Opening your pool correctly will ensure a great swimming season for you and your family. To do this properly, you will need to ensure the right chemicals are used.
What Chemicals to Use?
To start, you will need:
- Water Test Strips
- Total Alkalinity Increaser or Decreaser
- Total pH Increaser or Decreaser
- Chlorine Stabiliser
- Calcium Hardness Increaser
- Granular Chlorine
REMEMBER to always use protective goggles and gloves when handling any chemicals.
- Before testing the chemistry of the water, it is important that you have cleaned the pool and had the filter system running for 24 hours. Once this has been done, it’s time to test the alkalinity of the water. Testing alkalinity shows how well the water will resist changes in pH levels. Using one of the water testing strips, ensure that you dip it well below the surface of the water and then compare with the charts provided in the kit. The alkalinity should read between 80 – 125 PPM (parts per million). If the reading is low, add the Alkalinity Increaser and if high, add the Decreaser. The water should then be left for two hours.
- Next, the pH needs to be tested using another test strip. The levels should be between 7.2 and 7.6. Use the appropriate pH Increaser or Decreaser to obtain this level and wait one hour.
- A water testing strip needs to be used once again to assess the water hardness. If calcium levels are low against the chart provided in the testing kit, you will need to add Calcium Hardness Increaser. If it is high then you will need to remove some of the water and add more source water with a lower calcium level.
- Once all of these levels have been balanced, it’s time to sanitise your pool. Chlorine is the best thing for this; however, can become ineffective from the sun’s UV rays. A Chlorine stabiliser can help regulate the levels and should be present in your pool at 30 PPM. Granular Chlorine is best to use and is advisable to use in the morning or evening with the pump running. After two hours, add Algaecide to prevent the growth of algae along the walls, floor or accessories of your pool.
- Leave for another 24 hours and test the Chlorine level again and adjust if necessary by 1-4 PPM at a time.
- Your pool is officially open! Go and enjoy!
Maintaining Your Pool
Now that you’ve opened your pool, it’s time for the fun to start; however, there are some things that you will need to do on a regular basis to ensure your pool is well maintained.
Circulation – Constantly moving water makes for cleaner and safer water. To achieve this in your pool, the water must be circulated frequently. It’s recommended that you run your filter at least 12 hours a day. As well as this you will need to backwash your filter, a process which involves reversing the flow of your water through the filter. This encourages dirty water and waste to be transported to the waste port, keeping your swimming pool clear. Regular cleaning of the filter and waste port are also necessary to learn as part of your pool maintenance routine.
Cleaning – If you maintain a good routine circulating the water in your pool, this will make cleaning a lot easier but you will still need to regularly remove debris, residue from toiletries and even animals. It is recommended to skim, brush and vacuum your pool at least once a week to ensure bacterial contamination doesn’t occur.
Chemistry – As you did when you opened your pool, you will need to regularly test the alkalinity, pH and sanitiser levels. The same method is used as detailed above in the opening steps and should be tested regularly using the water testing strips. As mentioned earlier, the sun’s UV rays cause the levels of Chlorine to decrease which makes it necessary to shock your pool. Pool shock treatment can be purchased fairly cheaply at local hardware retailers and will need to be administered at dusk or night time to allow the sun not to eat the Chlorine up. To shock your pool, use 2 pounds of shock for every 10,000 gallons of water. This should raise your Chlorine levels to 10 PPM. The pump will then need to be run for at least 8 hours to allow the treatment to be circulated.
How Much Does it Cost to Open and Close a Pool?
Hiring a professional to open your pool for the summer could cost you around £200-300. This could come at a higher cost depending on how clean your pool is. Doing it yourself will be cheaper but remember you will need to buy the chemicals yourself.
How Long Does it Take a Pool to Clear Up After Opening?
The pump should always run during the shocking process. Ensure that the alkalinity and pH levels are balanced after shocking, the Chlorine levels will stay elevated for a few days but should stabilise afterwards.
When is the Best Time to Open My Pool?
The best time to open your pool depends on your location and the temperature of your Spring season but usually once the temperature reaches at least 20 degrees celsius, it’s time to open it.