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.
The Best in Business
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 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
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. The following table shows ranges for basic water chemistry and recommendations for how often they should be tested. 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 up to 24 hours to balance pool chemicals properly. 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. For instance, if you raise the pool’s alkalinity by adding baking soda, wait a minimum of six hours before retesting alkalinity levels.
Whether you’re using your swimming pool for the very first time, or opening up for the season, you’ll need to take some extra precautions to ensure that you’re balancing pool chemicals correctly. For example, if your pool has been closed since winter, you might encounter thick algae on reopening day, which could require treatment with double or even triple the normal amount of pool shock.
If you’re opening a new or seasonal pool, we recommend consulting a pool dealer for assistance testing and balancing your water, which can be a tricky process even for experienced pool owners.
Summer Pool Startup
Question 1. Is all of this necessary?
Answer 1. Yes, because without keeping your pool water balanced, it could be dangerous or life threatening to swim in.
Question 2. My pool will not hold chlorine. What should I do?
Answer 2. If your pool does not hold chlorine, then chlorine lock is 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 3. How do I get rid of the algae in my pool?
Answer 3. 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.
Question 4. How often should I test my water?
Answer 4. You should test your water at least once or twice a week during the hot summer season. This will ensure that your pool water is balanced and safe for use.
Question 5. How often should I shock my pool?
Answer 5. 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.
Question 6. I just added chemicals, when can I swim?
Answer 6. If you only added water balancing chemicals, then you may swim 30 minutes after adding chemicals. If you have added shock, then wait 2-4 hours before swimming. Always read labels on products for exact times.
Question 7. How long should I run my pump?
Answer 7. 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.
Question 8. How often should I clean my filter and skimmer?
Answer 8. 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 100-150 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 have no effect.
Step 4. Make sure your Calcium Hardness is between 180-220 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.
Step 6. Add some Chlorine or Shock and maintain between 1-3 ppm of free chlorine. Chlorine and Shock are the bread and butter of a pool. These 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 keep treating weekly and as needed to maintain results!
Winterize Your Pool
Step 1 – Manually clean your pool surface. A robotic cleaner will not clean your pool’s surface as efficiently as you can by doing so manually. Cleaning your pool’s surface will help get rid of any algae or other films from sticking.
Step 2 – Get your pool water tested. It is always recommended to have your pool’s water tested by a professional. Mock Pond and Landscape Supply offers FREE water testing!
Step 3 – Add any water balancing chemicals recommended after water testing. A perfectly balanced pool will reduce the cost and maintenance required when re-opening your pool in the spring.
Step 4 – Add your winterization kit in accordance with your pools size.
Step 5 – Now is a good time to add a Pool Pill (will help prevent a waterline from forming), Pool Magic (Will help prevent a waterline from forming), and/or Filter Perfect (Will deep clean your filters).
Step 6 – Allow at least 48 hours for the chemicals to cycle throughout your pool before continuing the process.
Step 7 – Lower the water level in your pool below the skimmer. This will help prevent freeze damage, especially to your skimmer and prevent overflow.
Step 8 – Clean your filters and pump basket. For cartridge, simply remove, clean, and store. For sand, backwash thoroughly and put valve back to filter setting. For DE, backwash thoroughly. Make sure to remove the drain plug from your pump, filter, and heater (you can store these in the pump basket over winter).
Step 9 – Remove all the water from your pools tubing. This step is very crucial because without draining the water from the lines, they could crack due to water freezing in them.
Step 10 - Remove any accessories from/in your pool. This includes, ladders, stairs, toys, etc.
Step 11 – Now it’s time to install a winter cover. Using a Mesh cover will block out some sunlight and will help prevent debris from getting in your pool. A solid cover will block all sunlight, some water, and prevent debris. If you need a winter cover, please contact Mock Pond and Landscape Supply for assistance.
Vinyl Liner – 1” below skimmer
Plaster/Non-Vinyl = Mesh = 18-24”, Solid = 6” below skimmer
Algaecide – This will kill any algae in your pool during the offseason.
Metal Remover – This will keep copper and iron from building up in your pool. High metals can cause algae growth and stain your pools surfaces.
Shock – will help kill any algae and bacteria in your pool, multiple shock doses may be required over the winter months.
Steps For Removing Water From Pool Tubing
1. Remove return fittings and skimmer baskets
2. Remove drain plugs from pump and filter
3. Set multiport valve to recirculate
4. Set valve in front of pump to skimmer line
5. Attach an air compressor/shop vac to your pump’s drain plug. Alternatively, you can use a shop vac in your skimmer box to push the water out of the lines
6. Blow air into the lines looking for bubbles from the return lines and skimmer
7. Insert rubber plugs into the return lines while bubbles are present
8. Use a shop vac to suck the water out of the skimmer box
9. Insert a rubber plug or a gizmo into your skimmer box
10. Turn the valve in front of the pump to the main drain setting so the air moves in that direction
11. Run for about 2 minutes
12. Turn the pump valve back to the skimmer line, then turn off shop vac or air compressor For saltwater pools the process is the same. Just remember to remove, clean, and store the T-Cell for winter
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