Getting ready to swim this summer takes more than just topping your water off and hurling yourself in. By carefully testing and adjusting your important chemical levels, you can avoid the burning eyes and tears from swimming and headaches the morning after. These are the basic know-hows about keeping a pool that all pool owners should know about. By remaining diligent and keeping your pool maintained to these standards, you can rest assured that you will have many carefree summer afternoons lounging in your pool.
Clean It Up. About a week before you’re ready to swim, you should bring your pool to shape with a “Chemical Opener.” Clean out all your baskets, remove any plugs, and cover your pool if it isn’t already covered.
Top It Off. Even though you’ve survived a cold, harsh Dallas Winter, you may have lost some water between September and now. Top your pool off completely. Clean out your filter by disassembling it and washing out anything that shouldn’t be there with a hose. Don’t worry about the disassembling part, you’ll be fine as long as you can do what you just did in reverse. If you have a sand filter, just set it to backwash, which will clean the sand. Also don’t forget to set it back to normal when you’re finished.
Have a Pro Test Your Water. Pool-Quest recommends having your water professionally tested. Take a sample to any Dallas/Fort Worth swimming pool store, and they’ll test it for you for free in most cases, probably with a few recommendations of what you should do. They’ll usually test things like the Ph levels, chlorine, mineral content, and alkalinity. The important things to note here are the corrections you need to make, not the numbers themselves.
Balance Your Chemicals. Based on your water test results, it’s time to make some changes. Here are a range of numbers that are most comfortable to swim in, but also allow easy water maintenance and clean water:
Ph level around 7.3. Your pool’s Ph level indicates what amount of chlorine turns to acid when introduced to the water. Soda ash is sold cheaply in Dallas pool supply stores and increases your Ph levels, while Muriatic acid and sodium bisulfate will decrease Ph.
Alkalinity around 100. Alkalinity will compliment your Ph level. Ph will fluctuate less when you make necessary corrections to Alkalinity. Sodium Bicarbonate (Baking Soda) will increase your pool’s alkalinity, while muriatic acid (Yes, again) will decrease the alkalinity.
Calcium Hardness around 200 parts per million. This is determined by the hardness of your water, which means BEFORE you add new water from your garden hose, test THAT, too. You can save yourself a few bucks if you calculate this correctly. If your calcium ppm is too low, then add calcium. It’s important to add calcium when you can because your tile grout will suffer , resulting in much bigger problems later on. The best way to increase calcium is by adding calcium chloride.
Chlorine around 2ppm. A product that we are all familiar with are the hockey puck shaped chlorine tablets. This can get costly if you don’t regulate a crucial factor in your water called cyanuric acid. this blocks the “Burning off” of chlorine that always occurs on warmer, clearer, sunnier days. Keep these away from metal, wherever you put them. The best place to put these are in the plastic floaties that are always sold in Dallas/Fort Worth pool supply stores.
Wait for the Water to Clear. Be patient. The process of cleaning your pool takes up to one week. and don’t just jump in the first day the weather allows. Check your water one more time before you jump in, and once at the end of the day. When you can see directly through the water to the bottom without any cloudiness, you have the green light to jump in for the first time. This is important because his sets the baseline for the entire year of what your pool should look like.
If you still have questions about what to do, or if you don’t have a pool and this sounds like a fun hobby for you, Pool-Quest is more than happy to help you out. Based in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, Pool-Quest has installed and assisted hundreds of customers. Give Pool-Quest a call for your free consultation and find out what you’ve been missing, today.