Getting Pool Ready for Summer
Opening your backyard swimming pool for the season takes more than filling it up and jumping in. The importance of opening a pool correctly—both for the health of the swimmers and the swimming pool is essential. If a swimming pool is opened properly, you can be assured of proper operation and chemical safety. Here is your eight-step guide to getting ready for lazy summer afternoons.
1. DO NOT EMPTY YOUR POOL
Never empty your swimming pool, even if you live in a really cold climate, unless you have no other choice, such as if you need to do structural work or your pool has not been covered and there are too many leaves at the bottom to remove.
2. CLEAN IT UP
Start the process of bringing your pool up to shape with a "chemical open." Put the filtration system together, clean out all the baskets, and remove any plugs that you put in. Be sure to leave the cover on the pool while you are working on it.
3. TOP IT OFF
If the water level has fallen over the winter, top it off. Make sure to clean the filter before you turn it on. Clean a cartridge filter by removing the cartridge and wash with a hose. If you have a D.E. filter, you might need to take it apart, clean it, and reassemble it. If you have a sand filter, set the filter to backwash, which will clean the sand. Then turn it to the normal setting.
4. HAVE A PRO TEST YOUR WATER
We recommend having the water professionally tested. Take a water sample to a swimming pool store and they will test the water for you, usually for free (and maybe some up-sell). It is a good idea because they will do a complete test and they will test the mineral content of the water, along with the total alkalinity and the pH and the chlorine levels. They will tell you which needs to be adjusted and by how much.
5. BALANCE YOUR CHEMICALS
Time for some chemistry, based on your pool pros analysis. Here are our recommendations:
PH levels between 7.2 to 7.4. The pH level dictates how much chlorine turns into hypochlorous acid in the water. Use soda ash to increase pH; muriatic acid or sodium bisulfate to decrease. Total alkalinity from 80 to 120. Alkalinity is a pH buffer—pH levels will be consistent if the alkalinity level is correct. Use sodium bicarbonate to increase alkalinity, muriatic acid to decrease it. Calcium hardness from 150 ppm to 250 ppm (parts per million). We recommend getting a plastic chlorinator, which attaches to the filter system. Get a pro to hook this up. BMB Construction is the best Swimming Pool Builder in Temecula and would love to help get you setup.
6. WAIT FOR THE WATER TO CLEAR
Do not dive in yet. The filter has to be cleaned every day until the water is clear. Expect the entire process to take about a week. You may have to add chlorine to keep it at the right level. Only when the water is clear and you can see the pool floor should you remove the cover. Remove the cover too soon and you will end up with more leaves and pollen and debris to clean out.
After you have removed the cover, time to vacuum all the leaves and debris from the bottom.
For the rest of the season, keep the filter clean, vacuum the pool each week, and test the chemical levels every day. We also advise having a pro test the water once a month.
If you are looking to get a new swimming pool built, or get your swimming pool remodeled give BMB Construction a call. We strive to be the best Swimming Pool Builder in Temecula, Murrieta, Fallbrook, La Cresta, Wine Country, and all surrounding communities in the Valley.