A Quick Overview of Pool Chemicals

Here's your overview of pool chemicals.

Pools are awesome. But if you’re new to pool ownership, there are a few things you should learn about pool chemicals if you want your pool to stay awesome. With the right care and maintenance, your water can remain beautifully crystal clear. Plus, you can avoid unnecessary (and costly) damage to your pool and equipment. Fortunately, you don’t need an advanced chemistry degree to keep your pool water in balance and swim-ready. To help get you start, here’s a quick overview of the basic types of pool chemicals and what they do.

Sanitizers: Bacteria Blasters

Sanitizers do exactly what you would expect: they sanitize your water by killing bacteria and other microorganisms in your pool. This is absolutely fundamental, as an inadequately sanitized pool can harbor dangerous bacteria that can cause some pretty serious health problems. To avoid this, the level of sanitizer must be tested regularly and maintained at all times in order to keep your pool free of bacteria and safe to swim in. Chlorine is by far the most common sanitizer and you can add it to your water in a variety of forms including liquid, tablets, pucks, or granules. So far so good, right?

Shock Treatments: Destroying Contaminants

Sanitizers do a great job of killing bacteria, but they don’t actually remove any such contaminants from the water. After a while, your water will end up looking cloudy and you’ll feel slightly less awesome inside. Even worse, as the chlorine in your pool reacts with certain elements, it creates new chemicals called chloramines which cause the unpleasant chlorine smell and burning eyes you may remember from your childhood. So how do we get rid of all that junk in the water? Shock treatment.

Shock treatments work by temporarily raising the chlorine levels in the pool high above normal. This causes a chemical reaction in the water that destroys contaminants and chloramines on a molecular level. The result is crystal clear water, no more chlorine smell, and good vibes all around. Generally, it is a great idea to perform a shock treatment once each week – though this can vary somewhat depending on how heavily the pool is used.

Algaecide: Keeping Algae at Bay

Though regular chlorine use should be enough to kill off most algae, you’ll likely find that chlorine alone is not enough. That’s why most pool care systems include regular algaecide to prevent algae growth. And if that’s not enough, there are more potent algae-killing agents to rapidly eliminate stubborn algae problems.

Other Pool Chemicals: The Perfect Balance

There are a number of other pool chemicals you’ll occasionally need as well. Most have something to do with keeping the basic chemical composition of your water in balance, such as level-adjusting chemicals for raising or lowering the pH, alkalinity, or hardness of the water. 

Expert Advice: Whenever You Need It

Learning pool maintenance for the first time can sometimes feel a little overwhelming, and that’s okay! At A-Quality Pool Service, our seasoned pool and spa experts are always here to offer you their expert advice. Whether you need help solving a complex pool problem or you’d just like a more detailed overview of pool chemicals, our pool pros are happy to help! Give us a call at 817-281-0781 or check out the chemicals section of our website and let’s keep your pool awesome together!

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