What Pool Chemicals Do I Need?

Balancing your pool’s water so that it remains crystal clear and safe for swimming requires the help of certain pool chemicals. It’s always wise to keep a healthy stock of these chemicals on hand, as the longer you leave your water imbalanced, the more likely you will be to encounter bigger problems down the road.

But exactly what pool chemicals should you have on hand, and what can they do to help keep your water balanced? Here is everything you need to know about the most vital pool chemicals.

Types of Pool Chemicals

pool chemicals in a shed near the swimming pool

There are two different categories of pool chemicals that you’re going to need: balancing chemicals and sanitizers. Balancing chemicals help to keep your water levels in check, while sanitizers help to keep your water clean and clear.

For either type of chemical, it’s also crucial to use only high-quality brands. Both Natural Chemistry and ProTeam offer effective, dependable products that suit a wide range of pool types and needs.

Balancing Your Water

To keep your pool water balanced, you’ll need test strips that will let you know what your current levels are. Simply dip the test strip into the water, and use the guide provided with the product to determine your pH, chlorine, alkalinity levels, and other important measures. Based on your results, you may need to add some of the following:

pH Up and pH Down

The pH level of your pool can either help your sanitizer — chlorine or bromine — to work more effectively, or it can slow it down. If pH levels are too low, you’ll need pH increaser, or pH up. If they’re too high, you’ll need pH decreaser, or pH down.

Alkalinity Increaser and Decreaser

To keep your pH levels from suddenly dropping or spiking, ensure that your pool water has a desirable alkalinity level. This can be done with the help of alkalinity increaser and decreaser. An added benefit of maintaining alkalinity is the prevention of scaling, and for areas with hard water, it can also help to reduce mineral content.


Stabilizer can help keep chlorine levels in your pool consistent by providing protection from the sun. The sun is a primary factor in chlorine loss.

Sanitizing Your Water

testing swim pool's water using test stick

Your pool water won’t stay clean and clear all on its own. It’s going to need the help of regular sanitizing chemicals, and in the event of algae growth, you may need special chemicals to get your pool swimmable again.

Sanitizing chemicals that you want to make sure you always have on hand include:

Bromine and Chlorine

One of the most important pool chemicals to keep in stock is either bromine or chlorine. Both do the same job of disinfecting your pool water, preventing algae growth, and breaking down contaminants like dirt and other debris so that these contaminants can more easily be vacuumed up or filtered out.

These chemicals come in tablet, granular, or liquid form, and each offers different benefits. If you’re unsure which is best for your pool, speak with a pool care expert, and they’ll help guide you toward the right product.


Pool shock serves the same function as chlorine or bromine — sanitization — but more aggressively. Shocking essentially involves adding a far larger amount of sanitizer all at once. This intensive approach to disinfecting and decontaminating your pool water helps to combat those contaminants head-on and keep your pool clean and clear.

You should be shocking your pool about once a week during the swimming season. Chlorine is a common choice for shocking pool water and is the primary ingredient in ProTeam’s 3” Pure Tabs, which can effectively eliminate bacteria and many other contaminants.


You might occasionally find that your water is still looking a bit cloudy in spite of all of your maintenance efforts. When this happens, pool clarifier can be a great solution. Add this chemical to your murky water, and it can help to make it crystal clear once again.


When algae growth takes hold in your pool, it can impact both the aesthetics and chemical balance of your pool water. You may also need to brush the pool itself and run your filter for a while for the best results.

Pool Maintenance With Performance Pools

Having the right chemicals on hand is a key part of keeping your water safe and sparkling. To learn more about pool maintenance, reach out to the pros at Performance Pools | Poolwerx today. We’d be happy to help!