You should get yourself a good quality test kit or test strips before your pool is filled.
Firstly check a sample of the town water supply which had not been in to the pool, just straight from the tap.
Note the Chlorine, pH & Total Alkalinity
Start filling your pool.
Then after 24 hours add the Sodium Bicarbonate for the correction of the Total Alkalinity & leave 24 hours.
Now start to add chlorine to bring the level up.
If you have a marblesheen finish pool, Do not add acid to the pool for at least 4-5 days & even then don’t try to correct the pH to 7.4, let it stay at the 7.7-8.0 for another week so that the surface of the plaster has time to cure before you bring the pH down to the 7.5-7.6 range.
With vinyl, fibreglass & tile finishes, you can bring the pH to the correct level 48 hours after adding the bicarb.
If you wish to use chlorine stabilizer, which you will have to do if you are going to connect a salt chlorinator to the pool, then start adding the cyanuric acid to the pool, once the pH is correct.
Test your pool water for chlorine, pH level, and alkalinity every day until the recommended levels have been reached. Our recommendation is to maintain chlorine levels at 1.5 ppm to 2.0 ppm; pH between 7.2 and 7.6; and total alkalinity reading between 100 ppm and 120 ppm. Run these tests daily for the first week or two to attain proper water balance and to become familiar with the tests. This will become much easier to maintain after you get a “feel” for your new pool and chemical requirements. Once you’ve added the necessary chemicals to bring your pool water into balance, weekly testing should be adequate. Refer to the instructions in your test kit.
SWIMMING POOL CHEMICALS…
CHLORINE (1.5 PPM to 2.0 PPM)
The purpose of using chlorine is to sanitize the water by killing disease-causing bacteria and preventing the growth of algae. Chlorine may be added through a floating device, a chlorine injection system, or manufactured by a salt water system. Chlorine demands in the swimming pool are greater during the summer months when the water is warmer, and also with high swimmer use. During the summer, maintain a free chlorine residual of 1.5 ppm to 2.0 ppm.
pH (7.2 to 7.6)
The control of pH is essential to proper water balance. If the pH becomes too high there is an increase danger of scale formation on the plaster and tile. If the pH is too low the swimming pool water becomes aggressive and can damage the pool interior and equipment. Test the pH weekly and add acid as necessary. Try to maintain a pH reading between 7.2 and 7.6 – a salmon colour. If the test is pinkish in colour, add acid. If the colour is light yellow, there is too much acid in the pool, and it must be neutralized with soda ash. (For amount and application of acid or soda ash, refer to the chart in your test kit, or consult with a pool serviceman, or retail pool store. You will probably need to add acid regularly. New water added to your pool usually has a pH higher than 8.0 and the plaster or cement in your pool raises the pH. So plan on testing weekly and add accordingly.
TOTAL ALKALINITY (100 PPM TO 120 PPM)
Total alkalinity is a measure of all the alkaline materials (calcium carbonate) in the water. It is the water’s buffering capacity or the water’s resistance to change in pH. Too much alkalinity will make it difficult to change the pH, and may cause scale to form on the pool’s surface. It may plug up your salt chlorinator and build up inside the filter elements. The total alkalinity reading recommendation for swimming pool water is between 100 ppm and 120 ppm. Keeping an alkalinity reading in this range reduces the likelihood of calcium carbonate build-up on the high side, and an aggressive water environment on the low side. Adding acid reduces both pH and alkalinity. After start-up, test the pool daily and add acid according to the chart in your test kit, to bring the alkalinity and pH to proper levels as necessary. Once proper levels are achieved, testing can be done weekly. If your pool has low alkalinity, it will be necessary to add bicarbonate of soda. Total Alkalinity increaser here.
CHLORINE GENERATOR (SALT SYSTEM)
Each chlorine generator system has different recommendations for their respective optimum salt levels. As a rule we recommend a reading of about 3200 ppm of salt. (Consult Owner’s Manual) Salt levels should be tested once or twice a year by a swimming pool professional or a retail store. We have some salt test devices here.
The “Rule of Thumb” is to run your filter 1 hour for every 10 degrees of ambient temperature. Run your filter long enough to keep the water clear, clean, and sparkling. After unusually high swimmer use, it may be necessary to run the filter longer until water is clear. Clean the cartridge filter 4 times a year or more often if bad weather dumps a bunch of dirt in your pool. During the wintertime, as the water temperature decreases, chlorine demands are lower, so you can maintain a lower chlorine residual and decrease your filter “run” time. However, it is still very important to maintain proper pH levels and alkalinity so acid may need to be added. Continue to test your swimming pool water weekly even during the winter months.
CONDITIONER / STABILIZER (80 ppm)
At start up we will add conditioner (stabilizer) to your pool. Conditioner is a chemical that when combined with chlorine, protects chlorine from being destroyed by the UV rays in sunlight. The stabilizer content should be maintained above 80 ppm for maximum chlorine performance and economy. It may be necessary to add more stabilizer to your swimming pool water every year.
The swimming pool water should also be tested 2 to 3 times a year for salt (if you have a salt chlorinator), stabilizer, and total dissolved solids (TDS). Either buy special test kits for these procedures or take a water sample to a retail swimming pool store. Failure to maintain proper water balance may damage your pool and equipment and void manufacturer warranties.