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Swimming pool chemical advice

Updated on August 4, 2012

1. Do i need to use pool chemicals in my pool?

It is very important to put chemicals in your pool to insure your water stays clean and sterile.

Most people get put off when looking at purchasing a pool as the chemicals can look very confusing, I have made up this advice sheet below to help those of you who can’t get you head around it work them out.

The first step is to work out the Ph balance in your pool, you will need a pool test kit or Pool test strips these aren’t very expensive and sometimes come in kits with the pool.

Pool test strips are the easiest to use, just dip the stick to your elbows depth in the water for 5 seconds then pull it out do not shake this as it can make the colours run on the strip just hold it horizontal. Put the strip on the back of the container and match up the colours. The level should be between 7.2 and 7.8. The optimum level for outdoor swimming pools is 7.6.

Once you have the level in your water you can then work out whether you need a Ph increaser or a Ph reducer these will come in a granular form. If your Ph level is to low then use the increaser to increase your levels if the level is too high then use the reducer to lower these levels, the dosage you need will all depend on the size of your pool, always go by the instructions on the back of the pack as to how much to add in comparison to how much water is in your pool.

You should only need to do this once unless you change the water in your pool or an exchange of rain water gets into your pool. The reason the Ph balance must be at these levels is because the other chemicals will not work if the Ph balance is to low or too high.

Once you have the Ph balance correct you then need to add the Algaecide, this is not a killer of algae but a preventative without this you could find your pool getting very dirty and green very quickly. You will only need to add algaecide into your pool every 3 weeks. This comes in a liquid form and you will need to work out how much to put in your pool depending on how much water it holds, there are no chemical checks to see the levels of algaecide in your pool.

Once you have added the algaecide you will then be moving onto the main chemical, Chlorine whos main purpose is to kill germs and algae this also comes in a granular form and should be added just like the Ph you should work out how much to put in depending on how much water your pool holds. Chlorine levels need to be checked every 5-7 days pre-season and every 3 days during the main part of the season for example the hotter parts of the month using the pool test kits or strips.

It is very important to have a pool filter pump running while adding chemicals to insure the chemicals are spread evenly around the pool. Always leave the pool at least one hour after adding chemicals and then check them before letting anyone enter the pool.

If you accidently put too much chemicals in your pool don’t panic just leave your pool for a few days and then re-check your levels again.

Thomas Staton - I ran the above ground pools on Big Game Hunters retail site last year and all this information above proved very usefull to me for Above Ground Swimming Pools and Intex Pools


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    • tom.staton profile image

      tom.staton 6 years ago from Oxford

      Hi Tina,

      The first thing to do is to get your Ph level correct this is vital for all the other chemicals to work correctly. You will need either a ph increaser or Reducer depending on your water alkalinity.

      Once you have these levels correct you can now add the chlorine, this will need to be an initial dose (which is higher then usaull) but you will not need ot shock this. The only reason you will need to shock your pool is if algea has moved in and is to thick for your filter to cope with.

      I hope this helps, if you need any more help please dont hesitate to ask.

    • profile image

      tina  6 years ago

      i don't even know where to start! i thought i would probably go with bleach but don't know if i need an algeacide and if so which do to first. after that i am going to start using the chlorine tablets. this is all so confusing. help please

    • profile image

      tina  6 years ago

      i just got my first pool 2 weeks ago. there is a slimy coating on the walls and bottom of the pool (i assume some type of algea starting). i have read so much about using bleach instead of chlorine, algeacides, backwashing, vacuuming (i have an easy set pool that came with a vacuum attachment to use with a hose). i know i need to test the ph before i do any shock (whether it be with bleach or chlorine or 'shock'), but some sites say to shock before the algeacide and other say the opposite. some sites say shocking with bleach alone with take care of it. i am so confused!!!

    • tom.staton profile image

      tom.staton 6 years ago from Oxford

      Hi Corry,

      I would say if you have a very thick deposit of algea that you should drain it and start again other wise you could be looking at alot of man hours trying to clean the water.

    • profile image

      corry  6 years ago

      I let tne mantance go on my above ground pool last august and now water is jet black.I'm sure their is alot of debrea at the bottom.I'm woundering if it is safe to run the pump without damageing it or should I drain water and start over?

    • tom.staton profile image

      tom.staton 7 years ago from Oxford

      If anyone is having any problems with there pools please dont hesitate to PM me i would be happy to give my advice on your problems.