Starting Up Your Swimming Pool - Getting Water Chemistry Right | Print |
Usefull Information - Pool Care

So your swimming pool contractor has just finish your backyard dream and the day has come to "start-up" the pool, meaning it is filled with water and the pool equipment is ready to be turned on. If you think that's all there is to it, you might be in for a costly reality check.

Starting up a swimming pool is an important and critical phase and revolves mainly around getting your water chemistry correct. Water chemistry in your swimming pool, if not maintained properly, can and will damage your costly investment, specifically, the interior finish. Maintaining Proper PH In Your Swimming Pool
New pool start-ups need special attention and your swimming pool builder should take time and stress the importance of proper care. Probably the most important area to pay close attention to on start-ups is PH.

Think back to your science class as a student and recall the PH scale from 0 to 14. PH determines the acidity of your pool water. Neutral has a PH of 7. If your PH is below 7, your water is acidic, above 7 the water is basic, or alkaline. Proper PH range or balance for you swimming pool is 7.4. The further away from this number your water is, it will cause eye irritation, scaling, pitting of the interior finish, staining, cloudy water and chlorine inefficiency, just to name a few.

Manufacturers of interior finish products will not warranty their products due to owner neglect. High PH is controlled with Muriatic Acid and low PH with Soda Ash. CAUTION: never add water to muriatic acid as this may cause a violent reaction. always add acid to water. Also, acid is heavier than water so adding it directly to the pool will cause it to sit on the bottom, so be sure to always brush your pool after adding acid.

Most pools today are "salt" pools, meaning they have a chlorine generation system. These systems will produce a higher PH chlorine so this is another reason to be consistent about checking your PH. A good rule of thumb is to check your water chemistry three times a week until you learn the pools requirements for adjustments.

Total Alkalinity
Another area to monitor is Total Alkalinity, which is the water's ability to resist (buffer) PH change. Proper alkalinity level should be between 80 and 150 ppm. Sodium bicarbonate is used to raise Total Alkalinity and Muriatic Acid will lower TA. Improper TA levels will cause eye irritation, corrosion and leaching or pitting of interior finishes.

Chlorine should not be introduced for several days after pool start-up as this will delay or slow the process of curing the new interior finish. If you use well water, once you are sure all metals are out of the water, then you can add a residual of chlorine. Salt should not be added on start-ups for at least 15 days. Pool cleaners that roam the bottom such as a Polaris, should not be installed for fifteen days.

Water chemistry in swimming pools is a science and a very complex and exhaustive subject. There are systems like the Langlier Index and the Hamilton Index for balancing water. However, regardless of the method used, applying chemicals in a manner inconsistent with label requirements is a violation of Federal Law. Remember that routine water maintenance is required as long as you own a pool. This will protect your investment and help you keep your swimming pool beautiful for many years.


Salt in Water

When salt is dissolved in water, the sodium and chlorine break apart to form free sodium ions and chloride ions. Effectively keeping your pool clean.

Baracuda G2

A Baracuda G2 has a 36 - finned disc.


The most common and effective sanitiser of swimming pools in the world is Chlorine.

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