Get Your Pool Ready for Spring
Make a list of everything you need from the pool supply store. Items for a typical swimming pool include test strips, chlorine, shock, and a pH balancer. See if you need cleaning tools like a new pool brush or skimmer net. Check the condition of your vacuum head, telescoping poles, and hoses.
Make sure that your filter and pump are in good running condition. Remember that to keep your pool water sparkling clear, you need to the filter and pump for at least 10 to 12 hours every day. So make sure all the connections, gaskets, and seals are in good condition.
You’ll have to balance your pool’s water chemistry before you start swimming in your pool. Use your test kit to figure out which chemicals you need to make the water safe, comfortable, and crystal clear:
- First, give the pool a “shock” treatment. A couple of doses of highly concentrated chlorine granules will kill off all the algae.
- Then give your pool a good cleaning with the brush and vacuum.
- After running the filter for several hours, check to see that chlorine levels are between one and three parts per million. You might want to use cyanuric acid as a chlorine stabilizer. It protects the free chlorine in the pool from ultraviolet rays of sunlight, reducing the amount of chlorine needed to keep the water clean.
- Total alkalinity needs to be anywhere from 80-120. High alkalinity levels set the stage for a healthy pH level, which will also be maintained by your total alkalinity. Low alkalinity levels will contribute to an unhealthy pH level.
- Calcium hardness should be between 150 and 450 parts per million (ppm). If you do not maintain calcium hardness within this range, your pool water can become corrosive. It may damage the tiles and pool surface.
Then dive in and enjoy your pool. But remember that proper maintenance means doing most of these chores regularly. Cleaning the filter, checking chemical balance, brushing, and vacuuming (or having it all done by a poll service) are all part of being a pool owner.