Here’s a common situation - you haven’t had time to test your pool’s water in a while. You finally get around to it and find that everything is out of balance. Your pH is off, your TA is off, and there’s no chlorine. What do you do?
You may be tempted to look at the readings and then dump all the recommended chemicals into your pool all at once. This is not a good idea - it is best to add chemicals one at a time according to the quantities recommended on your chemical’s packaging. Alternatively, you can use Sutro.ai to help you figure out what to add. Sutro.ai is an easy to use chat bot that we have developed at Sutro to give you pool treatment recommendations based on your pool and the chemicals that you use. To get started, follow this link and sign up.
Once you know the quantities of chemicals that you’re supposed to add to your pool, the next step is to add them in series. So, what’s first? If your free chlorine level is at 0, then you should first add sanitizer. Partially fill a 5 gallon bucket with pool water and add the recommended amount of sanitizer. If you are using liquid chlorine, it is ok to pour it directly into the pool. If you have to add a large quantity of the needed chemical, split the quantity up and add it in multiple treatments. Run your pump and allow the water to circulate.
Next, you should balance your pH. Again, partially fill a 5 gallon bucket with pool water and add the recommended amount of acid (lowering pH), soda ash, or borax (raising pH). Mix the water and chemical (be careful - always wear rubber gloves when working with pool chemicals) and pour them into your pool. Again, if you have to add a large quantity of the chemical, split it up and add it in batches.
Wait at least an hour, test your pH. If it is still off, follow this procedure again until the pH is between 7.2-7.6.
Once your pH is in line, then adjust your alkalinity following the same procedure - using Sodium Bicarbonate (Baking Soda) to raise your Alkalinity as needed. After treating the water, test it again after 2 hours to see what your Alkalinity level is. Repeat the procedure as necessary.