Chemicals Used in Pools


It takes a lot of chemicals to maintain a swimming pool.
Having your own swimming pool sounds like a lot of fun, but it is a lot of work, too. Taking care of a pool means keeping the water's acidity, alkalinity and clarity at the right levels, while also preventing algae and bacteria growth. Pool maintenance requires several types of chemicals.

PH Balance

It is important to keep the pH balance at the right level to increase the water clarity, the effectiveness of the disinfectants and reduce eye irritation. Chemicals that raise the pH level are caustic soda, soda ash, sodium bicarbonate and calcium hypochlorite. Chemicals that lower the pH level include muriatic acid, gas chlorine and dichlor chlorine. If a pool owner is unsure about correct pH levels, a pH balancer is available at any store that sells swimming supplies.


The pool owner must maintain the alkalinity to keep pH in balance. If the pH level and the alkalinity are low, sodium bicarbonate or soda ash will increase both. When both are too high, muriatic acid will decrease them.

Calcium Hardness

Calcium hardness is another concern. Low calcium hardness will make the water corrosive, potentially damaging the pool equipment, pipe fittings and pump connections. It it's too high, it can clog the pipes and make the filtration less efficient. Increase calcium hardness with calcium chloride and decrease it with anhydrous trisodium phosphate.


It is important to use disinfectants to keep the pool clean and avoid algae and bacteria. Chlorine is one of the most popular disinfectants.


Pool chemicals should be kept in a cool, dry environment and should not be in the reach of children. Keep them in their original containers; the container should not be used for anything else after it's empty. Do not throw leftover chemicals in the garbage. Find a community swimming pool or neighbor to donate them to or take them to a household hazardous waste facility.

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Swimming Pool Image by Apeschi From

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