chlorine tabletsBefore you install and use your new above-ground swimming pool, you will have to learn how to keep it clean and sanitary. All types of swimming pools, whether they are above-ground, in-ground, spas/whirlpools, or pools found in public water parks, require constant maintenance to prevent deterioration and algae build-up. The preservation of your pool is paramount; whether you just had it installed this week or have had one in your yard for years. To keep your pool clean and sanitary, your main option for protecting your pool is using chemicals; either chlorine or bromine.

Chlorine is a chemical that kills bacteria and other harmful organic material in the pool upon contact. Almost every public pool or swim area uses chlorine every day to keep contaminants out of the water; you should follow suit with your pool. Chlorine is typically sold in tablets, sticks, and granules. The amount of chlorine you will need to keep your pool sanitary, as well as the frequency with which you must add it to your pool, is determined by the size of your pool and the brand of chemical feeder you will require to distribute the chlorine. Too little chlorine will be ineffective against the bacteria in the water, and too much will cause irritation to your eyes and possibly to your skin. The wrong amount of chlorine in either direction can also negatively affect the pH level in your pool, leading to poor sanitation; make sure you apply the chlorine in proper increments.

Bromine is an alternative to chlorine that also disposes of bacteria and dangerous materials found in pools. The main difference between bromine and chlorine is that bromine is highly stable in warmer waters. As a result, bromine is less irritating on the eyes and skin than chlorine, and rarely causes rashes from usage in a pool. However, bromine also leaves behind a strong smell that can be hard to wash out from your body and bathing suit after use. Both bromine and chlorine are safe to use for your above-ground pool, but bromine is used commonly in hot tubs and spas. Bromine is available in 3-inch tablets.

Whether you decide to use chlorine or bromine for your above-ground pool, the process for adding them to your pool is both simple and alike. To add chlorine to your pool, you will need a chlorine feeder or similar device. Place the chlorine tablet, stick, or appropriate amount of granules into the chlorine feeder. The feeder will evenly distribute chlorine across the entire layout of the pool, and while the process may take some time to be fully completed, the end result is a safe, healthy above-ground pool for you, your family, and friends to enjoy. Under no circumstances should you just toss a chlorine tablet into the pool: throwing in a chlorine capsule is not evenly distributing chemicals across the pool, and will only lead to an increased chance of pool hazards down the road. Also remember to never use more than one tablet/stick, or more than the necessary amount of granules when cleaning the pool. Too much chlorine in the pool can cause eye irritation and can dangerously alter the pool’s pH level. You add bromine to your pool in the same manner as you would for chlorine: place one tablet in the feeder (which can handle bromine as well as chlorine) and allow time for the dissolving and spreading process to be completed.