Open a Pool – Proper Chemical Balancing

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 28,713
    Pool Installation expert Jonathan Broga demonstrates proper chemical balancing for a pool.

    Jonathan Broga: Hi! I am Jonathan Broga with Potomac Pool Service. Today, I am showing you how to open a pool and get it ready for the season. Right now, we're going to be taking a look at chemicals.

    The first step to balancing your chemicals for the summer, or the spring, or the fall is knowing the water balance, using a good high quality test kit. This is a Taylor 2005, which is what we use and recommend. It comes with a book Pool & Spa Water Chemistry which contains far more than I could explain in this video and has the level of detail you will need to fully understand water balance in your pool.

    But in general, it's made up of a sanitizer, Chlorine, pH balance to match the pH of our eyes and skin, Calcium Hardness to balance with the interior of your pool, alkalinity and temperature. All five of those components need to be balanced in order for your pool water to feel comfortable and to not have harmful effects underneath your pool interior or your pool equipment.

    Let's start by testing the water and seeing where we stand on those five criteria. We know there is not any Chlorine in this pool having set all winter. So we are sure to be adding that. What else we have to add will depend on the specifics of your pool, the quality of your test kit, the accuracy of your measurements and the volume of your water.

    I have measured the water now, I have measured the pH, the alkalinity, the Calcium Hardness and the temperature. A temperature of 55 degrees, I have found that this water is balanced even with a pH above 8.

    0 and an alkalinity of only 60. Your results will vary given the water temperature of your pool, but this wheel will help you determine whether your water is in balance or out of balance.

    Use this wheel in conjunction with these instructions to find if your pool is balanced. Even though this pool is clear, it's probably still got things swimming in it that we don't want to swim with. This jug contains 5 gallons of liquid chlorine, which is basically like household bleach purchased from a whole seller and it's much stronger then the typical bleach but its just like it in terms of the fact.

    One note about chemicals. If you don't understand what will happen when you mix certain type of chemicals, then don't touch chemicals. If you are going to come in direct contact with them, you should have gloves, you should have eye protection. The way I am going to put this liquid into the pool, I am going to submerge it, so there isnt any splash, but if it did splash, it would get on your skin, you would need to wash it off. It would eat a hole in your clothing. Chemicals of any sort can never be mixed. Know this upfront and if you have any questions, then contact a pool professional, again, to have them do this for you.

    The best way to take liquid and not have it splash you, is to submerge it. It's heavier than water and it can be poured out allowing air to come into this jug as the Chlorine pours out to bottom. This shock of 5 gallons of liquid Chlorine is going to help brighten and clear this pool right up. If you have pool that has actively growing algae or green spots, granular Chlorine may be more appropriate.

    Well, that's it as far as chemicals for this pool. It turns out that this pool was fairly well balanced and we can see that in how clear and clean it opened. A properly balanced pool should be clear. Now this pool did need Chlorine which is standard for any pool to get it ready for swimming and to sanitize the water. Despite the fact that this is clear and balanced right now, it's reasonable that I check it again in a few days as the water mixes from top to bottom and vice-versa. I'd recommend you do the same with your pool. Check it regularly until you get a nice, even stable balance and from then on, may be once a week should be appropriate. Next, we're going to look at some things that your pool may or may not have.