Understanding Pool Chemicals 

Pool chemicals and proper pool sanitizing are an essential part of your weekly swimming pool maintenance program.

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Being unsure of proper maintenance may even cause you to neglect to keep your pool as clean as you might prefer.

For first time pool owners, the idea of keeping your pool clean and applying the pool chemicals can be overwhelming!


It is important to remember that all pools are different and may require different amounts of chemicals, depending the size and type of the pool.

As a guideline, you should never mix chemicals together.

 Pool Chemicals You Need To Know

In addition, if you are ever in doubt about any chemicals you plan on putting into your pool, consulting with a swimming pool expert as a smart way of clearing up any misunderstandings or questions you may have.


This is a sanitizer and its main function is to get rid of microorganisms from the water in your swimming pool.

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Optimal chlorine levels should range from 1-3 ppm, which can be determined with a chemical testing kit.

If the chlorine level is below 1 ppm, then it is advised that you shock the pool with one gallon of pool chlorine per 10,000 gallons of pool water. 

If the level is between 1-3 ppm, adding 2 to 3 chlorine tablets per 10,000 gallons of pool’s water is enough.

If the level of chlorine is above 3ppm, it is likely that the level will reduce over time.

However, this level should only be temporary. If it remains above 3ppm for an extended period of time, seek expert advice.

pH Level

Unlike chlorine, the pH level is actually not a chemical. The pH level of your pool is important because it is the measurement of acidity or the alkalinity of your pool’s water.

The lower the pH level, the more acidic the water is, which explains the burning effect on your eyes if you open your eyes under water.

The higher the pH, the more alkalinity the water is, which may dry out your skin.

This may also cause a burning sensation in some individual’s eyes. To minimize these irritations, it’s important to have a balanced pH level in your pool.

A normal pH level of 7.4-7.6 ppm must be maintained at all times.

Baking Soda And Soda Ash

If the pool’s pH level is not ideal, checking your pool’s alkalinity levels could be a great indicator as to what is going on.

You should add 1 1/3 pound of baking soda raise the levels of alkalinity to the desired level. If the pH level is correct, then you are required to add one pound of soda ash or sodium sesqui in order to maintain the desired alkalinity levels at all times.

After adding these pool chemicals, wait 24 hours, and then test the pool’s pH level once again. Repeat the process until you have attained the desired pH levels.

Cyanuric Acid (CYA)

The last level to check is the cyanuric acid level and this should be done periodically. Cyanuric acid acts like a shield and works to protect your chlorine from being destroyed by the sun’s rays.


Typically the sun’s UV rays destabilize the chlorine molecules thus rendering them useless. Cyanuric acid works to prevent that from happening.

It is always advisable to adjust the pool chemical levels in accordance to the manufacturer’s directions in order to guarantee the safety of everybody who will be using the swimming pool.

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