Balance The Water Starting With Total Alkalanity
Balancing your water properly is a necessity for safe and healthy swimming. You can control the pH and chlorine levels in your water by first adjusting the Total Alkalinity.
If TA is too high, you can use Leslies Dry Acid to lower the levels to the ideal range. To lower the TA by 10 ppm, add 1.5 pounds of Leslies Dry Acid for every 10,000 gallons of water.
If TA is too low, add Leslies Alkalinity Up to increase it. Adding 1.5 pounds of Alkalinity Up will increase the TA of 10,000 gallons of water by 10 ppm. Wait at least 4 hours after adding Alkalinity Up before retesting the water.
Chemicals Are Vital For A Successful Pool Start Up
The chemicals for pool start up are really important for getting everything off on the right foot. Without doing this properly, your pool start up can turn into a lengthy ordeal.
However, to get this chemical balance right quickly, you need to have a clean pool. This cuts down on contaminates in your pool water and lets the chemicals work properly.
This can be a complicated job, which is why a lot of people use pool maintenance services for the start up and close down of their pools. This ensures your pool starts off right, and you can keep on top of chemical maintenance through the season.
Otherwise, you can sort the chemicals for pool start up yourself. However, it is going to take some precision and quite a few chemicals.
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Opening An Above Ground Pool
Its that wonderful time of year! The sun has returned, temperatures are seasonal and your above ground swimming pool beckons to be opened for Summer once again. Before you can invite the neighbourhood over for a swim and BBQ, there are a few things that will need to be done to ensure that your pump, filtration system and heater are running properly and the chemicals in your water are balanced. Doing this at the beginning of the season guarantees a full, uninterrupted summer of relaxation and fun for the whole family.
In this simple process you can have the opening procedures for your above-ground pool completed in just a couple of hours and if your chemicals are added correctly your family can be splashing around within just a couple of days.
Step 1) Remove your Winter Pool Cover
The first thing that you will need to do is remove all dirt and debris from the top of your Winter cover. It is best to do so when the cover is dry, which makes it easier to sweep away most of whatever has accumulated on top of it over the Winter. Failing that, you may wish to hose off your cover thoroughly, and then allow it to dry before folding it away for the Summer. Store the cover in a dry, rodent free storage area. Drain and rinse off your water bags before storing them.
Step 2) Prepare your Equipment & Accessories
Reinstall or re-assemble any pump, filter or other equipment, which was disassembled for the Winter.
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Get Your Water Tested
Be sure to circulate pool water 24 to 48 hours before taking a water sample. Use a clean plastic container, provided by your BioGuard Dealer, to scoop from elbow-depth about one quart of water. Seal the container and take it to your BioGuard Dealer for testing and analysis.
BioGuard pioneered the idea of computerized water analysis. Over the past 25 years, we have used our resources to research, develop and refine the science of water analysis. Today ALEX, our computerized water analysis system, provides accurate results almost instantly. You will receive personalized instructions for starting your pool with step-by-step instructions.
What Chemicals Do You Need To Open A Pool
Before you use any of these chemicals, be sure to shock your pool to burn off any organics that have accumulated during the winter. After 24 hours, bring a sample of your water to your local Latham professional.
You want to shock your pool and allow that to burn off before you use the chemicals below to treat your water.
- Algaecide: to get rid of the slimy stuff that turns your pool into a swamp
- Stain treatment: to combat any stains that have appeared over the winter
- pH increaser or decreaser
- Chlorine: in tablet or granular form to kill bacteria
- Shock treatment
- Test kit: to assess the calcium levels, alkalinity and pH
Learn more about pool chemicals in our water chemistry guide.
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Do A Shock Treatment And Clean The Pool
You need give your pool a shock treatment to disinfect the water. Let the pool sit for 24 hours after the treatment with the motor running.
To clean the pool, remove as many of the leaves from the surface and the bottom as you can using a skimmer net and vacuum . Empty the basket frequently. Use an appropriate degreasing agent to remove the water ring on the liner and wash the edges of your pool. When youre all done, do a light backwash.
Pool Water Chemical Levels
For the most accurate pool water testing, we recommend a titration test kit the Taylor K-2005 is the same test kit used by pool stores.
The ranges shown here are suitable for any pool surface or any type of pool sanitizer used.
Adjusting to the lower end of these ranges is best under most circumstances.
Step 2 – Add Stain & Scale and Clarifier: Before you shock the pool, which can disrupt other pool start up chemicals, add a Stain & Scale chemical to prevent staining by keeping minerals and metals locked tightly in solution. Follow up with a good pool clarifier, following label dosage information, to help your filter remove small suspended particles.
Step 3 – Filter the Pool! Run the filter overnight or for 6-8 hours to distribute water balance chemicals, and then backwash or clean the filter as needed, and empty the pump and skimmer baskets. Run your filter 24/7 if possible, for the first few days after opening the pool from its winter slumber.
Before adding your pool opening chemicals, test the water again to be sure your adjustments hit the mark, and all water balance levels are correct, preferably on the lower end of the ranges.
Step 5 – Add Algaecide: The final product in our pool start up kits is the algaecide. Add your algaecide only after chlorine levels have dropped below 3 ppm, which is usually a few days after shocking the pool. High chlorine levels quickly deplete pool algaecides, or render them useless.
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S When Opening Your Pool
Prior to opening your pool a leaf net may be installed to prevent debris build up on winter cover. Users will want to clean off any debris and drain any water from on top of your cover. Taking your time here can prevent making a mess in your water once the winter cover is removed. Once the cover is clean go ahead and remove it from the pool. If you have a safety cover you may find youll first have remove the anchor covers. When removing the cover its best to have help as the weight of the cover may get very heavy.
Once uncovered use a leaf rake or skimmer net to remove any leaves or other large debris in pool. Other debris, silt or sludge remaining on the bottom may be vacuumed or removed with a self-contained pool cleaner. Inspect skimmer, return, hoses, and any other components for hairline cracks, defects or other signs of excessive wear or damage. Remove any winterizing plugs or gizmos from the plumbing.
Is Your Pool Losing Water
This is a fairly common problem pool owners have and there could be several reasons:
- Line leaks. When the pool is consistently draining to the bottom of the skimmer, this is most likely your problem. If its draining to the bottom of the return jets, it could be a return line leak. Both of these situations require a professional to fix.
- Light leaks. If the pool water seems to be draining down to the lights, the light fittings or conduit pipes will probably need to be repaired.
- Lining leaks. If these dont seem to be the culprits, you probably have a leak somewhere in your liner. Commonly these occur around the ladders or step gaskets.
- Floor leaks. If the pool water is draining very rapidly, you could have a pool floor leak which can be quite serious. Dont hesitate to call a professional in these cases as it could be detrimental to your pool.
You can check out our smart guide to pool leak repairs to learn more.
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Turn That Heavy Metal Down
It might seem counterintuitive, but while your pool water sat stagnant through the winter, metal levels may have increased.
You also probably just topped off your pool with tap water. We hope you used a hose filter to help keep those minerals out of your pool. But to avoid the staining and buildup caused by any metal in your pool water, add a metal sequestrant.
How To Open Your Swimming Pool For The Season
Temperatures are rising and soon it will be time to open your swimming pool for the season.
Depending on where in the country that you live, most pool owners open their swimming pools some time between March and May. As a rule of thumb, its time to open your pool when daytime temperatures consistently rise above 70 degrees. Not only does this ensure comfortable temperatures for swimming, but also the chances of algae growth increase as water temperatures climb.
Opening your pool is easy. Whether youre a novice or experienced pool owner, anyone can quickly and confidently open their pool. Follow these step-by-step instructions to get your pool ready for the season!
Over the winter months, the condition of your pool equipment may have deteriorated. Always start by conducting a safety inspection of your pool equipment pad for signs of wear and tear. If loose wires, cracked lines or other hazards are observed, call the appropriate service professional before proceeding.
Clean and Remove Your Pool Cover
If your pool was covered for the winter, remove excess dirt and debris to prevent it from entering your pool water. For solid pool covers, use a sump pump or cover pump to drain off any standing water.
Remove your pool cover and lay it out flat to dry. For large pools, its helpful to have an extra set of hands to remove the cover. Once dry, neatly fold and store your pool cover in a clean, dry place.
Unplug and Reinstall Accessories
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Turning The Pools Operational System Back On
Before turning the pump and filter systems back on, all filters should be checked, cleaned and the priming the pool filter may be necessary if they arent pulling water. This requires shutting down the filter system, removing the pump lid, and filling the pumps housing with clean water before replacing them. Its also essential to check for any types of drips or leaks throughout the filtration and pump mechanisms prior to powering up your pool for the summer season. These arent typically DIY tasks for the average homeowner, so call a professional pool company like Aqua Spas and Pools in Gig Harbor and enjoy your pool without these hassles.
5. Chemical Additions Can be TrickyWhile maintaining proper pool chemical levels isnt necessarily challenging, getting the right pH balance, sanitizer and chlorine combination can be tricky when first opening your pool. Our experts will shock your pool and get you the ideal balance so you can swim comfortably and safely throughout the summer. Your pool professional will also test these levels before declaring your pool officially open for swimmers.
Key Points of Hiring Pool ProfessionalsThe benefits of hiring a pool professional is because they can handle opening your pool from beginning until youre swimming. An experienced provider handles:
Ready Your Filter System
Once your equipment is in place, ready your filter system. Most people leave these in place and simply block the pipes that lead to them during the winter, but depending on the system you have, you may need to put them back in place physically. Be sure to clean and wash all of your filters and equipment before you put them into place.
You may also need to reinstall any other equipment your pool uses, such as additional pool pumps, heating systems, jets, and miscellaneous equipment. After installing all of your pool equipment, and ensuring the pipes are clear, turn them on.
If you use a saltwater chlorinator, do not turn it on at this point. You need to check your pool chemistry in later steps first.
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How To Put Chemicals In Your Pool For The First Time
First time opening your pool? Congratulations! You’re about to have endless summers of fun and enjoyment. Before you can get to swimming, follow these steps to put chemicals in your pool for the very first time:
Pro Tip: Be sure to check your filter and return lines for damage, cracks, or leaks. If you have a sandfilter, add sand if needed. If you have a cartridge filter, check the cartridge and clean/replace asneeded.
Ph Adjusting Chemicals For Pool Start Up
Your pH level is really important for keeping your pool in good working order. If this is off, then your chlorine wont be working properly which can lead to unsafe water and too much chlorine.
Your pH level should be the second thing that you address when adding chemicals. The ideal range is between 7.2 and 7.6. This is perfect for your chlorine and for keeping your water safe for use.
If your pH level is too high, you can use the same pH decreaser that you would use for adjusting alkalinity. Be sure to check that level again afterwards.
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Closing Thoughts: Which Pool Chemicals Do You Need And How Much
Heres a quick recap of which pool chemicals you need to run your pool, and how much:
- Chlorine Tablets
- How much: 2 tablets for every 10,000 gallons, per week
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Use Algaecide On Your Pool
Do not attempt to use algaecide before rebalancing your pool . Most algaecides are intended for well-balanced pool water, and using it at other times could stop it from working at all.
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General Cleaning And Inspection
If you were able to remove the cover and it was installed properly in the fall you should have a relatively clean pool to work with. If you didnt use a cover or ended up with debris in your pool this is the time to remove larger debris that may have ended up in your water either by hand or with a pool rake.
The skimmer basket tends to collect leaves and other debris over the winter and into spring and it will probably need a good clean. If you used a Gizmo or any other skimmer freeze protection devices, you should remove them.
At this step of opening a pool its a good time to do a general inspection of your entire pool system. You want to keep an eye out for anything out of the ordinary including leaks, breakages and general wear and tear. If your pool is relatively clean give the liner, walls and deck a good clean if required. If you suspect a tear in your liner refer to our pool liner repair page for helpful tips and advice.
Clean And Store Your Pool Cover
With your cover folded up, have your friend help you move it to your yard, and spread it out flat. That small step will help make your pool cover cleaning easier and go much more quickly. Apply pool cover cleaner or car wash soap and use a soft broom to scrub it gently. Avoid using any abrasive or sharp tools or harsh chemical cleaners, which could destroy your pool cover.
Rinse away all the cleaner or soap. Dry the cover with a towel or leaf blower before folding it up again. Store the cover inside a storage bag or heavy-duty container with a lid. And voilà! Your pool cover cleaning is done!
Important: Do not store your pool cover on the ground or the floor of your shed or garage. Thats just an invitation for bugs, rodents, and other pests to make their home in it over the summer. Then, when it comes time to close your pool, youll be buying a new cover.
Tip: If you used water weights, empty them and allow them to dry completely before storing.
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