Popular Pool Chemicals And Their Uses

Roughly 15 percent of all Americans own a pool, says the United States Census Bureau. Whether you live next to an ocean, lake, stream, or river, at-home pools are the body of water to relax and enjoy yourself in. Unlike natural bodies of water, pools require maintenance to remain free of bacteria, fungi, bugs, leaves, pollen, and everything else that shouldn’t be found in a pool. Here’s a quick breakdown of a few popular pool chemicals and their uses.

Silver and Copper

Copper and silver are both minerals, or basic building blocks of materials found naturally on Earth. Although very little silver and copper is released into pools, they play a role in sanitizing water. In other words, pool water sanitizers kill bacteria and other potentially harmful organisms.


Almost everybody is familiar with chlorine. It’s cheap to purchase and is highly effective. Chlorine can be released into pool water similar to silver and copper – through chlorinators – or chlorine tablets can simply be dropped into bodies of pool water. The abundant mineral also comes in powdered and granular form for rapid diffusion.


Some people don’t react well to chlorine. Some microorganisms aren’t cleared up well enough by chlorine, either. Biguanide is a chemical compound that is made up of carbon, nitrogen, and hydrogen. Unlike chlorine, silver, and copper, biguanide is a compound, meaning it’s made up of more than one element. Biguanide serves as an effective chlorine alternative.


Bromine is ideal for indoor bodies of water. It doesn’t smell like chlorine, fails to eliminate certain algae as well as chlorine, and degrades rapidly in sunlight. As such, bromine should not be used in outdoor settings or when chlorine would suffice.


Calcium is a common mineral that needs to be included in pools that contain plaster. Failing to maintain a level above 200 parts per million (ppm) will result in that plaster being eroded by the water, whereas going above 275 ppm can cause minor issues like staining.

Pools are fun, but not if homeowners fail to maintain them. These six chemicals are some of the most common pool additives and aren’t difficult to understand. The only thing that can make homeowners’ pool-cleaning jobs easier is using an automatic pool cleaners pittsburgh.