Beginner’s Guide to Hot Tub & Pool Chemicals

As a new pool or hot tub owner, it’s a very exciting time and you probably want to dive right into the water. However, there can be a lot to learn when it comes to keeping your water properly cleaned and balanced. It’s important to have the proper spa chemicals on hand to achieve a balanced pool pH before you start enjoying your new hot tub or swimming pool. Once you understand the basics of pool and spa chemicals, you will be ready to use your watery getaways to their fullest extent! We’ll walk you through what you should know about pool and hot tub chemicals and some of the most commonly asked questions from new pool owners.

What Chemicals Do I Need for My Pool Water?

There are a few different chemicals that are important to have around when you own a pool or a spa. Aside from the most common chemical chlorine, there are other chemicals you need to have on hand when you need to raise the pH or neutralize the chlorine in your water. The following are all essential chemicals that you will need to maintain well-balanced pool or hot tub water. Your pool test kit will always serve as the baseline for checking the different chemical levels in your pool to know what chemical levels need to be increased or decreased in your water.

Test Kit

This kit will typically come with test strips that will allow you to test your pool or spa water for chlorine levels, total alkalinity, calcium hardness, pH levels, and more. There are defined ranges that each one of these must be in to maintain chemically balanced, healthy water. To learn more about what these ranges are, check out this chart.

Chlorine or Bromine

Both chlorine and bromine serve the purpose of a sanitizer for your pool or hot tub water. For pool owners, liquid chlorine or tablets are the recommended option out of the two for effective sanitation. For hot tub owners, bromine is recommended as it can withstand higher temperatures and still remain an effective treatment.

Increaser or Decreaser for Balancing pH Levels

It’s important to maintain a healthy pH level in your hot tub or pool water at all times. Failure to do so can lead to poor water quality and corrosion of pool equipment. Once a test has been performed, you can see whether you need a pH decreaser or alkalinity increaser to balance out overall pH levels.

Shock Treatment

When opening a pool for the very first time or after heavy use, you should use a shock treatment in your pool or hot tub. These treatments are designed to safely remove any contaminants, organic compounds, and bacteria from the water. Learn more by reading our guide on how to shock your pool.


Routine pool maintenance should also include adding an algaecide to your pool water on a weekly basis. This chemical will prevent excess algae from growing in your pool. This is typically added after you perform a shock treatment for further sanitation and protection from unwanted items in your water.

How Much Chlorine to Add to My Pool?

Adding chlorine to your pool depends on the overall size of the pool and how many gallons of water it holds. If you have a larger pool, more chlorine will be needed per gallon. On the other hand, if you have a smaller-sized pool, you will not need to add as much chlorine. Typically, chlorine will need to be added to your pool on a weekly basis. Depending on the brand of chlorine you purchase and whether it’s in liquid or tablet form, the amount that will need to be added varies. It’s best to follow the recommended amount on the specific chlorine you purchase for optimal results.

How Do I Balance pH Levels in My Pool?

As a new pool owner, balancing pH levels can take some work. If pH levels are too high or low, you can experience skin irritation and corrosion to your pool or hot tub. That’s why it’s crucial to get a handle on balancing pH levels from the beginning. Your pool water should have an optimal pH level between 7.2 to 7.8 at all times. If you find that this is not the case, you must treat your water with a pH decreaser or alkalinity increaser to achieve the correct pH levels again.

How to Lower Chlorine in My Pool?

If you find that your pool water has a high chlorine level, it’s important to immediately stop adding chlorine to the water. Doing this will likely allow your chlorine levels to return to normal after a few days. However, if your chlorine levels are extremely high, you may need to use additional help from a chlorine agent to help reduce the high chlorine levels. These neutralizing chemicals can act fast and help your chlorine levels balance back out after added.

After you have mastered maintaining the proper chemical levels in your pool and spa, you can further enhance your pool with new pool equipment and slides. Global Pool Products is your trusted manufacturer of American made pool accessories including ladders, pool slides, and rails, as well as pool and spa accessibility equipment. Find your nearest dealer today!

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