At Water Works Pool & Spa Service, we carry a full line of swimming pool and hot tub chemicals. There are a ton of different chemicals used for different applications, and throughout the year we receive questions from customers about water chemistry, and the uses for all these products. There’s a lot of confusion about the different brands, prices, and what to buy to maintain proper water chemistry and to avoid issues.
Don’t worry, you’re not the only one confused. My experience has been if you ask 10 different people what they recommend, you’ll get 10 different answers. There’s a variety of experience from one retailer to the other, and with so many different scenarios, it’s not always easy to understand which products to use and when. There’s a general rule of thumb, but when it comes to troubleshooting, either a degree in chemistry or a lot of experience helps. Fortunately, at Water Works Pool & Spa Service, we have a lot of experience and training.
The general rule of thumb to maintain proper water chemistry starts with sanitizer. By maintaining a proper sanitizer level, minimum 1 part per million (ppm), you can prevent a lot of mishaps. Sanitizer is what destroys all the contaminants that enter the water, whether it be body oils, lotions, sweat, makeup, hair products, or more organic materials like rain, leaves, grass, and airborne dust and pollen to name a few. Aside from sanitizer, it’s also important to balance PH & Alkalinity, and there are several products available to raise and/or lower each. And occasionally or as needed, we do what’s called “shocking” the water by removing the consumed or exhausted sanitizer aka chloramines or bromamines, and there are several products to accomplish this as well. The rest of the products we use for maintenance and troubleshooting.
Each brand of chemicals will offer the same type of products, however sometimes with a different name. It helps to look at the ingredients when comparing and the percentages of active ingredients. Some brands may cost less, but often have fewer active ingredients, meaning you get less bang for your buck. Here are the chemicals we recommend keeping on hand:
Sanitizer – Chlorine, Bromine or Biguanide. These are not compatible, use only one!
Oxidizing Shock – Used to remove Chloramines or Bromamines.
PH Increaser & Decreaser – Used to raise PH, and lower PH and Alkalinity.
Alkalinity Increaser – Used to raise Alkalinity.
Stain & Scale Control – Used to prevent calcium build up due to hard water, prevent metal stains.
Water Clarifier – Prevents or restores cloudy water.
Enzyme – Active enzymes break down oils and lotions, and clean and condition the filter(s).
It’s important to know how many gallons of water your pool or hot tub holds in order to dose the correct amount. You should also use a device for accurate measuring and have the proper tools to test the water such as test strips or a drop test kit. We recommend using a drop test kit for more accurate results.
If you’re still not comfortable with water chemistry and the different products to use, or need a helping hand, contact Water Works Pool & Spa Service for Pool or Spa School Training. We’ll provide you with a thorough training session on the operation and maintenance of your pool or spa. You’ll feel like a pro afterwards!