Pool Chemicals can be an overwhelming topic. For some, it might just be best to pay for weekly service providers to maintain your pool.
Since the dad is in the pool business, that means we have maintained all of our pools and hot tubs on our own over the years. Plus, a few customers that are close to us have got help with their maintenance after having their pool built.
Although my dad doesn’t love to do it, “I’m a pool builder, not a maintenance guy!”. But don’t believe him, we’ve kept all of our pools clean and safe over the years. He would just prefer to talk your ear off about pool main drain maintenance codes over how to maintain your FC level.
We will drop into our personal recommendations from our experience on what you need to keep on hand as a pool owner to keep your pool balanced. This will be a list of not only what we use personally but also what could be affordable and easily accessible for most pool owners.
First things first though, if you don’t have a test kit, then check out our Test kit recommendations. All pool owners should have a test kit on hand. If you trust our recommendations already, then just go here to get your kit ordered and delivered.
The second thing is you should download the Pool Math calculator from Trouble Free Pool. Their website calculator is a bit ugly and wonky to use so get the app, it’s gonna save you a lot of money and time.
What Chlorine to use?
Chlorine is Bleach. Bleach is Chlorine. Simple as that.
You could purchase some bleach at Walmart or anywhere that is easy for you to pick up. Important note: BUY REGULAR BLEACH, do not get scented, splash less or anything else that isn’t plain old normal bleach.
Liquid Chlorine is our recommendation. It’s double the strength of bleach and you’ll need to use less of it. If you just want to order online, you can order here and have it delivered to your home. We used liquid chlorine in our giant hot tub we had in downtown St. Louis, it worked absolutely great but it wasn’t as convenient as the tablets we have used in our other pools.
How about Chlorine Tablets?
These are really much more convenient than having jugs of bleach or chlorine stored at home if you don’t have the extra space.
There is a negative drawback that they could change the balance of other chemicals in your pool. But, we haven’t had this issue and I personally really love the convenience of the tablets. With testing, if a problem did occur, you could quickly resolve it.
Check out the tablets here on Amazon. These are what we have used the most of and never had any issues.
Speaking of Shock… What do I recommend?
In our opinion, you should shock your pool. You’ll find this topic contentious as others feel you should just use pure chlorine or bleach but in our experience shocking your pool is perfectly fine.
What you need to watch our for is your CYA level when you shock. So here are my three products that I recommend that you have on hand as a pool owner.
My personal tip, if you use any granulated shock disperse the shock in a 5-gallon bucket to dissolve, even if the directions on the package say otherwise. If the shock is too old, or an issue with it, you will find out if it doesn’t dissolve in your bucket before adding it to your pool water.
This is a stabilizer free shock. This will add a lot of chlorine into your pool at one time. You can then adjust your CYA levels on your own using the stabilizer, I recommend after using this shock and testing. Dissolve the shock early in the day, and if completely dissolved add this to your pool in the evening.
If you need to get swimming that day but need to get your pool shocked, then grab this chlorine-free shock over on Amazon. I still recommend putting this in a 5-gallon bucket to dissolve before using which would make it not as immediate but you’ll still be able to swim in a short time after you add the shock to your pool.
How about Cyanuric Acid(CYA)? What should I buy?
CYA is sunscreen for your chlorine. Not enough and your chlorine will disappear from your pool. Too much, and the chlorine can’t do its job. You’ll also have to drain your pool and refill to reduce the amount of CYA.
The amount of Chlorine you need depends on your CYA levels, so it’s something you’ll want to know from testing. Any Stabilizer will really do the trick but you can check out this one from in the swim. It has worked perfectly fine for us in the past.