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Most pool owners know by now that the name of the game in pool maintenance is to keep the “big three” – chlorine, pH and alkalinity – within acceptable limits. Let’s start with chlorine, the essential biocide in any pool and its most important ally in the battle against infestation. Chlorine is useful in that it inhibits bacterial growth practically on contact, breaking down cellular walls and disrupting essential metabolic paths. Maintaining the chlorine level in your pool – the ideal range is 1 - 1.5 ppm – is the only way to ensure you will not drink in unwanted visitors with every dip.

The other two elements of the big three exist primarily to support the chlorine. Some homeowners blanch at the prospect of maintaining pH, assuming they need a doctorate in chemistry to make sense of this balancing act. In fact, there is no great mystery behind pH or how it works – simply put, the number is a measure of how many acid or base ions are roaming around your pool. Too much of either one and the chlorine will not make contact with bacteria, so it’s essential to stay within a reasonable range, usually between 7.2 and 7.8. As with chlorine, you can regulate this number rather easily with store-bought items that come with simple instructions, adding whichever “side” you need to regain balance.

Alkalinity is the one that sounds most confusing, especially to people who associate the word with batteries and little else. In fact, the number refers to the pool’s ability to effectively maintain a steady pH. Go outside that range and the pH level could quickly spin off the charts, rendering your chlorine content essentially useless. Thankfully you only need to add store-bought products here as well to maintain an acceptable range of 80 – 120 ppm. Check frequently and you should have no troubles.

MyPoolSupplySource carries a full line of chemicals to help you keep your pool sparkling clear.

Lo-Chlor pool chemicals
Natural Chemistry
Natural Chemistry
Tropi clear
Tropi Clear
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