When Balancing Water, Start With Total Alkalinity
Once you have tested your water chemistry, it is time to start adding chemicals to balance your water. It is important to begin with balancing your Total Alkalinity because this will help to bring your other chemicals closer to their normal range, making it significantly easier to achieve a safe and clean pool.
To lower the Total Alkalinity, you can use either Leslie’s Dry Acid. This product will quickly decrease Total Alkalinity levels in your pool. Just 1 ½ pounds of Leslie’s Dry Acid will lower the Total Alkalinity by 10 ppm in 10,000 gallons of water. To raise Total Alkalinity by 10 ppm in 10,000 gallons, use 1 ½ pounds of Leslie’s Alkalinity Up.
Once the Total Alkalinity has been brought to within 80 and 120 ppm, you can begin to adjust the other chemicals. To increase pH, adding Leslie’s Soda Ash will help raise it to an acceptable range. To decrease pH, you can again use Leslie’s Dry Acid.
If the Calcium Hardness is too low, just 1 ¼ pounds of Leslie’s Hardness Plus will raise the Calcium Hardness by 10 ppm in 10,000 gallons of water. It is much more difficult to lower the Calcium Hardness than to raise it, so be sure not to let the calcium levels get beyond 400 ppm.
Brush and Vacuum Your Pool Thoroughly
Even if you use a solid cover on your pool during the winter, there will still be a fair amount of dirt and debris in your pool. It is a good idea to give your pool a thorough brushing and vacuuming before shocking the pool. This will prevent any algae or bacteria from clinging to the pool walls, and help your filtration and sanitation systems start to eliminate any algae spores.
When brushing your pool, it is a good idea to start in the shallow end of the pool and move towards the deep end. If you can, vacuum your pool directly to waste. Once you have brushed and vacuumed your pool, allow your circulation and filtration systems to run overnight before shocking the pool.
Remove All Winterizing Plugs and Replace Them With the Correct Drain Plugs
If you live in an area where the temperature stays below freezing for much of the winter, then you most likely replaced most of the drain plugs in your equipment with special winterizing plugs. These winterizing plugs provide a very tight seal and prevent any damage due to leaks or ice during winter. After reconnecting your equipment, you will want to replace the winter plugs with the normal, correct plugs to allow the equipment to run properly.
Shock The Pool to Remove Bacteria and Contaminants
Shocking your pool is the last and final step for getting rid of all the dirt, debris, bacteria, algae spores, and other organic contaminants that may have entered your pool during the winter offseason. After shocking the pool, run the circulation system for at least 2 hours before adding an algaecide.
Prevent Algae All Season Long
For a clean and algae-free swimming season, it is recommended to start treatment before the first swimmers even jump into the pool. Both of these products, when used both at the beginning of summer and regularly during the season, will prevent the growth of most types of algae, and help keep your pool clean, clear, and fresh all year long.