As we get closer and closer to Memorial Day weekend, pool opening time is on every pool owner’s mind. If you’ve been keeping up with our recent series of blogs, you’ve learned how to remove your pool cover, how to reassemble pool components, and how to power up the system and run a few tests. In this next blog, we’re going to cover the last steps of opening your pool, which are cleaning the pool and balancing out the water chemistry. Are you ready? Then keep on reading!
Cleaning the Pool
The order in which you’ll want to clean your pool is:
Use a skim net to remove leaves and debris from the surface of the pool, as well as any big clumps of debris that have settled to the bottom of the pool.
The next step is to vacuum the pool. If you find that there’s a lot of algae or sediment in the pool, you’ll want to vacuum the pool to waste. This process bypasses the filter and removes dirt via the backwash line. The goal of this is to prevent the filter from getting clogged. However, this process uses a lot of water, so if you’re going to vacuum to waste, fill the pool all the way up so you can let it go down a few inches as a result of vacuuming.
To start, turn the multiport filter valve to drain to waste, which should be at 2 o’clock if you look at the valve like a clock face. However, if you have a push-pull filter valve or cartridge filter, the only way to vauum to waste is to cut the pipe coming out of the pump and then connect it again after you’re finished.
And finally, once you’ve vacuumed and skimmed, give the pool a good scrubbing with a pool brush.
Use your pool water test kit and follow the instructions given by the manufacturer to get the best results. Here are a few rules of thumb.
Alkalinity: Should be between 80-120 ppm. Baking soda can be added at 1 lb per 10,000 gallons to raise alkalinity by 10 ppm.
Calcium Hardness: 180-220 ppm. 1 lb. Of calcium chloride per 10,000 gallons will raise calcium hardness by 5 ppm.
pH Level: 7.4-7.6. Test after you’ve allowed the water to circulate for 8 hours. If too low, add pH increaser, if too high, add pH decreaser. Your pool test kit will tell you how much to add.
Cyanuric Acid: 30-50ppm
Shocking the pool: Once the chemicals have balanced and been allowed to circulate for 8 hours, shock the pool as follows: Add Shock Treatment at 1 lb. Per 10,000 gallons. Once chlorine drops below 3.0 ppm and the pool water is clear, the pool is ready for use.