Chlorine is a sanitizer, and (unless you use Baquacil products) is necessary for maintaining a clear and healthy pool. Shock is chlorine, in a high dose, meant to shock your pool and raise the chlorine level quickly. Chlorine tabs (placed in a chlorinator, floater, or skimmer basket) maintain a chlorine residual in the water. You do need to use both tabs and shock. Without tabs, the chlorine shock will dissipate quickly out of the water; without shock, the chlorine level will not get high enough to fully sanitize the water. You should aim to keep the chlorine level at between 1 and 3 ppm.

We suggest shocking the pool every week to two weeks; with hot weather or increased use, you may need to shock more often. When tabs run out, replace them.
Pool water testing is important in order to achieve and maintain a sanitary and well-functioning pool. The timespan for testing your pool water depends on how heavily or how lightly your pool is being used along with the daily air and water temperature. It also depends on the specific test being done. As a pool owner, you should be testing for:
Chlorine sanitizes your pool water and should be checked between 2 to 3 times a week. Free chlorine is the most important test as this tells you available chlorine for sanitizing
Check your pH just as frequent as you check your chlorine balance, 2 to 3 times a week. By keeping your pH balanced your chlorine will stay at its highest level of effectiveness
Total Alkalinity
This should be tested once a week as the stability of this test influences the stability of your pH levels
Calcium Hardness
Calcium harness should be tested once a month. This tends to fluctuate due to local water and chemicals added to your pool.
Total Dissolved Solids (chemical reactions, dust, pollen, wastes)
If this level is too high, it can disturb the efficiency of your pool chemicals. This is why these levels should be checked on a monthly basis as well.
Every 3-4 months you should test for metals (copper, iron, manganese). Metals can cause staining if left in your water. If you detect metals in your water, the source should be determined if possible and they should be removed. Now that you are informed on the frequency of when to test your pool water, the following is a guide to what your results should look like. chemistry levels
Chemical Ideal Level
Salt 2700 to 3400ppm
Free Chlorine 1.0 to 3.0ppm
PH 7.2 to 7.8
Cyanuric Acid (Stabilizer) Outdoor pools - 30-50ppm
Indoor Pools - 0ppm
Total Alkalinity 80-120ppm
Calcium Hardness 200 to 400ppm
Metals 0ppm
Salt level shown in the chart above is for those who have Hayward Salt Chlorination systems other than low salt systems. Your local pool professional is the best place to have your water tested on a regular basis. There you can have a professional analysis, and get the chemicals you need to ensure the cleanliness of your pool and life of your equipment. Replace testing chemicals and strips as needed according the manufactures recommendations. Click here to find a local dealer to have your water professionally tested!
Cyanuric acid technically is an ‘acid’ but is dissimilar to muriatic acid, which the pool industry uses to manage and adjust pool pH levels. It is sold as a standalone product or can be purchased as a convenient additive to chlorine tablets. It is able to dissolve in water and has little overall effect on pH, alkalinity or hardness. Unlike other ‘acids,’ it is commonly referred to as a chlorine stabilizer or conditioner, forming a chemically weak and temporary bond with chlorine. This means it will hold onto free chlorine in the water, reduce chlorine’s strength and, most importantly, protect chlorine from the sun (through cyanuric acid’s ability to absorb UV light) until the chlorine is consumed for oxidation or disinfection of material in the pool.

If the levels of Cyanuric acid are extremely high, you may need to drain your pool and refill it with fresh water. Be aware that the chemical can hang around in your filtration system, so if extremely high levels are a problem, you may want to backwash or change your filter.
Good chlorine tablets protect your indoor and outdoor swimming pool against bacteria, algae and other organisms so you can enjoy clean, clear water.

When you look for the right chlorine tablet for your pool, you’ll note there are a few differences between chlorine tablets. The biggest difference is that they’re either stabilized chlorinating tablets or unstabilized:

Stabilized tablets contain Cyanuric Acid (CYA). This protects the chlorine from dissipating in sunlight, but can also be a problem if the stabilizer level becomes too high. If you’re using stabilized tablets, monitor the stabilizer level and keep it below 50 parts per million to prevent over-stabilization.

Unstabilized tablets can be protected from sunlight by simply adding pool stabilizer separately to your swimming pool. While this adds a step to your pool care routine, adding stabilizer separately allows you to keep the pool from becoming over-stabilized.

Both stabilized and unstabilized chlorine tablets are effective in above ground or in-ground pools of all sizes.

What are the best chlorine tablets for swimming pools?

When you’re looking for the best chlorine tablets product, you’ll want to look for the following:

(1) Stabilized tablets for a longer chlorine life
Decide whether you want to use stabilized chlorine tablets or unstabilized chlorine tablets. Testing your pool water to understand your current stabilizer level can help you with this decision.

2) Built-in algae protection and clarifier
Look for multi-functional chlorine tablets that contain built-in algae protection and clarifier. This will help you maintain a clean, clear swimming pool throughout the season.

3) Slow-dissolving chlorine tablets
For the best value, look for a slow-dissolving chlorine tablet to provide a steady source of free available chlorine. You’ll likely have to add chlorine less often which is a real benefit for easy, convenient DIY pool care.

4) Proper treatment for your pool volume You want to make sure you get a chlorine tablet that’s the right size for your pool. Check the package for dosage recommendations. Many 3-inch tablets treat 10,000 gallons for up to an entire week, while 1-inch tablets will treat less.

BUT: DON’T apply chlorine tablets directly to your swimming pool. Chlorine tablets are designed for use in pool feeders, floaters and skimmers. If they’re applied directly to the swimming pool, they can destroy pool surfaces like your pool liner, etc.
Both saltwater pools and traditional chlorine types have awesome features. If you’re on the fence, you certainly aren’t alone. Which features suit you best? Read on!

Saltwater Pools
The biggest myth surrounding saltwater pools is that they contain zero chlorine because the water comes from the sea. But the truth may surprise you. Saltwater pools don’t even come close to seawater. In fact, they aren’t even chlorine-free. Saltwater pools use a process called “electrolysis” to produce the chlorine needed to disinfect the pool water.

Lower chlorine levels make saltwater pools gentler on skin and eyes. This is a great choice if the pool is to be used by young children and athletes who are immersed for long periods of time.
Chlorine levels in saltwater pools are enough to disinfect, but not enough to fade expensive swimwear and gear. Because of the natural chlorine, saltwater pools require fewer chemicals (and less attention) compared to chlorinated pools.

A saltwater pool is more expensive than a traditional pool because it requires a higher initial investment. Compared to chlorinated pools, a saltwater pools system is more complex. Both minor and major repairs will call for the expertise of a licensed (and specialized) technician.
Saltwater can damage. You will need to purchase underwater lighting, heaters, fixtures, liners, and masonry work specific to saltwater pools. Which will end up being for costly when doing pool renovations.

Chlorine Pools
Chlorine pools are popular because it’s less expensive to install and easier to maintain. Unlike its saltwater counterpart, chlorine is added rather than naturally produced.

Pros The initial investment is much less. Chlorine pools use less electricity. Saltwater pools require a special salt chlorine generator to convert salt into chlorine. Chlorine pools, on the other hand, merely require a pump and filter to circulate and clean the water in your pool. Chlorine is for the most part, fixture friendly.
Most repairs on chloriner pools can be done DIY (do-it-yourself). Otherwise, finding someone to fix a chlorine pool system won’t be a problem.

Chlorine is known to be harsh on the skin, eyes, and hair. Swimmers should invest in bath products that effectively remove chlorine. Can also be very harmful to any pool deck painting if you didn’t choose the correct paint. Chlorine pools require constant vigilance to kill excess bacteria. This means that you need to check on chlorine content on a regular basis. In addition, other chemicals such as balancing agents, need to be added consistently. Bottom line: you need to up your budget to maintain a chlorine pool, and have someone habitually check on your pool’s chemical composition.
Chlorine has to be stored properly. You may have to dedicate an exclusive area free from moisture to keep components active.

The Verdict
Due to hurricanes and other natural disasters, chlorine supply for the 2021 pool season has been significantly reduced. Prices are much higher this year and supply is much lower causing more homeowners to choose to convert to salt to save money.. For 2021, experts forecast that salt water conversions will reach an all-time high.

Compared to salt water pools, chlorine pools need more commitment and hand holding. However, salt water pools need a larger initial investment to get going. Many public establishments such as water parks and hotels have begun to convert to saltwater pools simply because they require less manpower and are less expensive to keep clean. But a good number still stand by their chlorine pools for its fixture-friendly features.