As the proud owner of a brand new swimming pool, you can look forward to many hours of fun and splashing around! However, with great fun also comes great responsibility. You’ll need to devote some time to caring for your pool in order to keep it in good condition for years of enjoyment.
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If you’re new to pool maintenance, don’t worry! We’ve got you covered with resources that outline best practices for the basics of caring for your pool—including maintaining proper water balance, tips for cleaning and removing algae from your pool, as well as tips for how to shock your swimming pool and to winterize your pool.
Enjoy and maintain your pool for years to come. Speak with an expert. Schedule your after care class today at 330-628-9100.
What Order Do You Balance Pool Chemicals In?
1. Start by testing the alkalinity and making adjustments as needed
2. Test and adjust the pH levels as needed
3. Test and adjust the calcium hardness as needed
4. Check Your Sanitizer Level
If using chlorine, your levels should always be between 1-3ppm to effectively sanitize your pool water for swimmers. This will reduce bacteria in the water and keep swimmers from getting sick.
5. Check Cyanuric Acid (CYA) Level
Cyanuric Acid is the sanitizer stabilizer. This means that without CYA, your pool will not hold chlorine, therefore will not stay sanitized without constantly shocking it. Your CYA levels need to be between 30-50ppm for chlorine pools, and between 60-80ppm for salt water pools.
6. Measure Dissolved Solids
Dissolved solids can be anything from grime, salt and algaecide. You will want to make sure your TDS (total dissolved solids) measure below 1500ppm.
7. Shock the Pool
You must maintain a sanitizer level (chlorine) of 1-3ppm in order to keep your pool water clean. Shocking is necessary after heavy use, or very sunny weather.
You should be in the habit of checking your pool water at least every 2-3 days. Having test strips on hand will make this easy, however if you encounter a problem, or want more accurate testing; Mock Pools and Ponds offers FREE pool/spa water testing all year round. Visit our store today!
Pool owners can face common issues like low alkalinity, high calcium hardness, or out-of-control algae blooms, especially after closing the pool for winter. A basic knowledge of pool water chemistry can help you correct these issues — or, better yet, avoid them altogether. That means you’ll save time and money, while getting more enjoyment out of the water. In this guide, we’ll cover balancing pool chemicals, which chemicals to use, best practices for safe chemical storage, and answer pool chemical FAQs.
Learn More About How To Balance Your Pool
How Often Should You Service & Check Your Pool?
How Long Does it Take to Balance Pool Chemicals?
How to Balance Pool Chemicals for the First Time Opening Your Pool?
Proper water balance is the single most important factor to maximizing the life and appearance of any swimming pool. Frequently checking your pool water levels will help ensure proper maintenance. It’s always a good idea to have a professional pool expert assess your water levels once per month to help you keep your water chemistry at an optimal level.
It may take more than 24 hours to balance pool chemicals properly, depending on what you’re dealing with. The time required can increase or decrease depending on factors like the size and volume of the pool, the quality and condition of the water, whether you’re shocking the pool and how many adjustments need to be made using chemicals like sodium bisulfate or calcium chloride. Always follow package directions.
If you’re opening a new or seasonal pool, we recommend consulting a pool dealer, such as Mock Pools and Ponds for assistance testing and balancing your water. This can be a tricky process even for experienced pool owners. Consulting a pool dealer and having your water tested is a great way to properly get started for the season.
Summer Pool Startup
Without keeping your pool water balanced, it could be dangerous to swim in. Once you remove your cover, begin vacuuming the pool, and test your water. Make sure your pool’s water chemistry is in line before use.
Question: My pool will not hold chlorine. What should I do?
Answer: If your pool does not hold chlorine, then chlorine lock could be the culprit. Chlorine lock occurs when your chlorine is rendered useless and no matter how much chlorine you add, it will not work; and free chlorine levels will not go up during testing/treatments. In order to fix this, you will need to treat with a non-chlorine shock.
Question: How do I get rid of the algae in my pool?
Answer: In order to get rid of algae, you need to make sure your pool is holding chlorine and they are at the correct levels. Once you have achieved this, treat with Algae Break 90 for 90 days of algae treatment. You can also clear up an algae bloom by using liquid shock. See a staff member at Mock Pools and Ponds for more information on how to do this.
You should test your water at least every 2-3 days during the hot summer season. This will ensure that your pool water is balanced and safe for use.
You should shock your pool once a week to keep water balanced and safe for use. Add shock in the evening to avoid the sun eating up all of the chlorine before it can go into effect. If you are the neighborhood pool, you may need to shock more often. Having a pool that gets used more than average will go through more chlorine than most. Regular water testing will tell you if this is the case.
Many pool owners want to know how quickly the pool can be used after applying water balancing chemicals. We recommend that you always read package directions before using balancing chemicals. Swimming before the recommended time can result in harm to swimmers, or rendering the chemicals useless. Always shock your pool at night, or after swimmers have exited the pool. You should wait 12-24 hours after shocking a pool to swim.
Many pool owners ask how long/often you should run your pool pump. If your pool is used a lot, we recommend a minimum of 12 hours in a 24 hour period. Remember: the more you run your pool pump, the more your water is being filtered. As a minimum, you should run your pump at least 8 hours a day. In doing so, your pool chemicals will continue to circulate and prevents algae growth. Adding a timer to your pool pump will help eliminate the guesswork.
Question: How often should I clean my filter and skimmer?
Answer: You should clean your filter cartridge when the PSI on your system is 8-10 PSI over its normal operating range. Your skimmer on the other hand should be checked and cleaned of debris daily.
Step 1. Test your water. Testing your water will give you the knowledge needed to treat your pool with the proper chemicals.
Step 2. Make sure your alkalinity is within 80-120 ppm. Alkalinity is what your pH relies on to work. Without it your water would not hold any pH.
Step 3. Make sure your pH is within 7.2-7.6 ppm. If your pH is too low then your water will be acidic and burn. If it is too high, then your water will be basic and your sanitizer will have no effect.
Step 4. Make sure your Calcium Hardness is between 180-250 ppm. Calcium Hardness will prevent overtime damage to your pool walls and equipment.
Step 5. Make sure your Stabilizer (Cyanuric Acid) is within 30-50 ppm. Stabilizer will allow your water to hold chlorine and not lose chlorine as quickly. For salt water pools, a CYA level of 60-80 ppm is recommended.
Step 6. Add some Chlorine or Shock and maintain between 1-3 ppm of free chlorine. Chlorine and Shock will help kill the bacteria in your water and help prevent algae growth. Make sure to keep your free and total chlorine within those ranges.
Step 7. Enjoy your perfectly balanced pool, but don’t forget to regularly test your water, and keep treating weekly and as needed to maintain results!
Winterize Your Above Ground Pool
Step 1 – Remove ladder/steps and all accessories.
Step 2 – Vacuum your pool and remove all debris.
Step 3 – Test and balance your pool water. Your pH, Alkalinity, Free Chlorine, Cyanuric Acid (CYA) and Calcium Hardness levels should all be within range before closing your pool. Mock Pools and Ponds offers FREE water testing all year.
Step 4 – Visit Mock Pools and Ponds to get your winter chemical kit.
Step 5 – Apply winterizing chemicals. We recommend running your pool for 24 hours after application to allow chemicals to circulate.
Step 6 – Install skimmer cover and plug all return jets.
Step 7 – Turn multi-port valve to winter setting, if applicable.
Step 8 – Remove all drain caps from equipment and allow all water to escape.
Step 9 – Remove all drain caps from equipment.
Step 10 - Store pool pump inside to protect from elements.
Step 11 –Install pool pillow and winter cover, securing to avoid damage by heavy winds.
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