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Pool Chem Noob Questions

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Hi all,

New to this forum. First post. I installed a 6000 gallon pool in my garden a few weeks ago. So im new to the world of pools also. Have been reading a lot of forums on pool chemistry. I think i understand the pool chemistry now. So i will tell a story and please correct me when im wrong, or feel free to add things if i left them out.


Istalled 6000 gallon above-ground pool couple of weeks ago. Filled with tap water. Bought shock (unknown white powder ) from local pool guy and added to pool.

Adding 2 tabs of stabilised chlorine and replacing when dissolved (about once a week).

At first pH, chlorine and total alkalinity were fine.

Then after a few weeks, the pH and TA were dropping, so I added sodium bicarbonate to pool until pH was around 7.5 and the TA was in the right zone (on the test strips).

So i guess the chlorine tabs were dropping the pH of my unbuffered pool.

Now I will keep using the chlorine tabs until the optimal level of stabiliser is reached in the pool. Now that my pool is buffered with the sodium bicarbonate, the pH should stay more or less level when using chlorine tablets.

When the optimal level of stabiliser is reached, i will stop using the stabilised chlorine tablets and switch over to household bleach (without additives). This will increase my pH over time so will need to adjust with hydrochloric acid once in a while. Will the stabiliser in my pool (from the tabs) still be stabilising the chlorine (from the household bleach ) im now adding ?

After a while, due to water loss (kids splashing etc), the stabiliser levels will be sub-optimal again, and i will need to use stabilised chlorine tabs again until stabiliser levels are ok, then switch over to household bleach again, etc, etc.

The only thing that would be accumulating in my pool (besides mierals from dust) would be sodium ions. Is this a problem?

Did i learn well from the pool forums?

Thanks in advance,


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Sodium is not a problem. The only problem I see is your test strips . Invest in a Taylor K-2006 test kit. You won't be sorry and you will find it is worth every penny!

Bleach is basically pH neutral on use (alkaline when added, adcid when the chlorine is consumed). The main cause of pH rise in any pool is outgassing of CO2. This is masked with tabs which are extremely acidic. The rate of outgassing is determined by the amount of aeration of the pool water.Above ground pools with no water features or SWCGs do not outgas CO2 as fast as pools that receive more aeration. How low or high the TA and pH are DO affect the rate of outgassing. If you are primarily using bleahc then a lower TA (around 80 ppm) and a higher pH (around 7.6) will slow outgassing. and pH rise so you will not need to add acid as frequently. However, if you continue to use guess strips it's all moot since they do not have the precision to make water chemistry adjustments!

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You probably will not find the K-2006 in the pool store. They will most likely have a K-2005 which you do not want because the chlorine test is not as good as the one in the K-2006. If you are in the US you can get the K-2006 online for about $48 plus shipping from Amato Industries, or Amazon (or a bit more form several other online retailers.) You can also order it from Taylor Technologies for about double that. You might also want to order some extra CYA reagent R-0013 since you only get enough for about 5 tests in the kit. I would recommend ordering a 16 oz or 32 oz since since it does not go bad..

BTW, the name is waterbear, not Mr. Bear. Google it and look at my avatar. If you prefer you can call me tardigrade.

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Sorry waterbear,

Will be calling you waterbear from now on. I hope i can get a good quality test kit. I live on a small island in the caribbean where i am at the mercy of the local pool stores. And ordering online is a real pain. A lot of folks do have pools here so i might just get lucky.

Anyway, i will keep on reading the forum and absorbing the good info.

Thank you.

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