Pool Chemicals

The Most Used Chemicals for Your Swimming Pool

In Ask the Pool Experts by Platinum Pools

There are a lot of different products and brands to choose from when it comes to swimming pool maintenance, making it hard to know where to begin.  Maintenance is a fundamental aspect of owning a pool that you must stay on top of to enjoy your oasis.  Regular maintenance will not only help to extend the life of your pool but ultimately will give you more time to enjoy your pool. At Platinum Pools we build pools with maintenance in mind, building pools that require as easy of maintenance as possible. We know that you want to spend your time enjoying your pool and not maintaining it.

Last week we posted a blog related to maintaining your pool in the middle of summer.  In this blog, we will help educate you on some of the most popular chemicals used in a swimming pool, what they do, and why you need them in your pool.

The Importance of Clean Water

Don’t let the fact that your pool’s water is clear fool you.  Some microorganisms that are invisible to the naked eye can negatively impact your health and can be present in even the clearest of water.  It is crucial to keep pool water in optimal conditions, using chemicals to maintain and disinfect the water.  How? Here are the most commonly used chemicals you need to help maintain a healthy pool water chemistry.

Most commonly used pool chemicalsChlorine

Chlorine is a swimming pool’s best friend.  It is responsible for effectively eliminating a wide range of pathogens that deposit in the water. Chlorine is both economical and easy to use.  You need to know that there are different types of chlorine and each type has a mixed-use:

  • Trichlor – continuous maintenance of disinfecting the water. You can get it in powder or tablet form, with tablets often being the preferred version.  You can place the trichlor tablets into a chlorinator, and it will do the rest.  Make sure that you regularly add tablets to your chlorinator to making sure it never goes empty.
  • Dichlor – a strong oxidizer and rapid chlorinator used to shock the pool after an extended period of neglect, after having more than the usual amount people in the pool or following a heavy rainstorm.


Using borates in a swimming pool makes for easier overall maintenance.  Borates help to stabilize the pH level in your pool’s water.  Borates also tolerate the increase in water temperature, which makes them perfect for indoor pools with heaters or spas.

There are many benefits from the use of borates in your pool:

  • Prevents algae – borates help keep the pH in control and, since they don’t tamper the effectiveness of chlorine, algae will be less likely to develop.
  • Reduces the use of chlorine – Since borates prevent the growth of algae, you don’t need to add an excessive amount of chlorine to prevent the growth of algae. If the pH continues stable, the use of chlorine is less and, therefore, you don’t need to shock the pool as often.
  • Softer water – hard water can cause the skin to become dry and cause red, itchy eyes. Using borates, not only keeps the water clear for a longer amount of time but also helps to soften the water.  Another advantage is that most borates available in the market have a chlorine stabilizer, helping to keep chlorine from being consumed by UV light from direct sunlight.

Muriatic Acid

Another chemical often used in the pool cleaning procedure is muriatic acid.  This chemical is a strong acid used to control pH levels and specific cleaning needs.   In most cases, the muriatic acid helps to lower the pH levels in the water.

For example, after your test gives you a pH level higher than 7.8, you should use a ¼ gallon of muriatic acid.  Let the water circulate for an hour and retake the test.  In the case of smaller pools, use only one cup of acid and re-test.

Like all chemicals, muriatic acid MUST be handled carefully.

An Honorable Mention – Ozonators

Ozonators are part of your pool’s filter system that supplies ozone into your pool’s water, helping to keep it clean.  Ozonators combine with other chemical treatments and bring excellent benefits to your pool’s water.

Studies have shown that the use of a pool ozone generator:

  • Lowers the number of chemicals needed to properly maintain your pool.
  • Cleans the pool and frees the water of mold, mildew, bacteria, yeasts, and fungi.
  • Neutralizes and removes organic oils and other human contaminants.
  • Reduces the need for other purifying methods.

Using a pool ozone generator also helps to reduce the overall maintenance costs needed to keep a pool clean.Swimming Pool Ozonator

If you are a pool owner or a future one at that, keep in mind that ozonators work for microscopic organisms and does not replace proper pool maintenance.  You need to remove large debris and leaves using a vacuum or a pool net.  A quality pool filter will help to remove smaller items.

If you have any other questions regarding pool maintenance, our experts at Platinum Pools can help.  Just give us a call at  1-281-870-1600(Houston), 1-409-898-4994 (Beaumont), or 1-361-576-0183 (Victoria).