Use a good quality pool water test kit. Replace test kit reagents every spring (annually). Follow pool water test instructions carefully to obtain accurate results.
Alkalinity first. If below the range of 80 – 120 ppm, add Total Alkalinity Increaser (Sodium Bicarbonate or baking soda) at a rate of 1 lb per 10,000 gals to raise Alkalinity levels 10 ppm. Calcium Hardness level should be 180 – 220 ppm. Add Calcium Hardness Increaser (Calcium Chloride) at a rate of 1 lb per 10,000 gals to raise Calcium levels 5 ppm. Test pH level after water has circulated 8 hrs. pH level should be 7.4 – 7.6, add pH Increaser (soda ash or sodium carbonate) if the water is acidic/ corrosive (below 7.4). Add pH Decreaser (muriatic acid or sodium bisulfate) if water is basic/ scaling (above 7.6). A good pool test kit will allow you to perform an acid demand or base demand test to determine exact amounts of acid or base needed (demanded). A clarifier may be used to help filter efficacy. After balanced chemicals have been circulated for 8 hrs, shock or super-chlorinate the pool. Add granular Shock Treatment (Calcium Hypochorite) to pool at a rate of 1 lb per 10,000 gallons, or use Clorox Bleach (Sodium Hypochlorite) at a rate of 5 gals per 10,000 gallons/pool water. Cyanuric Acid levels should be tested if chlorine is used (outdoor pools only). Add CYA (Conditioner or Stabilizer) to raise if Cyanuric Acid levels are below 30 – 50 ppm.
Always read instructions on packaging for proper handling, treatments and application of the pool chemicals. Distribute them broadly and never mix chemicals. Brushing pool after adding chemicals is helpful to distribution and dilution. Re-test water daily and readjust if needed. Backwash filter after 24 hrs. If algae is still present, re-shock pool, or add a “kill” dosage of a quality pool algaecide. Your pool is ready for use when chlorine level drops below 3.0 ppm, and water is clear. It may be a good move to have an annual check-up to your pool by a pool professional in Scottsdale, AZ, which is why many people use pool companies to open the pool.
For all your pool cleaning questions, call Admiral Pools at 480-222-0895.