One of the most important steps in maintaining your pool is to ensure that the pH is at a safe, balanced level. The pH measures the concentration of hydrogen ion in the pool water and is scaled from zero to 14. Optimum pH levels are between 7.2 and 7.6 -- lower levels indicate your water is too acidic, while higher levels indicate the water is too basic. Balancing the pH involves adding chemicals to your pool water.
Follow the directions in your pH test kit to test the pH level of your pool's water. Test kits are available at any pool supply store and come with a chart to help you determine your water's pH.
Evaluate the results. If the pH level is low (7 or below) you will need to balance the pH by raising it -- this requires the use of soda ash. If the pH is high -- above 8 -- it can be balanced by adding muriatic acid.
Turn on your swimming pool pump.
Add the necessary chemicals according to the current pH level and the volume of your pool. Chemicals normally have detailed instructions -- if they do not, refer to the chart at deh.enr.state.nc.us/ehs/chem.htm.
Allow the water to circulate through the pump for several minutes, effectively dispersing the chemicals through the water. Re-test, using your pH test kit as described in step 1. Repeat step 4 if the pH level is not between the optimum levels of 7.2 and 7.8.
Test your pool's pH every other day and adjust as needed to ensure the pH remains balanced.