How To Put Chemicals In Pool For First Time?

pool chemicals

Will it not be awesome to get up in the morning, and take a sip out of your coffee cup, by the side of your private pool? Sounds like a dream, right? Well! Lucky for me, I get to relive this dream each and every day. And no! It does not get boring after first few months.

Your relation with the pool is far more dynamic that you can ever imagine. Your marriage may get boring after some months, but your pool will continue to surprise you till the last day. Any man who denies this is definitely lying. And I will find myself sleeping on the couch for several nights if my wife ends up reading this article.

 So, I am keeping my fingers crossed, and you better pray for the safety of your “friendly pool pump expert,” if you want to continue getting interesting, and informative article from me.


Pool waters vs. regular water

When my parents moved to the city, my brother and I were rather young. We did not have a private pool, but my father’s friend, Mr. Collins did. We used to visit his place during the summers. I was in the same class with his son, and we were buddies.

Wondering why I am taking a stroll down memory lane? Well! You need to read a bit more to figure it out. As I said, I knew nothing about pool or pool water back then. One day, we were playing by the side of the pool. Yes! It is dangerous, but boys will be boys. Anyways, I felt thirsty and scooped up a glass of water from the pool.

As I was about to drink it, Mr. Collins stopped me. He was the first person who told me that pool water was far different from regular tap water. I did not understand what he meant back then, but now I do.

Regular tap water contains minerals, which are good for health. But pool water contains chemicals, which can upset your stomach if you swallow it. I regularly check the chemical balance in the pool to ensure safety and water quality. I empty my pool and refill it after every six months.

 I attach a big hose to the fire hydrant and fill in the pool. It is less expensive. You can opt for water delivery trucks, or get water from a nearby well or lake. Make sure to filter pool water before you pour it in the pool.

List of necessary chemicals

Stella is my cousin, and she has recently moved in the neighborhood. We helped them to set up. Hey! That is what family does! Once unpacking was complete, Stella asked me to help start-up her pool.

Between you and me, I knew this was coming. After all, they do not call me “pool expert” for nothing. So, I used the same fire hydrant to fill her pool. Now it was time to add the chemicals. I rushed to the store and picked up a few necessary items.

Make sure you have these if you need to take care of a similar situation.

  • Scale and stain preventer
  • Shock Chlorine Granules
  • Chlorine tablets
  • pH regulators
  • Cyanuric Acid as a stabilizer
  • Clarifiers and Algaecide
  • Chemical balance test kits
  • Setting up the pool

    Make sure that you do the calculations as to the proportion of each chemical that needs to go in the water. You do not want to mess up the pH balance of water. The amount of chemicals will differ according to the water content in the pool.

    Step 1 - Adjust the Alkalinity and pH level at first

    I always add those chemicals, which affect the alkalinity and pH level of the pool water. As per my experience, if you nail these factors, then other steps will be as smooth as swimming in cool water on a hot day! As the TA of Stella’s pool water was more than 120 ppm, I added pH decrease to adjust the water quality. If the TA were less than 80 ppm, I would have added alkalinity Increaser. Once alkalinity was done, it was time to test the pH again. I always keep the pH level of pool water between 7.2 to 7.6. Anything more or less needs adjustments.

    Step 2 - Maintaining Proper Calcium level in water

    When I add chemicals to my pool, I do not dump all ingredients at once. I follow a certain order that makes the task easy, safe and 100% satisfactory. Some of the chemicals tend to reach more in the presence of sunlight.

     I am aware of these things by now. So, I picked a cloudy and less humid day to work on Stella’s pool. Our area falls in hard water belt, and this makes use of Calcium hardness increasing chemicals necessary.  I kept on adding this chemical till the water reached a Calcium level of 180 t0 200 ppm.

    Step 3 – Adjusting the Cyanuric levels

    Cyanuric acid is an essential chemical that you need to add to the pool, if you desire to maintain the quality of water. It acts as a stabilizer. As Stella’s pool was filled for the first time, the level of Cyanuric acid was very low.

    Adding Chlorine tables did increase the level of this stabilizer, but more was needed. Thus, I had to pour more cyanuric acid into the water. The stabilizer will prevent the chlorine in the water to react, and turn the water cloudy, in the presence of sunrays. I added 3 lbs of Cyanuric acid for 10,000 gallons of water. Stella had two kids. I was very cautious while adding these chemicals to the pool.

    A small miscalculation from my side can cause problems for them. I don’t want them to suffer as my daughter did.

    Step 4 – Preparing the water with chlorine

    Remember the chlorine granules and tablets I bought? Finally, I added them to maintain a proper chlorine level in the water. The granular chlorine will shock the water, and prevent the buildup of germs and fungi. I also added Algaecide for maintaining the quality of water for long.

    Step 5– Time to bring out the chemical test kits

    I knew the chemicals would take around a day to work. So, I put up a makeshift pool cover, to protect the water from dirt or sunlight, during the next 24 hours. On the third day, I switched on the pool pump to filter the water. Once it was done, I allowed the water to rest for eight hours. Then I pulled out my chemical test kit to check if everything was in order or not. My efforts paid off, and the chemical equilibrium was exactly as I wanted it to be.


    So, friends! It does not matter whether you have an automated pool cover or not. Maintaining a proper chemical balance in the pool and optimum pH balance are cardinal aspects. If you mess it up, you will find yourself in a sticky situation. Test and filter the water as per norms, and your pool will only offer enjoyment.

    Bryan Mallory

    My name is Bryan Mallory and I have over 25 years of experience in swimming pool, spa maintenance and repairs. With my experience and knowledge I can return your pool back to its best and keep it in peak condition.