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The term "balance" refers to keeping a few key vital signs in a particular range. The "vitals" to look at weekly are alkalinity, pH and chlorine levels. Just test your water once a week with a reliable test kit and keep those key readings in the proper range.
This is the heart of your pool chemistry and anchors all the chemicals. Test for alkalinity first. It's measured in "parts per million" and your goal is to keep it between 80 and 120 ppm.
This is the power of hydrogen and determines how comfortable swimmers are in the water. PH is measured on a scale of 0 -14. A reading of 7.0 is neutral. Your target range is 7.2 to 7.8, the Ideal pH is 7.4 to 7.6.
Sanitizers control the growth of bacteria and algae. Keep enough in the pool water and you'll have fewer problems. The most common sanitizer is chlorine. It's also measured in "parts per million" and your target is 1.0 to 3.0 ppm.
Keep these chemicals in their proper range and you'll avoid most water problems. Experts recommend testing other chemicals at least once per quarter. Take a water sample into your pool supply retailer and let them test it for stabilization, calcium (hardness) and total dissolved solids. A professional retailer can help you keep these areas in balance as well.
Don't chase the "bounce." Make adjustments slowly and give them a few days to take effect. Chemicals have an impact on each other and you need to give them some time to "settle."