How to Properly Open, Clean, and Care for Your Pool in Westchester

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We spoke with two of Westchester’s pool authorities on the best practices for getting your home aquatics in tip-top shape this season.

Anna Torchia, Coral Sea Pools

What chemicals do you need to start your pool?

“The standard opening chemicals used are chlorine shock, algaecide, and Metal Out [stain and mineral inhibitor] for the initial opening of the pool. Once that circulates in the pool for a few days, you can test and balance your chlorine, pH, alkaline, and calcium levels.”

Mitch Katz, Neave Group Outdoor Solutions

What is the most important step for prepping your pool?

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“Make sure it’s full, so the water level is about halfway into the skimmer mouth and remove as much debris as you can as soon as possible. Also, inspect equipment for damage as soon as possible. Wind, rain, snow, and animals can all cause damage to equipment over the winter.”

pool school
By Updesh/ Adobe Stock

What do you need to open your pool for the season?

“You need the tools to reconnect any equipment that was disconnected at closing and a test kit to test chemistry. You might need chemicals such as shock, maybe a clarifier, an algaecide, and metal-sequestering agent, depending on the state of pool and source water. Also, balancing chemicals to adjust pH, total alkalinity, calcium hardness, and stabilizer, and salt if your pool uses a saltwater chlorine generator. Diatomaceous earth or alternative if you have a DE filter. Also, a new or clean set of filter cartridges if you have a cartridge filter. Of course, you’ll also need equipment to clean the pool, such as a leaf rake and vacuum.”

What is your best advice for keeping your pool thriving and operational for the season?

“Upgrade old equipment before you have to. With all the supply-chain issues, it may be difficult to source parts or equipment when you need them. Keep filters clean. For pool owners with cartridge filters, it always helps to have a spare set of cartridges. Maintain good water chemistry. Water chemistry is not just about keeping the water clear. Bad water chemistry can cause skin and eye irritation, along with unnecessary damage to equipment and interior surfaces. Switch to a variable-speed pump if you still have a single-speed pump. You will be forced to do so soon, anyway, as new regulations from the Department of Energy have made it illegal for manufacturers to produce single-speed pumps. Variable-speed pumps allow you to run the filter longer, which keeps the water cleaner while saving energy.”

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