in the water
  • Proper alkalinity levels help the pH remain constant
  • Low alkalinity can cause pH bounce where the pH levels fluctuate in and out of range
  • High alkalinity indicates hard water and can result in cloudiness


  • Ideal range: 200 - 300 ppm
  • Calcium hardness measures dissolved minerals in the water
  • High calcium hardness causes cloudy water and scale buildup
  • Low calcium hardness causes corrosion of pool equipment and surfaces
  • High calcium hardness can also cause eye irritation


  • Ideal range: 7.2 - 7.6
  • pH measures the acidity of swimming pool water and is measured on a scale of 1 to 14. 7 indicates a neutral pH, lower than 7 indicates acidic water, above 7.8 is very basic/alkaline
  • pH levels can shift rapidly due to rain, fresh water, swimmer waste and other added chemicals
  • An ideal pH level is required for other chemicals to work properly. For instance, chlorine effectiveness drops drastically the higher the pH. Chlorine is only 20-25% effective at a pH of 8
  • Incorrect pH levels can damage vinyl liners. High pH greatly lowers life expectancy and causes premature aging. Low pH can result in liner wrinkles. A liner replacement costs on average $2000 - $5000!


  • Ideal range: 35 - 60 ppm
  • Also known as cyanuric acid
  • Extends the life of chlorine up to 3.5x by protecting it from the sun
  • Chlorine is able to stay in the water until needed to fight off bacteria, algae, etc.
  • Chlorine products such as tablets that are marked "stabilized" contain some cyanuric acid
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