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Water Chemistry

Water Chemistry

Water Chemistry , 
1 Stop Pool Pros is here to help!!

Here is a brief description of the different methods of keeping your water healthy clean and clear and related devices to administer the chemical in the water:

Liquid Chlorine

The most standard type of water disinfectant used in The United States is liquid chlorine. Liquid chlorine also known as sodium hypochlorite is added directly to the water to shock or bring the water chemistry back to correct parameters. Liquid Chlorine has the shortest shelf life of sanitizers when it is in the liquid state. Liquid chlorine is typically 11-15% and can degrade down to 8% over 30 days and even more in sunlight and heat. Most often it is temporarily stored in reservoirs where it is pumped out automatically using a chemical feed pump to the body of water. Liquid chlorine or sodium hypochlorite is the most common disinfectant in commercial pool applications.

Tablet Chlorine

Tablet chlorine is commonly referred to as Trichlor or chlorine Tabs. Its proper name is Trichloro-s-triazinetrione.

Trichlor is widely used in residential applications as the chlorine tabs contain muriatic acid and cyanuric acid. With the combination of the three, the water chemistry stays somewhat balanced in a normal residential setting. Tablet chlorine is difficult to monitor and use on heavier used pools, or commercial applications as a stand alone chlorine feeder. When the demand for chlorine increases due to bather load the tablets dissolve trying to meet the demand for chlorine but adding additional muriatic acid and cyanuric acid at the same time.  The water chemistry becomes out of balance with the additional by product of muriatic and cyanuric acid. This chemical imbalance becomes aggressive on the plaster and interior metals of the pool equipment, resulting in either etched surfaces, plaster discoloration or a shortened lifespan on both plaster and equipment. Trichlor has a long shelf life and is typically 90% free chlorine strength. Trichlor also comes in granular form and is typically used to treat various forms of algae.

Gas Chlorine

Chlorine in its elemental state is pure gas 100% chlorine.  Chlorine in its gas state is its purest and most potent form.  While being an excellent sanitizer gas chlorine is extremely dangerous and is restricted and banned from many counties in California.  The counties gas chlorine is allowed, typically require special certifications and licensure.

Di Chlor

Di-Chlor‘s proper name is sodium dichloro-s-triazinetrione-di-chlor.  It comes in granular form only and is typically used for shock treatment. Since it comes in granular form it is not recommended to be used in chlorine feeders. Di-chlor is approximately 55-65% free chlorine strength and has a long shelf life.

Cal Hypo

Cal Hypo‘s proper name is Calcium Hypochlorite, which comes in granular form and tablet form. Cal Hypo is approximately 65-70% free chlorine strength. Cal Hypo can be used in feeders, but due to the calcium in the formation of these tablets it can cause temporary clouding of the water as calcium takes time to break down and dissipate. Cal Hypo is also one of the more dangerous sanitizers and requires special licensure for storage as it can be easily combustive.

Isocyanuric Acid

Isocyanuric acid- also known as conditioner or cyanuric acid. Technically, cyanuric acid is basically a stabilizer or sun screen for chlorine. Cyanuric acid is used to help keep chlorine in the pool water and is used to deter evaporation. it is recommended that cyanuric acid levels be kept at levels below 60 parts per million. Higher levels have been show to cause health risks. In addition, higher levels of cyanuric acid reduces the oxidation potential of the chlorine.  The lower the cyanuric acid the more of an oxidizing effect the chlorine will have.

Muriatic Acid

Muriatic or sulphuric acid is used to adjust or lower pH in the water. Muriatic acid is used to keep your water chemistry in balance. The pH level should be in the range of 7.5 to 7.8. When the pH falls below 7.5, it becomes acidic and aggressive, etching the metals in the internal components of the pool equipment and plaster. When pH raises above 7.8 it becomes alkaline and becomes scale forming causing scale or calcium build up on tiles, plaster and interior of equipment, especially in heater tube bundles also know as the heat exchanger.


When you see green and yellow algae, don't panic. These algaes are easily removed and are caused by high levels of phosphates in the water. So how do phosphates get in there?  Algae is caused by rain, dirt, usage and the biggest culprit fertilizer!  So how do we get rid of this yellow and green algae nightmare?  There are several different scenarios but here's a few:

* Roller coaster your chlorine value or parts per million from 1.0 to 3.0 avoid keeping it at a constant. It is important to brush the walls, steps, etc whenever the algae is present.

* Algaecides-  please read the label. Copper based or metal based Algaecides can stain plaster so it is best to discuss this with a pool technician prior to adding an algaecide.

* Brushing with either vinyl bristle or stainless steel brush.

*Phosphate Remover. 1-Stop Pool Pros does not use this method but many companies do and find good results from it.

The above four methods should keep your pool free from slime and the embarrassing just downright awful appearance of green and yellow algae.


Black Algae, ok should you panic? Maybe a little.  Black Algae is actually a spore that continues to grow even though you thought you got rid of it.  Once a pool has black algae it will always have it and can only be treated by bleaching the surface of the spore until it is undetected. The best solution for black algae treatment is to scrub the surface of the black algae with a Trichlor tab or by adding granular to the location. This will bleach out the surface of the spore.

Note: Do not complete process on colored plaster. This process will most likely discolor or bleach out your colored plaster. Check with a pool technician prior to performing removal of black algae. In severe cases the pool can be drained and chlorine bathed. By chlorine washing the pool, it will bleach out all the surfaces of the algae/spore. Again, if you have a colored plaster check with a professional prior to chlorine bathing your pool.


Have you ever wondered why you or your family’s eyes burn after swimming,  or they are experience skin irritation? The chlorine level is low, but there is such a strong odor of chlorine. Hmm, doesn't make sense, or does it???  What this is, is called Chloramines. And what happens is chlorine mixed with ammonia, and to a lesser degree, nitrogen, creates the odor of a strong smelling chlorine called Chloramines.   

So how do we get rid of these strong chlorine odors? Best guess would be just let it evaporate??? Just the opposite. We actually have to oxidize or burn the Chloramines out of the water.  Remember, chlorine is an oxidizer and it basically burns out the contaminants in the water. Typically, you check your free chlorine reading right? Well, in this scenario you will be checking your combined chlorine levels. Follow the instructions on your test kit and it will tell you how to remove the Chloramines. It's typically raising your chlorine to 10 times the level of combined chlorine for 3-4 hours. This will remove, or burn and oxidize out that smell!  If you have any questions. 1 Stop Pool Pros is only 1- call away to answer any questions you may have.


Chemical Controllers

It is 1 Stop Pool Pros, recommendation that all bodies of water be automatically controlled by a chemical control systems or at a minimum, by feeders.

1 Stop Pool Pros, automated chemical controller will control, monitor and record the water chemistry, 24 hours a day or when the pool and or spa system is running. Our controller automatically checks both the chlorine and acid and automatically adds exactly what/s needed. This system takes out all the guess work of  pool water chemistry.

Please click here to contact us for information regarding this system.


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