How to Maintain a Pool for Dummies

Your swimming pool is a long-term investment. You not only need to care for your firepits and patios but the swimming pool too. It needs you to ensure it has optimal pool temperature, cleanliness, and chemical balance. Keeping the chemistry of your pool proper is an easy but very critical engagement. This is the perfect guide towards keeping your pool clean and crystal clear.

Water Balance

To maintain the perfect pool harmony, your pool water should be balanced at the expected levels.

This entails ensuring that your pool’s water pH level is slightly above neutral ranging between 7.4 and 7.6 on the pH scale.

According to experts at Regal Pool Builders, three main constants that determine whether your pool water is balanced include the following:

  • pH
  • Calcium hardness
  • Alkalinity

Ideal pH between 7.4 and 7.6

Your pool water’s pH is bound to be imbalanced due to several reasons. Swimmers, rainwater, or anything that may enter into your pool can easily offset the pH levels. When the pH is high, your water can be said to be basic and acidic when it is low.

In simpler terms, your tears are entirely neutral on the pH scale. A high pH would entail drying out your eyes while a low one would mean burning tears should you cry.

Have a supply of appropriate pH increaser nearby since such is bound to change when least expected.

Alkalinity – Ideal Alkalinity Level: 100 to 150 ppm

Alkalinity helps to balance the levels of pH in the pool water. It is a buffer that absorbs any unwarranted changes that may occur in the pool before it can alter pH levels in the water.

Having a supply of alkalinity increaser at your disposal also comes in handy should the levels drop.

Calcium Hardness – Ideal Level: 175 to 300 ppm

Your pool water needs some levels of calcium. At the absence of such, it looks for it anywhere possible, including your pool’s plaster. Calcifying your pool’s floor and walls by adding calcium hardness comes in handy to prevent water from eating into your paints.

However, excess calcium can cause unappealing issues such as scaling.

How to Keep Your Water Balanced

To maintain your water balance, it is imperative to check how basic or acid your water is regularly.

To maintain the balance at the appropriate level, you should have the following chemicals:

  • pH Increaser
  • Alkalinity Increaser
  • pH Reducer (hydrochloric acid)

In case the pH and alkalinity levels are not at the appropriate levels, you can use an alkalinity increaser to boost both. However, if the scale does not hit 7.4, you will have to add some pH increaser.

One the other hand, a pH decreaser can lower both high pH and alkalinity.

Moreover, in case the pool tests reveal high alkalinity levels, it could also mean high pH levels. Using a pH decreaser would however make the necessary changes.

Remember, if your pool is balanced, even your water sanitizer, such as chlorine, will work perfectly.


How to Maintain a Pool for Dummies

Chlorine is the most common sanitizer, but there are other worthy options such as:

  • Stabilized Chlorine
  • Minerals
  • Chlorine
  • Salt

Chlorine between 1 and 3 ppm

If you are looking for most dependable algae and bacteria killer, chlorine is arguably the most effective of all.

You can introduce it into your pool in the following forms:

  • Tablets
  • Powdered or granular forms
  • Through Salt Chlorine Generator which makes chlorine from table salt

Sparkle Purifier

Sparkle purifier is another option that is as effective as chlorine. Not only does it purify the pool’s water, but it also makes it softer.

It is, however, more expensive than chlorine and comes in powdered or granular forms.

Minerals -0.5 ppm Chlorine level

You could also add copper or silver minerals into your pool water to purify it. This is done by using a chlorinator-like mineral system. They are however, less effective compared to chlorine.

These minerals may not effectively work on their own as alternatives to chlorine. They are best used as a backup.

Pool Shock

After adding chlorine into your pool water, it kills bacteria and other organic materials. It then forms chloramines, which do not work anymore. Particles of chloramines float on the pool until they are broken down through oxidation.

What is Breakpoint Oxidation?

Breakpoint oxidation entails your water’s chlorine reading hitting 10 ppm above the combined chlorine reading.

Chlorine has two readings; free chlorine (FC) and combined chlorine (CC). The former is the chemical with the ability to kill organic materials.

NOTE: Pool shock products constitute of unstable, reactive chlorine or even no chlorine. Once added, they kill the bacteria and other organic materials and are then consumed by UV rays. As such, it is imperative to use them at night or dusk to allow them enough time to work without interference by the sun’s UV rays.

Other Types of Pool Chemicals

How to Maintain a Pool for Dummies

Chemicals such as pH increaser, alkalinity, calcium, and sanitizers can keep your pool in normal conditions. However, there are other products that you could also use for the wellbeing of your pool. Such include:

Cyanuric Acid (Stabilizer)

Chlorine products work towards stabilizing the chlorine levels in the water. However, when you start your pool with fresh water, Cyanuric acid is recommended as a suitable stabilizer in the bid to prevent UV rays from consuming the chlorine.


Algaecide comes in handy to kill algae invasion in your pool. There are lots of algaecides in the market, but chlorine is the most effective of them all.

As such, algaecides are best used as a backup when the levels of chlorine drop. They act as alternatives until you can boost up the chlorine levels back to the expected standards.

In the case of algae invasion in your pool, algaecides might not be the best option. Chlorine is the only viable option, and the rest can only serve as a backup.

Clarifier and Floc

Water clarifiers significantly aid your filtration system by combining tiny contaminants into bigger particles that can be filtered away and is one of the top pool chemicals for a new pool.

Flocculant works by combining minute particles together and then sinking them to the floor of the pool from where they are disposed away. However, with pool floc, you have to dispose of the particles by a vacuum system manually.

Stain and Scale Remover

In case of dissolved metals such as copper or iron, a metal remover can be used while for stains of such metals a stain and scale remover comes in handy. This keeps them in solution form, making it easy to filter them away.

You may have attained the best pool size and design. But should metals find their way out of the solution, they stain the walls and floors of your pool producing unappealing stains that may compromise the aesthetics of your pool.


To keep your swimming pool in the best and most healthy conditions ever, including the best pool temperature, you need to ensure that your pool chemicals do not deviate from the following expected standards:

  • The pH should be between 7.4 and 7.6
  • Water Calcium Hardness should range between 175 and 225 ppm but between 225 and 275 ppm for plastered pools
  • Alkalinity should be between 100 and 150 ppm
  • In Biguanide Pools, between 30 and 50 ppm
  • In Mineral System Pool, between 0.5 ppm of chlorine
  • In chlorine and Salt Water Pools, between 1 and 3 ppm
  • In Bromine Pools, between 3 and 5 ppm

Furthermore, ensure you adopt appropriate maintenance drills, hire a dependable company for such services, or consult a professional pool specialist. You should also adopt a regular vacuuming and skimming schedule to keep your pool as clean as possible.