How Much Chlorine and Other Chemicals To Add..

I have above ground pool holds 3800 gallons on water. I got chemicals to add but they don't say how much to add in my pool.

Can you help so I can get started cleaning my pool please?

Thanks for the question

I know it's frustrating when you have a new pool but you're not really sure what chemicals to add or how to add them.

First I would encourage you to get a Taylor Reagent FAS-DPD K-2006 pool water test kit. It's the best one and the most accurate.

To learn how much of everything you need for maintenance of a pool, simply go to these links:

Swimming Pool Chlorine

Proper pH Pools
Swimming Pool pH Levels

Testing Alkalinity
Pool Alkalinity

Hard Water Levels
Calcium Hardness

Remember the following:

Chlorine 1.5ppm - 3.5ppm

pH level 7.6ppm - 7.8ppm

Total Alkalinity 80ppm - 100ppm. You can go as high as 120ppm.

Calcium Hardness 150ppm - 250ppm. This is mostly for plaster pools.

Cyanuric Acid (CYA) 30ppm - 50ppm. This is the stabilizer for the pool chlorine and can decrease the amount of chlorine used by as much as 50%.

You need to have a baseline for each reading. Each one is per 10,000 gallons.

  • It's 3 1/4 qrts. of liquid chlorine to bring the level to 10ppm
  • 40 oz. or 2 1/2 lbs. of sodium bicarb to raise the pH 0.1
  • 1 qrt. of acid to lower pH 0.1
  • 40 oz. bicarb to raise TA 10ppm
  • 1 qrt. acid to lower TA 10ppm
  • 1 1/4 lbs. calcium chloride to raise hardness 10ppm

    Hope this helps and let me know how it turns out for you


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    Swimming pool safe to swim?

    by Jamie
    (Santa Cruz,CA)

    We are housesitting and are not familiar with swimming pool maintenance. We were instructed to put 2 gallons of chlorine (chlorinating liquid) into the pool last night while the filter was running.

    The filter had already been run (on a timer) before we poured the liquid in and we didn't know how to turn the filter back on. We poured the liquid in without running the filter. The filter was set to run again this AM at 7am.

    Is it safe to go in the pool today?

    Thanks for your question Jamie

    In order to be sure if the pool is safe to swim in, you need to first allow the water to fully circulate. This normally takes about 10 hours. Then you can test the chlorine. Ideal range is between 1.5ppm - 3.5ppm but if it's slightly a bit higher, maybe around 5ppm, it should be safe to swim in.

    Be sure the filter is running the next time you add any chemicals. Chlorine is heavier than water and will sink right to the bottom and might cause staining.

    Hope this helps


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    Pool Chlorine & Shock N Swim

    by Machelle Goldsby
    (Las Vegas, NV)

    My landlord didn't maintance our pool as agreed for a couple of months in August (Las Vegas), so we bought chemicals and treated the pool with HTH 3 and Shock N Swim. We requested a refund for the items we purchased.

    He's willing to refud for the HTH 3, but not the Shock N Swim, he stated it wasn't necessary.

    Is that true?

    Thanks for the question Machelle

    This sounds pretty close to a legal situation, so I'm going to give you my expert opinion pertaining to the pool chemicals and it should only be used as such. For a legal matter I would advise you to seek proper counsel.

    I will assume from the question that your landlord is responsible for taking care of the pool, but obviously I don't have a copy of the contract so I can't say who is actually responsible.

    I'm at a disadvantage on three counts:

  • I don't know the condition of the pool and/or the chemical readings before and after this happened

  • I don't know how much chlorine (Shock N Swim) was used

  • I don't have a copy of your rental agreement

  • But let's say that the landlord, per the contract, is responsible for the weekly care and maintenance of the pool and for any reason he cannot fulfill those duties, you take over and are reimbursed for any pool chemicals.

    I will also assume, from the question, that by not properly taking care of the pool for 2 months that the chlorine level is low, especially in Las Vegas where it gets hot and the chlorine levels can drop very quickly. I took care of residential and commercial pools in Arizona for years, so I know how hot the Summers can get.

    If, after repeated attempts made by you to the landlord to get the pool properly balanced but to no avail, there is nothing in the contract that specifically says how you should do it, what can or cannot be done, or what chemicals you can buy, then I think you're left to do what you think is best, use the resources that are available to you at that time, and what chemicals to buy.

    That being said, HTH 3 are good pool chlorine tabs. Now for the Shock N Swim.

    Shock N Swim is 45% calcium hypochlorite (chlorine granules) that is fast acting and a very good chlorine agent. There are many pool chlorine products from which to choose, and Shock N Swim is a good choice.

    If the pool, by industry standards, was in poor shape, and is the pool chlorine, specifically Shock N Swim, "necessary" to get the pool back up and running? My answer would be no.

    If the pool, by industry standards, was in poor shape, and would pool chlorine, in general, be "necessary" to get the pool back up and running? My answer would be yes.

    Your choice in using Shock N Swim was good because, strictly from a chlorinating agent standpoint, it is a good pool chlorine product.

    Ultimately it boils down to who is responsible for taking care of the pool, what happens if the person fails to perform his duties (something like:

    "The landlord will be responsible for weekly care and maintenance of the pool. If for any reason the landlord cannot do this, the tenant will perform all pool duties and will be reimbursed by the landlord for all pool chemicals used"),

    and what the contract says.

    Whether your landlord does reimburse you for the pool chlorine is a rental issue and should be taken as such.

    Again, this is a guideline from a pool expert, not a lawyer.

    Hope this helps and good luck


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