Pool Chemicals

Pool Calculators and the Basics on Chemicals

In Ask the Pool Experts by Platinum Pools

Water treatment is essential when it comes to enjoying a swimming pool. In addition to treating pool water, it is necessary to know how to analyze chemicals it thoroughly. There are many different reasons why pool water is very susceptible to change. 

For example, on rainy days, water enters the pool with a high concentration of particles found in the air. On hot days, water evaporates quickly. Both circumstances inevitably change the proportion of treated water and new freshwater. Therefore, it is essential for a pool owner to know the basics of chemicals in an oasis and how to manage it to keep it properly balanced.

Chemical Calculators

For many years, homeowners who have a pool rely on testing strips or reagent kits to ensure that the water is in good condition. This however though typically enough for a home pool is not the most accurate method of testing water conditions.

Now, new digital testing gadgets are popping all over the market. The digital readers are easy to use and more accurate than the strips or the reagent. The unit is submergible, which will study the water and gives a reading. Depending on the manufacturer and the model, it may provide one or more readings depending on what it offers.

There are also apps called Pool Calculators that can assist you in your pool water maintenance. A homeowner can add it to a smartphone or tablet when it is time to check the pool water. Pool Math is a favorite for swimming pool care, maintenance, and management.  The app makes it easy to track pool chemicals like pH, alkalinity, chlorine, and other levels. It also helps to calculate the amount of salt, bleach, and other chemicals needed for a sparkling clean pool.

Pool Math’s commitment is to help pool owners get a crystal bright algae-free pool water. Trouble-Free Pool Math does all the calculations needed to keep chlorine, pH, and calcium alkalinity balanced and stabilizer levels.

It has excellent features, such as:

  • Calculators – it calculates free chlorine, calcium hardness, salt, pH, Total alkalinity, CSI, and borates.
  • Maintenance – maintains vacuum, filter cleaning and pressure, backwashing, flow rate, and SWG cell percentage.
  • Track Other Chemicals
  • Bleach Price Calculator – it helps to find deals on bleach in the area.
  • Summary page – provides a page with test and chemical log, insights, and totals.
  • Data backup / Export

The Basics of Chemicals for a Swimming Pool

It is a challenge to maintain the chemistry of the pool water perfectly balanced. However, when a homeowner learns the importance of preserving the water’s chemistry in balance, it extends the life of the swimming pool.  Elements like pH, free chlorine, cyanuric acid, and total alkalinity are the essential components of pool chemistry.


pH measures the acidity of a swimming pool. If the total number is low, it means that the water is more acidic. The pool water becomes more basic on higher numbers. A perfect pH balance must be between 7.4 and 7.6 in measurement. Most important, having it in balance means that the free chlorine in the pool will disinfect the water without harming swimmers. If the numbers are low, using borax or soda ash will increase the numbers to normal. If the numbers are high, lower it with sodium bisulfate.

Free Chlorine

Free chlorine means the amount available to sanitize water in a pool. Over time, the chlorine’s ability to disinfect the water decreases. Adding the right amount of chlorine helps the pool water stay crystal clear.

Total Chlorine

Total chlorine is the combination of free chlorine and the chlorine that has already been used to sanitize and is no longer active.

When testing the pool water, the best number for free chlorine is between one to three parts per million (ppm) of free chlorine. Use calcium hypochlorite if the free chlorine levels are low.

Cyanuric Acid

There is no better pool stabilizer than cyanuric acid. Half of the free chlorine can evaporate from direct sunlight. So, when adding cyanuric acid will stabilize the chlorine molecules, it will help protect them from UV rays, so the chlorine works appropriately in the pool water.

The use of cyanuric acid is beneficial and cost-effective when using it to maintain the pool chemistry balanced. It is imperative to keep the level under 100 ppm in a swimming pool. Otherwise, the chlorine loses the effectiveness of sanitizing the water.

Total Alkalinity

Total alkalinity is the measure of alkaline substances in a pool. It helps to neutralize the pH offset of your pool chemistry, hence why pH should keep above 7.4.

Also, the substances prevent quick changes in pH levels.

The total alkalinity must be between 80 and 120 ppm. Sodium bicarbonate is a significant element to raise the level of total alkalinity. However, it can be challenging to use, especially if the water looks cloudy after adding sodium bicarbonate.

If you are looking to get a new pool, or revamp an existing one, Platinum Pools has a team of experts ready to make your backyard dreams come true.  Call us at 281.870.1600 or visit our website for a free quote.