Look for These Essential Pool Supplies Online
Keeping tabs on all of the different chemicals and supplies your pool or hot tub might need can really be a daunting experience for a new pool owner. Whatever you thought prior to owning a pool, and however much to other people it might seem like the only ingredient in the pool is water, you know that nothing could be farther from the truth.
Keeping your pool or hot tub not only clean but clear will require a fair amount of attention to detail, and moreover, it will require you to be familiar and proficient with a number of different essential pool supplies & chemicals. If you’re looking to take some difficulty out of the equation and you want to shop for your pool supplies online, start with these critical supplies first.
Swimming Pool Chemicals
First up on any list of critical swimming pool supplies is going to be chemicals. If you’re not a pool owner, perhaps you’ve seen some of those viral videos depicting pool owners getting their pools ready for the summer season. Even in condensed formats, these videos make a good case for the sheer amount of chemicals that go into keeping the water sanitized and properly balanced. Here are some of the most important pool chemicals that you will find you need, all of which you can find here in our store.
Swimming Pool Water Test Strips
This entry might be surprising in a list of pool supplies that claims it’s going to focus on chemicals. While test strips are chemicals, categorically, they are not used in much the same fashion as other chemicals are used. Why, then, are we not only including them here but allotting them the first space in a place reserved for pool chemicals?
Well, to provide that question with a blunt answer, perhaps we would do best to say that without test strips you would not be able to use some of the following chemicals that also appear on this list. In fact, you might even be able to say that in the absence of test strips you wouldn’t be able to effectively use a single one of the following chemicals.
That’s an argument for another day, but test kits and test strips do make it possible for you to balance the chemicals in your swimming pool’s water so that you can eventually keep the pool clean and comfortable.
Any quality collection of test strips or testing chemicals that give you the ability to test the levels of sanitizer in the water. Good testing kits also give you the ability to check the pH and total alkalinity of the water as well, as these things will affect not only the comfort of the water but also the levels of the sanitizer; they can also make the water cloudy or damage your pool’s liner or surface.
Although you can’t effectively use other chemicals without test strips or a test kit, there are other chemicals that you will need besides. Think of test kits as the enabling chemical and the rest of the entries on this list as the actual swimming pool supplies that you will need, at least as much as it refers to chemicals.
Perhaps the first among them is pool shock, if only for the reason that pool shock is often the first chemical administered to a pool, especially when one is opening it for the season. First though it may be, there are a number of reasons that shock is applied to the water, and a number of conditions after opening that can make it necessary.
For example, in addition to shocking the water before opening or closing the pool, pool owners would do well to shock their pools or hot tubs when any of the following conditions applies. If you have experienced a heavy rain, the pool or hot tub has been left in the sun for a prolonged period of time, or if the pool or hot tub has had an influx of bathers, you would do well to shock the water. In addition, you should shock the water periodically, otherwise.
Shock, like sanitizer that we will investigate below, is intended to kill pathogens in the water such as algae, bacteria and viruses. By raising the sanitizer level briefly, the water is somewhat cleansed of these invasive bodies, and therefore more sanitary. Sanitizer alone is not sufficient to keep the water clean and clear, and any list of essential pools supplies online should include shock.
Shock may be critical to the maintenance of a pool, but so is sanitizer. Sanitizer, like shock, is the chemical that you add to the water - and must maintain within a certain range - in order to kill pathogens in the water and keep the water clear, safe and comfortable for swimmers to use.
Chlorine - Most sanitizers are chlorine based, and chlorine is widely used for a number of reasons. For one, chlorine based sanitizers are inexpensive and easy to use. Because they are inexpensive they are ubiquitous so they are also easy to shop for as well. However, chlorine is not as gentle on skin, eyes and hair and it is not as stable under high temperatures. In addition, chlorine is metabolized more rapidly in the water than bromine is; when chlorine kills pathogens, it is “used up.”
Bromine - Bromine, like chlorine, is a popular sanitizer for both pools and hot tubs, although it seems less use than chlorine. Part of the reason for this may be because bromine is more expensive than chlorine. However, bromine also lasts longer in the water than chlorine and is more gentle than chlorine. Additionally, bromine is more stable under high temperatures, making it more popular among hot tub owners. Finally, though bromine and chlorine both destabilize in the presence of UV light, bromine cannot be stabilized, making it somewhat unsuitable for use in uncovered pools that will be in the sunlight all day.
Granules - Whether you personally need bromine or chlorine sanitizer, you can find both in either granulated or tablet form. Granulated sanitizer is convenient for those who want to get very specific about the quantity of the chemicals that they add to the water, but it does require a precise measurement with each application.
Tablets - You may not be able to get as precise with your additions with tablet-form sanitizer as you can with granules, but tablets are a lot more convenient. You can dial in how much you need to add and how frequently and then go from there, saving you time in the long run.
Pool maintenance isn’t all about the sanitizer and the shock, although to some people that have gotten down deep into it it might seem that way. The truth is that pool water can be adversely affected not only by problems with alkalinity levels but also with pH levels that are too low or too high.
If your pool’s pH is too low, then the water is too acidic, and you may experience issues with pitting and erosion as well as other damage to other surfaces. For example, grout and concrete may begin to deteriorate and your pool’s liner may suffer as well. In addition, if the water becomes too acidic, it can even become enough of a problem that swimmers’ eyes may burn on contact.
By contrast, if the water’s pH is too high, then the water is too basic, which is the opposite of acidic, but it comes with its own host of problems. When the pH is too high, you may experience problems with keeping the water clear and you may also start to develop scale on surfaces that can be hard to remove. If this wasn’t bad enough, chlorine loses a vast portion of its efficacy at high pH levels. Anything appreciably over 8 will have a pointed effect on chlorine’s ability to keep the water clean, which could develop into problems with algae or biofilm.
The short answer is that imbalance pH levels are bad for swimmers and for the pool itself, but to balance them you may need the use of test strips and balancing agents, both of which you can find here.
Algicide definitely isn’t the most important thing in this list of essential pool supplies, nor should it be on any. In all seriousness, proper sanitation practices should prevent algae blooms, as well as your sanitizer levels and pH levels are in concert and copacetic.
However, if you ever have the misfortune of experiencing an algae bloom, then you may be glad you had some algicide ferreted away. In fact, if you ever experience just how hard it is to get rid of algae once algae begins to propagate itself, you might find yourself using preventative algicide just to forestall another coming of the Green Menace.
Pool Clarifier and Flocculant
Like algicide, water clarifier and flocculant are far from the most important pool supplies that most owners will ever have a need for, if they have a need for them at all. As with algicide, keeping the sanitizer levels up and the pH properly balanced should also have the effect of keeping your water clear. If it doesn’t, you’ll be glad you had some clarifier or flocculant tucked away as in the above situation.
Both of these products are built around the purpose of keeping the water clear or of restoring the clarity of the water. Flocculant, for example, causes fine particulate matter to stick together so that it can be later picked up by the filter. Either way, they are useful chemical supplies to have on hand.
Pool Surface Cleaners
Surface cleaners are useful for keeping the surfaces of your hot tub or pool clean, and some of them are also useful for keeping covers clean too, which is a huge bonus considering how difficult it can be to store them. Whether you’re looking for a cleaner for a vinyl liner or something to keep your pool cover in good order, there’s a surface cleaner to get the job done.
Pool Filter Cleaners
Similarly, filter cleaners are used for restoring some vitality to the filter of your pool or hot tub, and the filters of these systems are constantly subjected to a variety of onslaughts. Some filter cleaners give you the freedom to spray down the filter whereas others allow you to soak the filter in the cleaner for a while before rinsing it off. Use whichever one is most useful to you, and remember that cleaning your filter is not a suggestion; in order for it to run properly and effectively, it must be cleaned periodically.
Swimming Pool Tools
In addition to these chemicals and cleaners, there are other essential products and pool equipment that you should probably have on hand for the maintenance of your pool. Remember that your maintenance schedule will not just require you to have chemicals at the ready but some other implements as well.
A pool brush will help you to clean off the walls and floor of the pool, where the dislodged debris can then be picked up and removed by the filter. That’s one of the reasons that a filter cleaner is a necessary supply.
In addition, a special pool vacuum can take some of the load off of the filter, and will pick up some of the particulate matter in the pool once it is dislodged by the brush.
A skimmer or a net will give you the ability to remove larger debris, such as leaves and bugs, from the surface of the pool, but to use it you’ll want a pole that you can also use along with the brush mentioned above.
Finally, you’ll want a pool cover that is large enough to keep your pool or hot tub out of the sun. This will keep the water from releasing too much sanitizer but it will also serve as a reasonable defense against the infraction of particulate debris.
Get in Touch with Us!
In all of this, it’s important to set aside time to enjoy your pool, as owning a pool should be a pleasure and not just a chore. If you’re looking for quality products like these but have additional questions about issues you might be having with your pool or hot tub, get in touch with us. We’ve seen a little bit of everything, from discolored water to issues with sanitizers. Give us a call today at 866-546-8882 and let us know how we can help!