Our team at S & H Pools knows just about all there is to know about swimming pools and swimming pool maintenance, and we want to help you take the best possible care of your pool. When it comes to pool care, one of the most important things you will need to do is keep the pool chemicals properly balanced. If this is your first time owning a pool or you need a refresher, keep reading to learn all the key information you need to know about swimming pool chemicals.
The first thing you need to know about pool chemicals is that there are multiple types that serve different purposes. For example, there are pool sanitizers that destroy germs and other contaminants, algaecides that kill algae and keep the pool clean, and pH and alkalinity balancers that ensure the water does not irritate the skin.
- Sanitizers- The two most effective pool sanitizers are chlorine and bromine. With chlorine, the target balance for your water is 3 ppm (parts per million)–any lower than that, and bacteria will start to spread in the water, but any higher, and you risk irritating the skin. For bromine, the target balance is between 3 and 5 ppm, and you will need to check your balance more often, as this chemical is less stable in the sun. With both, you will need to treat the pool weekly in order to keep it clean and clear.
- Algaecides- Unlike pool sanitizers, which need to be added weekly, algaecides are only necessary once in a while–namely, whenever you have an algae problem. If you notice that your pool water is looking a little cloudy, or that there are brown stains around your water line, then you should treat your pool with an algaecide to get rid of the problem.
- Balancers- The third main type of swimming pool chemicals are pH and alkalinity balancers. To put it simply, if the pH is too high or too low–over 7.6 or under 7.2–then swimmers will start to experience skin and eye irritation. Similarly, if the alkalinity is under 100 ppm or over 150 ppm, then you will need to adjust it with alkalinity-balancing chemicals.