Home & Garden Swimming Pools & Water Fountains & Ponds

How to Treat a New Swimming Pool

    • 1). Purchase a pool test kit from a local pool supply store. Make sure the test will be able to measure your new swimming pool's pH level, alkalinity level and calcium hardness level.

    • 2). Use the water test kit, following the manufacturer's instructions, to find out the pool's pH level. Your new swimming pool's ideal pH, which is the measure of the acidity or basicity of the pool, is between 7.2 and 7.8. If the pH is 6.6 to 7, add 12 oz. of soda ash for every 10,000 gallons. If the pH is under 6.7, add 1 lb. of soda ash for every 10,000 gallons of water to increase the water's pH level. Too low of a pH can cause the water to become acidic and cause pool chlorine to dissipate quickly.

      However, if your pH is about 8, add 16 oz. of muriatic acid for every 10,000 gallons of pool water to lower the pH. You must add 24 oz. of this acid if the pH is 8 to 8.4, and add 1 qt. of the acid if the pH is more than 8.4. Too high of a pH will cause your pool filter to be overworked and slow chlorine activity.

    • 3). Check the pool's alkalinity -- its capacity to neturalize acids. If your pool's alkalinity falls between 80 and 150 parts per million (ppm), the level is fine. To increase alkalinity in the pool, add 1.4 lbs. of sodium bicarbonate, or baking soda, for every 10,000 gallons of pool water. This will raise the alkalinity 10 ppm. If the alkalinity is too low, it can cause corrosion.

      To reduce the pool's alkalinity by 10 ppm, add a quart of muriatic acid to every 10,000 gallons. If the alkalinity is too high, it can cause cloudy water.

    • 4). Look at the test results for the level of calcium hardness of the swimming pool, which should be about 250 ppm. Too low of calcium hardness can cause pitting of the pool's plaster surface, while a high calcium hardness level can cause scale formation.

      To increase your calcium hardness if it is too low, add 1.25 lbs. of calcium chloride for every 10,000 gallons of water. This will boost the hardness level 10 ppm. To decrease the level 11 ppm, put a pound of trisodium phosphate in the pool for every 10,000 gallons of water.

    • 5). Add a gallon of liquid chlorine for every 10,000 gallons of pool water. This "shock" treatment will help to disinfect your swimming pool. Do this at dusk or nighttime so that the sun will not burn off the shock.

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