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Opening Chlorine & Bromine Pools

Follow these Steps


The temperature is rising, the trees are budding and the kids are screaming to go swimming. Spring is here and it’s time to open the pool. Many problems can be avoided later in the season by opening your pool the right way. Get the season off to a trouble-free start by following these procedures and using the 3 step program of your choice.

STEP 1: Remove the pool cover. You may have covered your pool with a solid or mesh cover to keep out leaves and debris over the winter. If you have an auto cover – clean it with BioGuard® Stow-Away® before opening. It makes it easier to remove solid pool covers if the water level in the pool is raised up to or above operating level before the cover is removed. Solid covers catch water which should be drained off and partially cleaned while on the pool. The less debris and water, the easier it is to take off and less chance of having the dirty water and leaves fall in the pool when taking the cover off. Take every precaution to keep what is on top of the cover out of the water. Pump water off of the cover with a Little Giant submersible pump. Brush water towards the pump while it is running, then brush debris off the cover. Do not dump the pool cover and debris into the pool. Next, clean the cover. Keep in mind it is easier to clean the cover while it is still on the pool. Sweep the cover and spray it with BioGuard® Stow-Away® to prevent sticking, mildew stains and unpleasant odors. Drying the cover first is not necessary. Fold and store cover away from the sun, weather and chemicals. Solid covers are made to stay wet or moist during the off season.
STEP 2: Fill your pool. The water level in your pool should be about the middle of the skimmer opening. If it is low, add new water. Remove any large debris from pool — leaves, sticks, and such, with a leaf net.
STEP 3: Remove winter plugs from return lines, skimmer, automatic cleaner line and other fittings.
STEP 4: Reinstall pumps/motors, gauges, drain plugs in lint pots, filters, heaters, etc. Lubricate the lint pot o-ring with a Teflon based lubricant/sealant such as Magic Lube. Make sure all ground wires are connected. If you have a timer, put timer switches back on time clock. Do not set timer until filter has ran a sufficient amount of time to circulate water and water clarity is maintained. (Water should be as clear as you desire before shutting off filtration system.)
STEP 5: Reinstall ladders, diving boards, and other accessory and deck equipment.
STEP 6: Check pump, skimmer and filter. Make sure all the mechanical equipment is clean and functional. Start up filtration system on rinse position. This allows any dirt or objects hidden in the drain or skimmer lines to be trapped in the pump strainer and or on top of the filter media. After running 2-3 minutes on rinse, backwash the filter to rid it of dirt which might have developed in the filter during the off season. Then, rinse a second time before moving the valve to filter.
STEP 7: Vacuum the pool if necessary. If you used a mesh cover you will most likely need to vacuum to waste. You may also want to vacuum to waste if there if a lot of dirt and debris. Remember, if your pool filter is not working properly, your chemicals will be less effective. If you did not clean your filter before closing with BioGuard® Kleen It® or Strip Kwik® filter cleaner/degreaser, you should clean it now or change the sand. When was the last time the sand was changed and what kind of sand is in the filter now? You may want to change old sand or inexpensive sand. In DE filters, change the filter media prior to start-up and check for build-up, if so, acid wash the DE elements or clean with Bio Guard Strip Kwik Filter Cleaner & Degreaser and/or Bio Guard Kleen It. Check for any leaks in the system and repair them.
STEP 8: Start and test-fire the heater. Clean the heater if needed. Install the pressure switch back on 1/4” copper line and close the drain cock or install the plug on the heat exchanger. Then open the gas cock and follow lighting instructions recommended by manufacturer, found on the inside when door is removed. (gas heaters only).
STEP 9: Clean the water line. Use BioGuard® Off the Wall™ to clean the area from the water line all the way to the top of the pool liner or other finish.
STEP 10: Visually check the water. If the pool is cloudy or green, adjust the pH and shock the water. (Amounts may vary depending on water oxidize condition.) Let the filter system run for 24-48 hours.
STEP 11: Check your test kit. Each season you’ll need to get new reagents to get accurate readings. Accuracy is very important to the life of your pool. Bad testing reagents can mean false readings and a costly wasteful misuse of chemicals. Make sure the test kit colors are bright. Never leave the test kit outside during the winter and never in the sun during the summer.
STEP 12: Take a sample of pool water. If the water is clear, run the filter for twenty-four hours and use our free BioGuard® water sample bag. Take the sample to Ultra Modern and we will test the sample. The water sample should be taken at elbow length and away from the returns.
STEP 13: Get your personalized prescription. Ultra Modern Pool & Patio and BioGuard® will provide a personalized prescription for your pool, specifying the chemicals and amounts needed to keep the water balanced. The idea is to get your pool water balanced, in condition so that your chemical program can do its best job possible.

STEP ONE – To maintain constant sanitation and a chlorine reading of 1.5 – 3.5 ppm add Silk Sticks® or 3” Silk Tabs® to the skimmer or chlorine floater at 2 units per 10,000 gal. If using an Automatic Chlorinator, fill chlorinator with 3” Silk Tabs® and adjust dial to the appropriate level.

STEP TWO – To remove swimmer wastes and restore sparkling clear water, add BurnOut® 3 or BurnOut® 35. For best results, when opening, add BurnOut® 3 or BurnOut® 35 at the rate of two pounds per 6,000 gallons. If pool is too green or cloudy to see the bottom of the shallow end, then use BioGuard® Spot Kill®, according to label directions to remove algae from your pool. Twenty-four hours later, add BurnOut® 3 or BurnOut 35® at the rate of one pound per 6,000 gallons. You can use BioGuard® Power Floc® according to label directions when pool water is very green and/or cloudy before any other chemicals are added.

STEP THREE – To prevent algae add Back Up® Algae Inhibitor the next morning after adding Burn Out® Extreme or Burn Out® 35. Add one quart per 25,000 gallons initially and follow up with two ounces per 5,000 gallons every two weeks. If your pool has Visions® or Nature II®, use BioGuard® Algae All 60® instead of Backup® and add weekly per label instructions.

STEP 14: You may wish to test the water yourself. However, you should know that most home test kits will not test for all the factors that affect water balance, such as total verses free chlorine, total alkalinity, stabilizer, TDS, calcium hardness, iron, copper and optimizer. Not knowing the status of these factors can cause problems. For example, metals in the water can cause discoloration and/or ugly stains when you add chlorine or pH adjuster. Ultra Modern has a simple test that can detect metal content so that you can take corrective actions before stains occur. If you brought your water in for a BioGuard® personalized prescription you may skip steps 15 through 21.
STEP 15: Ultra Modern checks for metals. If there are metals present in your pool water you will need to add BioGuard® Pool Magnet® Plus and Sparkle Up® according to label directions.
STEP 16: Ultra Modern checks total alkalinity. Total alkalinity affects and controls pH. If total alkalinity is too high, pH will be hard to adjust. If it is too low, pH will be unstable and difficult to maintain. The desired range for total alkalinity is 125 – 150 ppm, depending on pool finish. Ultra Modern has the proper chemicals to raise or lower the total alkalinity. Ultra Modern’s accurate tests will determine the ppm of total alkalinity in your pool water. Add BioGuard® Balance Pak® 100 if levels are low and BioGuard® Lo’N Slo® if levels are high.
STEP 17: Ultra Modern checks pH. pH is a measurement of acidity and alkalinity. The ideal range is 7.4 – 7.6. Below 7.0, pool water is acidic and will corrode pool equipment and damage the pool surface. Above 7.8, the water is too alkaline and can cause cloudiness and scale formation. Improper pH also affects chlorine’s germ killing power and causes swimmer discomfort. After you have corrected low alkalinity, if pH is still low add BioGuard® Balance Pak® 200. If pH is high add BioGuard® Lo’N Slo®.
STEP 18: Ultra Modern checks stabilizer. This is the amount of stabilizer or cyanuric acid in your pool. Ideally it should be above 40 ppm – this prevents sunlight from dissipating chlorine. Home test kits do not have the capacity to test for stabilizer. Ultra Modern will do this test for you when you bring in a water sample.
STEP 19: Ultra Modern checks calcium hardness. This is the amount of dissolved calcium in pool water and affects pool balance. Ideal ranges are approximately 200-275 ppm for plaster pools; 200 – 400 ppm for pools using Visions® or Nature II®; 175 – 225 ppm for all other pools. Higher hardness levels can cause cloudy water and scale. Lower levels can harm the pool surface and pool equipment. Low calcium hardness can cause wrinkling of vinyl liners. Add BioGuard® Balance Pak® 300 if level is low. If calcium is high, use BioGuard® Scale Inhibitor®.
STEP 20: Ultra Modern checks chlorine/bromine levels. Find out how much chlorine or bromine is in the water. Your DPD test kit will show the amount of free (usable) chlorine or bromine that’s ready to kill bacteria or algae in your pool water. The ideal amount is 1.0 to 1.5 ppm. A reading below 0.5 means you don’t have enough sanitizer power. Above 3.0 — you have too much and you’re wasting chemicals and money.
STEP 21: Ultra Modern checks the BioGuard® Optimizer Plus™, Endure, or Proteam® Supreme level. Ideal ranges are 30 to 50 ppm for a chlorine or bromine pool.
Optimizer Plus™, or Proteam® Supreme reduces the need for sanitizers and balancing chemicals and lowers total operating cost month after month. The unique formula significantly increases the efficiency of the sanitizer (chlorine or bromine) by relieving it of much of it’s algae work load. They are also easy on your eyes since Optimizer Plus™ , and Proteam® Supreme dramatically reduce eye and skin irritation.

NOTE: Always follow label directions and manufacturer’s instructions for each product used. Conditions may vary from pool to pool. Ultra Modern Pool & Patio does not assume any responsibility or liability for the results that may be obtained through utilization of this or any other program, procedure or product.

Bulletin #104