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the 4 step system

The Aqua Chem 4 Step System is the best way to maintain sparkling blue swimming pool water and prevent problems before they start: ​ 1) Balance, 2) Chlorinate, 3) Shock, 4) Algaecide. ​ When combined with regular water testing, you'll save time and money by avoiding costly problems.


A properly balanced pool means your pool water has the proper pH level, total alkalinity, calcium hardness levels, and is stabilized.
The Benefits of Balancing

Proper balancing helps your chemicals such as chlorine to work more effectively, saving you money by reducing the amount of product you need over time. ​ It is also a more comfortable experience for swimmers because properly balanced water reduces the potential of unpleasant odor, burning eyes and itchy skin. ​ Balanced water also extends equipment life and scale build up.

  • Prevents disease
  • More comfortable to swim
  • Reduces unpleasant odors
  • Reduces eye irritation and itchy skin
  • Prevents equipment corrosion
  • Reduces scale build up
When to Balance

When any of the three levels (pH, total alkalinity and calcium or total hardness) are outside their correct ranges, it's necessary to balance. ​ Test your pool water with Aqua Chem's 6-Way Test strips or Aqua Chem’s Smart Strips to get complete analysis of your water. ​ As a general rule, you should test your pool's pH twice-a-week and total alkalinity and calcium (total) hardness monthly. ​ ​ Refer to the instructions on the test strip bottle for the correct levels.

The 3 Levels to Balance
  1. Total Alkalinity (TA) – This is the ability of your water to resist changes in the pH. While it’s not the same as pH, proper total alkalinity does help to keep pH stabilized. Low TA in your pool makes your pH level sensitive to change and pH levels will swing drastically. ​ Think of TA as a buffer for your pH and help you lock into the proper range. ​ Too much TA will contribute to a higher pH with the possibility of cloudy water and scaling.
  2. pH​ - pH is a basic measure of acidity or basicity in your water and one of the most important factors in balancing your pool properly. ​ The ideal pool environment will measure 7.5 on a scale of 0 to 14. ​ The acceptable range of your water should be between 7.2 to 7.6. ​ Everything that is introduced to your water will impact the pH to include swimmers, rain, chemicals, pets, etc. ​ Testing bi-weekly is a must to meet the demands placed on your water balance.
  3. Calcium or Total Hardness​ - "Hard" water has to do with the amount of calcium and magnesium in your source water and those levels can vary throughout the country. ​ No matter where you live, calcium and magnesium are left behind as your pool water evaporates and that increases water hardness. ​ This is important for a few different reasons, all of which, will cost you money in the long run. ​ Low calcium hardness will etch your pool surface, is corrosive to metals, will stain surface walls, and can contribute to heater failure. ​ High calcium hardness is equally bad as it will clog your filter, cloud your water, possibly make your pool surface rough, clog heater elements, and contribute to eye/skin irritation. ​ Testing when you open your pool and monthly thereafter is perfectly fine.

Fun Fact​ – Your eyes prefer a perfect pH of 7.5. ​ Those red eyes are not an indication of too much chlorine, but an unbalanced pool!

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