Pool Chemistry 101
For clean and clear pool water, certain chemicals must be added to the pool and their proper levels maintained. A brief overview of the essential pool chemicals and their optimum levels will help familiarize you with the products necessary to attain the perfect pool. To check the levels, daily pool water testing is necessary. This is achieved easily using pool water testing supplies, carried by pcPOOLS. Remember, always start the pool season with fresh test strips to ensure their accuracy. In adding the appropriate amount of chemicals, you must know the size in gallons of your pool. pcPOOLS has provided the formula to compute the size in gallons.
Chlorine is the most popular sanitizer and disinfectant for pool water. It is a natural chemical that oxidizes bacteria to keep the pool water safe and clean. The Free Available Chlorine (FAC) level should be maintained between 2.0 and 3.0 parts per million (ppm). During hot weather, the FAC level should be held at the higher end of the acceptable range. pcPOOLS offers 1″ Chlorine tablets, 3″ Chlorine tabs, & 8″ sticks that can be dispensed by placing the tablet in a chlorinator, floating feeder or the skimmer basket. If you prefer to add the chemical directly to the water, Dy-Chlor, a granular form of chlorine, is a good choice. Please follow the instructions on the product for safe use.
pH is the level of acidity of the pool water. A proper pH level, between 7.2 and 7.6, is necessary so that chlorine can work effectively. If the pool’s pH level is below 7.2, there is a possibility that the water could corrode your pool equipment and you should consider adding pH Increaser to bring up the pH to an acceptable level. If the pH level is above 7.6, pcPOOLS carries pH Decreaser which would help bring the pH level down to the proper level and alleviate the possibility of scaling.
Alkalinity is the measure of certain minerals which act as buffering agents and allow you to readily adjust the pH levels. Alkalinity acts as a pH stabilizer and reduces pH “bounce”. The level of total alkalinity should be maintained between 100 and 150 ppm in plaster pools and between 125 and 175 ppm in painted, vinyl and fiberglass pools. If total alkalinity is too low, use pcPOOLS‘s pH Buffer. To reduce alkalinity, use pH Decreaser.
A Stabilizer is a chemical that prevents the sun’s ultra-violet rays from affecting the chlorine levels. The stabilizer forms a protective bond around the chlorine to resist the sun’s harmful effects. Pools should be stabilized whenever large amounts of fresh water are added. The level of stabilizer should be maintained at approximately 35 ppm. Try pcPOOLS‘s Stabilizer/Conditioner.
Shock is a chemical that raises the chlorine level and breaks up contaminants that resist normal chlorination and cloud water. Weekly shock treatments work to remove these contaminants and aid in maintaining clear and biologically clean pool water. pcPOOLS offers both Blast Out Shock and Burst Shock.
Algae Control chemicals combat algae, the aquatic plant that grows in pool water due to its warmth and lack of proper sanitization. Common types of algae include green, pink, black and mustard. Algae growth in its early stages can be contained using a chlorine shock. However, some stubborn algae may require an algaecide. pcPOOLS has a section dedicated to Algaecides in the chemicals section of this website.
Clarifiers and Flocculants are chemicals used to help achieve clear pool water. Some contaminant particles are too small to be caught within the filter. Clarifying agents and flocculants cause these particles to bond together into larger particles which will be removed through filtration or vacuuming. pcPOOLS offers Shimmer, Super Shimmer, and Super Floc to help maintain your water clarity.