What Chemicals do you Need to Keep a Pool Clear? Having a pool is an advantage not many people can afford to have, but it also comes with its maintenance costs and lots of hard work. If you are not used to owning a pool, you might feel overwhelmed by the number of measures and products you need to apply to it to keep it clean and clear, as well as preserve its functionality.
When it comes to pool chemicals, there are so many products destined to pool clearing that it might take a book to list them all. Nonetheless, we will provide you with some of the most essential chemicals that will definitely be of aid to maintain it in pristine conditions and avoid those annoying stains or the hideous “cloudy pool” effect!
Read on – What Chemicals do you Need to Keep a Pool Clear?
They are needed for specific moments and unexpected issues that could arise with time. These include the following:
- Stain Removers: They are meant to remove, reduce or prevent stains on the surface and in the water itself, due to the action of minerals and chemicals.
- Algaecides: It will kill the algae present in the pool and prevent its return for a time.
- Filter Cleaners: These come in handy when there is a clog in your filter, be it sand, cartridge, or diatomaceous earth (D.E).
- Enzymes: Useful for removing odors as well as other organic wastes such as oil or scum. They are basically proteins that accelerate the decay process of organic matter and convert it to carbon dioxide.
- Clarifiers: In a cloudy pool, it stacks tiny particles into small clogs or clumps which can later be eliminated by the pool filter. A flocculant has a similar function, but instead of being removed by the filter, it forms large accumulations that sink to the bottom and you must use a pool vacuum to manually take care of it.
- Start-Up / Closing Kits: As the name implies, they are used to open a pool, close it, or stock up for the season.
- Tile / Vinyl Cleaner: It removed oil and grease buildup on skimmers, diving boards, around water lines or slides. It’s meant for the hard surfaces of the pool and the accessories, basically.
They’re used to disinfect and sanitize the water of your pool. The most common are:
- Chlorines: It’s the most common type of sanitizer. Also called hypochlorous acid. They kill and inactivate algae and other pathogens in the water. It also works as an oxidizer. In many instances, it comes in granular form or in the form of “tablets” such as Trichlor, which slowly dissolve in the water and also contain cyanuric acid for sun protection.
- Bromine: Specially used for hot water pools and is more pH stable. It comes in tablet and liquid presentations and works as a sanitizer, algaecide, and oxidizer. It also lacks the strong scent that common chlorine products have.
- Cyanuric Acid: They act as a chlorine stabilizer and protect the chlorine from the actions of UV rays.
Oxidizers act as complements to sanitizers, and they are used with certain periodicity to eliminate algae and bacteria. There are chlorine-based or non-chlorine shocks that you can find on the market. To wit:
- Calcium Hypochlorite or “Cal Hypo”: It sanitizes, shocks, and adds calcium to the water as well. It’s used to eliminate contaminants found in human waste such as sweat or urine. It shoots up the pH, alkalinity, and hardness levels, though, so have other products ready to neutralize that.
- Non-Chlorine Shocks: Potassium monopersulfate (or known commonly as MPS). It’s perfect for hot tubs. As an oxidizer, it breaks down oil and other organic material in the water and facilitates the sanitizer’s job at killing any trace of bacteria. It also reduces chlorination.
Due to the number of chemicals and elements that your pool is exposed to, you will have to find ways to keep it in balance. There are 3 metrics to keep an eye on to do a proper water balancing: alkalinity, pH, and calcium hardness.
The pH is a measure to determine the level of acidity or basicity of the water, and the Ideal pH levels range from 7.3 ppm to 7.6 ppm. Total Alkalinity defines the number of carbonates, hydroxides, and alkaline substances, and the levels should be from 80 to 120 ppm.
Finally, calcium hardness calculates the hardness of the water, with the optimal levels falling between 180 and 220 ppm, although it also depends on the pool’s material since it interacts with the water minerals creating major or minor friction. In a plaster or concrete pool, the levels should range between 200 and 270 ppm.
There are various water balancing chemicals on the market to look out for:
- pH Increaser: It increases pH levels below 7.2 ppm. Every 1lb of the increase raises pH by a decimal in a 10,000-gallon pool. Baking soda and granular soda ash are common pH increasers that you can apply to pools.
- pH Reducer: Reduces pH levels when they exceed 7.6 ppm Every 1lb decreases up to 3 decimals in a 10,000-gallon pool. The component used for this end is dry acid (sodium bisulfate). It also reduces Total Alkalinity.
- Alkalinity increaser: The great majority of alkalinity increasers are composed of sodium bicarbonate. It increases the water’s ability to resist abrupt pH shifts. Every 1lb will increase Total Alkalinity by 10 points in a 10,000-gallon pool.
- Calcium hardness increaser: Calcium chloride (granular or in flakes) is the most common product to regulate the calcium hardness of the pool. Add 1lb in a 10,000-gallon pool to increase calcium hardness by 10 points.
- Chlorine Neutralizer: These products are made from sodium thiosulfate, ascorbic acid, or hydrogen peroxide to reduce chlorine concentration. 1lb of sodium thiosulfate decreases the chlorine levels present in the pool by 10 points approximately in a 10,000-gallon water pool.
What Chemicals do you Need to Keep a Pool Clear? – Conclusion
Now you know, grosso modo, how many products you need to keep your pool clear. Thankfully, there are companies that offer most of them in kits or packs, so you probably won’t need to grind much unless you want the best deal for each type of product. We hope you enjoyed and learned something from this article – What Chemicals do you Need to Keep a Pool Clear?