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pool water testing

Chemical Guide for Opening Your Swimming Pool

08,Apr 2019

Opening your pool seasons is essentially a reverse of the pool closing process. A significant part of properly opening your pool is using the right chemical to ensure your pool water is clean, clear, and sanitized for the warmer weather.

Achieving the crystal clear blue water can take up to several weeks. With these tips from Swimming Pool Discounters, you can have clear pool water in no time!

Before You Get Started: Testing Your Pool Water

When it comes to test kits, there is a variety to choose from whether you use strips or test kits, be sure it is a five-way test kit. A five-way test kit will check your pool water:

  • Chlorine
  • Calcium
  • pH
  • Alkalinity
  • Stabilizer

If you use a smaller kit, you won’t be able to check all five significant levels, making it difficult to achieve balanced, clear water. When you test your pool water, be sure to:

  • Use fresh strips or test kit. Strips last roughly three years from their manufacturing date. Test kit reagents that have been exposed to sunlight, frozen during winter, or are older than two seasons should be replaced.
  • Use precision. Be sure to precisely test your pool water to ensure you get accurate readings.  Increase accuracy by avoiding taking samples from surface water by taking samples from a depth of 12”, hold the reagent bottle vertical when adding drops and keep testing vials clean.
  • Keep a test log. By maintaining a test log in a small notepad, you can keep a record of any adjustments you made to your pool water in previous days. Be sure to keep track of your readings and the amounts you added.

Chemicals for Balancing You Pool Water

pH Level

Having the proper pH level in your pool water is the most crucial part of achieving water balance. With the correct pH, you can double the potency of your chlorine, makes the water more comfortable for swimmers, and will help to reduce staining and algae build-up from accumulating.

When you first open your pool to do spring cleaning or when you shock the pool, it is essential to lower your pool’s pH, within the range of 7.2-7.4. Aside from these situations, it is critical to maintain a pH of 7.5. If you pool water’s pH rises above 7.6, try adding an acid to help lower the pH level, and if it goes lower than 7.2, you can add a base to help increase the pH level of your pool water.

Total Alkalinity

The alkalinity of your pool water plays a vital role in keeping your pH stable and acts as a pH buffer to help your pH resist changes. If the alkalinity is lower than 80 ppm, it can cause your pH to be thrown off balance, making it harder to stabilize. Use an alkalinity increaser such as PRISTINE ALK UP to raise your pool water alkalinity levels.

If your pool water’s alkalinity exceeds 120 ppm, pH can also become difficult to balance or adjust. To lower your pool water’s alkalinity, use Pristine PH Down, to decrease the pH and total alkalinity of your pool water.

Calcium Hardness

Without enough hardness, your pool water can begin pulling it out of tile grout or pool plaster. Soft water can become foamy, harming softer, shiny surfaces like pool liners. To increase hardness in your pool water, you can use a calcium increaser. This will raise your hardness level to 200 ppm. If the hardness level rises over 400 ppm, you will need to lower the hardness level by diluting the water.


Chlorine is a crucial chemical for your pool, from the time it is closed in the winter until the pool is opened for the spring. It is important to maintain a constant level of chlorine because it is the final ingredient in water balance from the time the pool is opened until it is closed for the winter.

Once your water has been balanced, the pool should be shocked with granular chlorine. Be sure to allow the chlorine level to drop down between 1.0 to 2.0 ppm. You can maintain the chlorine level by placing chlorine tablets in the feed or floater. Avoid putting the tablets in the skimmer basket.


Stabilizer or conditioner comes in liquid or granular form and helps protect the chlorine from the sun. You need to have at least 20 ppm of stabilizer in the water to keep the sun from burning off the chlorine. Add stabilizer as needed, keeping a 30-50 ppm level. If the level rises above 50-100 ppm, dilute the cyanuric acids levels by draining and refilling the pool with fresh water.

Keeping your pool water balanced and clear by contacting Swimming Pool Discounters today. We have a wide range of pool chemicals to help you open your pool and enjoy it all summer long!