Easy Guide to Swimming Pool Chemistry and Maintenance

Balancing Swimming Pool chemistry is an important year round job. When your water is properly balanced, you’re less likely to struggle with issues like cloudy water, green water, or buildup of harmful bacteria. That’s why a good testing kit is essential for your pool maintenance toolkit, Refer to our pool test kits here.

For best results test your pool weekly, here are the essential ranges to keep in mind. The pH should be between 7.2 to 7.8, total alkalinity should range from 80 to 120 ppm (parts per million), calcium hardness should fall between 200 to 400 ppm, and free chlorine should sit between 1 to 4 ppm. Shock-treat your pool if necessary on a weekly basis. For professional service contact iahchemicals.com.

Pool Chemical Guide


This is your primary sanitizer. Stabilized chlorine products are protected from sunlight degradation and are ideal for keeping your pool clear and clean. Pool chlorine comes in either liquid, tablet, or granular form. A service professional can help you determine the best type of sanitization for your pool to help you maintain a free chlorine level of 1-4ppm.

Most commonly used chlorine for swimming pools is Calcium Hypochlorite, which comes in tablets or granules of chlorine. Chlorine tablets are highly concentrated and should be used with a dispenser to offer greater consistency. Granules of chlorine are less concentrated and can be scattered over the pool, they dissolve easily and don’t require a dispenser. These are often used for pool shock treatment. A service professional can help you determine the best type of sanitization for your pool to help you maintain a free chlorine level of 1-4ppm.


Bromine can be used as an alternative to chlorine and works well in warmer water and is ideal for spas and hot tubs. Bromine remains active longer than chlorine, so the volume of Bromine required to sanitize is less than chlorine. It is gentle on the skin compared to chlorine. The downsides of Bromine are it gets burnt off easily when exposed to sunlight and it’s more expensive than chlorine.


PH level refers to the acidity of your pool water. If pool pH is too low, it will corrode metal equipment, cause etching on the surface materials and cause skin irritation. If the pH is too high, it can cause scaling on the pool surface and plumbing equipment and can cloud the water. See here for pH increaser (most common ingredient Sodium Carbonate or Soda Ash) and pH decreaser (most common ingredient Sodium Bisulfate also known as dry acid, or muriatic acid also known as hydrochloric acid).


Alkalinity in pools is an extremely important topic as it acts as a buffer to stabilize pH levels. Total alkalinity is a measure of alkaline substances that act as buffers that resist pH change. Total Alkalinity levels should be between 80-100ppm. Low Alkalinity will eventually result in water being too acidic, which will cause corrosion of pool surfaces and equipment, staining of pool surfaces, burning or itching of eyes and skin, and pool water shade will turn green. To increase Alkalinity use Sodium Bicarbonate.

High Alkalinity will eventually result in water being too alkaline, which will cause scaling of pool surface and equipment, burning and itching of eyes and skin, and pool water will turn cloudy. To lower Alkalinity use Sodium Bisulfate.

Calcium Hardness

Calcium hardness must be actively managed along with pH and total alkalinity, it is the measure of how hard or soft your pool water is. It is important to keep the calcium hardness balanced to prevent your pool water from becoming corrosive or scaling. Current industry standards call for maintaining calcium hardness in the ideal range of 200–400 ppm in pools and 150–250 ppm in spas.

When pool water becomes too soft it becomes corrosive. If you don’t manually add calcium or magnesium back into the pool, the water will begin to take what it needs from parts of your pool or pool equipment that contains them such as stone, concrete, metal, grout, etc. Problems often associated with low calcium hardness include eroding, etching and pitting. To increase water’s calcium hardness you can add Calcium Chloride.

Similarly water with high calcium hardness gets cloudy and excess calcium carbonate will precipitate as crusty, grayish white scale on surface, piping and equipment. This will eventually lead to clogging and blocking the flow of water in and out of the pool, which can damage your pool equipment. To decrease calcium hardness, you must partially or completely drain your pool and replace it with fresh water.


The main cause of algae in pools is lack of proper circulation and out of balance water chemistry. Algae is a plant and needs food, water and light to grow. An algaecide will help prevent algae, it will not change the pH of your pool and will work with your chlorine to keep your pool chemistry balanced.

IBN AL HAJ CHEMICALS is one of the leading swimming pool chemical suppliers in UAE, we have the solution to all your chemical needs. Contact us at +971(4)- 3426464 or email us at sales@iahchemicals.com for your chemical needs.

Leave a Reply

four + eight =