Have you opened your swimming pool yet? No? Well you better get going! Typically March is the best time to open an above ground swimming pool and if you haven't checked the calendar in a while, it's almost the end of April!
Don't panic! This spring has been quite cold when compared to past springs. The danger lies in the temperature of the pool water. If the temperature rises higher than 65 degrees it creates the perfect environment for natural organics such as bacteria and algae to thrive. So you still have time, but you need to hurry!
How do you open a swimming pool with a typical chlorine system? Here are the steps:
Set up the filter system and pump.
Increase water levels to above the second screw in the Skimmer Gasket.
Is there green water in your pool? Chlorine tablets will kill off the green, which is actually algae; view Chlorine Tablets here. Every three days you should add up to eight tablets of chlorine, killing the algae, which will float to the bottom of your pool.
With the increase in chlorine, you will need to increase the amount of Chlorine Shock; view Blast Chlorine Shock here. Most pools require a pound of blast for every 10,000 gallons of pool water. This will help keep the chlorine active, killing algae and bacteria.
Now it's time to Vacuum out the algae that has fallen to the bottom.
With a Sand Filter, you could set your pump to "pump to waste", and vacuum the waste to the pump.
If you use this technique with an "element filter system", you will need to clean out your filter right away.
Speaking of elemental systems, do you own one such as a Perma Salt Filter System? The Perma Salt System is absent of chlorine and other chemicals and is a great choice for swimmers with sensitive skin; view the Perma Salt System here. How do you open a swimming pool with a Perma Salt System? Here are the steps:
Like the first step above, fill the swimming pool with water to the second screw on the faceplate.
Test the pool water for alkalinity, which should be between 80ppm and 120ppm. If the alkalinity is high, add Muriatic Acid (only available in stores, not online because of shipping restrictions) one gallon at a time, very carefully, with the water circulating. Be sure to wait 12 hours to swim or retest. Keep adding Muriatic Acid until the alkalinity reaches above range.
Test the pool water for calcium, which should be between 200ppm and 350ppm.
Plug in and turn on the Perma Salt System. Set the control knob to turn on the green light, which is the highest setting. Be sure this green indicator light is on and illuminated when the water starts flowing.
Add a 25 pound bucket of Preparate, which is pictured right; view Preparate here. Along with the Preparate, add 80 pounds of Ionizer Salt (only available in stores due to shipping restrictions). Let these two substances circulate and dissolve for at least 48 hours. DO NOT allow swimmers in the water during this time period.
Test the water for Total Dissolved Solids (TDS). The level should be a minimum of 1,000ppm in order to achieve an accurate level of the natural mineral residual. If the TDS level is not at 1,000ppm or more, add more Ionizer Salt until you reach the appropriate level.
Start your maintenance routine. Test the water for pH, Alkalinity and Copper. The amount of Copper indicates the amount of natural minerals in the water. The Copper should be maintained between .3 and .5ppm; adjust the knob to reflect this. For all sizes of pools add one bottle of Klairate biweekly; view Perma Salt Klairate here.
Many Family Leisure customers use the Aqua Smarte Mineral Plus Filter System to clean their pool water; view the Aqua Smarte Mineral Value Package here. How do you open a swimming pool with an Aqua Smarte Mineral Plus Filter System? Here are the steps:
Fill up the swimming pool with water to the proper level and turn on the system.
If you have well water, be sure to treat the pool water with Iron Remover or Metal Free.
Like we mentioned above, the alkalinity should be between 80ppm and 120ppm. Follow the steps mentioned above to achieve the best levels for alkalinity (Muriatic Acid) and pH balance.
To prevent chlorine loss due to sunlight, add Pool Water Conditioner; view Pool Conditioner here. Place the conditioner in a sock or panty hose and tie it to the ladder and let it dissolve. The ideal range for chlorine is between 30ppm and 50ppm, with a safe range for swimmers being below 100ppm.
Add one pound of Pool Blast for every 10,000 gallons of pool water; view Pool Blast here. This should be done once a week throughout the swimming season, along with testing the pool water for pH, alkalinity and free chlorine.
Test the water for phosphates (view a Phosphate Test Kit here); if you find high levels, add Phosphate Reducer (only available in stores due to shipping restrictions). Add Pool Magic and Phos Free to complete the startup.