When opening a swimming pool too many people forget to TEST THE WATER before adding chemicals… Whether you choose to test the water yourself w/ test kits like the eXact Micro 7+ Pool Testing Meter or Pool Check Test Strips, or visit your local pool supply store and have them test your water at the beginning of the season, you will want to test for all or as many of these water quality parameters as possible. Note:
- Alkalinity – Not having the correct amount of alkalinity in your water will make getting and keeping the pH of your pool water very difficult.
- Calcium Hardness – Having too much calcium in your water could result in deposits forming and could also make it harder for other chemicals to dissolve in the water. Too little calcium in the water could result in pool water becoming aggressive and starting to attack various pool surfaces.
- Chlorine (Free) – If you use chlorine as your sanitizer, check to see if you have any left over from last year… or risk adding more than you need to add at the beginning of the year and ‘wasting’ money.
- Chlorine (Total) – If you use chlorine as your sanitizer and shocked your pool at the end of the previous season (as you SHOULD have), then you may have a lot of combined chlorine in your water that needs to get ‘burned out’ w/ a non-chlorine shock. Combined chlorine does little good when it comes to keeping pool water clean.
- pH – Incorrect pH levels drastically reduce the effectiveness of important pool chemicals such as bromine, chlorine, clarifiers, algaecides, etc.
- Metals – Having unwanted metals such as copper and iron in your pool water when you shock it w/ an oxidizer like chlorine or bromine at the beginning of the season could cause the metals to precipitate out of solution and stain pool surfaces.
- Stabilizer – Also known as cyanuric acid, having too little of this compound in pool water makes it difficult to maintain a free chlorine residual. Having too much of it can keep chlorine in a pool from doing its job.
- Total Dissolved Solids – Too many total dissolved solids in pool water will result in the water not accepting additional material… such as the chlorine powder (granules), tablets, sticks, or pool chemistry balancing chemicals.
So, get your water tested before adding start-up chemicals. Any questions?