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Understanding Pool Chemicals For Beginners


Owning a pool equates to lots of responsibilities. All of these are essential to obtain healthy and safe pool water. One of the many important factors in maintaining your pool well is understanding different pool chemicals for beginners. You have to ensure you have an in-depth knowledge of what matters. When it comes to pool maintenance, chemical balancing is the main task. Once you maintain all the components that are necessary for your pool water’s health, everything will follow.

In this article, we are going to share with you some of the different pool chemicals for beginners as well as the recommended and required levels for each one. We are also going to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about pool chemicals which play an important role in achieving a sparkling clean, safe, and healthy-looking water.

Part 1. What Should My Pool Chemical Levels Be?

When it comes to the different pool chemicals for beginners, there are certain levels that you must remember. These levels are the ranges or the required amount of chemicals to keep pool water safe and clean before swimmers dip into it.

Before we get into a deeper introduction to the different pool chemicals for beginners, we will let you have a background of what your pool chemistry should look like. Having these levels in check all the time can be your major key to becoming a pool expert someday, helping you understand and maintain your pool!

Your Pool Chemistry Components

Required Range of Level


7.4 to 7.6


100 ppm to 150 ppm

Calcium Hardness

175 ppm to 225 ppm; and if you have plaster pools range must be in between 225 ppm and 275 ppm

Chlorine or Salt Water Pools

1 ppm to 3 ppm of chlorine (recommended keeping it at 3 ppm)

Bromine Pools

3 ppm to 5 ppm of chlorine

Biguanide Pools

30 ppm to 50 ppm of chlorine

Mineral System Pools

0.5 ppm of chlorine

Once these pool chemical levels are always remembered and monitored, water chemistry will surely be kept well, and pool water will hardly have any conflicts or problems in the future!

Part 2. Beginner’s Guide to Swimming Pool Chemicals

There might be lots of figures to remember, but all of them are needed to be able to achieve your ideal swimming pool. And now that you have a brief knowledge about pool water chemistry and levels to remember, let us start to get to know the different pool chemicals for beginners.

1. Oxidizers

The first one on our list is oxidizers. They are technically similar to sanitizers since they are classified as one. This can be used by pool owners to shock the pool and increase its sanitary level, oxidizing pathogens and the different organic compounds that can be found in the pool water. They must be periodically used to ensure a well-sanitized pool. It can also be used to avoid the growth of algae, or once you have smelled a strong chlorine level, and you measured your chloramine to have a level of 0.3 ppm. Some of the common examples of oxidizers are:

  • Non-Chlorine Shock or Chlorine Free Shock.
  • Sodium Hypochlorite commonly known as bleach
  • Dichloro-S-Triazinetrione also known as DiChlor

Pool Chlorine Granules

  • Lithium Hypochlorite that can be used for lithium pool shocking

2. Clarifiers

To easily remove foreign particles which are usually found in the surface of our pool water, we have to use clarifiers. They are metallic ions or polymers that can attract these particles so they can be easily filtered or can make particles precipitate on the floors and can be removed by vacuums. If you have noticed that you have underperforming or undersized pool filters, the use of clarifiers will make your pool maintenance better and easier. They are usually used whenever cloudy or hazy water is observed. On the other hand, polymer clarifiers must not always be used to avoid obtaining the opposite effect. Some examples of clarifiers are:

  • Flocculants
  • Enzymes
  • Coagulants or polymer clarifiers

3. Reducers

One of the important things to consider whenever there are conflicts in chemical balancing in your pools is the use of reducers. They can also be used to get rid of unwanted contaminants which can destroy pool water chemistry. They are used to always restore balance, and must always be present whenever you are conducting pool maintenance regularly. Once there are chemicals in your pools that are overdosed, it can greatly affect all the other essential components and may result in undesirable effects like cloudy or hazy water, growth of algae, increase in chloramine levels, and even reduced sanitizer effectiveness. You can determine the level and frequency of adding reducers based on the result of your water testing during regular pool maintenance or when the need arises. To help you determine which can you use as reducers, we have some items listed below.

  • Calcium Hardness Remover
  • Chlorine Removers
  • Phosphate Remover
  • Cyanuric Acid Remover

4. Sanitizers

If you want to keep your pool really sanitary and away from any types of microbes, bacteria, viruses, and pathogens, you have to use sanitizers. This will not only keep your pool water clean, and clear, but it can also be used to protect bathers from getting any pool water-related diseases caught because of unclean, unsafe, and unsanitary water. You have to use sanitizer all the time or every day to make sure algae would not build up and bacteria won’t grow in your pool water. It is a must to keep your chlorine levels in the range between 1 and 3 ppm. It is important to have ideas on the different common sanitizers that you can use as a pool owner, some of which are:

  • Mineral Purifiers
  • Ionizers which are almost similar to mineral purifiers
  • Ozone Treatment which is considered one of the most powerful sanitizers used today
  • Trichloro-S-Triazinetrione which is also known as TriChlor
  • Sodium Hypochlorite commonly known as liquid chlorine or bleach

5. Balancers

Well, if balance is the dilemma, and you just need something that can help you deal with it easier, you can use balancers. Once pool chemistry is in balance, dirt and stains in pools can be avoided, also sanitizer will work the most effectively. It is needed that you are mindful of your pool components’ levels like pH, it should be tested multiple times a week to make sure the water is safe to swim in. It is almost the same with other components like alkalinity and calcium hardness which must be tested several times a month depending on how frequently the pool is used. Some of the recommended balancers are:

  • Cyanuric Acid which is a chlorine stabilizer and must be maintained in the range between 20 and 50 ppm.
  • Calcium Hardness Increaser, the recommended level of calcium hardness is the range between 180 and 220 ppm.
  • Alkalinity Increaser, this must be used once a level in the range between 80 and 120 ppm is not reached.
  • pH Up and pH Down

Pool Water Level

These ideas of the pool chemicals for beginners can help any pool owners establish a fine and nice routine that can help in the proper maintenance of pools. These are only some of the chemicals that must be put into consideration when taking care of a pool. There are lots of components that you have to be mindful of.

Part 3. Wrapping it All Up

It is not that hard to maintain swimming pools. As long as you are a dedicated owner, and you also want to cater well to bathers, nothing will ever be that hard. It is needed that you have enough knowledge of the basics of pool water chemistry, specifically the different levels for each important component. This will be your basis for creating a well-devised maintenance plan and checklist which will include the execution of components level testing at regular schedules.

Part 4. FAQs

1. Do I Adjust PH or Chlorine First?

When you are confused about which should you adjust first between pH or chlorine, always start with pH. This will be the key to having a nice pool. Once you have imbalanced pH, all the other chemicals will be ineffective. Always remember the ideal value range of pH which is between 7.4 and 7.6.

2. Do I Need to Shock My Pool When I First Fill it?

You must shock your swimming pool at the early stage to make and maintain a free chlorine level. This is necessary to make sure your fill water is free from any types of bacteria, viruses, microorganisms, and pathogens.

3. What Chemicals do I Need to Put in My Pool Every Week?

As we have discussed in the previous parts of the article, there are lots of chemicals that you need. These are clarifier, cyanuric acid, shock, algaecides, calcium, calcium chloride, flocculation, soda ash, stain removers, bromine, alkalinity, pH, pH decreaser, hydrochloric acid, chlorine, pH decreaser, and calcium hypochlorite.

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