Start Here. Enviroswim Water Balance Troubleshooting Checklist


Enviroswim has very few checks & balances when compared to a conventional pool. The following test should be completed at regular intervals throughout the year, even winter! Before contacting us with an issue please make sure your pool water balance is within our required parameters.

A simple alkalinity and pH test kit can be purchased from Bunnings or a Pool Shop. We recommend you get a 4 in 1 reagent type test kit rather than the test strips and do the test yourself by the pool. The test is simple to do and takes far less time than driving to the Pool Shop.

Recommended operating levels:

pH: 7.0 - 7.5  (Ideal 7.2) avoid operating pH above 7.5 for prolonged periods

Calcium Hardness: 175 - 250 ppm  (ideal 200ppm)

Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) or conductivity  1000 - 1500PPM

Alkalinity: 80 - 130 ppm 

Copper level: 0.2 - 0.4 ppm Ideal 0.3 ppm

Oxidiser: Oxidiser Recommended level 0.5ppm

The Oxidiser level can be tested using a standard pool chlorine test kit.

Note: A chlorine test kit reads the "Redox" or "Oxidiser potential” of the water, which may be a combination of chlorine, oxygen and other Oxidisers present in the water.

In normal pool operating circumstance the oxidiser knob should be set to MAX to help minimise pump run time and power costs. Reducing the oxidiser output would result in longer daily run time and increased power costs to get the same oxidiser output.   If a pool blanket is used for extended periods of time the output may need to be reduced, to assist with reducing oxidiser build up. Similarly, if the daily run times are extended over and above our recommendations the oxidiser output may need to be reduced to compensate and avoid high oxidation levels. If using a blanket please remove the blanket once a week to let gases from your pool water escape to atmosphere.

Note: adjusting the oxidiser output has no relevance to copper output. Copper output is adjusted by the ioniser knob. 

Note: Scale build up is normally associated with pH operating at higher levels than recommended. If scale is allowed to accumulate on the oxidiser plates it will eventually cause damage and can cause plates to disintegrate. This will void any warranty on the oxidiser plates.

Testing procedure: Total Alkalinity, pH Level & Copper Tests. IN THAT ORDER!!!

1. Total Alkalinity level

In order to prevent pH bounce & fluctuation the total alkalinity level should be maintained between 80 – 130 parts per million.(ppm) to help buffer pH levels. Once the level drops below 80 ppm Sodium Bicarbonate (buffer) should be added to the pool to raise the level back above 80 ppm  (see operating manuals)

Always balance the total alkalinity (TA) level first. The reason for this is that the day that you add sodium bi-carbonate to increase the TA it will also push the pH to around 8.2 regardless of what the pool pH is at the time of adding the buffer. Once the bi-carbonate has fully dissolved (next day) you should reset/lower the pH by adding acid. If you don't follow this order you will simply be chasing your tail and wasting money.

Over time the TA will gradually decrease (burn out) as acid is regularly added to keep the pH within required parameters. Once to TA drops below 80 the process of adding bi-carb is repeated. This is important routine maintenance with any pool system. i.e.  most pools experience pH rise and require acid to be added frequently to ensure the sanitiser is effective.  The cost vs. benefits of maintaining a good pH balance should not be underestimated. Most pool issues are associated with poor water balance.

2. pH level

Once the TA levels is correct and the sodium bi-carbonate has had a day to fully dissolve you can rebalance the pH level by adding acid to drop the pH level down to 7.1 – 7.4 range  (see operating manuals)

Important: When using an automatic pH controller it is important to check the calibration weekly using a manual test kit for a comparison. Auto controllers need regular calibration checks and sensor cleaning. Feedback has shown us that many issues are attributed to poor pH control due to calibration and relying on the controller readout. Good pH balance is a major factor for pool sanitiser efficiency and bather comfort.

3. Copper test

Make sure the pool pH levels has remained below 7.5 for 8 hours prior to conducting a copper test to ensure an accurate reading then make any required adjustment to the ioniser output control knob to raise or lower copper production. Once the setting point is found for your pool it usually only requires seasonal adjustments.

Tip: if a copper test is taken when the pH is high it will result in a false reading (lower than actual level) which can allow the copper levels to become higher than required.

Tip: Running a high pH can also cause scaling & staining on the pool surface and make the water uncomfortable to swim in. Warning: Operating high copper and or high pH levels can damage and shorten the life of the oxidiser plates 

IMPORTANT. All sanitisers including Enviroswim become ineffective as the pH rises. The following extract from NSW Health Dept shows how quickly Chlorine loses its effectiveness as the pH rises. Enviroswims oxidiser, copper & silver also lose their sanitising effectiveness as the pH rises.

The disinfectant power of Free Chlorine is relative to the pH of the water. As pH increases, the chlorine becomes less effective.  As pH decreases, the chlorine becomes more effective.


pH Effectiveness of Free Chlorine
6.0 97%
7.0 75%
7.2 63%
7.5 49%
7.6 39%
7.8 28%
8.0 3%

Source: NSW Health Advisory Dec 2012


Tip: the closer the pH is to neutral the more effective the system becomes and the more comfortable the water is for bathers. To avoid corrosion the pH should not be allowed to operate below 7.0 (acidic) for extended periods. 

Calcium Hardness (CH) Test.

Pool water low in calcium will draw calcium from the pool surface and can cause irreversible erosion damage to rendered pool surfaces such as pebble crete and plaster. Some sources suggest low calcium levels can also damage fibreglass or pools with vinyl liner finish so we advise owners of these pools to check and maintain calcium levels.  A calcium hardness test should be done at least four times a year to ensure the pool water calcium level is 175ppm – 250ppm. If the level is low, calcium chloride will need to be added to the pool.

Fibreglass Pools – Calcium Hardness & pH are important.

There is a tendency by some in the industry to ignore calcium hardness levels in Fibreglass Pools. Maintaining a calcium residual between 180 - 250 is recommended in plaster and cement based pool in order to protect the pool surface from erosion as water low in calcium will hunt/etch it from the pool surface material causing irreparable damage over time.

Less known is the importance of maintaining calcium residual in fibreglass pools to prevent plating on the gel coat which can translate to a white calcium silicate buildup. Unlike calcium carbonate, calcium silicate is very difficult to remove and usually requires a mild cut and polish to re-expose the gel coat. There is a lot of information on the internet regarding this and we don’t profess to be experts on the subject, but do advise that fibreglass pools are correctly balanced. In this respect unless the pool supplier recommends otherwise we would advise owners and/or their pool service companies to follow the the Langlier Saturation Index  (LSI) which is a method for determining the scale forming potential of water. See LSI article on the knowledge base section of this site.

Likewise pH balance is important to protect gel coat and manufacturers warranty. Operating a high pH for prolonged periods should be avoided as we are told it can contribute to gel coat fading.


Total dissolved solids (TDS)

For ideal operation Enviroswim requires a TDS level of between 1000 and 1500 ppm to provide conductivity for its electronic processes.  If the oxidiser display reading fails to reach “15” when the oxidiser knob is set to max the issue is most likely low TDS/conductivity. To increase TDS, refer to manuals.  

If your pool water is hard and high in calcium the Langlier Saturatuion Index (LSI) is a method for determining the scale forming potential of water. Some pool shops will calculate this index for you otherwise there are online calculators.

Summery: Poor water balance is the most common problem and can cause knock on issues like staining & scaling of cell plates and flow sensors. If you are experiencing issues with your pool please check the balance before contacting us.

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