Whether you’ve just installed a new pool or drained and refilled your existing one, it’s important to have the right chemical balance. The chemicals you’ll need will depend on your source of water. For instance, some tap water will be excellent for your pool while other sources may need major adjustment. Ultimately, you want to achieve a water balance that works well with chlorine and won’t scale, stain, corrode or fade your pool’s soft and shiny surfaces.
New Pool Startup Chemicals
Some new pool startup chemicals to remember adding to your pool include alkalinity, pH, free chlorine, calcium hardness, and cyanuric acid.
Refilling Your Pool with Fresh Water
You have several choices to fill your pool. Most people opt to use a garden hose, often using two hoses. Alternatively, you can fill from a nearby fire hydrant or truck. If you’re getting water from a well or your source water contains metals, minerals and dirt, or high phosphate and chloramine levels, then you can filter the water as you fill your pool.
Testing Your Freshly Filled Pool Water
To determine the water balance of your pool water, all you need Is a pool test kit or test strips. Go for a complete test kit or test strip if you’re looking to produce the full battery of water tests.
Pool Startup Chemical Targets
When starting up a freshly filled pool, it’s advisable to test each parameter so you can establish the starting chemistry or baseline before adding chemicals to raise or lower levels to the proper range:
- Total Alkalinity: 80-120 ppm
- pH: 7.2-7.6
- Free Chlorine: 1.0-3.0 ppm
- Calcium Hardness: 180-220 ppm
- Cyanuric Acid: 30-50 ppm
Once you have the initial readings, note them down so you can refer to them while adding chemicals. It’s also crucial that you know your pool capacity to calculate how much adjustment chemicals to add and how your pool works to ensure that you’re adding all of the necessary components.
Chemicals Needed for Pool Start Ups
- Chlorine tablets
- Granular Shock Chlorine
- Stain & Scale Preventer
- Algaecide and Clarifiers if needed
- Alkalinity and/or pH Decreaser
- Alkalinity and/or Calcium Increaser
- Cyanuric Acid (Stabilizer)
- pH increaser and/or pH Decreaser
- Complete Test Strips or Test Kit
Tips for Adding Start-Up Pool Chemicals
- Start by adding Stain & Scale preventer first, especially if your pool has new plaster
- Consider using an online calculator for the amount of start-up chemicals
- Add one chemical at a time and use a pool brush to distribute
- Circulate the chemicals in the pool by running the filter pump
- Re-test the pool water after eight hours of running the filter
- Add chlorine shock when the sun is down
- Add algaecides last, after the chlorine level drops below 3 ppm
Once you open the pool, you’ll need to circulate, filter, clean and treat the pool water every other day by either using chemicals or DIY methods such as baking soda. The best way to prevent water problems is to ensure constant chlorine levels, consistent water balance and effective filtering.
And when the water temperature rises through summer, for example, you’ll need to add more chlorine tablets and more hours of daily filtering to ensure everything is in balance.
With the right balance of new pool startup chemicals, your pool should be safe and clean for swimming right when you build it. The secret to ensuring your pool is ready is to have the right chemicals and add them the right way. Be consistent and you can maintain a clean and healthy pool for longer -- even when it’s covered in the wintertime.