Is your swimming pool looking a little cloudy or on the wrong side of green? Maintaining proper chemical levels in your pool is the most important step in keeping the water crystal clear – and a clean pool is a safe pool. With our range of pool chemicals, you can combat common pool germs and bacteria and keep your pool perfectly pH balanced and clean, always refreshing and ready to dive into every day.
Pool chlorine and essential other pool chemicals
Is your swimming pool looking a little cloudy or green? Maintaining proper chemical levels in your pool is the most important step in keeping the water crystal clear – and a clean pool is a safer pool.
With our range of essential pool chemicals, you can combat common pool germs and bacteria and keep your pool perfectly pH balanced and clean, always refreshing and ready to dive into every day.
Plus, if you’ve got questions about how to treat a pool with chemicals, or even what chemicals are needed for a pool, our friendly Flower Power team members are ready to help you out with advice and tips to get you started.
How to treat a pool with chemicals
Whether you’re starting a new pool or maintaining one, you’re going to need an arsenal of chemicals to help you out.
Start by testing your water so you know exactly what your pool needs. You’re aiming for your water to have these properties:
- pH – 7.2-7.6
- Alkalinity – 80-120 ppm
- Calcium Hardness – 180-220 ppm
- Cyanuric Acid – 30-50 ppm
- Chlorine – 1-3 ppm
If your pool water meets all these targets, you can dive right in.
Otherwise, take a note of your readings so you know the ratio of chemicals you’ll need to add. Here’s what you’re likely to need in your toolkit:
What chemicals are needed for a pool
pH adjusting pool chemicals: Your pH level is really important for keeping your pool in good working order. If the pH is too low, it will corrode metal and cause skin irritation. If the pH is too high, it can cause scaling on the pool surface and plumbing equipment and can make water cloudy.
- pH decreaser. If your alkalinity is above 120ppm, you’ll need to add a pH decreaser to lower it to the correct ratio.
- pH increaser. If your pH is too low (below 7.2) this will increase the level so your water isn’t too acidic.
Alkalinity-adjusting pool chemicals. While alkalinity can affect the pH level, the two are not the same and are adjusted by two different pool chemicals. When alkalinity is within 80-120 ppm, it can prevent the pH from varying too wildly. Low alkalinity can cause skin and eye irritation, green water and stained pool walls and floor. High alkalinity can cause cloudy water and causes the chlorine to lose efficacy.
- Alkaline increaser.
- Alkaline decreaser.
Calcium-adjusting pool chemicals. If the level of calcium is too low, the water is considered soft. Soft water is corrosive and it will dissolve calcium and other minerals from plaster pool surfaces and metal equipment. If the calcium level is too high, the water is considered hard water, which can cause scale on pool surfaces and equipment. The calcium hardness should be maintained between 200 and 400 ppm.
- Calcium hardness increaser. If your calcium levels are too low you should add this chemical to increase the calcium hardness level in your pool.
- Muriatic acid. This chemical will increase your calcium hardness if it is too low. However, it needs to be used with caution as it will also change your alkalinity, so you may need to go back and adjust your alkalinity after use.
Cyanuric-adjusting pool chemicals. Cyanuric acid isn’t always tested in pool water but it can really help to keep chlorine in your pool water working efficiently. If you’re using chlorine, adding stabiliser will bring your cyanuric acid level up to 30 ppm, this protects chlorine and keeps it functioning effectively.
- Chlorine is the most popular sanitiser and it comes as a tablet or in granular form. One dose will last for three to seven days and will kill algae and bacteria, as long as it’s kept at 3-5 ppm. There are two chlorine levels that you will need to pay attention to: free chlorine is the chlorine that is actively doing its just, and combined chlorine is chlorine that has combined with contaminants, making it useless as a sanitiser.
- Bromine is an alternative to pool chlorine that is more stable at higher temperatures, so is often used in spas. It is more expensive than chlorine and is easily burnt off by sun.
- Shock is an unstable form of pool chlorine and will only stay in the water for a day or so. A pool will need to be shocked once every week or two, and you need to wait 12 to 24 hours after shocking before you can swim again.
Algaecide. The main cause of algae in a swimming pool is incorrect chlorine levels combined with warm, sunny conditions that allow algae to thrive. An algaecide will help prevent algae, but it will not kill algae, so in this case prevention is better than a cure.
How to chemically clean a pool filter
A properly maintained filter is a key part of a clean swimming pool, alongside the chemicals you use. It removes visible debris as well as most microscopic matter to keep the water clear and protect your health. Regular cleaning is needed to ensure maximum performance and to keep your pool looking great.
There are two types of pool filters:
In a sand filter, water is pushed through a bed of special-grade sand and removed through a series of tubes at the bottom. You’ll know when the filter needs to be cleaned because the pressure on the gauge will increase and water flow will drop.
To do this, backwash the filter by flipping it into reverse and dumping the water it produces. Once that’s done, put it into rinse mode to resettle the sand before putting it back to normal mode. You should also chemically clean it a couple of times a summer, and change the sand every three to five years.
Cartridge filters capture debris and need to be cleaned frequently during the swimming season, as well as regularly during the off-season. Cleaning a cartridge filter is just a matter of lifting out the cartridge, hosing it off, then wiping or scrubbing it with a specialised chemical cleaner to remove oils, scale and any deeply embedded debris.
Check out our range of pool chemicals online or visit us in-store for pool care help and advice on what chemicals are needed for a pool.