POOL START-UP AND CHEMICAL BALANCE
We understand that pool chemistry can be a bit overwhelming. This section is to help you get your pool chemicals in balance and get you started on the right track.
Tips for spring start-up
1. When the pool is first opened, we recommend doing an initial vacuum to waste to remove as much organic material from the pool as possible before adding any chemicals.
2. Test the level of stabilizer (cyanuric acid) and raise to at least 35 ppm. Stabilizer is slow dissolving. We recommend putting it in a sock or nylon and tying it off to the ladder where it can dissolve slowly over a few days. Squeeze the sock multiple times a day until it is all gone.
3. Add chlorine shock. Most likely your chlorine level is zero and the pool is full of organics which need to be neutralized. Start by dissolving 1.5 Kg of shock in a bucket and adding it to the pool. Check the chlorine the next day. If it is zero again, repeat the process. Continue every day until the chlorine residual is 2ppm or higher.
4. Raise the pH to 7.4, then test and raise the alkalinity to 100 ppm. Alkalinity will help to keep the pH in range for the summer. Both of these chemicals are quick dissolving and can be applied directly to the pool surface.
5. Test and raise the calcium level to at least 200 ppm. Again, this chemical can be added directly to the pool water surface.
6. Backwash the filter every day if the water is green or cloudy. Once the chlorine residual holds at 2ppm or higher, you can start adding chlorine pucks to the skimmer. As long as your chemicals are in range, your pool should start to clear.
Tips for weekly pool chemical maintenance
Test your pH and chlorine levels at minimum twice per week. Most in-ground pools will use between 4 and 6 chlorine pucks per week to maintain chlorine levels. Chlorine pucks lower the pH so you may need to add pH Up about once per week. Add enough pH-Up to bring your water pH back up to around 7.4. Always maintain the pH above 7.2 at minimum to prevent corrosion of pool equipment.
Test alkalinity once per week. Alkalinity will prevent your pH level from dropping quickly and ultimately helps protect your heater against corrosion. Make sure it is always over 100 ppm.
Test calcium and cyanuric acid once per month. Once these chemicals are brought into range, they are generally good for the season. If you are adding lots of water to your pool, you may need to bring these levels up again later in the summer.
Add 1 Kg Oxy-Clear every week directly onto the pool surface. Oxy-Clear is a non-chlorine oxidizing pool shock Oxidizers are critical for boosting free chlorine levels and maintaining proper sanitation of your pool water. Simply adding chlorine pucks will not be good enough to protect your pool against bacterial growth or algae blooms. Over time, your free chlorine will turn to chloramines (combined chlorine) and become ineffective. Oxidizers reverse that process and keep your pool water sparkling clear.
Add 250 ml concentrated aglaecide every week. Chlorine is your first and best defense against algae. However, when combined chlorine is present and/or free chlorine drops below 1ppm, algae blooms can erupt quickly. Algaecides give you an extra level of defense and is an essential component of preventative maintenance. Add 1 Litre of algaecide at the beginning of the season and also every time the chlorine level drops below 0.5 ppm to quickly neutralize any potential algae growth. For best results use a 60% Poly-Quat algaecide (Formula 6000).
Add 250 ml concentrated Stain Prevent (sequestering agent) every week. Dissolved metals in the pool water can cause your liner, pool stairs and ladders to stain yellow or brown. Stain prevent binds these metal ions so that they can be removed by the pool filter. This chemical is underappreciated and overlooked by new pool owners but is crucial to keeping your pool looking great. If your pool is salt water, bump up the dose to 350 ml every week.
1 Litre of Stain-Prevent should also be added at the beginning of the season and just before winterizing for extra protection against liner stains.
Backwash your sand filter once per week or after every time you vacuum the pool. If you have cartridge filters, remove and pressure wash them once per month.