Using Test Strips or a Test Kit, Measure Your Water Chemistry
The easiest and quickest way to test your water is to use either Test Strips or a Test Kit. It is important to test your water chemistry before adding any chemicals, because this will tell you what you need to add and how much to use. When checking your water, you will want to test for Total Alkalinity, pH, chlorine, calcium hardness, and stabilizer (Cyanuric acid) levels.
Pool chemicals can get out of balance during a long winter, and will need to be brought back down to safe levels before swimming. The safe and proper chemical levels for standard, chlorine pool water are as follows:
- Total Alkalinity – 80 to 120 ppm
- pH Level – 7.4 to 7.6
- Free Available Chlorine – 2.0 to 4.0 ppm
- Calcium Hardness – 200 to 400 ppm
- Stabilizer (Cyanuric Acid) – 30 to 50 ppm
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.
Adding Metal Free Removes and Prevents Metal Stains Built Up During Winter
Over a long winter offseason, metals like copper and iron can build up in your pool and cause stains. These metals can be difficult to remove once they have stained the walls, so it is best to attack them early. Just one quart of Metal Free added during spring opening can help neutralize the metals that are in your pool, and prevent them from staining the walls and pool floor. Metal Free will also quickly get rid of “stained water” that comes from having a high metal content.
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.
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.