Owning a pool is a rewarding experience, but it’s also a big responsibility. By taking the time to understand which pool chemicals are available, you can take care of your swimming pool in the best way possible. Below are five pool chemicals that you can’t live without.
1. Water Balancers
Water balancers are used to maintain the proper water chemistry. They also control pH levels, which are critical to water quality. You will need to test your water to determine its quality and then use water balancers to adjust it accordingly.
- pH Increaser: Increases the pH of the water
- pH Decreaser: Lowers the pH of the water
- Alkalinity Increaser: Raises the alkalinity of the pool water without changing the pH
- Alkalinity Decreaser: Lowers total alkalinity along with pH levels, so pH will need to be adjusted afterward
- Calcium Hardness Increaser: Increases total hardness of pool water
Perhaps the most important pool chemical, sanitizers control algae and bacteria growth. This greatly reduces the risk of viruses and microorganisms and keeps the water clean and clear. The most commonly used sanitizers include chlorine, bromine, biguanide and ionization. Chlorine is the most popular option, and it’s available in tablet, liquid or granular forms.
Algaecides supply an added layer of protection against algae. It should be included as part of your pool maintenance plan. The most common type of algaecide is quaternary ammonia that is available in liquid forms. Other options include polyquats, metallics, borates and bromine salts.
4. Shocks and Oxidizers
These chemicals are used to control bacteria and algae growth, and they work by destroying organic compounds. Shock treatments should be done bi-weekly or weekly, depending on how often the pool is used. There are a number of shock treatments available, so be sure to read the recommendations on the bottle. Chlorinated shock treatments, for instance, will raise chlorine to unsafe levels so you will need to wait to swim.
5. Supportive Pool Chemicals
This group of pool chemicals includes clarifiers, metal removers, stain and scale inhibitors and stabilizers. Each one has its own purpose, such as clearing cloudy water, deactivating metal levels and removing hard water stains. By keeping an eye on your pool and providing it with regular maintenance, you can easily determine the extra care that your pool needs.