Pool pH Balance, Pool Pump and Circulation, and Pool Filter Efficiency

Many pool owners struggle with maintaining water quality. It truly is not rocket science each pool has it’s own characteristics /intricacies based on the surrounding environment. So what the neighbor 10 doors down does, may not necessarily work for you.

Three Critical components that must be working cohesively in Nashville.


If the builder/installer was knowledgeable, the pump should of been matched to
circulate (turn-over) the entire volume of water in your pool a minimum of 2.5 times in a 24hr period.
(ideally 3 times) i.e. 20,000 gal pool – 20,000 gal. divided by 8 hrs = 2.5K gallons per hr. minimum pump volume capacity. Therefore the pump must be circulating 41.66 Gal Per Minute (GPM) minimum.
(1 hour- 2,500 gallons divided by 60 minutes = 41.66 GPM)

#2. POOL FILTRATION Efficiency (Filter):

Your filter must be matched to process/filter the volume of water your pump is pumping thru it, and it’s internal organs be functioning properly.

Matching to large a pump to a filter not design to handle the volume of water being pumped can damage internal parts, & put back pressure stress(restriction) on your pump causing premature failure. Further, your Filter needs to be cleaned periodically to maintain that flow. How do know when to clean it. Visually inspect your PSI/ Pressure gauge; PSI= Pounds per square inch) on the filter. Rule of thumb, when the Filter is new or just cleaned, note the PSI. When the PSI gauge reaches 8-10lbs pressure above the initial start-up PSI, it’s time to clean it. Alternatively, a seasoned Pool owner can identify this by visually looking at their Pool & see that the amount of water coming back into the pool (Thru the returns) is low or limited.


Bottom-line a Pool is a commitment & requires a certain amount of attention. You can have the worlds best Pump/Filter combo, but if chemicals are not maintained to standards, your only asking for headaches.

There are three primary chemical balances you should be concerned with.
A. Sanitizer / Chlorine – The ideal water sanitizer (chlorine/ or Chlor. alternative) comfort level is 1.0 to 1.5 PPM (Parts Per Million) to avoid eye/skin irritation. B. PH – Ideal PH level for a pool is in the 7.4 to 7.6 range, a little above (acidic) of PH neutral 7.0. C. TOTAL ALKALINITY (TA) – Alkalinity has a little more variable tolerance. Typically in the 80-120 range based on the type of surface your pool in lined with. TA’s primary purpose is to stabilize you PH to prevent what’s know as “PH Bounce”. (PH levels jumping up/down frequently & randomly). It also contributes to swimmer comfort & when maintained to 80-120 eliminates breakdown of metals & etching in gunite pools, and staining of surfaces.

In closing, My #1 advice for Pool owners? Pay $40-60 for a good test kit(not the dummy strips). It will last you 10-15 yrs. After 6 weeks using a quality Test Kit it will simplify your life, take the guessing out of what to add /when & how much to add. And, it’ll become 2nd nature & you will learn the intricacies of your pool chemical demands.