A swimming pool should always provide a clean, safe environment for families to relax and have fun in. Adding swimming pool chemicals can often be a painstaking process, but following a few simple instructions should make the water quality of your swimming pool far more beneficial to the health and welfare of those that use it.
Step 1 – Be Safe!
When adding chemicals to your swimming pool or removing them from packaging, be sure to wear safety gloves and goggles.
It may also help to dress in old clothes. Pool chemicals have bleaching qualities and can ruin clothes easily. Always clean contaminated clothing in a separate wash.
Step 2 – Fill the Pool
Make sure the pool is filled to the maximum level before adding any chemicals. This will make testing more accurate upon completion and prevents plastic-based pools from being damaged by a more concentrated chemical content.
Step 3 – Preparation
Lay out all the chemicals separately on a high platform that is out of reach of children or pets. Have a clean bucket and measuring cup available and print out a pool chemical calculation chart from an online resource if you don’t already have one. Links for pool chemical calculations are available below. Use the bucket for mixing chemicals, and rinse between each mix.
Step 4 – Establish the Correct pH Level
Before adding any chemicals, use pH test strips to gauge the acidity or alkaline levels of the pool water. An ideal level of 7.2 pH should be sought.
Once the pH has been established, use the pool chemical calculation chart to determine how much Sodium Bicarbonate you need to add. Sodium Bicarbonate neutralizes acidity and alkaline levels by either releasing H+ ions (to reduce alkalinity) or absorbing them (to raise acidity).
You may also use pH pills as a means of testing the acidity or alkalinity of the pool water.
Step 5 – Water Softness
Calcium Chloride can be added in accordance with the pool chemical calculation chart. This will promote a softening effect on the pool water and help eradicate the buildup of limescale and hard water residues. Calcium Chloride will also stop the pool water from becoming cloudy. Use testing strips to gauge the levels of calcium in the pool water, with an optimum reading of 250ppm to 350ppm.
Step 6 – Add Chlorine
Always add chlorine after all other chemicals have been introduced to the pool. Otherwise, the overall levels of chlorine content will become unpredictable.
Aff chlorine in small quantities until an ideal level of 2ppm has been achieved. If the addition of chlorine affects the alkalinity levels of the water, add CO2 tables one at a time until the optimum pH level (7.2 pH) returns.
Step 7 – Ongoing Maintenance
Use testing strips at least every other day to check on the pH, calcium and chlorine levels of your pool water. You may also consider adding doses of algaecide at the water return point to promote even distribution.
Resources for Pool Calculators