Three Simple Steps to Prepare your Pool for Spring A two-part article by Cornerstone Pools
Continuing from last month’s article which covered Checking the Deck and Cover, this month covers Water Chemistry.
Step 3. Check your water
Pull back part of your cover so you can test the water chemistry. If water is frozen to your cover do not attempt to move it or to lower the water as you can damage the cover. For mesh covers, if your water is higher than your tile line, lower it.
To test your water, you will need a water sample from as deep as possible. During the winter all the chemicals in your pool are likely to have settled. You will have different concentrations of chemicals at different depths with the highest concentrations near the bottom. If you have a mesh pool cover it is likely that your chlorine level will be low since much of it will have been broken down by the sun. Add fast dissolving shock if your chlorine level is low.
If your alkalinity is low add an alkalinity increaser such as sodium bicarbonate, soda ash, or sodium sesquicarbonate. Be aware that these chemicals will raise your pH. Also only do this once if the weather is still cold. Lower water temps will decrease your pool’s ability to dissolve alkalinity increasers. As the pool warms up the undissolved chemicals could cause a spike in your alkalinity levels, causing cloudy water, scale deposits, or locking your pH.
If you have phosphates in your water (algae food) add phosfree. Add pool enzymes especially if you have a mesh pool or if leaves and other debris found their way into your pool. Enzymes will help your pool opening as well as protect your pool through the season by breaking down organic contaminants well into the late spring. Unless you are opening your pool after the weather has already started to warm up, you will not have to add algaecide until you officially open your pool.
To brush or not to brush?
This really depends on how soon you are going to be opening your pool. If you are a month or more away from officially opening your pool, go ahead and brush. This will help break up any algae that could be forming on the walls and will help redistribute chemicals through your pool. The water will not be circulating so all the solids will have time to settle back to the bottom of the pool. If your pool opening is sooner, I would recommend not brushing. You’re going to be running the pump soon and any solids suspended in the water are going to wind up in your filter. Save the brushing till after you’ve vacuumed the bottom of the pool to waste and you will save your filter and save some time during startup.
Ready for Opening!
If you follow these suggestions, you will be well on your way to having a speedy and successful spring opening. However, every pool is different. I’m sure that you have come across your own shortcuts or tricks for waking up your pool from its hibernation.
For details, you can reach Cornerstone Pools Services at 661-373-9901.
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