Every pool owner is looking forward to the arrival of warm days and the beginning of the swimming season. Winter has passed quickly, and you just can’t wait to jump into the pool. Provided you have done the pool closing well, the opening should be a piece of cake.
Open the pool properly, and you have provided a fresh start for swimming and enjoying during the season. That’s why you must learn how to use above ground opening pool chemicals properly. You should arm yourself with the knowledge to avoid some common faults with the use of these products.
Preparing for Opening
Before balancing pool chemistry, it is necessary to remove any major impurities from the water. Many things can deposit under the winter cover. Use a skimmer to pick up leaves, branches, dead bugs, and anything that floats on the surface.
Since a good portion of the water has probably evaporated, fill the pool. Finish installing accessories such as ladders, slides, and chutes. Check installations and filters as well as pump operation. Adding chemicals will be the last step before opening, right after testing water quality.
Importance of Testing
You can’t pour random chemicals into the pool and hope for the best. If you add too much chlorine, for example, that will destroy the beneficial bacteria in water. Also, it can cause water to turn dark gray, which is not very appealing to swim in. Your eyes can become irritated, and it can even cause dizziness and breathing problems.
Water has a particular chemical composition. Too many or too few specific compounds in it can be harmful to your health. Regular testing is necessary to keep these values under control. Only then will you know whether something needs to be added or reduced.
You should test the water once a week. Buy test kits or install a digital tester that runs a check once in a while (when you set it). The first testing should be on an opening day. That will help you avoid making costly mistakes, which can ruin the quality of your pool water.
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After testing, you will know the alkalinity and pH value. These two parameters are essential for the quality and safety of your swimming area. Also, more advanced test kits can indicate the presence of contaminants, such as metals, as well as excess sanitizing substances (chlorine or bromine).
Adding chemistry is not rocket science if you follow the manufacturer’s instructions. You can buy start-up kits that contain all the necessary chemicals for opening your swimming area. Make sure to find the one suitable for your pool size (it’s labeled in gallons).
You can run the test and decide which chemicals you need based on it. Sanitizing with chlorine is a must; you just have to know how much you need. After cold days, many contaminants and chloramines will remain in your swimming area. Shocking them with chlorine will oxidize and purify the water.
Fixing Chemistry Balance
Besides sanitizers, you need products for fixing water chemistry. For example, if the pH is high, you need a product to raise it and neutralize acidity. When pool alkalinity is low, you need alkaline increasers. You have to fix this parameter as low alkalinity makes pH ‘go wild.’ When this parameter is unstable, adding chlorine won’t help.
There is a good chance that some heavy metals have settled in the stagnant water, especially if you live in the city. That can also happen if you fill the pool with tap water without using a filter. These make water heavy and leave consequences on the skin. If the test shows the presence of metal, you need a sequestrant that will remove harmful particles.
After adding the necessary chemicals, you should turn on a pump to allow the chemicals to spread through the pool. If you use a pump with an automatic dispenser, there is a good chance that you won’t have to worry about this problem at all.
Chemicals used for opening can be dangerous. Regardless of their cleansing and disinfecting purpose, they are not harmless. So make sure to use rubber gloves when adding these products. See this page to inform about possible chlorine risks.
When you’re done with sanitizing, use water pressure to clean the deck and remove chemical residues. Don’t enter the pool, at least for 24 hours. That’s enough time for chemicals to work and sanitize your swimming area.
Chemicals can make a huge difference in the way your swimming area looks and feels, but they can also be dangerous. By following these tips, you can minimize the health risk of contaminated water or reacting to the sanitizing and balancing products you use.