Spring Startup of a Swimming Pool
The following suggestions assume you are starting with water that has been in your pool from prior seasons. If you have drained your pool and are starting with all fresh water, please see our Chemical Start Up of a Newly Filled Pool instructions.
After raising the water to the middle of your skimmer, removing winter plugs, replacing drain plugs and starting equipment, you must allow water to circulate for at least 24 hours before attempting to accurately test and balance it. However, there are a few things to do in the interim.
First, vacuum. If there is a lot of debris on the bottom of the pool but water is clear, vacuum to waste, adding new water to maintain pool level. If water is green or yucky, add a flocculant like Maxi-Flock, allow dirt to settle, then vacuum to waste. After the initial vacuuming add an anti stain product such as Sparkle Conchelate. This is especially important with a fiberglass or plaster pool.
Starting with fresh testing reagents or a new test kit, test and adjust Total Alkalinity to between 80 and 150. Sodium bicarbonate raises Total Alkalinity but strategic additions of acid are necessary to lower. Test and adjust Calcium Hardness to between 200 and 400. Calcium Chloride raises hardness but lowering can be difficult. Call Marina for suggestions or bring in a sample for a free water analysis if your kit does not test these factors.
Next, test and adjust pH to between 7.4 and 7.6. Soda Ash raises, acid lowers. Then shock with at least 1 to 2 lbs of Calcium Hypochlorite or Hard Hit Shock per 10,000 gallons. Wait a few hour, test chlorine level and if it’s not at least 3.0 ppm, repeat the shocking, waiting and testing until it is. After several hours, add Algaecide 60, strongest non-foaming, non-metallic algaecide, per label. Don’t be fooled by cheap imitations – they can be 90% water, foam and stain your pool.
To keep your pool algae-free all season, guaranteed, add Phos-Free Spring and Fall per label. Algae can’t grow in a normally sanitized phosphate-free pool. Throughout the season, add Phos-Free per label directions. Ask about our Algae Free Guarantee Kit.
Put chlorine tablets in your skimmer or chlorinator in such quantity as to maintain your chlorine reading at or above 3.0 ppm until pool is perfectly clear then allow it to drop to 1.5 to 2.0 range. If you are using the Instant Frog, insert it into your skimmer now and remember you can maintain only a .5 chlorine reading with this product. Run pump and filter constantly until pool is perfect and maintain pH at 7.4 to 7.6.
Several vacuumings may be necessary to remove all of winter’s dirt. A concentrated clarifier like Super Blue will help coagulate fine particles and restore your pool’s sparkle. Keep your filter clean and effective throughout the opening procedure with GLB Filter Fresh ro Quick Wash and remove any “bathtub ring” by scrubbing the water line with agood surface cleaner like Cling N Clean.
When pool is sparkling clean, test the Cyanuric Acid level. If it’s not at least 40 ppm add Stabilizer Conditioner per label. It is unlikely you will need to add if you have been using stabilized chlorine in prior years. If your test kit does not allow you to test for this, bring us a water sample and we’ll also test for calcium hardness, copper, iron, phosphates and other factors which most home kits cannot test.
Now, find last year’s swimsuit (hope it still fits), pour some lemonade, dive in, and enjoy! Remember, all the products needed to get you back in the swim are on available here at Marina!