The weather is getting a little warmer and the sun has been out, most of the snow is gone, it is time to Think Spring. Time to think picnics, fun, games and of course swimming. That means it is also time to start making a list of what chemicals we have sitting on the shed or garage shelf. When opening your pool, and to operate it all summer, you'll need to keep several pool chemicals on hand. Chlorine tabs, shock, stabilizer/conditioner, pH increaser, pH decreaser, Alkalinity and Calcium increasers, stain removers and new test strips or test reagents.
SPP Spring Start-up Kits
I find that when I am opening the swimming pool and closing the pool it is always easiest to purchase a Spring start up kit and/or Closing Kit. The kits are usually based on gallons. If you have 15,000 gallons, you would by the 15,000 kit. The kit will have the right amount of chemicals to open your pool. Just pour them into the pool one at a time and let the filter run for a little while before adding the second container, let the filter run for a while and so on. No need to worry about measuring anything. This makes opening the pool really easy and simple.
Pool opening kits do not usually have what I refer to as specialty chemicals – water balance chemicals to adjust the pH, alkalinity, calcium, stabilizer, stain removal, algaecide etc. – this is why it is good to take an annual spring pool chemical inventory of what you have available and what needs to be replenished. Test reagents for liquid test kits should be replaced every season. Test strips usually have an expiry date on the bottom.
Take stock of other pool supplies that may need replacement, like your pool net or brush, or parts for your ladder, lights, skimmer, or pool cleaner.
Estimating Pool Chemical Need for Entire Season
Each pool is a little different, if you continue checking your pool on a regular basis, you will soon figure out how much you put in on a regular basis. If you usually need 4 tablets in a week you can easily multiply 4 times how many weeks you are going to be using the pool. Each tablet weighs 7 oz, or 0.44 of a pound. The same thing with shock. If you shock every 7-10 days, you can multiple the number of weeks you are going to be keeping your pool open and multiply it by the number off bags of shock you use.
You can get a much better price on pool chlorine tabs and shock if you purchase them in bulk. Our Chlorine Value Packs are a great deal. I always tell my customers to buy a little more in case they get a really warm week or an algae bloom during the season. If they do not use it during the season, they can use it when they close the pool or reopen the pool. How much chlorine, shock, pH etc. that your pool will require is hard to estimate, and can be very different for everyone, that's why our value packs, in 3 sizes, tend to cover all needs.
Algae Treatment on Spring Opening
Algae can be a tough problem for everyone. One thing I will remind my customers if they have an algae problem is that their pool filter has to run at least 8-10 hours each day. I find that most people who are experiencing algae only allow their filters to run a couple of hours a day. Most filters, if sized correctly, should run 8-12 hours a day.
If you get a stubborn algae bloom, you need to shock the pool, but even more important than that is you need to scrub the floors and walls and get the algae off the wall and floors and into the water. I tell my customers not to vacuum the pool or run the filter for the first 24 hours, unless you are able to vacuum to waste. Instead, shock the pool and brush the floors and walls several times during the first day, and by the next morning, you'll have all of the dead algae sitting on the pool floor; just waiting for the vacuum. If you try to vacuum the algae up or run the filter you end of infecting the filter and the vacuum with algae, which could be a constant problem with algae coming back all season long. I have had customer’s opening green pools this way for many years now and they find that this ends their relationship with algae.
Another thing that use if you struggle with algae every spring is a product by Natural Chemistry called Phos Free. Algae needs phosphates to grow. If you eliminate phosphates from your water, you cannot have algae. The first time you use this product, follow the instructions on the container. If you continue to add a minimal amount each week, you will prevent any algae from coming back. Keeping the phosphate under control will keep your water algae free. Natural Chemistry also makes a Algae Treatment Kit, which comes with a phosphate test kit.
This has been a long cold snowy winter that seems to want to drag on, but there is hope that Spring is coming, hopefully sooner than later. I know that here at SPP we are all looking forward to catching up with family and friends around our pools. In New England, pool opening season is still another month (or two) away.
Now is a good time to order your pool opening kit, check your inventory and making those purchases so that when you start the pool, you will not be held up because you do not have something. Check over your equipment and make sure everything looks good before your big pool opening day. If you need something replaced, now is the time to do it.
Watch for our sales, they will save you money on your order, or search for our coupons online, wink-wink!
SPP Pool Expert