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Pool Chemicals 101

So it’s that time of year again. Temperatures are rising, so it’s time to open your inground pool. Social distancing or not, at this point, the sooner you open your pool, the better. But opening your pool, maintaining it throughout the summer, and closing it in the fall requires a lot of chemicals. If you know what you need, you may be able to get a pool supply store to deliver the chemicals right to your home.

What Chemicals Do I Need for My Pool?

For now, you should focus on pool opening chemicals and the chemicals you will need for maintain clear water. And unless you have a pool supply company do it, you should also get some test kits for DIY pool water testing.

Here are the basics that you will need:

  • Sanitizers
  • Water balancers
  • Algaecides
  • Pool shock/oxidizers
  • Supportive chemicals

Now, what do all of these different chemicals do? Let’s break it down.


This is a big one. The most common pool sanitizer is chlorine. Chlorine will kill bacteria, and prevent viruses and algae from getting a foothold in your water.

Water Balancers

Water balancers help you keep the pool pH level in the optimum range. You will need sodium carbonate to raise the pH level, and sodium bisulphate to lower the pH level. You may also need chemicals to raise or lower the alkalinity, and to adjust the hardness level of the pool water.


You use a pool algaecide to prohibit or stop the growth of algae in your pool. Warm weather, sunlight, and lack of circulation of your pool water can cause algae growth. This is why algaecides are frequently needed at pool opening, and before pool closing. Chances are if you keep your pool pump running in the summer, and keep the water properly balanced, you will not have to worry about algae.

Pool Shock/Oxidizers

Pool shock, or an oxidizer, works with the sanitizers to keep your pool clean. You may need to “shock” the pool after heavy rainfall, a pool party, as well as whenever your chlorine levels indicate it is needed.

Supportive Pool Chemicals

Supportive pool chemicals include clarifiers, metal removers, and stain and scale inhibitors. Clarifiers can help clear cloudy water, while metal removers deactivate copper, iron, and other metals that may be causing a problem in your water.

A Note of Caution

Before using any chemicals, be sure to read the directions all of the way through. Wear any protective gear such as gloves or goggles that are recommended. You will also need to know the size of your pool in gallons, so that you use the correct amount of each chemical.

Be sure that no children or pets are near the bool when you are using pool chemicals.

Hire a Pool Care Pro to Deal with Pool Chemicals

If you’re not too thrilled with the idea of buying and storing all of the pool chemicals necessary for opening, maintaining, and closing your pool, hire a pool care company. Companies like Woodfield have all of the chemicals necessary and do all the work, so you don’t have to.

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